Some days I do so little that I wonder where the day has gone, and what I have to show for it? Then the philosophical predisposition inside me asks, "Am I supposed to do something productive each day? Who decides what is productive? Does thinking count?"
I find that I need long periods of "down" time. When I deny myself these spaces of suspended action, I accomplish more of the things that are measurable. I get the groceries, I cook the meals, I keep up with the laundry and the housework. I go to my job and fulfill my duties there. In essence, I live a balanced life. I've never felt fulfilled doing that. Having a finished product to show for the day's effort has never been important to me.
I have friends who love the feeling of a job well done, no matter the task. They love to cross things off of lists. They love making lists. Strangely, I can cross off all the tasks of an enormous list and feel no satifaction, especially if the things on that list have little importance to me.
I hate errands. My husband, Paul, always took care of those running around chores. He went to the bank, he grocery shopped, he went to the post office, he filled the cars with gas. He liked doing those tasks. I did not.
Those activities felt like a waste of time to me. I wanted to waste my time in a different way. I wanted to be quiescent so that I could burst on the scene of my choosing with all the energy I would need for the task at hand. I wanted to do grand things like have eight children, or have a family singing group that toured the country, or have my kids do radio and television commercials and movies, or write a book, or give my husband a kidney, or ......
I still feel guilty on days like today, where I have nothing concrete to show for my efforts. Still, I know in my heart that days like this one lead to days where the extraordinary happens. I have to remind myself, daily, that my rhythm is the right one for me.
I am comforted to know that others with a similar artistic bent struggle with these same issues:
"When I work, I work very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time." Cy Twombly
"True artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness." Eckhart Tolle
Ah, I feel better now.
Read more articles by Katherine Hussmann Klemp or search for articles on the same topic or others.