If there’s one thing that living a full-time creative life has shown me, it’s that nothing is constant. Some mornings I wake up energetic and ready to work all day, and then I think, “This is easy!” Other mornings I do my best to fritter away the entire day on Facebook and computer games. There are as many varieties of productive moods as there are unproductive ones, and it’s a regular challenge to figure out how to make the best of each day, regardless of how I’m feeling.
This morning was one of the unproductive ones. I’m on my period, which nearly always means I don’t want to do anything, and I was silly enough to schedule a medical appointment in the middle of the day. I don’t like going to the doctor, and this was an appointment I had to prepare for, in an office I hadn’t been to, so it had me jittery and highly distractible (and if that’s not a word, it should be). It took me two hours to get around to my morning pages, and when I did, I stopped halfway through to reorganize my eye-pillow-making supplies and check my email. See? Totally distractible.
But as always, my morning pages helped me get perspective. As I wrote out my restlessness, I saw the foolishness of letting my work get sidetracked by a mood I’ve had before and will no doubt experience again. Why not figure out how to work with a jumpy attention span, instead of just giving in to it and playing Freecell until my appointment? So I made a list of things that would be easy and interesting to do, that wouldn’t take much time to complete and wouldn’t be harmed if I did end up leaving them halfway:
- the ever-useful mini pouches
- ironing, measuring, and cutting for some new yoga totes
- decluttering the shelves by my computer desk
- researching scent options for wrist rests
- looking up how to make a particular type of pillow opening, for wrist rests and eye pillows
As it turned out, I had time to research scents, look up how to do the pillow opening, make a few mini pouches, and experiment with a grapefruit-scented wrist rest, as shown in the photos. I’d love to sell wrist rests at the FabMo boutique, but the fragrance process will be different than in my eye pillows, so I’m still testing. Right now my entire computer area smells like grapefruit, but when I pick up the wrist rest for a sniff, it smells like grapefruit and buckwheat. Hmm! (On the other hand, my wrist itself smells almost edible!)
So it hasn’t been the most productive day, but in the past I would have done nothing and written the day off altogether. I’ve made some inching progress toward my FabMo inventory and oh! I’ve had a phone conversation with someone who wants to sell my bags in a local green-minded shop, on consignment, so that’s proving an interesting learning experience too. Something new every day.
In other news, I’ve created a super-quick survey about wallets, since I’d like to make some for the FabMo show. If you’ve got a minute, please share your input!
Ugh, I know just how you feel. Distractible is a great word. It captures how I feel some days and I HATE that feeling too. I feel like I’m making great strides and discoveries about life and I wake up feeling blahhhhhhhh. I know this is just a part of life and I’m not going to feel wonderful everyday but I sure as hell wish I could! I’m also on my period this week and it drags me down. When I was in my twenties, I never even had cramps and I thought PMS was bullshit. It isn’t, unfortunately, it’s very real. Hang in there, like happiness, blahness is only temporary!
Yes! It’s so frustrating to feel like everything’s going well and then all of a sudden, you just don’t want to do anything. And it’s hot this week too… that always makes me want to copy the cats and just spend the day lying around. As you say, though, it’s temporary, and I’m grateful I’m finally learning to deal with it instead of feeling like a bad person every time it happens!
Lisa, you get an *A* for rescuing your craft day — and your artist date too. Lots of times things don’t go as we plan, but they are more than good enough. In fact, that space makes room for serendipity!
Thank you, Sherry! 🙂 And it’s true about serendipity for sure!
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Distractible is definitely a word in my world, and especially when I’m on my period. I know exactly what you mean, and it’s only been in recent years that I’ve started to associate a draggy, unfocused mood to that time of the month, which is nice, because now I can be nicer to myself and schedule in extra loafing and chocolate-eating time. 🙂
Same here! It never bothered me until pretty recently!
“Extra loafing and chocolate-eating time” = win. 🙂
“Why not figure out how to work with a jumpy attention span, instead of just giving in to it and playing Freecell until my appointment?” <– definitely something i'm trying to learn! i often find myself lazing about playing computer games/surfing the internet/watching random tv episodes and i just think "byebye productivity for today!" i like your idea of doing little things that work WITH the jumpy attention span instead of giving up entirely, especially considering how often the feeling occurs 😉
I’ve been using this technique again today, since going away all weekend made my brain kind of scattershot! My goal for today is just to be productive on anything, whether it’s cleaning the house or working on my latest residency application. It’s a challenge, especially since I just downloaded Chocolatier 3… ;b
[…] the role they play in the creative process, on the importance of going through the motions, and on how to turn them to my advantage. So I’m reconciled to their occasional presence in my life, and they no longer derail me […]
[…] **This has worked really well today, but I don’t think it’s because I wrote it that I’m doing it; I think it’s that I was already in a ready state to turn things around that I even thought to write that in the first place. In rereading old posts about off-days I recognize I am having this kind of a day. […]