Yep, this week I've been asking the big questions. That's what happens when my to-do list is so long and varied that it seems impossible, winter just keeps going, and I'm nearly sitting on my hands to keep from spending money on anything not directly related to upcoming travels, necessary office organization, or the acquisition of a kitchen table ... in that order.
Paralysis has essentially set in at the worst possible time. Exactly when I need to be launching forward on multiple fronts, I'm standing in one place and spinning in circles, it seems. My brain won't settle down, my body is too settled down, and my heart (as always) remains an unreliable contributor to the conversation. A bad combo if ever there was one.
I've decided the best approach is to continue to pare down things I don't need in the five categories of "stuff":
- Physical stuff, which I've been jettisoning with a fairly high degree of comfort because I'm not using it, I have no one to pass it down to, and someone else might love it dearly and let it serve a purpose that I no longer do.
- Digital stuff, which is threatening to drown me, since it's so easy to bookmark or capture things "for later." I have files that I still need or want to keep, just in case. I also have far too many photos that have never been culled, lots of bits of info that I used and forgot to delete, and work files that I will never have cause to consult again, ever.
- Mental stuff, which I stockpile without effort or consideration and which then turns me into a human encyclopedia open to everyone I know. And I'm not just talking about work details that I need to retain for my clients' sake. Oh, no. Details of medical procedures. Lists of things I want to do or try. Dates and names and places and interesting bits of trivia and song lyrics and family lore and accents and ... it's rather exhausting to be on constant recall, honestly.
- Emotional stuff, which I've done a decent job of trimming, pruning, and tossing over the fence in recent years in the name of bygones and openness. I just haven't replanted anything in those spaces. Which has both allowed an encroachment by the physical, digital, and mental ... and also left me interacting mostly on the surface. It's not my natural depth and it's deeply unfulfilling.
- Spiritual stuff, which might seem strange coming from someone who doesn't shy away from talking about the interconnectedness of spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental realities. But I still need to gather up all my own garbage and periodically find a convenient spiritual dumpster into which I can offload it. Of course, this gets tied up with the emotional stuff too ... it's why I value close and meaningful friendships or relationships and shy away quickly from insincerity.
With luck, just picking away at those five fields will uncover some gems of opportunity and energy, some new ideas to pursue, and a few nuggets of shimmering gold inspiration.
And if that doesn't work, then when I have a few days off while I'm in New Mexico this spring, I'll find a bench in the sun in a plaza somewhere with Andean music or Tejano or a brass band or strings and I'll park myself there for an afternoon to think and plan and watch the world go by ... and remind myself what it feels like to be going somewhere.