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Trials & Errors

Yesterday was a relatively nice run of Things. Mostly I flowed into what needed doing, with need being defined primarily by soul rather than logic.

I started the morning with coffee on the tiny balcony, with its quiet piece of sky and the company of a jackfruit tree. I had my planner with me, which really functions more as a re-assurer than a planner. More than telling me what I should do, it tells me what I can do. And then before bed, it gives me that comforting pat on the back to say I did well enough. I’ve had to experiment a lot on how to make my planner more than useful. It used to have nagging lists and too many deadlines. Now I fill it up with possibilities, and if I do need to note any deadline that is not according to the life I am shaping then I keep that note brief and small. I want my planner to reflect more of the life I want rather than perpetuate the life I want to change.

I did not measure the time I spent on the balcony. I did not measure the pace at which I sipped my coffee. I stayed there until it felt like it was time to get up and move on to the next thing. I made myself not worry about how much time is passing by and nothing is happening or getting done. Because something is happening. Something is getting done. But it is an invisible inside thing. And it is as necessary to life as sleeping or eating.

Because I did not rush, because I took my time, I found that I actually had time. The morning was not gone even though I got up later than intended. From the balcony, I went to the backyard and restarted my tiny garden. I had lost 90% of my grown-from-seed plants when the virus and then the dayjob (a particularly problematic project) disrupted and devastated everything. It has been more than six months since I was able to even take a look.

I said to myself I would only pick pots for restarting seeds. But then it started to flow into actually planting a lot of seeds and re-arranging the remaining plants, and then also checking on the compost soil and a whole lot of other garden tasks. Again I did not watch the clock. I took my time, and I discovered I had time to garden well enough and I did not feel tired at all because I moved without rushing, without catching my breath out of worry about things not getting done while I did this. When I felt that I was done with the garden for that moment I did not push it either, that I should maybe get just one more task done to count into the Done list. I stopped because it was enough, and what I had done was good.

From the backyard garden, I went into the studio, and without effort, without battling my selves, I was suddenly able to do what I had been consciously and subconsciously postponing to do. It was a task for the art shop which I found very difficult because it made me feel very vulnerable and I had my fears and was second-guessing what the customers would say. But the day had been flowing well, and finally, oh so finally, I was in my right self who got the thing done and as of this morning, I have started to receive positive responses.

Having done that difficult task (which I had been putting off for at least two months), it felt like a block had been removed. I could not proceed with other art shop things because it felt that doing so reflected badly on me and my shop as long as the difficult thing was undone. And now that I had done it, I was able to do the next steps without the sense of wrongness. A path forward cleared. The next steps are illuminated.

I took the time to prepare my lunch. I did not make myself adhere to the routine of eating at a fixed time even though I was not hungry. I did not rush. I prepared and cooked as tidily as I could so I would not have much to clean up after, which essentially meant doing each task mindfully and without hurry. I had lunch a little over an hour after the routine time, but by then I was hungry to the right degree and did not overeat or rush the meal. For the rest of the afternoon, I did not feel nor crave the need for a snack because the lunch was satisfying in more ways than filling up my stomach.

The afternoon was productive in a soul-satisfying way rather than the society-defined way, due to all that had come to pass since the morning. I surprised myself by completing a shop task that I thought would take two or three days. But my mind was calm and was not hurrying and so it found better ways as it worked. By end of the afternoon, I felt like the day had been full and good. Far into the back of my mind, I worried about the unpaid rent but at the present moment, I felt that I was doing the things that would eventually solve that problem. How? I don’t know. These things remain mysteries of a life.

I had planned to make art in the evening but I ended up spending time on rest and leisure. some reading, some Netflix series catch-up, some video games.

Then I made the mistake of scrolling through a social media feed — particularly of an account I keep where I stay connected to a certain set of social circles from my previous pre-artist pre-freelancer life. I only visit it once in a while, still thinking and believing I should keep it around and engage just in case. And as the news feed fed into my mind I felt the doubts and anxieties crash into me. Before I caught myself I was already spiraling down into questioning all my dreams and life decisions.

I had insomnia for the rest of the night and only got to sleep at almost 4 AM.

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