Preoccupation with doing something important, something meaningful, or even something I “should” do has informed some uninspired moves in my life. Preoccupation with being good, being right, gaining status – these have encouraged me to quit artistic pursuits, or at least shove them aside, squish them into the tiny cracks between “more important” things.
When I catch myself feeling guilty for wasting time making a birthday card, drawing for its own sake, or even reading books that have no clear connection to anything that should matter to me but that I nonetheless want to read – I take a breath and try to remember that it’s ok. I need time to putter. To play. To experiment. I can run short distances with blinders on, focused on a finish line. But I rebel against that if I do it for too long. I’d rather go slower and take in the scenery. And maybe even end up somewhere I hadn’t planned on going.