I am a very active person. By this, I mean that I must always be engaged in something – whether it’s training, socializing, knitting, working, etc. I have to feel like I have a purpose to my time. The feeling of being bored or unproductive is the worst. There are so many things on my to-do list; more than I think a lifetime could fulfill, but this ensures that I am always working on something.
The problem I am facing is this thing called a day job. Initially, the office life was stable, consistent, and helped fund my creative and artistic endeavors. Then I started teaching and other worlds and possibilities opened up to me, and I’m trying desperately to straddle the line between what I want to do, and what I have to do to stay alive. And then my legs getting tired from holding myself between the gravitational pulls of the two worlds and my neck gets sore from looking back and forth, and I collapse in a fit of tears and anger because I can’t do it all, and I’m tired from trying.
There’s a ball of yarn, neatly caked and ready to turn into a functional piece. Sometimes, when you reach into the center, the yarn gets tangled a bit and out comes the fiber vomit. There’s nothing you can really do but sigh and work through the tangles. I am that ball of yarn vomit right now, working out the tangles so that the ideas that are neatly caked in my head can be turned into breathtaking works of art.
It started a few weeks ago, when someone I met at Burning Man found me on Facebook, and we started chatting and catching up. He was telling me all about the silly things he’s been up to, and I was momentarily jealous. I’ve got silly things going on, also, but not as much as I want. I have a shortage of silliness in my life, and an abundance of serious.
It really struck me as a problem last week when I was sitting on the couch with Ellette. I took the afternoon off of work to take care of doctors appointments, one for me and one for her, and it was the first solid chunk of time we’d had together for ages. So, there we are sitting on the couch and we’re talking about what we should do with our afternoon. And she asked if we could paint our nails because a classmate of hers was going to be spending the afternoon with her mom painting each others nails, and Ellette thought it was a wonderful mommy-daughter activity. We didn’t paint each others nails but I did hang out with Ellette while she painted her own, and while she was busy with that, I asked what her thoughts were on how we were living – the hustle and bustle, the long days training, the short evenings together – did she mind? Overall, she said, she liked it because no one else in her class was doing it and she felt like it was something special. And then she mentioned, almost quietly, that she wishes we had more time together, doing special mother-daughter things, like painting our nails together.
That was a punch to the gut. I felt instantly guilty about not sucking up my exhaustion and sitting on the floor with her. I did promise that we will do more together; and I’m following through with some wonderful just-the-two-of-us trips for this summer.
This is what has been bouncing around my mind lately. It’s making me a little angry and a little depressed, and a lot jittery to move on to the next adventure. I am working and training so much now that it is no longer affecting just me.
This is the moment that I tell the world: WE NEED MORE SILLY! And, I for one, am taking giant leaps of faith so that silly will be an every day adventure for me.