Workaholic stuck in the middle of nowhere (?)

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Living in a crazy city as London makes my life a stream of life lessons. I tend to go through cycles, which sometimes feel like a boot camp school of life. Their peak is usually when I’m extremely overworked and start spinning my wheels. This is always followed by a revelation of some sort.

I try keeping balance and maybe that’s how it goes when someone’s juggling full-time creative work, developing own art business, family, and personal projects. At every end of these peculiar cycles, I come out with a few takeaways and a plenty of peace.

If you don’t know yet, my roots are in Poland. I moved to London over 6 years ago, but now and again I visit my home. Last week I went back for a few days. Knowing how this autumn would be very busy, I wanted to catch a few last sunny days with my family. Because I don’t go back too often, every time my holidays turn into a hectic race with time. I always try to see as much family members and friends as possible, making plans for every minute of my stay.  Now I just wanted to be free from all the “shoulds” and “supposed to's”.

This time, I allowed the whole day to spend at my parents’ country house. Doing nothing specific. Fruit trees and willows showed that summer has just finished. I was being able to eat the last plums of the season straight from the branch as the sun was still high in the sky. Fallen apples in the grass attracted wasps and all sorts of insects, which didn’t bother me. Birds chirping as if it was their last day to sing their soul out. I enjoyed my time there and savoured every moment.  

That Saturday has worked a miracle. The time I spent there helped me to open my mind and gain perspective on things. I’ve sketched a lot with my tools scattered on the ground. I wasn’t really looking for any results. Just allowed to be nourished by nature and feel more than think.

Here are a few of learnings (which in fact I knew all along, but really needed reminding):

  1. Time spent alone is the most precious thing we can give to ourselves.
    Whenever I spent time on my own on something I love, with intention, I feel that I can process things in the background. What it means, is that I don’t have to think about stuff. The perspective gained is enough, because when I come back to my work and duties, I have already a clear mind and most of the answers ready to reach for.

  2. In art (and in life) there is no use to be focusing on the end result. Practice and passion will make the work good. Quite simply, I feel that when I try too much and look for a specific outcome – I end up feeling disappointed. Consistent trying with an open mind makes the progress natural and allows the growth to happen.

  3. If you don’t like someone, don’t spend time with them. Seriously, You will have more time for yourself (look at the point 1.) and the ones you care about. When you make such simple decisions, you’re more likely to spend quality time. Not out of anger, but because of compassion for yourself and others.

Today I can still hear the sound of rustling leaves in my mind, glistening in the orange sun and try to keep my cycles longer at the state of peace.

 PS. Funnily enough, the village I’m talking about is called Mrówczak, which in free translation would mean “Place, where ants live”.

This story is also published in Medium:

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