Be kind to yourself

I have started, scraped, and restarted this article more times than I care to publicly admit. Each time I lay this thought aside, it crawls back into my mind demanding to be voiced. An idea which will not go away is an idea which must be honored in order to make room for the next big one. So here goes another attempt to wrap words around this idea. 

This past summer was no different than many other struggling artists. I joined the crowded ranks of artists working at Trader Joe's to cover necessities while also babysitting my son, Miles, on my "days off". The luxury of an uninterrupted block of time disappeared into a pile of baby toys. Nap time brought just enough welcomed silence to develop a roll of film or write a few words.  Creativity flowed in spritzes and spurts. The urge to create became strong enough that I would strap Miles to my chest and carry him and my gear around before the heat would get to us both. 

Those brief creative outings failed to satisfy my expectation for myself. All I saw was the unproductive time spent surfing the web or scrolling through social media. I read every productivity tip and trick available in hopes of squeezing a little more  out of my time. All the effort only heightened my dissatisfaction with my efforts. In a rush to fill each empty time slot, I starved my creative fires of fuel. I was the man climbing a mountain trying to race to the pinnacle and missing the enjoyment of the journey.  

After a conversation with the awesome Berni Xiong, I realized that I need to be kind to myself.  Yes, I failed to be as productive as I wised but that was ok.  Creating is hard messy work especially for me. I require bashing my head against an idea until either I quit or it finally relents. Being upset for past failings only hinders present work. Learn from those mistakes but don't dwell on them. I must grant myself the same forgiveness I offer others. 

This journey is long. There will be many detours and side adventures. Enjoy each nook and cranny of your life. This is the lesson of the summer. Be kind to yourself.