Stress is a perverted relationship to time

I always know I’m messing up the work/life balance when I find myself goofing off on a day I’m supposed to be working. Today I should be advancing three different jobs, but instead I keep adding layers of paint and bits of paper to this week’s page in my art journal. I’m pretty thrilled that I’ve actually started an art journal, but I could do without this guilty feeling that I really shouldn’t be playing right now. I should be working. Who was it that said “Don’t should on yourself”?

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t John O’Donohue. He spoke in poetry, not puns. But he said something loosely related in an interview with Mary Hynes (circa 2004 on CBC’s Tapestry that is sadly no longer available): Stress is a perverted relationship with time.

DSCF4579

I’m feeling it today. It’s been too many days since I gave myself a day off. So my rebellious inner kid took one.

Tell me about your relationship with time.

 

22 Responses to “Stress is a perverted relationship to time”

  1. carin

    Yay for inner kids. Sometimes our outsides don’t know what’s good for us. Too much focus when the mind is no longer able to focus amounts to spinning wheels, the ultimate in wasted time. Gardening, visual art and cleaning out drawers and closets (even those already cleanish) are my things. Also taking myself on an outing, something small… just to change the scenery in my head. Walking of course. Cooking. Reading. And to meet occasionally with other humans! Right smack dab in the middle of the day even. I’ve figured out that these aren’t frivolous things, but moments of refueling, nourishing the spirit. All our solitude is gorgeous of course but without the distraction/stimulation/entertainment of a populated workplace, I can feel myself getting myopic at times. So despite niggles of doubt, I refuse to feel guilty for whatever feels like spirit food. Habitual hookey, however, is something else… haha!

    p.s. I adore the saying.

    Reply
    • commatologist commatologist

      Oh autocorrect, how I hate you. Except for this time. I love this one.

      Reply
  2. Joan Conway

    Sorry Iā€™m using my phone microphone and it change the words around, that is writing instead of wedding . Crazy electronics

    Reply
    • commatologist commatologist

      Thanks, Joan! I’m excited about it. I’m learning a lot: which glues don’t stick worth a damn, which markers smudge when you cover them with matte medium, etc. etc. šŸ™‚ I was sorry to miss your workshop on the weekend. I’m not much of a winter driver. Hope we can connect again soon.

      Reply
  3. Ramona Scott

    Third week in January. A New Year with the usual resolutions. By now many of us have already missed the mark on our resolutions and start feeling guilty i.e. “should” all over ourselves. Unfinished tasks take up a lot of space in our brains. Apparently our brains need closure so when there are “to do” things waiting for us, stress and anxiety can set in. Answer: big goals are stressful for the brain. small tasks with a reward are much less stressful on the brain. (the Zeigarnik effect, named after a Soviet psychologist). This relates to “stress is a perverted relationship to time”. So smaller tasks take less time to complete and less space occupying our brain, creating less stress and more opportunities to do fun artistic things. I am aiming to break up my list of BIG to do’s (such as finish a Crop Plan for 2018) into smaller steps with fun things to do in between so I don’t get overwhelmed and binge eat taco chips while worrying that I HAVE to get that plan completed before doing anything else!

    Reply
    • commatologist commatologist

      Hi Ramona, good to hear from you! You’re right about the stress of having unfinished tasks on the to-do list. I’ve started putting only one task on the list every day. Miracle of miracles, most days I finish my whole list!

      Reply
  4. Joseph Schreiber

    I have an unusual stress/time related experience at the moment. My 28 year-old son who has been drinking steadily and heavily since he was about 20, suddenly stopped in early December. After a weekend of de-tox he bought a six pack but has never touched it. It sits in his fridge.

    The strangeness of this unexpected, albeit welcome, situation is that I am floating with this bubble, this space that was consumed for so long by the stress and tension of living with an alcoholic. My therapist tells me it is not unusual to feel a little ungrounded, even sad when this preoccupation is freed. You don’t realize how much of your self has been absorbed by the loved one’s addiction.

    I have been deeply engaged with my own writing in preparation for my short residency in India in February, but suddenly the urgency and angle of so much of what I was working toward has shifted. There are some subjects I have to rethink again. I find that this has made me restless, I need to get out more, walk and take pictures. That’s not a bad thing but to this point it feels more escapist than productive.

    Reply
    • commatologist commatologist

      So happy to hear you’ve been deeply engaged in your writing, Joe, and I wish strength and peace of mind for your son. And for you. May the new year bring opportunity, curiosity, solace, love, release – and may you write through it all.

      Reply
  5. theresa

    I really enjoyed Gutenberg’s Fingerprint. We have a couple of presses and I love the process of letterpress printing, the selection of type, etc. It’s easy to forget the rest of the world.

    Reply
    • commatologist commatologist

      I’d love to experience the letterpress printing process! Looking forward to reading Gutenberg’s Fingerprint. AND I received your novel and novella in the mail yesterday and can’t wait to read those. Thanks, Theresa.

      Reply
    • carin

      Theresa, have you been to the Papeterie St. Armand (in Montreal) referred to in the book? Was there in September… the most unassuming place (and hard to find) but intoxicating (that really is the right word)… my first experience in seeing the How of papermaking. And he does typeset/book binding also, by hand of course. I’m very keen on making something myself now! I can absolutely understand forgetting the world…

      Reply
      • theresa

        I haven’t been there, Carin, but have some of their papers. They’re very beautiful. One of my novellas was first published as a private press book by the Barbarian Press in Mission (B.C.) and the design edition was printed on a soft green handmade paper, not St. Armand, but from a French mill (don’t have a copy to check). Something so wonderful about the whole process of making paper, setting type, printing one page at a time….

        Reply
        • carin

          Paper: an easy addiction. (:

          (Also, I’ve completely lost the thread of the original conversation… ha! Always a good sign.)

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS