Here's a gorgeous color scheme and a quote that hits me today, because of its backstory. I've been doing the 12-week "program" called "The Artist's Way" from Julia Cameron, and it is wonderful. I will get to more of that in a second, but first, a story.
I learned several weeks ago a critical difference between Jared and I - compartmentalization. And it came in the form of a big pile of laundry.
See, Jared likes to wash laundry. Loves it. The washing, I mean. And the drying. But often, "laundry" means wash, dry, pack in a basket and set at the foot of our bed, and walk away, satisfied. Folding doesn't figure in. And you know, I should be grateful that half the job is done, right? But there is always a basket of clean laundry there. Wrinkled. Waiting. So needless to say, one evening several weeks ago we had a pretty major backlog of clean laundry to fold.
So I sat down beside (what I thought was) the extent of the pile and started to fold. This, I told myself, was all there was, and that wasn't so much.
So I get ALMOST to the bottom of the pile - I can see carpet again, and he hauls in another basket that had been lurking in the hallway. WHAT.
And I said WHAT.
And I look at the newly refreshed pile, and reset myself, okay, so THIS is all there is. And so I said, "okay, is this all there is?" Mama does NOT like Clean Laundry Surprise.
He says, "No, there are two more baskets in the hallway." (Told you. Lots of laundry.)
I can't for the life of me imagine how he could even function with the pile he has in front of him, knowing that there is an unknown quantity of laundry still lurking. More after this with an unknown end in sight. Shudder.
And this is when I realized the difference between us. He likes to take on only the pile in front of him. Leave the rest for later, some other time, and THIS is what we have. It's an uncanny, and frankly, enviable talent to tune out - slash - ignore the other crap in the hall. Compartmentalize.
In the big dresser that is our brains, he can open a single drawer at a time, work in there until what's needed is done, and then close that drawer and open another one, perfectly at ease with the fact that he won't know what's happening in that drawer until he closes his current one and opens that one again. (Do you know any men like this?)
In my brain, I am pretty sure I HAVE a dresser, but I have pulled all the drawers out, and I'm sitting in the middle of a circle of them, hip-deep in things scattered here and there, hands moving between them. At any moment I can switch to another drawer while also and at the same time keeping my eye on 4 others. (Do you know any women like this?)
For me, though, the trick is NOT in trying to compartmentalize. That ain't gonna happen. Not permanently anyway. But sometimes I see the whole mountain and I'm too daunted to take the first step out of bed. I get overwhelmed before I even get started and I'm paralyzed.
So the solution - which I am learning in The Artist's Way, is to tuck that big picture in the back of our minds, and then focus on this moment. Julia Cameron says this:
In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now. The precise moment I was in was always the only safe place for me. Each moment, taken alone, was always bearable. In the exact now, we are all, always, alright. I am breathing in and out. Realizing this, I began to notice that each moment was not without its beauty.
And then comes this quote from the universe as a second witness to the truth: moment by moment the race is run. Step by step the mountain is climbed. Keep an eye on the top or the end, sure. But only DO what this moment calls for. That's the place of real living.
I have sad days. I have down days. It's easy for me to get overwhelmed. I have depression, and this, by definition, means I get depressed. But in each moment, taken one at a time and really LIVED, gets us through to days of happiness.
So without further ado, here is the color scheme and its quote: