As many of you know, or anyone who has read my most recent blog post can tell you, I was issued a challenge. The challenge was to turn off the TV, and no scrolling through my phone for a week. It was supposed to inspire boredom, and by god did it ever. There were some points that I was just pulling my hair out, waiting for it to end. My house got dark around me as I became too lazy to turn on the lights and I sat there in the pitch black trying to contemplate my existence.
Needless to say I was ready for the week to be over. But now that I’m here, I can’t help looking back at what I’ve accomplished.
Shut up all you naysayers. I know it was just a week but what a week it was.
I finally wrote another blog post which I hadn’t done since 2019.
I made healthy foods and actually tasted them, delighted in them, if you will. When else do I get to just enjoy food? I’m usually so distracted by a million things online.
The boredom really did spark creativity. It inspired me to take out my sketch pad, sharpen my pencils, and just draw. It hasn’t been forever since I’ve done it but it has been a while.
And it got the old gears up and churning, thinking on more ideas I can do in the coming months that will enable me to make something of myself I’m proud of.
But I know once I’m presented with the TV remote it will all be for nothing. I don’t want to go back to that, even though it kills me to say so. I want to keep being inspired, spurred on by a lack of outside forces entertaining me. I want to entertain myself. (And yet, as I sit here writing the TV calls out to me, begging me to watch just one more episode… just one more).
In fact, all you adults out there, you know what I started doing again that I haven’t done in as long as I can remember? Writing comic strips. Now, it was something silly I used to do as a little kid, something that I thought I was incredible at but the notebook went missing and I haven’t looked at those drawings in over a decade. But now I’m thinking that I like it. I sketched out a couple of characters and I’m feeling it again. That warmth of being a kid where everything in the world seems open and available, where the dreams have no limit and the creating never stops.
I had rules as a kid. Rules I was given, granted, by my parents who dictated when were allowed to watch movies and didn’t sign up for cable. I’m sure as a child I resented it. But it led to so many amazing things! I used to design clothes, and then actually make clothes with whatever old shirts I could find and borrowed needle and thread. I would draw, as I previously mentioned, and I would write. Oh, how I would write stories that never ended, short ones, chapter books, my beloved Harry Potter Fan Fiction. It never stopped!
This week tapped me into that again, that reality of having time for things I actually enjoyed. And of discovery of life, of myself, of the things I could do!
I think we should all discover that. Take a week off. See what we do with all the boredom, where our mind and body naturally steer us. What we love to do when the racket of the world quiets down and it’s just us, alone with our natural talents. No one screaming in our ears telling us who to be. Just you, alone. Revel in it. Because chances to go back in time happen rarely but I’ve been given a chance just now.
…. And three days into the next week I realize I’m not pushing myself enough. As my sister would say it’s easier to go cold turkey than to set boundaries for yourself and actually stick to them. This week started as a long relaxing exhale on the couch with HIMYM on autoplay. And it felt horrible.
This week also marked my first month of actually running three days a week. I won’t say it was all bad. But I knew I needed to bring back a bit of that success I got from last week.
So today I made it a little easier on myself. I made a to-do list. All the things that I want to accomplish. It doesn’t matter how much TV I watch as long as I can get everything checked off! So you see that? I hacked the system.
And so can you. Don’t give up on your creativity just because you’re an adult and life is so freaking busy and all of a sudden you’re the one who has to put food on the table. But it’s easy to say the words, to write them down. It’s easy to know what’s right but less easy to do it which was the point of last week. But I’m trying. I’m trying not to feel like a failure, I’m trying to remind myself that it’s okay to watch a little as long as I’m still making time for the things that make me me.
What are some bad habits you have that you struggle to overcome?