Last night at around midnight I couldn’t sleep because my brain was racing. I have a multitude of unfinished projects, upcoming projects, personal projects and goal-oriented projects competing in a race with each other and never nearing the finish line. I feel like I am running out of time and time is always an anxiety. I wake up in the morning and look at the clock and it’s already 7:00am and I’m already thinking, shitgetoutofbedyou’rewastingyourtime!
I guess I am hyper aware of my immortality. The only way I know how to calm down this anxiety is to write lists. So last night I wandered into my studio and made a list of everything that was on my mind. Because I’m a visual person this helps me pin down the jumbled and overwhelming mess of ‘shoulds’ and ‘need to’s and wants and if I want to accomplish this, I’d better do this NOWs.
I blame it on my mother who was always telling me, “Do something for the benefit of humanity!” And “Time is of the essence!” And, “Get up and at them!” We were never allowed to waste time.
I feel my time is so finite when I’m at my desk that sometimes I look at the clock and panic that I only have so much time left! (before I need to cook dinner, or move on to the next thing, or get on to that other deadline). Also, time when you’re creating is really mixed up. When you’re not thinking about time, and you’re rapt in whatever you’re doing, 5 hours could feel like 5 minutes and vice versa.
I am also the kind of person that needs time to do things, and on my own time. If I’m on someone else’s time than I feel like I’m on borrowed time, and like I can’t waste time! And again, that the time I have is finite so I feel pressured and rushed. I need time for ideas to take seed and germinate before they take off. This is why cooking is integral to my art-making. Cooking is a time for me to let my ideas flow freely, without the urgency of time when I’m at my desk. It’s a little bit like how good ideas always come when you’re in the shower or out for a walk. Time away lets you step back and get a whole new perspective. Cooking also takes up a lot of my time and sometimes I wonder why I am canning 100 jars of relish instead of giving my shop a makeover.
So I’ve gotten an app. It’s called HOURS and it’s an iPhone app. It allows me to add projects, give them a name and start the timer whenever I start working. It’s actually going right now. It’s great because once I finish writing this, I can go back to my last project, start the timer, and it’ll add my previous time with my last time all in hours and minutes. This is kind of revelational for me. THIS IS REAL TIME, friends. It means I can price my work according to its time value (huge) and also, when my obsessive compulsive behaviour starts showing up and I can’t…stop…fussing….the timer says, HEY THERESE, STOP!!
And speaking of time, my book Bullet the New Steam Engine is coming out soon (like guys, the publisher is sending it off to the printers like next week) and I still have some Over by the Harbour books in my closet and since I don’t have a lot of closet space, and Bullet will need some room, I’m doing a nice little get-a-lovely-hardcover-book-with-a-lovely-11×14 inch -reproduction-of-one-of-the-lovely-spreads-that-you-can-frame-and-hang-in-that-empty-spot-on your-wall-that-will-brighten-up-your-lovely-day SALE! You can head on over to Etsy or contact me here!
Ok I’ve got to go, my time is UP. Thank you for taking the time to follow. Happy Family Day, my Canadian friends.