I’m plucking up the courage to live the part in my heart that I’ve never dared to fully live
: on someday syndrome, changing how I live, the anti-productivity productivity idea, #9/24 new drawings (no birds), a new poem.
HopeMail #133 | Twice a month on Fridays, I write and draw what’s on my mind lately about life, deriving insights from the ordinary mundane to the difficult days. This issue is the 9/24 new drawings for HopeMail. Counting down 15 more issues till we complete 24 new drawings in a year in October 2022.
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For all my adult life, I’m the type geared towards quadrants 1 and 2 of the Eisenhower matrix.
Task-based, outcome-driven, get it done.
Even when I ventured into an artistic career of writing and drawing in the past year, the work leaned heavier towards everything else. And less towards freely creating.
I have a guilt-shame feeling about doing frivolous things such as creating and producing “nothing”.
Those can wait until the important priorities are done.
Excerpted from my previous post on taking your life back and regaining control of your life:
I went into this new everything within a year—drawing, business, shop, community—without giving myself enough space to freely create. And freely creating does not only constitute actively creating something. It is also in the space of nothingness, of not doing, that allows something to surface.
I’m afraid that if I stop, I would fade into oblivion, that no one would read my writings, no one would buy my artwork, that I would not earn enough income to cover what I need.
Realising I have someday syndrome.
So, I’ve been waiting.
I’ve been waiting for the freedom to not be measuring my time spent, with the results I’m producing. 😱 How could you not be making something out of it?!
I’ve been waiting—daily, for years, to complete the regular work tasks before, without guilt, I can take those drawing and painting classes I’ve been wanting to do, and other things too—solely because I’m interested in it. 😱 How could you waste time doing things just because?!
The audacity! of you
How dare you not live up to the expectations of others. those kinds of work, those kinds of results, those kinds of income, those kinds of things that people normally do.
How dare you not live up to the expectations of friends
of imaginary people, you have yet to meet.
How dare you not live up to the expectations
It was only from a recent soul searching when I realised I will always be waiting, yearning for the above—because I’ve been waiting for the someday that would never come. For the courage to live that part in my heart that I’ve never dared to fully live. I’ve been waiting to give myself permission to stop waiting.
The soul searching made me realise I don’t want to wait anymore.
“I’m turning someday into today.”
It might sound like an insignificant change to some people, but it’s huge for me.
I’m excited. Yet nervous! And I have zero track record in how to navigate this change I wanted.
Then, a brilliant idea came—how about I reverse my regular schedule?
Since I’m defining this whatdoyoucallit as the thing I want to prioritise and not pushed aside, why don’t I do it first before my other tasks?
Here’s the first experiment I’m doing to tackle someday syndrome.
For a period (the length of time yet to be defined, maybe it should be left as such), I’ll reverse some of my day’s schedule.
Take a class first.
Or sketch first.
Or draw first.
Or anything related to what I fancy; drawing or writing or dreaming.1
Focus on one main thing a day.
And then only move on to one to three more tasks I classify as necessities to get things moving.
I know. Revolutionary, right?
It’s a rebellion against what I’ve been taught in productivity. Which usually tells us to tackle the hardest work first.
But, my friends, after I’ve tackled the hardest work first (writing things to be published is hard work. Enjoyable, but hard work), I’m left with leftover end-of-the-day strength and focus. I’m physically and mentally tired. Take an art class? Sorry. Maybe an ice-cold beer. Ok, ok, kombucha for you health buffs.
Documenting the experiment.
Maybe I’m on to something.
But, I think it’s too precious to not document the new experience.
I deliberated between a few available platforms to document this journey:
start a new newsletter?
start an opt-in only section in the HopeMail newsletter?
revive my WordPress blog?
post on Instagram?
jot down in Apple notes?
And got stressed with the choices. Finally, I overcame the analysis paralysis with another revolutionary idea.
I got a good old paper notebook to document my journey and learnings. And will figure out the “should I share and where to share part” later. Stay tuned, maybe?
Maggie or is it, Mr Monitor?
This is the resident monitor lizard around our housing area. On an almost daily basis, Mr Monitor (or “how do you know it’s a Mister and not a Maggie?”, asked my husband) will climb up the same tree. To do nothing—in my eyes.
From afar, it looks like a pasty grey coloured thing. But I would use the binocular and be able to ogle at the pattern of its reptilian skin. Hmm. Interesting, I thought.
And I drew Maggie or is it, Mr Monitor.
Here’s a 40 seconds video of Maggie or Mr Monitor climbing up the tree.
That’s all for now, folks. Thanks for reading. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this issue of HopeMail. By the way, if you’d like to discover some newsletters based on your interest, check out these two newsletter discovery tools I’m currently using, The Sample and Refind. This is how some of you found my newsletter too, yay! ☺️
Leaving you with some lovely words for your soul.
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I was staring and staring at the lovely illustrations of E.H. Shepard; my heart bursting out in delight after delight.
A fantastic video on The art of E. H. Shepard, written and narrated by Pete Beard.
Pete Beard wrote:
When I first started teaching illustration I was shocked when I realised that quite a few of the students thought that Winnie the Pooh was a Disney creation. Sadly, that was the version they had grown up with. This is a tribute to Ernest Shepard, the visual originator of Winnie the Pooh, and an illustrator with a remarkable body of other work lasting the best part of seven decades.