I wrote the following on my Everyday Thoughts section today:
I have so many plans and ideas, what I don’t have is plenty of time. My day job can be mentally draining, leaving not much room for creativity after working hours are done. I hate to sound as if I am complaining but I do have to be realistic. I want to do well in my MA and create as many opportunities as possible. But I am going to have to be selective about where to focus my energy. I have made a start with external connection relating to the sand crisis, responding to weekly tasks as much as possible, writing the CRJ and for me at present, finding the space to make my work. As the winter nights draw in, I know that my time to make work outside will lessen even more so my plan will be to concentrate on the admin side of the course during the weekday eves to enable me to have the freedom to produce work and investigate more methods of making and experimentation.
I know myself enough to understand that when I begin to feel overwhelmed by information, I begin to freeze.
I think I am a little in danger of that at the moment – don’t get me wrong, I’m a dab hand at meeting deadlines (I often work better with them) and juggling many tasks, but I am only human and I have to stop and take stock at times, to slow down and recharge – if I don’t it is often my ability to feel creative that suffers.
I have, on occasion, been found eating chocolate and staring numbly at dreadful, mind numbing house buying programmes on TV. It may look as if there is no-one home but my head will still be whirring with ideas, buzzing with thoughts and creating an on-going to-do list, which isn’t always helpful. Sometimes I think I need a not to-do list.
Everyone can feel ‘burnt out’ for a variety of differing reasons. I know my own sense of inability to cope at times simply stems from my frustration at wanting to transfer to a more 30/70 employed/self-employed split (if not a totally self-employed existence) but I have responsibilities that stifle an easy jump from one to the other at present.
So I have to put in my own coping strategies. The first is to recognise that at this moment in time, I can only do so much; that it’s okay to walk away from the MA work if I need to; that it’s fine not to love my ‘day job’ but it’s good to appreciate it while I plan other things; and that when I feel anxious or concerned I can open up and talk to tutors and peers if I need to. It’s the last one that is most difficult for me; I am quite a private person.
When I begin to feel like a rabbit in the headlights, I take time out to do something completely different or find something new to inspire my Harena Now project.
Today I came across a TEDxMaui talk by Gary Greenberg from 2012.
From about five minutes in he shares his microscopic images of grains of sand, but he goes on to talk about moon sand – he talks about one grain being three to four billion years old, and boom, my energy levels begin to return. This is such an amazing topic, how could you not be amazed and inspired.
Sand is giving me inspiration, even on the days when I feel I may not get all the things ticked off that to-do list. Who’d have thought it?