Friday, March 09, 2018

Naps and Stepping Away from the Party...

Right now, many poets & writers are in the middle of one of the biggest events of the year--AWP. And this year, in Tampa.

Seeing photos come across Twitter--especially of the bookfair, occasionally makes me for yearn for those magical moments of meeting a favorite poet or walking finally meeting the people you've only known from the online world.

Of course, for me, this would not have been the year to go.
I believe all our lives have seasons, seasons of outreach and seasons of pulling back. 

This year, I have a lot going on personally in my life, professionally at TwoSylvias Press, and even creatively--I'm writing more poems and am finishing up my 4th collection. I've been busier than ever and working to make sure I get time with my IRL (in real life) friends and family. 

I've also needed a lot more sleep this year. I've been coming home from work, walking into the house and taking a nap from 5 - 6 p.m.  I know, right? People are sitting down to dinner and I am falling asleep. I wake up, have dinner, some family time, maybe a walk, and then return to bed at 10 p.m. And then I sleep a full 8-9 hours.

While a part of me is silently freaking out that I have been needing (wanting?) so much sleep, another part says-- You did even catch a cold this winter and that terrible flu blew right by you. It also says, When you wake up, you feel good, you're ready for the second part of the day.

A few times, I've taken a nap at work around 1 pm when I can't even make it to evening.

I started a bullet journal and really realized how much offline time I needed. I'm returning to books and walks. Like how we try to monitor our kids' screen time, as adults, we should be aware of our own. 

A few days before Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday, I deactivated my Facebook account. After a week of not showing up, I thought--maybe this is what I should give up for Lent... so I did. I stay on Twitter because it never pulls me in the way FB does. If Facebook is the spotlight on our lives, Twitter feels like the candle and it's so big, I'm just a flicker among the galaxy of poets.

As creative people, I think we need to listen to what our bodies and mind needs at all times. Sometimes we need to go big, reach out, interact, tweet, post on Facebook, bloggity-blog-blog. But other times whether it be because of news, our own personal life or families, our own creative work, we need to go smaller and explore less.

There is no one way or one right way or one forever way. I am pretty sure, I will return to Facebook once I feel the need to be there again. I've got a strong circle of friends who keep up with me whether I'm on or off Facebook, and are still in touch. You learn who misses you and who your true people are when you slip away from a big party. Who notices you're no longer there, who reaches out. 

The kind of funny thing about this blog is I promised to blog once a week (which I have been keeping up), but when I'm feeling smaller, or more inward reach than outer, I think-- I really have nothing interesting to say! So hopefully there's something you're finding useful here--maybe it's just to say, social media is one big party that you can leave or hang out in as much as you like.  Make sure it's a tool *you* are using, and not vice versa.

And take more naps. Yes, that's exactly what I can offer you.

Continue on, friends. It's almost spring!

~ Kells

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Confession Saturday: How To Float

Dear Reader, 

Sometimes I do a confession Saturday, but it's the last day to get my weekly blog in, so I thought I'd do a confession Saturday since I realize I've kind of disappeared a bit from social media --I have been tweeting less and am off Facebook.

I confess when life feels too big, I get quieter. I don't disappear in my own life, in fact, I've been busier than ever, but I've quit showing up online as much. 

I confess I am not into drama, not my own or not others. I do not like conflict nor watching people treat each other poorly or to see one person act terribly or even just rudely towards another. Sometimes this is when Facebook feels like middle school and I can't/don't tolerate that.

If I could give you a recommendation, I recommend surrounding yourself with people who help you float on and who do not try to pull you under. 

Know the friends in your life who you can write to, turn to, text, email, call, when things feel hard or heavy. Know the friends who you can pick up after 3 months or 3 years. These are your people.

Know who will help you float through this world.

I confess in general, my real life has been busier than ever, not quieter. I have spent a lot of time with friends--seeing Fran Leibowitz, teaching at Western Washington University, dinners, lunches, teaching a class in Seattle, and other moments that have dotted my calendar.

Yesterday I floated for an hour in a sensory deprivation pod. It was a surreal experience where you feel as if you might be in space, as if you are weightless.

this looks like a giant toilet, but it feels like a galaxy

I was hoping for some huge breakthroughs in my writing or my life, what I received was 55 minutes of absolute quiet and relaxation with minor breakthroughs about life.

While I did manage to get salt in my eye and forget to put my eyeplugs in & turn off the light and have to immediately exit the tank to reset myself up, I found that I need just time to meditate, to nap, to sit, to quiet, to float.

I would do it again.

I confess my weekly blog post has been harder for me because of a busier than normal personal life, but also because I feel much more like I am like a pod these days, more self-contained. 

I know eventually this feeling of smaller life and smaller world will pass and I will return to a more interactive online life.

I just have a lot on my schedule and figuring out life on a personal level as well--how these next four years will look, or even smaller--how summer & fall will be, what are my plans, where I am going.

But know, I'm okay and just trying to get through these next few months with a lot on my work schedule and in my personal life.

But currently floating on... and sending you all love. 

~ Kells 
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