I believe I've touched on the fact that I've been feeling a little burnt out and uninspired in previous entries. My goal at the start of this year was to 'strive less.' Which sounds kind of like an anti-goal unless you know me and know how difficult it is for me to just chill out.
It causes me anxiety to not have something to be working toward. If I don't have a completely crossed off to-do list, I don't feel that I have 'earned' the chance to relax. If I don't have a to-do list at all, I feel unmoored and worry that there's got to be something important that I have to get done that I've obviously forgotten about because I didn't make a list. I am getting better about this, by the way, but it's taken work. So I decided to give myself permission, in advance, to do less this year in an effort to feel inspired to do again.
Doing tons of things makes me happy. Being busy, having an agenda, work hard, play hard, makes me happy. But I've found that just being busy for the sake of it, just doing things because this is what I should be doing, isn't the same. Things that used to excite me creatively were turning into work. And I already had work. I was just churning things out. I was enjoying things less. So I decided to stop and figure out what it is that I wanted to do.
Knowing myself and knowing my penchant for anxiety when life gets to unstructured, I created parameters for my 'break'. I would only go on auditions that my agent sent me or that I was invited to. I would not seek out auditions just to 'stay in the game'. I would take some classes, but classes for the sake of enjoying them, or for learning. I was not to take any classes just because it would look good on my resume or because 'I really should use this time to bone up on my Shakespeare.' I'll write more about the results in later entries. I have a lot to say.
I decided, organically, to play with a few other things in life. I consider myself fairly healthy, but I've learned a lot more about how the body works recently and my body in particular. I decided to explore this a bit more. Playing with my diet, cutting out some sugar here and there, playing with recipes and seeing if I can make them a little healthier and still enjoy them. Getting enough sleep, paying attention to my cycle, finding some fun and different workouts, etc. Again, I will probably write more about this later on.
I also started backing off of social media. I had started this around November, for several reasons that I've started to write about in depth at least twice and decided not to publish. I may still talk about those reasons, I may not. It may be that I just needed to get the thoughts on paper. I'm not sure if they'll do a service to anyone else to read them or not. I definitely found an up tick in my mood on the days that I was completely social media free. On Mardi Gras this year, I decided at the end of the day to just quit social media for Lent. I didn't give it a whole lot of thought or make an announcement letting people know that I wouldn't be there. I woke up on Ash Wednesday and decided to see it through. Again, I'll probably expound upon this later, but my biggest hardship with this is concern that other people will think that I am ignoring or slighting them because I don't respond to photos they tag me in or things they send me. Also, my birthday falls during Lent and I won't get to see my Facebook birthday wishes until Easter, which is one of my favorite parts of Facebook. I think I will live though. And it will make Easter that much more exciting.
So ... so far I've been pretty busy striving less. It's been good. I'm not done. I still haven't totally reignited my pilot light, so I'm not quite ready to turn on the gas. But we're getting there. And I've decided to write a little more. So ... it'll be there for you to read about, if you want.