Thursday, 3 October 2013

Slowing Down

{Peter Harrison Asleep. A watercolour by John Singer Sargent. 1905}

If last week was a blur, this week has been a delicious slowing down. 

I'm lying in bed with my laptop on my knees.  A bird is singing merrily in the garden, enjoying a late afternoon splash in the birdbath.  

I haven't had a day off in three weeks.  I worked every weekday and every weekend, from dawn until dusk, hunched over my studio table, paintbrush in hand.  By the time I'd finished the project, my hands were so stiff I had to practically pry my fingers off the brush. 

This one deadline may have passed, but there are still a few more fast approaching on the horizon.  I spent the morning making a schedule for myself.  A gentle schedule. A schedule sprinkled generously with down time. 

I resolve, going forwards, to honour weekends; to take at least one day off each week.  

You don't realize how important it is, until you're deprived of the luxury.  The worst isn't even the physical fatigue, but the mental burnout. It's absolutely impossible to generate original, interesting ideas when your brain feels like mush!

I also want to get back into doing other things, like playing the piano, dancing and reading all your fantastic blogs.  New activities add so much richness and inspiration to life.  Just look at my blog friend, Birute, who is returning to her love for drawing and is creating gorgeous illustrations of dancers with markers.  We can all stretch ourself to try new things and enjoy experimentation. 

{Birute's lovely marker sketches}

So here's my quote for the week, because Eddie Cantor can say it way better than I can: 

Slow down and enjoy life.  It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast--you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

I going to spend this weekend curled up with a book, just like Peter Harrison did in 1905 (see above), dreaming of all the gorgeous illustrations I intend to paint in the coming months.

Do you have any special rituals or favourite things to do on your days off?  I'd love to hear from you! 

PS.  Are any of you bloggers doing Ad swaps? I'd love to swap side-bar ads with you!  My little blog is growing exponentially, and I'd love to have you along for the ride! You can find information HERE

6 comments:

  1. Hi Jane!!
    I'm so happy to know that your "infernal" week is over!!
    I want you to know, that I wait for your weekly post, because what you write has a good power on me!
    So thank you!!!
    Have a nice Friday!

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  2. Hi Jane! What a wonderful wonderful post. I must take heed and follow your lead here! I am so grateful to have visited you today as I'm catching up on all of your posts. I've been zipping too fast lately, so this has been a real treat. Thank you too for visiting my blog and leaving such a lovely comment. It made my day!
    PS- I am in love with your cousin's shoe store, Cinnamon! :) Thanks, and you have such wonderful shoes! :)

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  3. Hi Jane!

    I want to wrap my self in your writing. It's like a familiar blanket - it really brings a sense of calm over me.

    I resolve, going forward, to take a day for myself as well.

    -Mariah

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  4. Hi,thanks for the comment:) Loved your post and I agree that mental burnout is the worst:) I must follow your advice about slow down hope you'll menage too:)

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  5. How lovely. I hope you enjoy your well deserved time off! For me, time off is often about walking the streets of London looking for new places, new ideas, new inspiration. But curling up with a book is good too!

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  6. MMM! I love the slowing down of fall. Every year for me, it seems the end of summer is chaotic and so full of obligations. By the time October rolls in, things being to cool down, my schedule slows. It's time for drinking coffee on my front porch wrapped in a flannel blanket.

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Hearing from you makes my day bright with sunshine. I try to respond to each comment on your own blogs. Who knows I might make a few new friends along the way! X Jane