Take breaks so long you get bored.
It’s one of the early and lasting lessons of my almost-year-long journey with Constructive Laziness.
This hasn’t, objectively, been a long break. The show was just two weeks ago now, and I normally give myself a three week pass post-show to be a depressed bag of shit on the couch. I’m pleasantly surprised to report that neither depression or bag-of-shittery has really happened.
I’ve felt tired. Discombobulated. Yes. But I have not collapsed in a heap and do not feel that the world has ended.
I had my two meetings. I have another in a couple of weeks. I performed and spoke at an event my alumni association held in the private room of a bar near Union Square. Jessica and I cobbled together a two-person excerpt of the show and restaged it for an awkward narrow space with kitchen ventilation fans chugging away and bored staff leaning nearby. I spoke about my work, my particular voice, and the impact of addressing/embracing my Canadian and expat identities in this work. I got invited to speak on a panel at a conference in New York. That happens in June.
Actually, this hasn’t been much of a break at all.
But still, I can feel the mosquito-itch urgency of boredom tugging at me. There’s something that needs to get done. Or clarified. The next star wants to be charted.
No, wait. I know exactly what I need to do.
It’s take a notebook and a pen and hang out in nature for a couple hours, then end up at a café with a good cup of coffee and a croissant. I need to clear some mental space and allow for drift. I need to fill up the well. I may have managed things well for this last development period and production, but I am nonetheless depleted. Energetically and creatively tapped. I have to fill up the gas tank with cherry blossoms and wandering.
The itch is pulling me to this gentle labor. I can’t set the next goal until I recover from the last. There’s a very clear order to things. Before you inhale, you must exhale completely. That’s the deal and the process. A process that continues to unfold even when I think I’m no longer involved in the process.
What if the process never ends? What if it’s a continuous line that only appears to segment itself into projects or endings or beginnings? That “ending” or “finished” is just the mind’s trick?
How would you work if your work never stopped?