I have been really busy with some deadlines in January so February is a really good chance to take stock of where I am. January is also hard because I let go of some of my good habits after the small number of restful and peaceful festive days after Christmas and before New Year. But I had such a lovely time away from it all that I don’t regret any of it! Just nice days spent with family and friends, unwinding and letting my mind and soul reflect back on the past year.
So to get back into January, alongside the emerging work deadlines, I decided to do ’10 minutes’ a day of all the little things I wanted to do. Whether that was playing new songs on the guitar or the piano, learning languages, or reading – it would be 10 minutes of each. Of course, 10 minutes always turns into 15, 20 minutes, maybe an hour – I can’t read a book and put a timer on! But the important thing, for me, was just to do a bit of each, just to ease myself back into it. After a few days, I was already fired back and back in the mindset. I really liked taking a moment a day on my favourite things and remember what was important long term. And that includes writing.
It’s been a really cold month in England, after returning from warmer places back to my home. Even so, when my mind has been getting too busy and I’m not sure what to do first, I’ve been wrapping up warm, with boots and scarves and coats – so many layers – to go outside and think for a bit. I like the time away from the screen and out of the house, not because it helps me think about current issues or problems to solve, but because I start thinking about something entirely different – normally a song lyric comes into my head, or an idea for a side plot in a story. And when I get back inside and brew a cup of mint tea and sit down in front of the screen, nothing that urgent has happened in my absence.
So for me, February will be more of this – regathering strength, considering where my resources are at, and forging a path consciously. Also more walks, which I’m looking forward to. More adventures. That’s where being busy has its merits – it drives us so far past the point of comfort that I think, surely there’s a way to do this better!
I know that reviewing is a bit hard because it means, instead of coming up with new ideas and surging forward with no consideration for past projects, it makes me look at everything with fresh eyes. Old work projects, old documents I’m relying on, old songs that I haven’t touched for a few months, chapters in my books that I find hard to go back and edit. Just thinking about it, I can feel a twinge, a sort of flinch that makes me want to avert my eyes. This flinch, it’s getting more identifiable. Instead of parting ways from my path the moment an obstacle come up, it’s letting me think about it, to look it face on. I’m learning to identify this flinch and unrobe it as it is, something in disguise that’s trying to melt into the background, something that I need to address or else I’ll never tackle it. So it’s been a good month of reflecting, time to take this quiet energy forward now and transform it.