A few months ago I signed up for Alyson Stanfield’s Blog Triage class for artists. As part of the class, it was recommended that we sign up for Facebook and Twitter. One benefit to social media is just that – it’s social and artists tend to isolate. I have really enjoyed this aspect of these tools but I have noticed some of the pitfalls as well.
Besides taking up precious time, I have discovered that Facebook and Twitter also leave me feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. As I read daily posts, I am constantly amazed at how much people seem to get accomplished in one day – and they have time to write about it!
Not only are they celebrating career successes, but they have time to go hiking, work in their garden and actually cook a meal! I don’t think anybody is making this stuff up. I truly believe they are doing what they say they are doing, but I keep asking myself - do they sleep?
I may be a little jealous but I am also curious. Why can’t I get that much done? I am very organized and accomplish a lot during a day but it never seems to be enough. The important stuff – the big ideas and dreams I have, never seem to make it on to my to-do list.
Facebook isn’t really to blame for my tendency to slip into overwhelm. I do it to myself. Not only do I want to photograph flowers; I want to grow them too. I would love to have a weed free yard and freshly painted walls in my house. A perfect day would end with a healthy meal, cooked from scratch and a brisk walk as the sun sets. Guess what? That’s not going to happen.
When the feeling of overwhelm stays with me longer than is comfortable, I tend to reach for one of my “simple living” books. These books remind me to slow down and focus on what’s important. Besides my family and friends, photography is very high on my list of what I value. I cherish the time I get to work on my images and try to protect that time as much as possible. But like everyone knows, life happens and I accept this, but I also know I need to prioritize and let some of other stuff go. I want to concentrate on getting the big ideas and dreams out of my head and on to my to-do list. This won’t happen if I keep believing that I can have it all and do it all.
This is a subject that has been on my mind quite a bit, but something happened this morning that freaked me out a little, and definitely got my attention.
I put a load of towels in the washing machine and after awhile heard a clanking sound. Strange, but I didn’t think too much about it. Later, when I took the towels out of the dryer, something fell onto the floor. It was a stone that is part of a larger collection of rocks with words of inspiration on them that I keep in my office – far away from the bathroom where the towels came from. The rock that ended up on the floor said – Keep It Simple………………………………..
Guess the weeds will keep on growing, and someday the walls will get painted. Takeout food can be healthy – right? I don’t have time to cook. I have better things to do………….