Here it is, the last day of the month, and I have an overwhelming sense of relief to have gotten through it. I attempt NaBloPoMo a few times a year, usually when my creativity feels lost, in order to push through it. That's how I handle creative lag: I write, I read, I brainstorm, I think think think. I am nothing if not a Protestant, and the work ethic is hardwired. Can't think straight? Feeling unproductive? Try harder, work through it, stay up later, do something, even if it's wrong.
I'm beginning to question this approach, though. I think that sometimes, we're so busy that we forget how important it is to rest. The scripture is full of admonitions to rest, be still, be quiet, but I, for one, tend to focus on doing much more than being.
Yesterday, I was weepy. I had multiple projects on which I was working, I was experiencing technical difficulties, and I just couldn't get my brain to work. I thought about scrapping the whole day and playing hooky while my husband had the day off, but I decided to push through. My work was flat, and I didn't get it all done. I ended up staying up much too late, waking up exhausted.
Today I was devoid of creative spark. When my computer turned itself off, I took it as a sign, and left the house. I took my Small One to lunch, out for ice cream, shopping at the craft store, and to the playground. I left my phone in the car and sat on a park bench to watch her play, and suddenly, I knew exactly how to solve the problem that had plagued me for twenty-four hours straight. I came home, renewed, and did what I needed to do, in no time at all.
That, then, is my advice for today. Knock it off. Stop trying so hard. It's summertime, for crying out loud. Go lie in a hammock. Commune with nature, or with God, or with someone who loves you, or just with yourself. You may find the answers you were seeking, when you just decide to stop.