I am a Canadian gal and I want to give advice on how to survive winter. Not literally. I mean those winters we all experience in our lives. Those seasons in our minds when our ideas don’t flower. This is how to notice the signs that you are in a creative cozy time and how to come out the other end.
In Ontario, Canada (where I live) winter has finally arrived to put the other seasons to bed and tuck us all inside for most of the day. I love this cozy time, but in truth, I have been in my own state of hibernation since September. And now, with winter setting in, I am ready to come back into the world. Maybe not fully. After all, winter allows us to live like we are on a ship looking out a porthole or standing on deck for just a moment before returning to the cabin.
My friend Jeff asked me to write a blog post here for MapleSyrupEdu months ago. But, I had no words. Not one. I only had retweets, likes, reposts and the occasional picture on Instagram. My head was silent, not empty, just resting.
I was not burned out.
I was not recovering from anything.
No, nothing bad had happened to me personally or professionally.
I just wanted to cook and read and workout. I thought for a moment that maybe this was burnout or even depression. But, I only felt depressed when I started to worry that I might be depressed. No, it was part of a natural flow of any life and I am glad I didn’t fight it. If you listen to your body-mind, you know when it’s time to sit back and shut up for a while. Here are the signs that you are NOT burned out, but ready to sit back and get cozy:
Ideas 1 through 4 could sound like burn out. They’re not. Don’t get worried if your ideas go quiet and your passions cool slightly. It’s not a slump, it’s not the end of your creative juices, and it’s not depression (unless it is than by all means talk to someone). What is it? A normal part of living. Just part of the ups and downs of a thinking person’s life.
You will miss your passion. You will miss part of yourself that is resting. So, what to do? Well, I suggest you turn to your curiosity. Passion is young and youthful and full of fire and flames. Passion comes and goes. Curiosity is a more stable creative source. If passion seems to have left without a trace, pay attention to what you are curious about.
If your passion has taken a temporary leave, here is how you can stimulate your curiosity. If you nurture your curiosity, that wonderful heat and exuberance of passion will likely return. Here is how:
As you roll back into routine and try to get going on those things you promised yourself you would do in 2016, go easy on yourself. Maybe you are good to go and have a good supply of passion to power you through new projects. But, I’m guessing that if you have read this far in the blog post, maybe you have experienced what I experienced. Not burnout. Not depression. But definitely a lack of something. That’s okay. Steady work and staying curious are good strategies for the long game. And I’ve learned that ballet and bacon do wonders for the creative spirit. And if they don’t, they are life’s great pleasures so enjoy.