I’ve become very good at ratcheting down the pace. I was using my phone to record a video a couple of weeks ago and when I played the video back, I discovered that I had accidentally hit the “Slo-Mo” button while filming. My life feels like it’s in perpetual slo-mo these days. I call it “quieting.” It’s kind of nice. I’ve even been tiptoeing into the ultimate quieting activity: knitting.
When I was a striving bundle of youth, I constantly sought out excitement and novelty. World travel! New jobs! Torrid romances! Actually, no, I was not so good at finding torrid romances. Valentine’s Day was a bane of my existence, and I often greeted it solo and yearning.
I’m halfway through my 50th year on this globe, and I’m fully ensconced in an almost obsessive dedication to doing exactly the same thing every day. I’ve always been a creature of habit (who isn’t?), but I’m taking it to new heights.
Every morning, I take a long walk. Then I paint and write purely for myself. Then I walk to a coffee shop and work on my latest book or whatever project happens to be on my to-do list for a few hours. Right now it’s dreaded tax paperwork. Then I head back home to eat a late lunch, give the cat a snack and take care of admin stuff or sew or knit. Then I do yoga and cook dinner and chat with my family. Then I tidy up, get ready for bed, and read (I’m currently devouring The Inheritance Games series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes — how does an associate professor with little kids pump out so many books??).
I do have the occasional business meeting or social gathering or class to teach, and weekends don’t usually involve any work, but for the most part the above routine is what I adhere to day in and day out. It’s not glamorous or exciting — in fact, from the outside looking in, it probably seems extremely mundane and repetitive. I have to tell you, though, my days feel very “loamy” (a reviewer described The Inheritance Games with that word and I love it). Full of rich potential, ready to sprout and bloom ideas.
Lately, I’ve lost the yen to check Instagram, which seems to contribute to the sustained peace and quietude I’ve been experiencing. This dearth of desire to stay on top of digital connection is possibly career suicide for someone who wants to create books and many things for the big wide world, but I’m trusting my intuition that right now is a time to thoroughly inhabit this routinized schedule, to cultivate my fertile inner world. I feel like I’m channeling Cal Newport, he of the the Deep Work and anti social media proponent. I’m a big fan.
I will emerge from my social media hibernation eventually — I have three books coming out this fall, and they’re not going to promote themselves. Until then, I’m savoring this insulated loaminess.
On a side note: The Secret Valentine Exchange will have to be laid to rest because shipping costs are skyrocketing. For example, I was recently quoted $150 to send an item to Australia. The shipping cost was 10 times the value of the item itself! Though I’m sad about that I do have something up my sleeve for Valentine’s Day that I’ve been working on for a while. More on that soon.
So, it’s been a slo-mo start to 2022 for me and I like it. How about you? How was your January? I hope all is well and that you’re all staying safe!
P.S. The image is part of a PDF I created for a Basic Sashiko Stitching class that I’ll be teaching on the Making App on February 18th at noon. It’s a laid back, easy class that I really enjoy teaching!