Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Universe has spoken...

I am a firm believer in the Universe sending us lessons in all forms. I've mentioned time and again that I'm not particularly good at giving myself breaks. I also have a habit of expecting an unreasonable amount of productivity from myself. This is illustrated perfectly by my inability to push back when I'm getting paid for a job. If someone is paying me I feel as though I should be able to accomplish absolutely everything given to me, even if the time it will take to finish it all is more than the time I've been given to complete it in.

Recently I was given a great lesson on being able to say, "No" to an employer. Not, "Sorry, no, I can't really get to that at the moment" or "No, but maybe this afternoon" but flat out, full stop, unequivocal: NO.

It was nerve wracking but liberating. I said 'No, it can't be done, and this is not my fault' and got on as best I could with the time I did have.

Everything started to ease up quite nicely and then the inevitable happened. Because I'm so bad at taking breaks, because I generally tend to give more than I should, and because I really need to learn the lesson, the Universe has bestowed me with shingles.

I've learned a lot about shingles these past few days. They're not the adult version of chickenpox, for example. Adults can get chickenpox or shingles and they're from the same virus but attack the body in different ways. If you never had chickenpox as a child you can catch shingles from someone who has them but if you did have chickenpox you can't. Shingles are something that you can get when you have had chickenpox - as the virus lies dormant in your system. The biggest thing which brings it on?


Huge amounts of stress.

And here's the interesting thing about shingles: it's debilitating. The Universe has struck me down and I cannot fight through the pain of the rash nor the drowsiness caused by the medication I have to take five times a day. I cannot help but rest, relax, and generally take it easy. I have been kicked to the curb and there I must stay.

It's refreshing, actually. It's liberating because now I have a damn good reason to back up my 'No'. 'No, I don't want to get shingles again, thanks.'

It's also meant I've had loads of time to sit about doing non-taxing things which require little or no movement, like working on my new website. I'm finally getting the website of my dreams and it has been so enjoyable to take my time with it. I've been able to do little updates each day, twenty minutes or so at a time, not feeling rushed or unreasonably pressured to get anything done. I'm really enjoying it and getting more and more excited about the launch!

I've also been writing a lot. This has been hugely fun because I often find it difficult to make time to write because it requires finding a space with no distraction and at the end of a long writing session I sometimes feel slightly idle for not having moved for several hours. Of course that's quite silly because in several hours I can write several pages, perhaps even several chapters, and ultimately my writing is something of which I am very proud.

So I think I'm learning the lesson well and as a result feeling emotionally extremely well, even if physically my side is in torturous pain. I'm learning that there are worse things in life then not meeting the unreasonable deadlines of other people and that I must always, always remember to take care of myself first and foremost.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A New Project!

I know I did a warning post several weeks ago regarding the change to my blog updating routine but for anyone who missed it - I'll still be updating my blog just with less frequency.

The reason for my silence this month is that September has been quite full-on for me. My parents have been visiting and therefore most of my spare time is taken up with exploration and visitation. I've also begun my Life Coaching course and as a result have been doing a lot of business planning and such around that.

But as October approaches things will be slowing down and I'll be updating my blog a little more often. Still not 12 entries a month, but far more than I've managed for September - which shouldn't be too difficult as I think that means more than two entries.

There is, however, a slight kink in my plan to do more regular updates. I normally like to post a photo with each blog entry because anyone who keeps a successful, well-read blog will tell you that images do wonders for holding people's attention. Plus, as a creative individual, I like to show people what I'm working on both through description and a nice snapshot.

Unfortunately my point and shoot has finally been damaged beyond repair as a result of my rather careless treatment of it. The screen doesn't work and therefore, taking a quick photo requires a lot of imagination, guess work and crossed fingers. It's just like using film again!

So this entry won't have an image with it but in some ways this is probably a good thing. I have just been to the post office and picked up a spanking new pair of white canvas sneakers that I ordered a week and a half ago. These are the shoes which I will be decorating for the lucky winner of the draw I did following my gallery show. Since half the fun of designing shoes for someone is the unveiling of the final product, it's probably better that I don't start posting loads of pictures.

My parents are returning to Canada this weekend and in the following week I'll resume my normal round of updates along with spending time working on my creative projects. These sneakers will be the first of the creative projects I'm going to dive into. I'm extremely excited for it and will keep you posted on the progress - despite the lack of images.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Task List

I'm so glad I decided not to stick to my 12 entries a month for a little bit. Clever planning on my part, really. Good advice for life, too: Whether you work for yourself or you work for someone else, be aware of your abilities and the restriction of time.

It's one thing to be capable of something, another thing entirely to be able to manage accomplishing multiple tasks in a certain time frame. If you can focus on one thing at a time you'll do a better job over-all and you won't run yourself ragged by having unreasonable expectations of what you can achieve.

As it happens, my gallery show fell at the end of a lull, as a kick-start to a lot of busyness throughout the next two months. I've got a lot of stuff happening in my personal life and a lot of change in my professional life. This means I'm learning to make more reasonable deadlines and getting used to the idea that sometimes, things have to wait. They'll get done, definitely, but one cannot be expected to complete multiple tasks all at once, especially if the plan is to do a good job of which you can be proud.

It's nice though, in a lot of ways, because I'm learning to relax into things. I'm taking my time and enjoying the free moments I have. Like today I was able to make a small task list whilst taking the train home from a day spent at the Hampton Court Palace with my parents. When I got home I jumped on it and as a result I've now purchased the perfect pair of shoes for the lucky winner of the draw I did in conjunction with my gallery show.

I've also managed to do this blog entry! Which is a little bonus and one I'm quite happy about.

On top of that, I'm feeling quite inspired after a day spent learning about the Tudors and where they lived. I'm using this inspired energy to get these things done and formulate some plans for the future, which I have time for because I made that task list which I've now completed.

So nice when you stop trying to control things and just let them fall into place.