Dear everyone – I’m declaring my regular Wed/Fri blog post schedule a casualty of my late pregnancy state, and placing it on hiatus. For the past couple of weeks my mood has dipped into a sort of numbing apathy I can only classify as prenatal depression. Holding myself to the smallest commitments depletes my will power; it is very upsetting to me, but disciplined writing has shifted from an empowering challenge to a suffocating obligation. I’ve decided that, in order to endure the next month without self-imposed guilt trips and fits of crying over not being able to do everything that I think I should, I’m going to hold myself accountable to the bare minimum: sufficient sleep, daily walks, regular food intake. I will focus the rest of my energy on staying calm and stable.
I actually anticipate that that I will continue working, and that you will still hear from me. I’m drawn to explore a number of projects/topics:
- doing a photo a day, with gem materials as objects, in order to improve product photography;
- doing a sketch a day of some local flora elements (leaves, sticks, flowers), in order to develop design skills and generate ideas for metalsmithing projects;
- remaking the majority of the beaded pieces I made for myself in 2011;
- working out a version of the pieces I have in the store with a lower price point;
- coming up with 2-3 economical designs integrating metal-worked components and gemstones;
- experimenting with fabricating headpins and ear-wires myself;
- educating myself about the wholesale process and reaching out to retailers (boutiques, galleries);
- trying out Pinterest and Instagram as alternative social marketing platforms to Facebook;
- documenting the design challenges various types of gemstones present;
- writing fiction;
- writing a couple of personal essays, including one on my experience with this pregnancy;
Many of these happen to require regular practice in order to yield any kind of results. But since I feel unable to commit to any new practice routines, I’m keeping these activities as a wish-list (instead of a plan, or promises to myself).
You may point out that, “Olga, just last week, you had grand intentions of combatting procrastination. How does that integrate with your new plan to, well, plan nothing?” A very fair question! I think, I’m still going to try to apply some of the techniques I mentioned to any activities I’m undertaking (even ones like dishwashing):
- remind myself that I do not need to complete the task in one go;
- set 30 minute alarms to create conscious openings for myself to switch tasks;
- before jumping into any creative activity, take 5 minutes to break it down into small basic steps;
- consider completing a single step of an activity as a solid accomplishment;
- aim to try, aim to practice, see everything as a learning opportunity, rather than a thing that must be done to perfection.