My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?
— Erma Bombeck
Even as the end is almost in sight for our Artist’s Way journey, we arrive at some of the toughest final barriers to our recovery. These are often the issues that are so integral to how we have defined our lives, we may even defend them as virtues. But if we can take a dispassionate view, at least a little bit, we can see that once these lifestyle stumbling blocks can be changed, the true flow of our own artistry may become, finally, really available to us.
One that we covered yesterday, workaholism, is my own most toxic disconnect. You other busy-busy bees reading this know the drill: I tell myself that just as soon as I catch up on emails and feeds, clear off my desk, do the dishes, fine-tune my website, make a couple of calls, take the cat to the vet, go get groceries…THEN, maybe, I will work on my book. Translation: If I am a very, very good girl, and do everything just right, maybe someday, I will get to do what I really want. If there is anything at all left over.
I sometimes feel like Cinderella, with a wicked stepmother/taskmaster who insists that everything must be perfectly executed before it’s my turn. Of course, I also happen to be that same cruel taskmaster, too. The bottom line is, the book never gets started, much less done. And I get to continue to stay pitifully, safely martyred, with my creativity buried under the to-do list.
Thank you so much, Maria, for your brilliant comment yesterday: “I’m finally reaching a point where I realize that time for creativity is as important as scrubbing the tub or folding laundry or flossing my teeth. It’s an important part of self-care. Why did I never see that before?” Oh, yes, me too, Maria! Me too!
But there are many deep ways that keep us blocked. For other people, the problem is dramatic, painful love entanglements. They are constant victims, obsessing over “If only he or she would just love me…” and then jumping through a thousand hoops to try and make it happen.
All their energy goes into trying to win, or resuscitate, or excuse the complicated, unavailable lover. So, there is just nothing left over for rearranging that tricky paragraph in Chapter Five, or taking a watercolor class, or doing a photo shoot down at the city park.
How convenient that our artist must over and over take a back seat while the painful love drama plays out. “The minute a creative thought raises its head,” Julia writes, “it is lopped off by the obsession, which blocks fear and prevents risk.”
Similarly, sex is the great block for many. And I’ll leave you mulling that one over until tomorrow!