On routines...


this will be a very wordy post, so please feel free to skip!
just my ramblings ...

...........................................................

lately, i've been living a slightly "normal" schedule.
rise in the morning, go to bed at night.
not the night owl schedule i used to have all my life, off and on,
despite my best efforts.

i tend to get into this regularity during winter times,
when the days are short and i tend to get winter doldrums
due to reduced possibilities of physical activities.

a little after the new year has begun, i fixed my schedule
(done by staying up about 24 hours) to how normal people live,
awake during the day, asleep into the dawn.

also because i have several shows before even spring comes around,
and i have a lot of work to do. solo shows are different that group shows,
where i have to have that long breath of ideas and energy streaming
inside in a consistent manner in order to keep a group of ideas tied together.

soon i found a rhythm i felt comfortable with... a kind of ritualistic routine.
which is weird because i never thought much about routines.
but i see that routines does give your daily life a ritualistic rest for your mind.

i wake up, stretch a bit, make coffee, sit down with it and read with small breakfast.
then start painting for a few hours listening to podcasts or audio books (first time!).
go out for lunch or dinner with matthew sometimes, some type of physical exercise
somewhere in there, and work a bit more, stretch, then sleep.
pretty much the general gist of it.

this all has been reinforced when i started reading haruki murakami's
"what i talk about when i talk about running" lately, just small bits at a time.
and because i'm so bad with words when i read his writings,
often times, i am struck with how exact his descriptions are.
this book, especially since it's a memoir (not a novel/fiction)
i can really relate to his thoughts and ideas that reside beyond his stories.

the part that really stayed with me, besides a sudden urge to start running,
was that because as a novelist (or as any type of artist, i imagine) you have to
delve deep into the ugliest parts of humanity, which will inevitably take
tolls on your mental/mind health, you have to make sure to keep a healthy body.

last year, or even before, i struggled with the kind of the dark ugliness he spoke of.
not that i, myself, is like that but to explore the kind of darkness
in order to search what i'm looking for in my works made it hard to
balance my real life with my work world.
and my tendency to have an erratic night-owl schedule didn't seem to help this either.

now that i've been kind of keeping a regular schedule,
a kind of lucidity dawned upon me (with my life and my work)
that i don't think i've had before. a kind of sharpened focus of sort.
simply since everything other than my work having become a little
more settled, thus causing me less distraction (well, there's always more i can find)
i do notice that i can think better when my studio times comes around.

knowing myself, i don't know when this steam will run out...
but for now i hope to keep it going, painting, drawing, sculpting
a bit at a time everyday, keeping healthy everyday,
keeping that balance. that clarity of mind. the focus.

making each day a little bit better than the day before, in one way or another,
i'm sure i'll be able to find that balance.

- end of rambling -