Thursday, January 8, 2015

Galvanizing spirits and getting things done

Gustav Vasa Kyrka, Stockholm, Sweden  |  Galvanizing spirits and getting things done on afeathery*nest  |  afeatherynest.com

Lately I've been trying to get back into my old routines—after the holidays (and all the indulgences and altered habits that come with it), I find myself feeling a bit...compressed. In every sense of the word, as I haven't been making enough time for stretching—physically, mentally or emotionally. And with the sun's similarly compressed loops these days, and respecting the routines of everyone else in the household, I've spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling over our bed waiting for the day to begin.

Before I was up with the sun (which doesn't mean much at the moment as it rises just before 9AM), but in any case, I was getting more things done—studies, work, reading, exercising, writing in this space, etc., and the fact that I hadn't been recently began to grate on my nerves.

After a stern talking to (heartfelt, from me to me), I've been slowly sliding back into my usual paces: marking off blocks of time in Google Calendar to tackle a specific thing, handwriting each day's to-do list in a moleskine, making more of an effort to stay on top of all the really great Swedish resources I have access to to learn the language (like the state's special radio program, Klartext, that condenses the day's news into 10 minutes of conversational, i.e., easier-to-understand, Swedish), adding strength training back into my daily life to complement my ever-present walks, being more proactive about seeking out interesting projects, and other things that help me feel like I'm doing something meaningful with my time, something to make me smarter, stronger, kinder.

Part of the nudge back to my normal state has been realizing that if I'm ever so careful, I can successfully creep out of bed, edge the bedroom door open (mostly) silently, and sit myself at the kitchen table with my laptop, notebooks and silky-smooth pen, something warm to drink, and a lit candle, without disturbing anyone's sleep.

And the other part was reminding myself that while bicycle rides and exploring my new hometown and indulging in all manner of yummy Swedish food in this city is wonderful (and should always be a part of my life), it shouldn't actually be the entire sum.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to grasp that all it took was one stealth sprint (okay, tiptoe) across the apartment to shut myself into the glassed-off kitchen and a little determination to be awake that many hours before the sun rises and I have my old, much-cherished and calming early-morning pottering and pondering time, as well as my previously-always-present initiative, enterprise, motivation (and other assorted inspirational poster words) back. It feels really, really good.

Now I'm ready for you, 2015.

One year ago: Week 2
Two years ago: An unburdening & Dolphin dives

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XOXO,
J.