All of the things, all of the time.

It’s been a while.

At the start of this year my intention was to blog just once a week.  Just so I had a place where I was still writing something. Once a week felt like a nice low pressure goal.  Which it was.  Until there were 101 other things that needed to be done once a week.

At the start of every academic year I have the same conversation with myself. One project at a time, not too many commitments, don’t say yes to everything. Every year.  And then I take on half a dozen projects, over commit myself and say yes to anyone and everything.  I do this despite knowing I am not very good at thinking about more than one thing at a time.  I can’t do all of the things all of the time.

And yet here I am with all of the things.  So far I have three productions scheduled with young people in the works, a new group for those 18+  about to start out at Dundee Rep (which I am very excited about!), I am involved in making a piece of new work for a new project also in Dundee and I have just started my masters which requires a whole load of reading and because studying these days is all funky and modern a whole load of blogging.  Somewhere in the middle of that I did some writing. Poems.  I was surprised.  I thought they were dead and buried.  But they came back to play and now I am looking at them and wondering if I am actually going to have time to play with them or if I am going to have to stick them back in front of the TV while mummy does some work or drinks herself into oblivion because it’s all too much.

Normally at this stage of the game I get stressed and upset because I want to do all of the things, all of the time.  This year I refuse.  Sod that.  This is a stress free zone.  Otherwise stress just becomes another thing that I need to fit into my day along with cleaning the loo and putting away the washing.

So I haven’t written this blog for a month.  And I haven’t finished that poem I was working on. And I haven’t submitted anything I have written for months and months and months.  What surprised me recently was that when I started to write again it was almost as if I had never stepped away. The writing can live without me breathing down its neck 24/7.  It’s fine without me for a while, old enough to be left in the house alone while I go to the shops.  And on some level I have to accept the choices I am making with my life.

One of the questions that was posed to us on the first weekend of the masters was if you could only do one thing what would it be?   I can’t do all of the things, all of the time. Sometimes you have to pick and if you have to pick you might as well pick the stuff that brings you the most joy.  Even when it is up against other things that also bring you joy.   Sometimes you have to pick your favourite child.  And that has to be OK because that’s the way it is and there is no point in pretending otherwise.

So maybe I won’t ever finish that poem. Maybe I won’t manage to keep up with this blog while I have to write a blog for my masters, maybe I will never actually clean my oven.  Ever.  But I spent Saturday night in the studio at the Rep making things with other people and as long as I find a way to keep doing that I’ll be fine. Some of the things, some of the time, that’s good enough for me.

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