miss amygdala

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mr. Comfort & Love - Oliver hang in' with me at the TTD* - strategic planning, discipline & respite my secret ingredients

All freedom comes from discipline
Anne Lamott

This new big, thrilling, terrifying project will take up most of my time for the next 3.5 weeks. Due date/deadline is mid May. I've wasted needed nearly 2 weeks just to wrap my head around the enormity of the project, especially the technical issues, a coffee stained botanical collage piece that when in it's final state will be 12 feet x 5 feet - ya huh ! I did say feet. That and the fact that it's not only for a dream customer, a company on my top 10 in the world wish-to-work for list (maybe even my top 5) but the final piece will hang in a brand new prestigious & absolutely dreamy location has me freaking out on the hour ;-)

No pressure there here. I'm not sure what's up with Madam Universe lately but she been sending me opportunities for growth non-stop – those big kind of personal growth opportunities. The ones you immediately think (inner eye roll) Nooooooooooooo ! I can't take any more of this personal and/or spiritual growth shit - aaarrrgggghhhh ! stop ! please ! I can't take it Madam U. But of course that's not really how I feel, if I can get Miss Amygdala to shut up for 5 mins I have moments of pure, bliss, joy and excitement at the prospects on my plate. And about the lessons I will learn. I am thrilled by so much of this project yet I am wrestling the fear of it daily, hourly – the fear of failing and possibly failing miserably. Each time that fear bell rings I'm faced with a choice. I can choose to let Fear come at me like a charging bull, knock me over and paralyze me (which is like blown' on a feather if you get my drift) or I can stop, have a deep breath or 2 or 5, give Fear my best talk to the hand look and practice using some of my new tools and coping skills to shrink and minimize the fear so that it's still there but it feels instead like mojo fuel, excitement & challenge.

The bad news is - you just have to do it. You sit down and you commit to having your butt in the chair for a certain amount of time
Anne Lamott

Though this project is a lot about creativity it's real lesson(s) is how I choose to deal with the pressures of the job. And there so many lessons embedded in this opportunity I've yet to really wrap my head around them. But I have come up with a few strategies & coping skills that have been helping me approach this project differently:

• writing out a strategic plan/schedule, working backward from the deadline -  work back schedule.
• scheduling in plus de breaks, R & R, changes of sceneries, rewards, even a shift in projects - that old adage a change is as good as a rest is true. Plus my goal each day is to never work more than 3 hours straight without getting up and leaving my desk and for a minimum of 15 mins.
• breaking a big project down into smaller bites. Only thinking about the bite in front of you, the current step - the small picture. Try not to think about the large & scary monster - the big picture, the end product.
• allowing a generous/padded amount of time for each task or smaller bite. In the recent past my expectations were often dashed (adding lots more stress) because I would estimate poorly and not give myself enough time - always feeling like you're falling behind is the kiss of death.
• scheduling in a few free days in a 21+ day project - use them to recharge & rejuvenate. Do something fun.
• stop working at 8/8:30 pm at the absolute latest. Read fiction or watch NetFlix to unwind - ahhhhhh !
• when Miss Amygdala comes a callin' - leave my desk immediately and do something pleasurable. Go make a pot of tea, go outside with the dogs, write in my journal in the chocolate brown nest bedroom.

Miss Amygdala's here right now, nattering away at me as I write this. So I'm leaving, I'm going outside (it's one of my scheduled FREE days - woo hoo !) to rake & clean my flower beds, organize my planters and pots, I've already been cooking' up a storm and I'm going to have a fabulous free day Sunday - wishing you the same ;-)

*teak topped desk

the beach is back 2

Friday, April 18, 2014

Just back from my morning power walk on the beach, the ice is now officially gone & sweet Bee leaves today & I'll miss her

Be steady and well-ordered in your life 
so that you can be fierce and original in your work.

Gustave Flaubert

Working non-stop a go-go, almost*, on the project, ya know the one I mentioned a week or so ago, the big (literally - it's 12' x 5'), very scary, extremely thrilling, dreamy, jagged steep mountain project.

*I am making sure I take the time every day to have R & R breaks (ritual and rejuvenation, rest and relaxation, recharging & reminders). Reminding myself - that I can do this, that I do deserve this amazing creative opportunity, that I will do my best, I always do ... & finally, reminding myself that there's a pretty darn good chance that I'm gonna kick ass ;-)

I couldn't resist - I was a mad, crazed teenaged Elton John fan, he was the soundtrack of my youth -  from fav album Caribou


Thursday, April 17, 2014

great Kurt Vonnegut quote found on Pinterest (sadly unknown maker), Chloe lace dress I LOVE, and lace-ish jewellery

I'm super inspired these days by lace and a cream/ivory/coffee/kraft neutral colour palette - my pinterest board here