“All procrastination is fear.”
That’s what I heard on a podcast anyway. And I suppose it’s mildly true… half the reason I’ve put off writing for so long is because I haven’t felt the inspiration or energy to write something decent, and I’m afraid of posting something that isn’t good.
But sometimes procrastination is just procrastination. And lately I’ve been too busy to find the motivation to devote time to blogging.
I took up a Thai class in the hopes of improving my ability to communicate in this country. Prior to this class my Thai skills extended only so far as being able to say thank you, hello, shut up, man, woman, train, plane, and numbers 1,2,3,4,5, and 10. And let me tell you, there are only so many times you can say “thank you man” or “10 airplanes!” before you need to start adding some new vocabulary.
My current schedule has me waking up at 5:30, laying in bed debating going to work vs quitting and becoming homeless but getting to sleep in, eventually deciding going to work is the best option, and getting up and dressed around 5:45. Leave for work around 6:40. Finish work at 4:30, drive half hour to Thai class, sometimes have time for food, Thai class from 5:30-7:30, and home around 8.
This schedule, as you might imagine, doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for…anything. And yet, as I have discovered, I cannot thrive in my life without a lot of extras. And so, I fit them in.
The last few months I have been trying to build the best life for myself. One that supports my mental, emotional, and physical health, and leaves me with some vague sense of fulfillment. And if all I did was go to work and class and come home, I wouldn’t have that.
There are a few things I knew I needed: productive creative work, social interaction, and healthy habits. Without those, I’m just not gonna be happy.
And so, every week I also do:
Band practice: little by little we’re adding piano parts to the songs that my bandmates had already written, as well as slowly creating new pieces. It’s a lot of fun. We’re hoping to play our first gig in a couple of weeks once the period of mourning for the king has ended and musical performances are allowed again.
Book club: When I was a kid I spent most of my Sundays at church. Sunday school, morning service, evening service, youth group. I don’t go to church anymore, and don’t really care for it, but I do miss the aspect of getting to interact with a like minded community and grow as people. For me, the place to do that is no longer church. It’s more often just spending time with good friends talking about whatever is on our minds and hearts. Lately, that space has become a book club in Mae Rim (just north of Chiang Mai) with some friends. We hang out, eat brunch, make art, and talk about our lives through the context of wherever you go, there you are, a book centered around meditation. It’s been wonderful, and is the perfect way to ready me for the chaos that awaits my workweek.
Creative work: I recently read Liz Gilbert’s latest book, Big Magic. I loved it. As my schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of reading time, I’ve taken to listening to audio books during my daily commute. Big Magic is all about overcoming fears in order to live a creative life. Emphasis is put on the very act of creating things, rather than the end result. I write, even though it doesn’t pay and I’m not famous and have no plans to be. I write because I like to. Because it helps me process the world. Because it makes me happy. That’s the same reason I cross stitch, knit, crochet, sew, and any other various old-lady handcrafts I choose to undertake. It’s what makes me happy. Realizing that, and subsequently acting on it, has been hugely important.
Exercise: YUCK. I hate working out. I’m small and so people assume I must be fit. HA. No. I loathe exercise. And yet, I recognize its importance and appreciate the effects, so I do. During the week it’s often just yoga, or ten minutes of ab workouts or something. On the weekends I run. It’s my most begrudging habit, but I’m trying to make it stick.
So that’s my life these days. Pretty jam packed, but pretty good. I will try to make an effort to provide more consistent updates on the blog…but I make no promises.
Here are some pictures