As many millions find themselves in self-isolation, it’s easy feel like we are squandering our time if we are not “productive” enough. Household chores and little fix-it jobs that we’ve left off for weeks or months suddenly seem imperative. But let me let you in on a little secret – since the dawn of time, since you were born, until you the day you die, there will be chores. There will always be dirty laundry and overflowing trash and drippy faucets and overstuffed closets waiting for us to organize them.Continue reading “There Will Always Be Laundry; Make Time for Joy!”
Ahhh, the new year. A time, when we all collectively rush out to buy gym memberships we will use for a month and pay for for the next eleven. I’m completely guilty of rushing headlong into resolutions – like a bull charging a red cape. And surprise! – that cape continually gets yanked out of reach – until even looking at the color red makes me feel guilty and annoyed. Studies show that only 8% percent of people keep their resolutions, which begs the question: Are we doomed to fail?
Ezekiel Yusuf Moran is 99 years old. He has been many things in his near-century of life – a son, a farmer, a friend, a lover, a doctor, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a homeopath, a soldier and a French Résistance fighter. But most of all, Ezekiel has been a seeker. Continue reading “Ezekiel: A novel by John Fanning”
Writing and creating art are most often solitary experiences – hours spent staring at blank computer screens or pieces of paper or canvas – time spent trying to find the right words or colors. Time, largely spent, in our own minds. But we don’t have to – and shouldn’t – create within a bubble! Most art is made within a community, with support from family and friends, with sage advice from mentors, with the occasional self-help book. If you’re having trouble getting started or finishing a project, here are some books that will help.
If you missed part one, find it here: Why We Procrastinate (Pt 1)
1. Give Yourself Permission.
When we’re putting things off, often it’s because our conscious and unconscious are in a tug-of-war. Our conscious is curious, creative, spontaneous, adventurous. It’s the part of us that is not just living, but alive. The impulses from our conscious can seem crazy to us at times. Two months ago, I was hiking through the South of France with my friend, Sarah, and had the sudden desire to take off my boots and feel the ground under my feet. My unconscious’ initial response was – are you crazy? You could step on something sharp! Kids go barefoot, not adults. Where is this even coming from?
We’ve all been there before – when facing a looming deadline for a research paper or work presentation – we somehow find ourselves binge-watching episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix or re-alphabetizing our book shelves. We have every intention of doing the thing…eventually. We even set arbitrary deadlines for ourselves: I’ll do it at 11 o’clock. And when 11 o’clock comes and goes and we still haven’t done the thing, we move the finish line. I’ll start tomorrow. I’ll start Monday. I’ll start the first of May. I’ll start in the New Year. In the meantime, we stew in anxiety, guilt and self-hatred. Why can’t I do the thing? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever do the thing? Can I even do the thing? Continue reading “Why We Procrastinate. (Pt 1)”
When I was sixteen, I was a fan of a one-man-band, Dashboard Confessional. My friends and I traveled miles to tiny clubs all up and down the east coast, stood shivering outside in line in winter in bad neighborhoods, got our ribs bruised up against the partition in mosh pit, covered our backpacks and messenger bags in band pins from Hot Topic, went thirsty or hungry or without sleep – all to hear the soul-bearing lyrics of someone we considered to be a modern day poet. Continue reading “SELL OUT: Does Art Suffer from Success?”