Here is an optimistic plotting of the week's schedule. My personal target is to finish the report by Saturday. Although I know that given the volume and depth of the data I need to analyse, finishing by Saturday is a hope akin to being able to go to the ball with a beautiful new dress -- some magical intervention required.
This morning will be a slow-burn getting-into-the-flow kind of morning. That flow is supposed to be sustainable until Saturday, so I am not rushing it. It will be like a hearth's fire only put to sleep into embers at night but ready to roar and leap in the mornings. This kind of flow is complicated to catch and so I am not letting myself get anxious.
The simpler tasks are listed for the morning. They are mostly loose ends that need cleaning up to get me all set for the real big task ahead : diving deep into the data analysis and beginning the creative writing process for the full final report. It involves a lot of craft work, because that is what I do that makes the difference in the output. That is why I am still able to survive six years after leaving full-time employment. (I have never really harnessed the full power of that skill.)
Expect no painting or any of the usual creative artistic projects. The dayjob is eating up all my productive hours. Whatever hours are left I spend resting and recharging and refilling the well. I gobble up stories though I am not able to make or tell any. That is why I make my notes and calendar pretty instead, because otherwise I just might go mad.
I am not feeling bad though. Not today. Last week was not so bad either. I just feel neutral. Except in the depths of the night when the insomnia strikes and there is an invisible hand squeezing my lonely heart.
I am quite pleased actually that I am able to focus so much better now (thanks to that whole studyblr inspiration, and thanks to the Eggscellent timer app). I expect this week to run even more smoothly. I've even started taking a brain support supplement that was recommended by a friend (it helps optimise the processing of dopamine).
This is almost like a dry-run for an even bigger task waiting after I finish the report. This is a shade of Things shaped into place as I find a much better way to get where I want and need to go.
In my first post for the year I had been certain of taking a path. It was an old, somewhat familiar path, but it was a path well-travelled by others. I have made my marks on it but I cannot claim it as mine. It is a tributary to a larger path that leads to destinations I am not (and have never been) interested in getting to.
I decided to return to that path for a very simple reason : quick big cash. I thought maybe I could find a way to negotiate an arrangement that would also somewhat allow me to plant a few seeds of my own that could, at one point, help change the landscape of that path. I thought maybe I could actually manage to carve and claim a branching path, an alternative path, that would somehow help evolve the path into one that I could, maybe, be more willing to actually stay on for a little bit longer. I hoped, maybe I could bring in the meanings that are important to me, and which I believe are also important for the human condition. I thought, maybe, I can make a difference on this path. Yes, even decades later I can still be that naive and idealistic. And optimistic.
Things progressed as they should. I came closer to my goal of securing a good paycheck, and for a while my hopes of being and doing something meaningful to me and something I could love appeared to be very possible.
And then one morning, the possibility blurred. And now things are less certain.
I am both disappointed and not. I appreciate the learning that came with the whole experience. Certainly the process of it allowed me to realise things I would not have if I had not gone out there to explore.
Simply put, when it came down to pinning the Things into concrete forms, the difference in values (which I knew about, and which was why I left before, but which I hoped was navigable) became more apparent. And at this point, after all that I have persevered through, I do not think a compromise to the degree that I am seeing being laid out before me is something I can sustain for any prolonged period. I can understand the needs from both sides. But I also understand that perhaps, at this time, an equal relationship is not yet feasible. I appreciate the clarity of purpose of each side, but I can see that the purposes may not yet be aligned for equal mutual benefit. The expectations carry compromises, and a certain demand of investment -- physical, emotional, mental, even spiritual. The compromises and investment mean time and energy that have become my most precious currency, and which I cannot spend without careful deliberation.
So the decision to take that old path is put to a pause. I need to rethink everything. And come up with a Plan B. And a Plan C.
I have gone back to my mentors for reminders. And I have been listening keenly for clues and messages. They have been appearing, in many ways and many forms. It is only I who delays.