A week ago I wrote about the decision to stay largely removed from others as the world starts turning again. I talked about the benefits I had found by living more quietly and removed from others. In the past week there has been some restructuring to do with how I work and how I inhabit space and time. The first big change came with my online time. It is fair enough to shift your work online, especially in the current situation, but you don’t want to actually live online. So I set myself a routine of exactly when to be online and for how long. A week in and this has worked really well. I am far more productive for one thing. The other thing about this is that I have stopped falling down rabbit holes on social media. That feeling you get when you read a post and wonder how people are responding and then you start reading the comments and before long you have lost 20 minutes you won’t ever get back. I run a large community stitching project, Stitched Stories, and so I do read comments but not all of them. I don’t think it is the best use of my time. This has kept me far more focused. A couple of weeks ago I switched off all my notification sounds so I don’t hear messages coming in. When in the studio I am now far more relaxed.
The other thing that has changed is the spaces I inhabit. As a mother of four (two stuck at home due to lockdown) home can be a busy space. It is a quiet busy but still busy. So I have created a small nook in a spare room where I can go and be quiet and alone. I love it already and feel that it has supported my mental wellbeing a great deal in such a short time. Of course the real test will be when everyone starts going out and about and I don’t. It will be interesting to see how I feel then. I have lots of cats and dogs floating about for company and think they are more than enough.
Before lockdown I was always a big people person. I ran creative community events around the island and always had a new project on the go. Now I am limiting what I get involved with even online. Less is most definitely more. When the world starts turning again I am looking forward to spending some time in my van but I seem to have lost the need to be around people. This might be temporary but it might be permanent. I am a keeper of stories. I see narratives and stories everywhere and I suspect that, as far as inhabiting shared space with others goes, I may have run out of things to say. I don’t see it as any more complicated than that. Thank you for all the messages and I hope I have managed to respond to everyone. These are, indeed, interesting times we live in and they will be affecting us all differently. I am writing about mine as an aid to making sense of these new affirmations but it is always good to hear from folk about their journeys through life.
Keep well folks. xx