I am tired today. Bone tired. Everything hurts and my brain is foggy.
I have been trying to work. I love my work here, feel so blessed to have the privilege to share my thoughts with you. But sometimes when I sit down to create something that will make your life less ordinary, I find that my head is empty and my Muse has gone on holiday. She’s rude like that. Just ups and goes with no word of warning, knowing full well that I am too tired to chase her.
And so it is up to me to fill my own well. To remind myself what it is I love and tickle my own fancy with nuggets of inspiration gleaned from sources I have long set aside in the hustle and bustle of survival.
So this morning, when those I love had loved and left me, I took a leaf from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, and took a tray of tea and crumpets back to bed. The curtains were open and the bed already made and I felt horribly naughty disturbing the order of the day, but oh what bliss it was to do what wasn’t necessary. To sit and browse through my Feedly and Pinterest feeds, to listen to podcasty people telling me how to live and to wander around Instagram just taking in the loveliness of other people’s lives.
I am you see very bad at consuming inspiration in any way other than is solely necessary for me to create whatever I plan to create that day. I don’t read other people’s blogs because I get scared I will accidentally absorb their ideas and re-create them as my own. I post the occasional picture on Instagram, but very rarely open my feed to be inspired by gorgeous images. I long ago gave up pinning to Pinterest just for the fun of it because entire DAYS were about to be lost to such glorious endeavour, and the only things lurking in my Facebook feed beyond my own family are blogging how to’s and the professional membership platforms I am part of. Oh and I almost never shop online, nor browse shops just for the sake of it: my instinctive need to touch what I will make mine always stands in the way.
So there I was wiping hot butter off my chin in a room lit by a row of little candles on the mantle-piece, when it struck me how narrow my view of the world has become. How I return to the same sources over and over again to make sure the well doesn’t dry up completely, and how very much time I now devote to the earnest pursuit of knowledge instead of the collection and curation of all things bright and beautiful I used to enjoy on a daily basis.
Heckity pie, when did I become so bloody dull?
I learnt so much today. About how the world has changed without me noticing and how the world of blogging has evolved right here under my nose. I felt little fires starting inside me as I saw pretty things and new ways of seeing. I remembered who I am, what I love, and what I need to do to prevent the anodyne destruction of my soul. And then I worried that all this has happened because I am old.
Oh lordy, am I getting dull because I am so very middle aged these days? This m’dears is something I do declare it is necessary to rail against with all the energy I can muster. While I have a new clarity about my own body of work, and what I want to create for you, inside I do believe I have allowed my soul to get a little mouldy, and have in the process dampened my enthusiasm for my more authentic self in a constant round of busy and exhausted.
And it has to stop. And stop it will. So once a week I am declaring a soul-polishing session. A morning utterly dedicated to remembering who I am. Hours spent filling up the well with voices I adore, old and new, for isn’t it the willingness to hear both that stands between us and crotchety old age? Isn’t it the layering of new ideas on top of values deep-rooted that prevents our most creative selves stagnating as our joints stiffen?
Yes. A weekly soul-polishing session. Time focused not on what I already know but on feeding the flames that once inspired me daily. What matters is not that I have from my own mind drifted, but that a life less ordinary means that I am never more than a thought away from examining not only what I am, but who I am becoming and thereafter, so very willing to alter course wherever necessary.
Won’t you too, join me in carving out an hour or two to polish your own soul?