Sunday, January 27, 2019

warming up the water

I've been giving more thought to yesterday's post about Ph.D temptations and mid-life crises and more and more am convinced that these feelings I am having have less to do with the idea of enrolling in a doctoral program and all the attendant demands it would entail, including putting stress on the very fragile system of work and creative time balance, and more to do with that brief spark I felt when looking into it.  That rush of planning and future prospects.  The idea of something entirely new and interesting. And a little bit ridiculous.

Sort of like I'm swimming in a warm, comfortable bath, and then getting a rush of hot water, and I hadn't realized how cool the current water had grown.  There are always things to look forward to--writing projects, art things, library programming and endeavors, but maybe these have, in the last two years, grown comfortable, but there is less seeking, less striving.   Yes, I am working on new books & projects.  Yes, there are wonderful new publications on the horizon. But these are what I do, who I am, & while and like doing them very much, and want badly to continue to do so, a new sparkly appears on the horizon and there was a weird rush that took me aback.  One that I suspect had less to do with the actual thing (which grows more unlikely each day after the more I think about it. ) but moreso, the spectre of it that was glowing there for a bit.  I wondered if this what compels monogamous lovers to want to cheat on even their best relationships. Maybe we are not meant to be comfortable and complacent.

I am also very conscious of my own tendencies to want to escape--those crazy impulses to move to New Orleans (which I love, but feel at this current point in life  not a wise move.)  Is the rush a desire to run away from something, and if it is, what exactly is it? What may look like running toward something may also look a lot like running away from something else. The fact that is was so ridiculous and foolish made it even more appealing in that moment.

This is all even sillier given that I am a creature of habit and don't really want things upsetting my balance.  My routines, my way of life. So even if it's a horrible idea, my thoughts then turn to how to inject that same impulse back into my life,  to warm up the water I am in.  To channel that rush back into where I already am instead of running off to do something that will only set me more off balance and likely add more stress to my life.  I don't know what that looks like, but it's an interesting idea.

Whether that's a new project or a new creative endeavor or a new genre or medium or even just a new outlook on existing things...we shall see...

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