Saturday, August 1, 2009

Of Sleep and Change


"Blessed is he that is too busy to worry in the daytime, and too sleepy to worry at night." --Unknown
I'm not at all sure I want to post this particular entry, but from a certain perspective one could say this is part of the process of developing a business. So I guess it's pertinent in that respect. Regardless, it's a big part of my life these days.

Sleep. My particular sleeping habits are a bit mixed up right now. I sometimes don't have regular nine-to-five position during the summers in the past (working in Education for years allowed me to sometimes choose if I could handle employment during the summer months or not), so I have never had a reason to be too disciplined during my down-time. My sleep habits were erratic for a variety of reasons. Childish, yes. I freely admit it.
My sleep this summer, however, when I do finally pull myself away from the stupid computer or the TV, hasn't been of the most consistent quality... Some nights it's great, and I sleep way, way too much. Other nights, like tonight, I awake with stressful dreams...

I can only suppose this is part of the transition of shifting from a regular job to a more freelance type of employment. I've never been self-employed before, and because I'm learning what it actually entails as I go along, it's no wonder my mind works through new life-revelations in my dreams. They've not necessarily been "pleasant"... hehe...

Interestingly, I am coming to the conclusion that I used the education system to sort of avoid the necessity of acknowledging a freelance-based design life. The reliability of teaching ensured a life free of the stresses of living an itinerant life in the arts, which is what I saw all my actor and designer friends living. Even working at a theatrical institution for an extended period of time allayed the "fears" inherent to the life of a theatre artist.
Well, that regular employment is over. And now I find myself adjusting to a new way of living. And honestly, shifting my life around is (of course) messing up my stress levels and thus the quality of my sleep. Rationally, I know it's just me getting used to change. And it's natural. I knew this would happen--it's just common sense. It's obvious. Happens to everyone in this situation. Still, that doesn't make it easier in the moment.
All these podcasts that I listen to have been telling me the same thing: the life of an artist is filled with structure, habit, and consistency. On the surface, it would seem that it is not, and from a certain perspective there is some freedom and flexibility in being self-employed. However, that freedom and flexibility is tempered by self-discipline, self-imposed scheduling, and the development of routine.

Charles Dryer said, "You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, 'I release my need for this in my life.'"

It is time to move beyond the tendencies of my past that I now think are habits I'm using as defense mechanisms. I am in that odd middle-ground of shifting my lifestyle in a new direction, and I'm realizing that creating these new life-parameters is akin to staying on an exercise routine. But there's a lot more at stake here than just my ego, however.

Change is never easy. I guess I can relish it or not. (Bada boom. Ching!)
Don't think. Do. Self-affirmation is a good thing. I choose to live life with relish instead of letting it use me.

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