Monday, November 13, 2006

In-Between Times


I've felt stuck between projects lately. Mojo Mom has matured, and while I am still loving writing about motherhood, it's clear that it is time for me to move toward finding out "what's next?"

I am clear about the fact that I want to keep blogging and doing podcasts, the most productive and enjoyable extensions of my work. My next project will build further on Mojo Mom but I have come to realize that first, I have to honor a time of transition. I've been so busy this fall, with on-the-minute crisis management and a full calendar. I need to breathe. I have been sitting around feeling guilty that I haven't gotten started on my next project, but over the weekend I realized that I am not ready to start yet, and that's okay.

So I am granting myself some "in-between time." I'll still be busy and working, but I am granting myself time to gestate and prepare before I start. Yes, it feels a little like being pregnant, though it will probably only last 6 weeks. Recently I've read a bit of Jungian analyst Marion Woodman's book The Pregnant Virgin, and this feels like a good time to delve into her work.

What else might I do during "in-between time?" This is not a to-do list, but a list of possiblities:

Reread Julia Cameron's wonderful book The Artist's Way and see which aspects of her program I'd like to try.

Take my dog on long walk. He has to stay on a leash, but my mind can roam.

Take a nap during the school day. I've been longing to spend a day curled up in bed with a good book.

Clean out my attic and my office.

Turn down requests for my time.

Attend my 20th high school reunion.

Hang out with my daugher and husband for a weekend unplugged from all electronic devices.

**

All pretty mundane activities, I realize. But there is a certain category of activities on my to-do list that never rise to the top during hard-charging, deadline-driven work times. I need to create time and space for some of those things to get done.

Things will probably look pretty much the same on MojoMom.com, since I plan to keep blogging. It feels great to give myself permission to try out a new mode of existence for a little while. It will be interesting to see which priorities rise to the top for action in 2007.

Have you ever granted yourself a sabbatical, a non-pregnant gestation time, or just a plain old break? What would your ideal in-between time activities be?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy - hallelujah for letting down! I think downshifting is essential to being creative and finding the energy to move forward. I'm in the same position you are, trying to carve out some free time between ending my job and starting graduate school. I'll be right there with you, walking my dog, hanging out in bookstores, writing for fun instead of work, meeting friends for coffee and maybe even learning how to work my new camera. One thing I've learned as a mom: home vacations are wonderful, and this is a great opportunity for you to explore without buying tickets, battling crowds, losing luggage or having to take off your shoes in the airport. It will position you beautifully for the New Year, and I can't wait to see what you come up with when you land on the other side.

Sheryl

1:21 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

I'll meet you on the other side....and hang out with you along the way!

1:25 PM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

Interesting that you should be writing about this topic now. I have spent this past year cranking out a variety of freelance projects that have made a nice little chunk of change, but have done virtually nothing to feed my spirit. I feel run down and empty these days and have not been taking on new assignments so I can try to listen and figure out what my next step should be. But I am always in conflict with the part of me that says if I'm not taking on some sort of paying project, I'm not being productive.

Thanks for letting us know it's OK to take the downtime to truly find a next phase that could be better suited to our lives.

11:26 AM  

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