Slowing down…

I liked being a “list girl” in the past. Dan even gave me a new last name “Anita Listmaker”… The name actually sounds quite good, but the implications of being said Ms Listmaker were not.

I had a new list every day. I would transfer un-accomplished tasks to the next day’s list so that no item was ever lost. My theory was: I am here, I want to be there and here are the 389 steps that will get me to my destination efficiently and in an organised manner.

Oh and it worked! Sh*t got done! I was one hell of an efficient Energiser Bunny!

One day, about 2.5 years ago, I suddenly decided to give up the lists in one fit of rebellion. The madness had to stop! Why, I thought, would this little black book be ruling my every move with its never-ending, and ever-increasing chore list… a self-imposed chore list at that! That year, I liberated myself of the lists and have never looked back. Never, until now. I have recently relapsed into chronic list-making.

I am at a stage where I know where I want to be as an artist and I have a good grasp of how to get there. Yet, the only way I’ve ever known how to achieve seemingly unachievable goals has been through very “anal” and structured processes which I no longer enjoy and which aren’t suited to the new softness of being that I’ve been enjoying so much.

So the question remains – now that I have a clear goal in mind, how do I not slip back into a pattern of rigidity and stiff-lipped blind determination?

The answer is this: I don’t know. But I lost my notebook this week with all its precious new lists of actions, so maybe the universe has just taken the matter into her own hands… I wasn’t meant to get back to being Ms Listmaker after all…

But can the right-side of my brain lead the way? Again – I don’t know. But I will certainly try my best. So the new approach is simple…

-Slowing down – no need to be Mother Teresa, Jeanne d’Arc, Martha Stewart and the Buddha all at once- Anita will suffice for this lifetime…

-Do less and finish what you start,

-Therefore do what is important and start less! 

Slowing down by walking aimlessly in Brighton's gorgeous (albeit tweaked a bit here...) nature!
Slowing down by walking aimlessly in Brighton’s gorgeous (albeit tweaked a bit here…) nature!

I recently listened to Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech at the University of the Arts. He says that the path toward our goal should be like a journey toward a mountain… and that any deviation is taking us away from that goal. So our daily activities should always bring us closer to that mountain; the rivers and the forests may be lovely and appealing, but in the end, they are just diverting us from the main purpose.

I think that if we are confident that we have set the compass of our goals right, we will not stray. And I don’t need a list to remind me of that…


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