The Artist’s Way: Week 4

week 4 of "The Artist's Way": Recovering the sense of integrity

Welcome back to The Artist’s Way series! This is my take on Week 4, Recovering a Sense of Integrity.

This week has been about keeping true to myself. Now that I’ve supposedly figured out my hobbies, things I’m interested in, and things I still want to learn, now’s the time to do them.

week 4: recovering a sense of strength. The artist's way by Julia Cameron

There was a ban on book reading and more general forms of media consumption. Even though I still clock in my hour and twenty minutes to Instagram (OMG, I know, thank you, Your Activity feature on Instagram), my browsing habits have changed immensely. There’s a lot that has changed, but most importantly, I don’t really just scroll anymore. There is a handful of people who I check up on because I genuinely care what happens in their life (i.e. real life friends I follow), and there’s a number of accounts that are educational and inspirational. I barely see the feed anymore – instead I strategically search for accounts I care for. I think the time is coming when I’m going to follow about 50 accounts instead of current 300+, I’m just not ready to devote an extra hour to cleaning my feed.

There’s no more Facebook in my life, but there’s occasional Twitter. I do need it for work, after all, and to promote this blog, but I lost the thrill of using it for entertainment sake.

There are still shows and Netflix, but I’m not really binging anymore, and if I do watch a show, it’s a new one instead of having The Office on repeat. It took a serious effort by the way, and it’s something I’m quite proud of. I do like to stick to comfort TV, which is OK in turbulent times and for background purposes while cleaning, but it was my goal to stop watching same old comfortable shows while actually taking time to sit on the couch and relax. Comfort zone was getting a little too deep for me 🙂

always a hard choice: the office show or literally any other show
We’ve all been there, haven’t we?..

On another note, there was an exercise in this week’s task list to imagine myself as an 80 year old woman. How do I look? What do I do with my time? What are my hobbies? That was fun, especially given that I have a real life example of someone close to this age who is incredibly active, curious and still hungry to life. As it turns out, in my perfect old gal fantasy includes singing in a choir, dancing with other seniors, doing yoga, and volunteering to mentor and help other people. It sounds like a fun life to have at that age, doesn’t it?

This little exercise made me think about my physical state, mental capacity and, well, finances. Quite sadly, most seniors I know don’t just retire. If you live in the USA, you know what I mean – most people simply cannot afford to do that. And while I have no business judging anyone, or analyzing the tiny incomplete bits of their life that I know, I want to make sure for myself that I don’t have to be working at 80. I want to want to work and keep busy, not have to work. The difference, after all, is huge.

On a more cheerful note, I did manage to spend this week doing hobbies that are usually overlooked. I went on with my embroidery project. I gave some love to my plants that have been doing great this winter (what a huge accomplishment for me!). I cleaned up my nail polish collection that was getting embarrassingly large. I was also extra diligent writing down my thoughts. Now that there’s a little bit more silence around me (with the absence of books and constant stream of TV or music), it’s much easier to get my thoughts out on paper through Morning Pages, and on screen.

a creative habit of hand-stitching and embroidery
Embroidery project, March 2019 by Creative Overthinker

In general, I’ve been in a different mind space this past week. Me and my husband are moving mid-March, and this upcoming move has been consuming our thoughts. It is always striking how much time and brain bandwidth something as simple as a move can take, and we’ve just been overwhelmed and exhausted thinking about it. For almost a month I’ve been living just waiting for a day X when we can finally get over with it, and only now that it’s this close did I realize my mistake.

These past 4 crazy weeks are still the 4 weeks of my life. How inconsistent is it to completely neglect almost a month of my life just because I’m really excited for something new and big to happen soon? Yes, there’s packing and planning to do, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t stop for a second, take a breath and actually enjoy the process that I thought I can only dread.

So I went on with my embroidery project, even though it seemed like a relative waste of time. I went on with my vision boards that were irrelevant to our new housing situation. I spent time taking care of my hair and my skin, even though they were not #1 priority on my to-do list. And guess what? All these activities made me feel good. They slowed me down, they grounded me, and they reminded me that I’ll miss these weeks when they are gone.

So I decided to take the next week off to move in peace and have a few days just to enjoy (for real) this experience rather than squeeze far too many things into a weekend. I’ll continue these serious the week after, with a new post featuring the Week 5 of The Artist’s Way program on March 24. Hope you understand 🙂

How was your week? Any big revelations? Any small a-ha moments? Share your progress, I’d love to read your comments!

One response to “The Artist’s Way: Week 4”

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