Herding Fish

coaching for artists and makers


14 February 2021

Somewhere in the middle of last year I realised it had been a long time since I’d enjoyed anything very much. Every day had a to do list as long as my arm and every day it got rolled over and over and never got cleared. I knew I really needed a day off, to get up to a high place and breathe in a great big expansive view. And then to spend another few days (weeks ideally) just rattling about with my own thoughts, doing/not doing, resting, being.

When overwhelm sets in I have less and less interest in self care. There’s no way to stay away from the doomscrolling, nevermind plant myself on a yoga mat, or do that thing where you turn all the screens off an hour before bed?  Not a chance.

But I was desperate for an endorphin fix, and eventually realised that in the absence of a lazy week off, I’d have to make do with a micro-dose of fun here and there. Five minutes on the studio swing is good and Dolly Parton is very reliable. I aim for one-a-day and optimistically draw a row of 7 little circles in my diary at the start of the week. Some weeks I tick off 2 or 3, sometimes I forget altogether. But the idea of watching out for those little micro-moments of joy (and aiming for more of them) is way more realistic than a full-on plan of exercise and meditation and fresh food and less screen time and all the other stuff we know we should do.

When we come up with a big elaborate plan, like a raft of new year resolutions it’s doomed to fail before we even start. So right now I’m all for the micro shift. A couple of minutes here and there of watching the action on the bird feeder instead of scrolling Twitter has started to let the odd bubble of magic back into my days, and I’m all for that.