Thinking About Doing and Other Forms of Clock Watching.

imageI leave for New York in a month and somehow need to raise £1000 before my departure.This doesn’t actually bother me as much as the fact that it’s a position I’ve found myself in many, many times before.

I solve this repetitive problem by simply switching on the mania and entering compulsive work mode.

Unfortunately I now always seem to be in compulsive work mode, just operating at varying levels of insanity.

I finished working this Sunday and caught the train for an overnight visit to a dear friend who was approaching the year anniversary of her husband’s death. I horrified myself when I realised that I was calculating how quickly I could get away the next day, as I had ‘so much to do’.

I have a mundane job that earns money to pay my bills, and my creative work that feeds my soul. Between them I seem to have no time left to chill out, sit with a book, or have leisurely meet ups with friends.

I’m aware it’s a choice that I have consciously made, but recently I am uneasy with some aspects of this decision.

I feel as if I’m not interacting enough with others on an emotional and intimate level. The isolation of my studio is compelling and in my day to day job and my presentations and exhibitions, I deal with people all the time but on a very superficial, surface-skimming level.

I find I need to fight a natural predilection to be a hermit and the risk of waking up one day to find everyone has faded away due to lack of attention.

I also worry about not stimulating my brain, and reading enough. Sure I skim around the internet but again that is superficial and creates lazy thinking. I’ve always been a huge reader, but recently I’ve been so busy ‘doing’ that reading has been scheduled for a short and miserably dutiful time,before bed.

Years ago I was in a similar situation where I was trapped on a wheel of busy-ness and when I did have time out, I found it impossible to relax into it without feeling edgy and guilty.

I changed that pattern a long time ago, but gradually seemed to have slipped back into it.

I’m not sure whether this work ethic is genetic, learned, conditioned or simply  inherited obsessive-compulsive behaviour.

So today I slowed down. Sure I still did cleaning, washing, ironing, gardening,some art and this blog…but I also read and had a leisurely conversation on the phone with a friend.

Small steps, but steps forward nonetheless (and I’m sure I’ll raise those funds, I always seem to manage even if it means I’ll be crazier than usual for a while).

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About charlottejane2002

Author of 'P is for Prostitution', 'The Bloody Sacrifice' and co-editor of 'A Contemporary Western Book of the Dead' which are all published by Mandrake of Oxford. Italian publisher Roberto Migliussi has recently released 'The Sky is a Gateway, Not a Ceiling', a book of Charlotte's collected essays printed alongside images of his own art work. Charlotte is also an artist who creates spiritually directed art works from road kill and found objects. She has had her written work printed in anthologies and various magazines and on line publications and has given presentations at many events and institutions including Edinburgh University and Brooklyn's 'Museum of Morbid Anatomy'. Her art work has been exhibited widely including at London's Chelsea Gallery and The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, and is soon to be shown in New York.
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