Last Inking, I dared you to slow down . . .
Are you usually in a hurry? What's your usual pace -- at home, at work, on the weekends?
Here's a little secret: the road to burnout is actually a highway.
I am, fittingly, writing this from a mini-break in Tofino. Before I left, I was thinking about ENOUGH. Enough and not enough.
If you're a perfectionist --- or a recovering perfectionist, like me --- you do NOT need inspirational quotes to get you going. Most days, you need someone to tell you to calm down, slow down, lower your standards, and that everything's gonna be okay.
Perfection is the city in the distance that keeps you running down Burnout Highway.
A few months ago, I had a decision to make: whether or not to keep leading a group.
I loved the group. I wanted to continue.
But in my gut, continuing felt heavy.
The first lesson of burnout is: it could happen to you.
The second is better news: it doesn't have to.
I am drawn to nature’s symmetry, lines and light, curves and shadow, action and stillness, my interaction with her. My first instagram videos show this: a continuous shot of rain dripping on a wood roof, green grass in wind. Boring? To some, sure. To me, mesmerizing.
If I stay still, what is nature doing? was the question. Nature is doing . . .
We're stuck at the edge, literally the edge, at the BC Ferry terminal in Tsawwassen, waiting.
So, I begin to interview other would-be-passengers.
It helps that everyone is bored by this point, a few hours into the waiting. So everyone I asked to speak to said “yes”, except for one dude who politely declined. He was glued to his Ayn Rand book the entire time, so his “no” may have been more about the fact that my interview wouldn’t benefit him at all. At least he was holding strong to Randian philosophy.
Saturday morning, my best buddy Dayna and I left the island by ferry: she to watch the Leafs play Vancouver, I to enjoy the city and see friends. We caught "the 9:00 ferry," which to Victoria-dwellers means the Swartz-Bay-to-Tsawwassen-about-1.5.hour-ferry.
what an ugly word;
It’s a closing door,
a one-winged bird.
I’m stuck, I’m sinking
I’m hot with shame.
Why can’t I do better?
It’s always the same:
I really really wanted to go to Tofinot this weekend. And surf.
I have these Live2Surf passes to rent equipment that expire soon (#groupon), and I’ve been wanting to go for months. It hasn’t worked out since last September. If you’re a surfing addict, you know how painful this is. Geez, I live only 4 hours away.
Anyway, I’m pining for Tofino but need to save money.
So I decide to stay home and work on my book all weekend. No other must-do's. The only thing almost as appealing. A different kind of flow, but a flow state nonetheless.
I like taking video of the ocean because I love sitting by the ocean and watching and listening to the waves. It's my drug of choice. And I live on the Pacific now, but I grew up in lovely but landlocked rural Ontario. (No ocean). So I don't take it for granted.
So yesterday I'm taking some video after work. Sunset, waves, nice nice nice.
I've been doing more video lately and I find that I highly prefer it when I'm closer to or right in the action.
So I'm crouching down to get up close with the waves. Still playing it kinda safe behind a log. You know, I'm wearing my teaching clothes. Gotta be safe (that is, dry).
Here's the vid. Notice at 17 seconds the camera gives a decent shake as the water gets very close to me and I look startle and look down.
I love encouragement because it has the power to fill others with courage.
It takes courage to create. To be honest. To show up in life at all, not to mention as the real you! (scary! so vulnerable!)
If I had no limits or constraints, the things I'd do!
But I have limited time and energy.
“I really like talking to people about things that matter. I hate small talk. I can’t stand it. It’s such a nightmare. It really is.
If I get caught in a small talk conversation, say on the phone for what feels like an hour, and I look at the ended call and it was four minutes, OMG, the longest four minutes of my life.
In my early teens, I had a good friend I loved to visit. Her name was Sarah. She often included another girl we both knew. I went along with it because those were the terms.
On my turf, I made sure it was just the two of us. I didn’t dislike the second girl; I just didn’t have the deep connection I felt with Sarah. I never felt comfortable in a small group the way I did with one best friend. I was a one-best-friend gal.
Now, as an adult . . .
Just planning for their visit, I got socially tired. Groceries were bought for two hungry eighteen-year-olds, spare beds set up in the living room nook.
At last, the day dawned:
AJ and Evan arrived.
While my little sister Allyssa caught up with AJ in the living room, Evan came and helped me with lunch.
“How are you,” I asked, “you guys had to get up at 3 am for the flight, right? You must be wiped!”
“I was tired on the flight,” Evan admitted, “but when we landed . . .