Hello hi it’s November!
This summer I felt a surge of creative energy. I started writing again, updated my website, prioritized sending this newsletter on a weekly basis. Painting!
Then, the season changed, and I felt my energy flattening. A big project launched at work, which provided some relief, but then it was right back to our regular cadence. Writing code. Fixing bugs. Meetings. On top of it all, I said yes to a few more social weekend outings than I knew was good for my introvert self.
I spent all of Sunday lying on the couch. Staring at the ceiling. Completely depleted. So much so that I took a mental health day on Monday, where I cut and dyed my hair, took a long bath, and tried to get a few lingering life-to-do items knocked off my list.
I wish I could say I felt better on Tuesday, but I didn’t. Sometimes one mental health day just isn’t enough.
It’s Friday now as I’m writing this newsletter, and I’m feeling a tiny bit better. You know what helped? Walking to my usual coffee shop. Ordering something good and healthy to eat. Opening up my laptop and writing these words.
Whenever I feel this dip in creative energy, I know it’s because I’ve abandoned myself somewhere along the way. Saying yes to friends out of responsibility rather than excitement or desire for connection. Overworking myself at my day job and not logging off when it’s time. Telling myself that it’s too cold to walk a few blocks to the coffee shop.
The only solution is to come back to myself. To pick up the fragments and bring them back to center.
That’s what I did today. Changed out of sweatpants, put on a little makeup, and sat down with one intention: write.
Turns out that’s all it takes to feel a little better.
How do you come back to center after abandoning yourself?
P.S. Now that I’ve started writing it feels that much easier to keep going. I think I’ll keep writing after I finish this newsletter! A blog post? A script for a YouTube video?!
Looking for DIY inspiration? Every issue of Make magazine is now available at the Internet Archive through Controlled Digital Lending.
I launched my Etsy store, Sam Andrews Makes! Prints and stickers that inspire you to take the next right step in the direction of your dreams.
Smitten Kitchen’s rigatoni alla vodka. This was my first time making vodka sauce from scratch. It was surprisingly simple and so delicious.
Claire Saffitz making birthday cake. More chaotic than it sounds.
Making a list of “touchstones” aka things I like that serve as little reminders to stay centered:
dutch oven pancakes, birdwatching, scary stories, essential oils and facial sprays, 25 cent vending machines, being alone, advice columns, handmade quilts, sister corita kent, alma thomas, octavia butler, 90s country music, mango lip balm, octopus, elf on the shelf, photo booths, liminal spaces, candles, big earrings, keeping promises to myself, finishing leftovers, notebooks, checklists, the new moon, peanut butter and chocolate, libraries, chandeliers, extra garlic, tomato soup, public pools, fairy circles
Making a list of things in my life that I’ve done just because I wanted to. Making another list of things I want to do next. Sometimes the items on this list feel impractical or expensive, like moving across the country just for fun. It’s ok to want and pursue dreams that make no sense!
On a related note, planning a Thanksgiving trip to NYC 🌃
Aaaand putting a deposit on a moving company for March 2022 🚛
Setting a date for an old-fashioned slumber party with friends.
I’m still off social media, which may have made it slightly easier to get unstuck this week. I’m starting to believe that without hard boundaries, social media can be a vortex that pulls me away from center.