When I feel disconnected from the world around me, the last thing I am drawn to do is write a blog post. Here I sit.
I returned from Scotland on July first, spent the first day back “sleeping and slugging”, i.e., acting like a slug, not engaging in combat. As soon as the mountain of laundry had been to the laundromat and back, and the various other travel accessories had been put away, I was left with a vague sense of “what am I doing here?” Here in Concord, here in New Hampshire, and dangerously, here on earth, incarnated. It was not an experience of physical jet-lag, rather more like spiritual jet-lag, if there is such a thing. My trip was wonderful, yet another inspirational visit to a land I knew very little about. But in the end, home was the next stop.
Since I have ‘retired’, it is unclear what I am supposed to be doing every day. I am not at the point of daily or even weekly doctor appointments, yet at times they feel like the most meaningful milestones in an otherwise unstructured datebook. This sounds like a complaint I know. It is a simple truth that too much free time can lead to rabbit-holes inhabited by rabid badgers if I am not careful.
I met with a pulmonary specialist today to get the results of a series of tests I had earlier in the year. I left there armed with a new medication which hopefully will enable me to be more physically active and less winded all the time. I actually enjoyed the meeting with the doctor, it felt like an interview, he asked questions that seemed unrelated to respiratory health and more akin to what an exceptional primary care doctor might ask. After having answered, “No” to many of the medical questions, I realized I am far healthier than many people who might come to him for help, and that “use it or lose it” is still very powerful advice to give myself daily regarding my physical well-being.
In the three weeks I have been back in NH, I have been out sketching several times, and again am noticing that the more I sketch, the more two things happen:
1- I am less invested in the outcome of each sketch
2- The effort needed to reach a good outcome is greatly reduced! Go figure.
Here is a sampling of my sketchbook wanderings of late.
I am now working toward another watercolor/ pen&ink show for the upcoming fall season, based on photos I took in Scotland, so sketchbook outings will have to take a back seat for a while. Settling in at my studio table in my home should be easy during the rainy week ahead. That may change when the sun is back out again, but no need to jump ahead, plenty of pleasure to be had right here and now. As a dear friend says, “I have a great life when I am not thinking about it.” Amen to that! I am only bored when I first wake up each morning. As I step into my living room, all I see it potential (and the teacup left from the day before!)
Here’s hoping that if like me you sometimes struggle to get out of your own way in the morning, that you too will be able to find the carrot among all the sticks, and just go for it. When it comes to joy and humor, “Use it or lose it!”