Monday, March 23, 2009

On hold? Maybe, but, then again, maybe not....

I wrote this on the airplane between SEA and DFW on 03/23/09, starting
at 11:20am CDT and kept on writing straight thru for about an hour. I
wrote in the only thing available in the air, in my spiral notebook, so
I've transcribed this as I wrote it there, without edits or


So I feel like my life is on hold. Is it true? Is my life-light
blinking, waiting to be picked up and answered? Or am I just in a space
that makes me feel that way. Does sitting at an airport, heading away
from home and my heart put a filter on that just doesn't let in a lot of
color or light? Maybe the question really isn't "which is true?".
Maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe the cause isn't more important than
the feeling that's sitting here, regardless of the underlying truth.
Maybe the question to be asked is far more fundamental. The question I
have in my pen is "So?". It's not "so, who cares?". It's "so, now
what?". What am I going to do now? Sometimes, activity, a plan or
action, is just a way to avoid feeling. Sometimes the feelings just
need to be lived. And sometimes the feelings are a catalyst to change.
It's the "thinking about watering the plants" shift to actually getting
out of my head and out of my chair and watering the plants. Thinking
about it sometimes just results in dry sticks and dry life. Actually
watering results in green and growth and life.

Where was I going with this? Sometimes bunny trails also leads to
avoiding.... I feel like my life is on hold, "now what?". This is
probably a "two truth" moment - both space in my life and head lead to
the same answer. So.... Stop dwelling in the debate. Action. So what
will I do?

Multiple answers bubble up, also seemingly in conflict. But maybe
there's just more than one facet of where I am that needs to be
addressed. First off, visualizing the places where I'm not on hold. We
spent the weekend, my husband and I, making a ton of decisions on our
room. Due to nature and rain water where it wasn't planned for, we're
re-modeling our room. It will be a wonderful sanctuary. The floor will
be gray, natural and grounding. The walls in the bathroom will be part
tile, clean, with whites and grays. We found the coolest small glass
titles that will be accent colors. The vanity will "float", giving us a
feel of space in a bathroom that's fairly small. We decided on a
bathtub that's deeper than average and already soaking and relaxing away
the world is calling. I already bought candles to light and scent the
air for my bath. That the room is down to studs and cement didn't stop
me from being jazzed about this new feature.

We just had a shower before, with the door opening into the hall. Now
the door will open into our room, so soaking then slowly making my way
to bed will just be so fabulous! We chose the coolest sink and faucet -
big, heavy glass art that looks like clouds - dark foundations with
blues and greens and whites. One of a kind. And the faucet is like a
miniature water fall, very peaceful and one of a kind there too.
Nothing that gives the feel of "industry" or "practical". It's soothing
and calming, as it should be. Rich also found a heating system so the
floor tiles will be warm. I can't imagine such a luxury. It will be
such a wonderful space.

He's also designing "shoji screens" for our room. They'll have lights
behind then, giving us the feel of windows and lightness. He's also
designing our bed - platform, very simple and minimal. Another addition
of space. I am so excited about this. Talk of turning lemons into
lemonade. Wow. It will be a tremendous place for revitalizing heart
and soul.

OK. Clearly things aren't on hold. I need to pay attention more. Most
of this was chosen just this past weekend. Clearly not on hold.

OK. So it's definitely not home that's making me feel "on hold".
That's clear. So two other factors are travel and my creativity.
Travel is just a part of the job currently. It's been suggested that I
just find a different position. But times being what they are, "new
kid" in the group is a fairly risky position. It's time to just "tread
water" on that front. Both Dallas and my home org think I'm doing well
and contributing. And my customer is very happy. That could change
soon, new person is coming in to take his job, but for now, moving is
just an answer that needs more time. Maybe another "feeling on hold" is
due to work. It's been about 2 months that we've heard the rumors of
organizational "shake up" and I've been told to wait to see what
happens. Maybe 2 months is too long. I finally cracked Friday and
talked to my customer about all the rumors floating around and some
clarity about truth of what's coming. So maybe that's another bit of
action that will help me feel less "on hold".

Travel. I have no idea what to do with business travel. I've made a
rule about not wanting to rent a car - not wanting to drive while I'm on
business. The times I've driven have worked out pretty well. I even
took an afternoon and went to explore. So maybe it's time to revisit
that rule. I still don't w ant to drive in the winter - too quick to
change to ice or snow. But the rest of the year, I could drive. And
maybe actually plan out places to explore. Right now travel is very
much "life on hold". Airport to hotel to office to hotel to office to
airport. No creativity. No sight seeing, except once. Maybe there's
something between end of day at office and going to hotel for rest.
Rich keeps encouraging me to have fun, but I haven't exactly set myself
up to do that. Apparently I have some rule in my head that says
business travel must be torture. And I must suffer. I have no desire
to go out to dinner every night with work people, but there may be
something else to do than to escape to my room and hide.

I was also thinking about dusting off my writing. I took a class called
"Writing from Life", that was all about giving voice to what I see and
hear, and then letting my imagination go to where it wanted. Pen and
paper is cheap, portable and satisfying. I could write in the hotel
lobby, at the mall, at the airport, wherever. Pictures on my phone
could prompt other stories. And I have a lifetime of things I've lived.
It always seemed egotistical to write about what is of interest to me,
but I guess it's personal web pages and globs. It's about what I see
and feel. What I want to see at the end and mostly the journey, the
process to create the art. I guess all creativity is "all about me".
There's a realization I hadn't put on paper before. Anyway, I could
probably be less miserable on travel and not have lightening strike me
dead or whatever else I think will happen if I actually enjoy myself.

Then there's creativity at home. I have a ton of supplies and a really
cool space (although at the moment, it's a bit over-flowing with bins
and stuff from our room - temporary storage). I have a thousand books
to prompt and inspire and teach. This is my biggest "just water the
plants, will you?!" area. I actually enjoy glass and painting and
crafts. And so... just do it. I keep coming back to this. Just so
for 30 minutes. Rich and I have a ritual when there's something to do
and it's hard to get rolling. Sometimes leaving the house, even for fun
things we planned, like theater or baseball, is hard to "just do it". I
watch Rich, who has written a book and a month of blogs on "want". He's
a really good writer. I'm envious that he can just set a goal and then
do it. He just does it, regardless of mood or other things going on.
He makes time for it. And therefore it happens. It's a priority.
Hmmm... Maybe something there, huh? Hhhmmmm

Ok, it's an hour later and my frustration is spent. I feel less stuck,
less on hold. I feel some release of stress and pent-up unspoken
thoughts. Remember "morning pages" and "artist date" from "The Artist's
Way"? Maybe simple techniques that are all about watering the plants
actually have some credence. Maybe so.