I showed you mine. Now you show me yours.
When I had a near nervous breakdown at a bus stop, blabbing about how my life makes no sense, about how I am never focused on one thing, and how I'll ruin my future, my very wise friend said, “You’re being too hard on yourself. You should just take a break, figure things out. You have to wait for the answer sometimes.” Then I realized, she was right! I’d been driving myself crazy with all kinds of expectations: for the future; how I should spend my times; scheduling my free time; etc.
No wonder I’ve been stressed. I fancy myself Wonder Woman sometimes. But I'm not.
So the theme of February 2013 is… wait for it… BACK TO BASICS. Oh yeah. I’ll spend this month indulging. If I want to write, I’ll write. If I want to read a book, I'll read a book. If I want to start a dog-walking career, I’ll print up flyers. What? I’m starting to think this is my actual dream job.
I love dogs. Dogs love me. I love walking. And there is peace. Boom!
It’s the second day of the month and I am already making progress. I’ve been letting myself waste time in my room, watching indie movies and listening to music. When I started this thing, I wanted to do something with it. I wanted to take photos of things in the street that inspire me. I wanted to write shocking erotic novelettes. Obviously, I was missing the point. Indulgence cannot be planned.
It's about... doing what feels right... when it feels right. Control is an illusion.
So I started over again yesterday. No expectation; no pressure; no timetable. Apart from my day job, everything else is a blank canvas. It’s a new Word document full of possibilities. It’s a fucking wall waiting to be covered in sexy street art. This is my life now… and I love it.
I urge you to try this new therapeutic exercise of mine. If you’re feeling stressed, just think about a time when you were completely careless. If you’re like most people, that would be some time in your youth. Let’s face it: growing up SUCKS. But it does it with style, and grace. It has the potential to rock.
In my case, this careless time was when I listened to music every day, all day. Discovering new bands, downloading scores (come on, you do it too), making playlists, listening to radio, watching lesser known movies, writing down quotes, and reorganizing my computer completely. It sounds like such a luxury compared to the usual tight schedules we all follow, and the never-neding to-do lists we pile up. But you know what? Luxury does not mean you’re wasting time. On the contrary.
In this crazy day and life, you need to be kind to yourself. You need to keep the love alive. Which means treating yourself to something you love… not because it brings money or makes a name for you, but because you love it unconditionally. Because you’re happy doing it.
Repeat after me please: Happiness is not a waste of time! Say it a few times.
So go on, make a list of things that make you happy. Include those things you have no time to do anymore. Or screw the list, just start doing it. Give yourself a month, at least, to indulge in life and everything that makes you smile. Everything that inspires, ignites, and infects your spirit.
I may or may not blog about the stuff I do, or the movies I watch, or the music I find. I may or may not tweet or HitRECord like mad. And I may or may not create OCD pinterest boards of my hundreds of obsessions. I’ll figure it all out as I go. You can do the same. Don’t feel like it’s a crime to take time off. It’s not a crime, it’s a necessity these days. You’re not a superhero who doesn’t need breaks. And you don’t have anything to prove to anyone, except proving to yourself that you can still have fun.
Below are a few things that may or may not inspire you. Just go with whatever does.
And do tell me what you’re up to on your Back to Basics retreat.
P.S. Also, please recommend some indie films.