Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Colds and Creativity.

I jjust got up from my nap.  As I go get myself a glass of water to stop my coughing, I step into my studio.  I see all the pieces that need my attention.  I start coughing and know that today is not a good day to work.  I could push myself as I've done many times before, but I know that I won't make my best art today.  I'm sick.
I'm also sick of being sick.  
It's been a battle I've fought for over 2 weeks, now.  I didn't realize I was sick, at first.  I thought my body aches and headache were symptoms of age and stress.  When my son got it, I knew I had it too and I did let myself rest for two days.  I felt better so I jumped back on my usual life track.  Walking, yoga, jazzercise, errands, throwing, studio work, volunteering.   Then my body hit me upside the head with an earache, sore throat and cough.
I wasn't listening was I? Nope.

So my body made it very clear.  Stop.  Now.  Lie down until you really feel better.  
But, there I was yesterday, up and in the studio because I just had to get handles on a few mugs.  I just had to run a few errands.  I just had to walk the dog.
Today, it's nap time.  And tea time.  Again.   
As a child, I never did anything when I was sick.  No school.  No homework.  Just sleeping and reading and drinking juice, I didn't mind a few days off.   Why then, did I grow up to feel so guilty about being sick?  I could understand it when I worked a highly competitive and stressful job, getting sick and working anyway was a medal of  honor.  But I work for myself now.  You'd think as my own boss, I'd be kind and understanding to myself but, I'm not.  Sometimes, I push myself just as hard as that highly competitive and stressful working environment that I hated so much.  Sometimes, I rebel against it and play hookey.  Maybe there's a good reason my word for the year is flow.
Time to get off the monkey mind train at the rest stop.

Whether I like it or not, I have a cold.  In order to get well, I need to rest not work.  Maybe even treat myself to a good book, movie, game or bowl of pudding.  (Oh, pudding does sound wonderful!)  I need to be a good boss to myself, tell myself to go home, get some rest and get well.  Tell my artist self to have no fear, the work will get done better when I'm well.
But the most important message here: Don't feel bad about feeling bad.  It isn't a creative block, it's a cold.  Who knows, maybe the naps will lead to some new ideas.  Hmmm...maybe that's new way to look at flow.

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