3 Views Through a Window: April Showers

Yes it's time for some more views through windows, it's hard to believe another month has gone by already isn't it? This time I've decided to go with a theme ~ you know what they say about April showers bringing May flowers, right? Well just between you and me, I'd be happy if the rain stopped and we just got right to summer. But I'm glad for the mild weather here in the Bay Area, I don't know how people in harsher climates can deal with the cold!

Rain (Early Evening) :

photo by me


So since it doesn't really rain that often here, at least not compared to other places, I don't have much to show in the way of rainy-day pictures. But I saw a couple on Flickr that I thought fit the theme quite well. Isn't the view below quite dramatic?

Raining Out by Americanvirus:

photo by Americanvirus


And I'm happy to include this beauty, I don't know what it is about photos that capture car mirrors, but they always capture my attention. Especially when they look as good as this. Quick - do you think we can out-drive the rain?

Window to the Rain 

photo by Leonrw


For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, let's hope that we'll see the last of the rain soon - onward to sunnier days ahead! And lots of flowers to make that rain worth it :-)


Computer-Free Weekend Follow-up

It's probably far too late for a follow up on what was supposed to be a weekend experiment two weeks ago, but I'll do so now, finally.... As far as that weekend went, I was quite successful at keeping my wasted time on the internet to a minimum (that's what I was really trying to cut out - not being on the computer itself, but the unfocused, not knowing what to do with myself next, being sidetracked from what I really want to do, kind of time-wasting.) So as to rediscover some kind of balance. Which I think I did, as evidenced by how long it took me to come back to my own little corner of the internet. Not that I want to quit blogging in any way, just that I needed to work out the best ways to spend my time, at this particular time in my life. Which of course, is a continuous work in progress for all of us, right?

I was thinking back the other day to that first 2 or 3 years immediately following my high school graduation. About the way so many things seemed to happen in such a relatively short period of time. And the way it seems to take forever for anything to happen anymore. Or rather, not that things are slow, but time is flying by so fast that not as much has time to happen - does that make sense? I hope you understand what I mean. Sometimes I just want to put time on pause (ok, if I'm truly honest, I want to do that every morning from around, say, the time my alarm clock goes off until I get to work or wherever I'm going that day). What I want is for the time to catch up to what I want to do my life. Which takes considerable prioritizing but also  understanding my own natural rhythms, motivations, how long I can stay focused on a given task, etc. So I've been paying more attention to myself and my patterns lately.

For example I notice that I'm much happier doing a little bit here & a little bit there of one thing, with lots of breaks peppered in to work on other things too, than if I just stick my nose to the grind to bust something out as quickly as possible. Like when it took me an entire weekend instead of just 3 or 4 hours to spring-clean my apartment, but at the same time I started 2 new paintings, got a bunch more practice using photoshop, reorganized my kitchen cupboards, and finally backed up a year's worth of photos to my external drive. Before I would have kept pushing myself to keep going on only one task, past my natural stopping point of ok this is tiring, maybe I should take a quick break, push myself so that by time I was done I had nothing left in me to do anything else that day. And so all those other things I got done? Wouldn't have happened....

Another thing I realized is that I paint more quickly, and get more paint on the canvas in general, when I throw on a dvd while I'm working. But when I don't turn on the tv or radio or any other external stimuli "so that I can really focus", I actually slow down and become overly cautious. Which totally gets in the way of getting any creative work done. Something about the visuals, sounds, and stories being relayed fills up my "creative well" and keeps me going.

So, I'm working on: Not fighting my natural rhythms. Being ok with taking lots of breaks if that means I come back to my original task with more energy. Getting a good stretch of work in before I allow the distractions, but understanding the importance of the "distractions" in terms of re-energizing myself.

And, now that I've gotten a couple hours of computer time in this morning, I'm off to take a break with a workout. Because a break doesn't necessarily mean rest, as I've discovered, it means a change of pace from what you were just doing. And I'm starting to think that's a much healthier way than how I was handling time before.


The "I'm Too Busy" Syndrome & the Computer-Free Weekend

I read somewhere recently about this syndrome of being "too busy", of how people get themselves caught up in the motions of going through all the things they think they need to do, mindlessly (yes I do mean in the Buddhist sense), and automatically telling people "I'm so busy". That it becomes a sort of cult-like mental pattern wherein the "too busy" person actually believes they are just that, and loses the ability to prioritize. I'm completely going beyond paraphrasing here, because I can't remember exactly what I read or where I read it and, you know, I was too busy to save the link. Ha.ha.ha...

That whole prioritizing thing? Yeah, I'm not so great at it. If everything needs to be done, then how to decide what needs to be done first? When my imaginary deadlines are looming over it all? (Notice I said everything. I think that's a little telling, don't you?) Today I'm excited by the fact my office is letting us leave at noon today to get an early start on the holiday weekend. As I sit here reviewing my completely unrealistic mental to-do list for this weekend, and my excitement over all the tasks I can get a head-start on is starting to wane with the acknowledgement that I won't actually be able to accomplish it all. And not sure what to do about it other than declaring a computer-free weekend. No, make that an interwebs-free weekend. As in, no wasting hours on the internet even though all I have all those blogs to catch up on. And TV to watch online (my experiment of not-getting-cable is doing nothing to cut down my tv consumption, i swear).

But. I am going to try. Try to focus, try to get as much done as I can. Without distraction. I will try. As of right now, the computer-free weekend is begun.