I don’t feel like being kind to myself today. This is the second day in a row that I’ve had to beg myself to get out of bed in time to do yoga before work. And truly, the yoga has helped, but I’ve just been tired and a bit sore all day most of the days this week, and that makes me grumpy.
The deal is, I’m trying to push myself to get to Muay Thai more frequently and its a pretty serious workout. Maybe my body is just adjusting to the extra training, and/or maybe I’m just pushing myself a little too hard too soon.
And all in all, I’m just feeling somewhat despondent at the moment. A significant part of me just wants to go home and be alone. Cry into a pillow. Hold my kitty. Eat ice cream. If you’d have asked me on Monday if I was going to feel this way this week, I would have told you it was unlikely. And yet, here we are.
What do I do when I hit the wall like this? Tonight is date night, so I’ll go spend some quality time with Taylor, but that leaves tomorrow. What is the plan? Well originally, I’d planned to go to the gym after work, maybe spend 20-30 mins on the elliptical.
But now, I’m considering just staying home, taking it easy, and possibly just reading something. I can maybe go for a walk or do some light stretching, but I need to find a way to be gentle to myself while I’m feeling burnt-out this week.
I foresee a lavender scented bubble bath in my future.
P.S. – So far, I've been successful on my resolutions to do yoga and draw every day. Despite my exhaustion, I’m proud of myself.
I’ve made it over a week and have (so far) kept my resolutions.
Some days have been easier than others. I have particularly enjoyed the early mornings after I’ve gone to bed at a decent time. The yoga is so rejuvenating when I wake up rested; it has actually been a joy, something for which I've been sincerely excited.
After late nights, like last night, it has been slightly more challenging to peel myself out of the covers, and onto my mat. Still worth it, but challenging.
Luckily, I know as long as I can get myself out of bed, I can find the kind of yoga to fit whatever space I am in (physically or psychologically). Some days its intense, static, muscle strengthening. Other days, it’s meditative, flexibility and breathing focused. This morning, I chose the latter.
I love that I can choose how I want to start my morning. I have the option to ease into it slowly like a swan gliding over a still pond or alternatively, jump in head first with gusto!
This week has been my first full week back to work, so Its been all the more important for me to strive to keep my goals while I get back into my routine. My intention has been to set the standard for how I want to create this habit for the year. And while it would have been feasible for me to do the yoga in the evening some days, I really wanted to establish a morning practice whenever possible.
So far. So good.
I’ve also kept up my drawing. As with the yoga, some days I have been able to be more involved and detailed than other days. Regardless, it has been fun.
Yesterday, I was at the ComedySportz Indianapolis holiday party with my boyfriend and I knew it would be the only chance for me to sketch all day. In the past, not having dedicated time to draw at home or alone would have deterred me from creating at all. However, I reminded myself that I was committed to keeping this promise to myself. So, I went to the party and made some quick gesture drawings on the back of some of Taylor’s old/outdated resumes.
Are they the most polished of drawings? Um. No. clearly.
However, I find these quick drawings train my eye teach me more about drawing with accuracy than some of my dedicated private drawing time. I can’t remember the last time I practiced drawing in this way, and it makes me happy to know that I’m connecting with my creative spirit.
Touching on a completely different process, I painted a gouache painting this week along with my other sketches. It accomplished the task of drawing for the day (I consider painting a kind of drawing), as well as creating a little gift for my boss’ milestone birthday.
The more I work in gouache, the easier it flows. I really enjoy the process and it’s taking time, but I sense that I am improving ever so incrementally.
So, overall, I’d say I’m doing pretty well. I’m satisfied. Right now, my focus has shifted from pushing myself to giving myself a little grace. I want to keep the habits up, but I don’t want to push myself too hard. In addition to yoga every morning, I’ve found time to get to the gym for some more intense, cardio-based workouts this week, and I’m planning on going to my Muay Thai class again tonight.
I need to acknowledge, however, I tend to push myself harder than is beneficial, and I know I need to do all I can to care for myself gently as a compliment to the intensity. It can be challenging to strike a balance when all I want to do is see positive changes in my life. However, I’ve learned that the best positive outcomes are usually a result of patience and a gradual shift in behaviors over time. That’s how it is for me anyway.
I will get stronger and be able to hold more complicated poses…not within two weeks, but perhaps with consistent practice, a matter of months. I want to be able to draw with more accuracy and speed, but that’s not going to be immediately perceptible. It’s going to happen in its own time while I keep up with my daily habit. In the meantime, I'm seeking to enjoy the individual sessions for how they make me feel, not just for the outcomes I wish to see.
Along those lines, it often feels like the stressors in my life are overwhelming and I want to do everything I can to take away my anxiety and fears. I do all of the things I know to do when I am overcome with negative emotion: Take my meds daily, exercise, practice mindfulness, get quality sleep, etc. but I’ve accepted that often it just takes time to get past challenging times or situations. I can be doing all of the right things, but emotional pain does not usually sink away down the drain with one relaxing bubble bath. It takes consistent care. I have to make peace with the pain in the meantime, and accept that eventually I will get past it.
So, I say this to be an encouragement to you. Maybe you’re going through something and you’re barely making it. I’m sure there are many of you out there experiencing pain I can’t even begin to comprehend. I know that you are strong, and it may not get better today, or tomorrow, or the next day. But if you keep trying to care for yourself (whatever way that may be), you will get through it. You are resilient.
It’s day two of trying to keep my resolutions for 2020. I’d like to start out by saying this:
For those of you who sent encouraging messages to me in response to my previous blog entry, thank you. It really means a lot to me that so many of you expressed care. It wasn’t necessarily my intent to garner sympathy but you guys were there for me, and I won’t soon forget your pep-talks (but I probably will eventually. That's just how memory works).
I do, however, want to emphasize that my goal with the last post was to fire me up to make the positive changes I’ve been contemplating making for a while now. I think it may have seemed like I might have been ignoring previous accomplishments or being too hard on myself. To that aspect, I will have to disagree, and you’re just going to have to trust me on this.
I am proud of the ways I’ve grown in the past decade. I’ve overcome some huge hurdles and I’ve become a person that I think is generally pretty cool. I’m simply ready to take on the next decade with fervor. I want to see what I can do going forward.
That being said, I have identified a few, specific steps/goals for the next year that I hope will keep that fire burning.
As you can see, I'm doing all I can to avoid wearing those squeaky, shiny, tan orthopedic shoes that you might find on the gnarled feet nearly every resident at any retirement community in the country. You know the ones...
Along those lines, I also purchased some new running shoes, and new sports-wear. There’s just something about a new sports bra that makes you want to jump up and kick-ass. Amiright ladies?
This is a big one for me. I’ve never done anything like it before so I’m a little nervous, but when I break it down, I don’t think it’s going to be too bad. In fact, I have a feeling its going to be a lot of fun!
I’m not saying I’ll be drawing a mega-masterpiece, magnum opus. I’m talking about just sketching. If I can do it in 30 seconds, it counts. Of course, I’d hope I can do more than just a 30 second drawing but the point is, developing consistency for my creativity. I believe this practice will enhance my drawing skills and make me a better artist. I’m also hoping it will lead me onto creating bigger and better things.
Now, what do I need from you? I am asking you to hold me accountable (unless you don’t care. If you don’t care, please just move along with your day). I’ll be posting my sketches to my Instagram daily, and I may occasionally post one or two here. If you notice that I have stopped posting them, feel free to pester me about it.
That’s right, I gave you permission to try and annoy me (notice how I didn’t say “harass”). Studies show that having accountability increases the likelihood of the person meeting their goals. So here I go you guys!
Angela DeCamp is an Indianapolis based artist. who enjoys the finer things in life: black coffee, carnival tickets, the sound high heels make when they clickty-clack on the sidewalk.