Today I am giving myself over to the pleasure of writing, to the pleasure of creating with deep focus. I have all day. There is something delicious thinking about giving myself over to it. Choosing to be fully present to the process of not only writing this article but creating the experience of reading it for you. And choosing to notice when I am not fully present. How that feels as well.
There is a twist to this.
I am once again, pushing the edge of the deadline envelope which for me is an automatic pleasure detractor. Running underneath is “You gotta get this done”
I’ve had several tastes in the past month or two of being finished before the deadline. I like it. I like it a lot. I like it so much so that I want more of it. There is a freedom, a sweet release in it. It is a kind way to live.
Most Saturdays, I am present to the the writing process, and very much present to wanting to get it up into Mail Chimp and the website and scheduled for release. Sometimes most of the work is done by this time. Sometimes it isn’t. Most of the time I experience a splitting of focus between wanting the pleasure of the process and wanting the pleasure of having it done, up and ready to go (so I can choose the next thing I want to do.)
This is not truly pleasurable, is it, this get it done so you can go on to the next thing way of working. Or pushing this thing to the last minute giving it no room to breathe. My sense, my experience with this approach is that the pleasure, the joy in the act of writing is diminished. There is a delicate balance between the being and the doing that moves out of being.
I am blown away by the noticing of this.
This way of doing, of being with the doing is so deeply ingrained. It is the way of the nurse who clocked in, was there for her patients yet could not wait for the day to be over so she could go home and do something else. Or could not wait for her break so she could let her mind go where it wanted to go. Hint: where it wanted to go was NOT on the next pill, that IV pain med or antibiotic that needed to be given, that dressing that needed changing or call light that needed answering.
One of the things that was really important to me as a nurse was leaving on time. Planning my work to get it all done in the 8 or 12 hours allotted to work. I did not hue to the martyr nurse model. It served no one. Not my patients, not my children and first and foremost, it did not serve me. I knew in my body what had to get done, I had a visceral sense of how long it took and I knew the rhythm of the hospital unit.
Most of the time, I was very successful at getting it done and getting it done well. The few times that I was not, a patient had “gone south” … medical speak for “they’ll die if you don’t do something and do it quickly”. Those times were the exceptions, not the rule.
I did not sabotage the leave work on time rule I set for myself. My well being depended on it. I also did not pick up extra shifts. Again, my well being depended on that. Those boundaries were sacrosanct with limited exception as noted above.
It looks as though I need to make some new rules, set some new boundaries for new circumstances. Perhaps rethink my due dates. Perhaps create the habit of staying at least a week or two ahead of myself. I don’t know exactly what they will be. Whatever they are, they will be sacrosanct and in synch with the new rhythm of my life in a way that is kind.
I do know that I am skilled at birthing flexible systems that innately work for me. I did it as a nurse every time I walked onto the hospital unit. I also know that is a transferable skill and that when I ask, the answers and the how show up.
It’s time for a new system, one that fits the now rhythm of my life.