And what that can teach us
It’s early afternoon, just after lunch and you can’t keep your eyes open. It would be great to just lie down on the couch, with a little blanket to keep warm, close your eyes and forget about everything, just for a little while, twenty minutes, half an hour max.
Much better and more effective than having a strong cup of coffee.
Since leaving my full time job and having the chance to work from home, I have been indulging regularly in short naps.
I have the perfect excuse: I’m more of a night person, I tend to work till late, but still wake up at a reasonable time in the morning, so I deserve to have a little break and catch up with my sleep.
Also most of the time I have no choice, I can’t concentrate on anything and I waste more time forcing myself to do things than taking half an hour out of my “busy schedule” to recharge.
I really don’t need more than 20 minutes, so it’s not a big deal, it’s more about giving myself the permission to do it, without feeling guilty.
It occurred to me yesterday though that I haven’t had a nap in a while. And I had to analyse the reason(s) why.
I guess the reason is very simple: the last two weeks I have spent my days mostly painting and I didn’t feel the need for a nap, I don’t even remember getting sleepy till very late at night.
So why is that?
Is it that I am doing something that I love doing, so I don’t feel tired or bored?
Is it that maybe when I’m painting I need less energy that when I’m working designing and coding a websites?
All of the above?
Something else that I haven’t thought about?
Whatever the reason I realise that’s the way I like to work, that’s the way it should be, being so engrossed in what I’m doing that I forget about the rest, that I don’t feel hungry or sleepy.
And that happens only when I’m working on my art.
It’s still ok to have the occasional nap. I think they are great, not just to recharge, but to clarify ideas, projects. I had so many epiphanies thanks to naps!
But I’m talking about something else here.
I’m starting to think that often I need a nap because I don’t fully enjoy what I’m doing, that I still see what I’m doing as a “chore”, something that I have to do, more than something I’ve chosen to do.
I thought I was moving away from that, I thought I was doing what I liked.
And that’s exactly right, I’m doing something I like, while I could be doing something I love.
This “discovery” couldn’t happen at a better moment.
Just last week I was writing in my journal that it was ok to just do my art for myself and for art’s sake, without trying to sell anything and earn a living from it, that I can do other things, that I do other things to earn money, so no need to make of my art a business…a concept that I’ve always felt strangely uncomfortable with, while at the same time trying to achieve.
Of course, the moment I decide to give up the idea of creating something financial viable with my art, I realise that actually I shouldn’t give up, that in the end that’s what I love to do the most. And that should be the next natural step in my journey.
Whatever else I do (and I will still do till I need to do it) is never going to be enough.
I don’t know, I might change my mind again next week, when I realise that I have no idea how to go about it, that all that I have tried already didn’t work and in general I’m not very good at the practical side of the art business.
But for now that’s what I’m thinking. And it was all thanks to taking (and not taking) naps.By the way, after all this, I might just have one….yawnnnn!