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Gentle Schedule 2.0 | Organized Chaos

I finally did a mini art project today that made me feel happy, proud, and like I’m finding my art spontaneity again. Back a number of years, sporadically, before, during and a small chunk after college, I would make little art projects from whatever tools and materials I had on hand. Often this was for a card or gift. Something personal and handmade. Somewhere I stopped making that happen. I lost my joy as I lost my creative spark.

It was also an instance where I shoved my perfectionist aside extremely successfully and simply created something. It was awesome.

Some friends are having a baby shower and one of the participation options was to come up with a phrase that followed the pattern of When the little girl went to the _______, she _______. The directive was to add some art to go along with your chosen phrase. Since I’m the more artistic of the two of us I asked the hubs to come up with the text and I’d draw it. Here’s his concoction: When the little girl went to the moon, she planted a tree.

That was at least a week ago and I’ve been percolating on what I could draw to go with that. Mostly I’ve let the ideas simmer a bit on the back burner until today when they were ready to move into action. It is strange the way ideas can simply nest in your brain until they suddenly emerge into full bloom. I couldn’t tell you where the idea to make it a mini comic came from, it was just there one day as it made brief forays to the forefront of my mind.

Today I only set out to sketch it, thinking I would need a few sketches before I was happy with the outcome. Turns out, nope, I did it in one. I’d figured I’d sketch in my sketch book then do the final sketch on the provided paper. And my problem solver was on task as when I realized I was pleased with my first sketch I dug out my clear plastic box with a push light, my cheap, cobbled together version of a light table (hey, don’t knock it, it works like a charm and is loads cheaper!) and decided to trace so I didn’t have to sketch it freehand again.

I was so in the zone that I was inking and then coloring it before I knew it and after dinner today I finished it!

I am beyond proud of myself, I finished it with days to spare. Often I’m a cut to the wire kinda woman, especially things that aren’t in the same space of importance as work for my day job or similarly important tasks like, previously, school. 

This, I think, is the power of making a plan that works for me. I’ve been tinkering with my gentle schedule because what I’d started with was a good basis but it was still too much…and not clear enough, either. In my school days I had day/week planners, I loved my planners. But there has been part of my adult self that simply could not fathom that I liked to be organized because, for a time that has been the antithesis of what I’ve needed. And, yet, it is coming back and I’m learning to embrace it in a healthy way. In a way that still leaves room for the mess.

This last weekend I got myself a planner. A real life paper one. For a few reasons I figure this will work better than what I’d been using: the week schedule sheet of the digital novel planner. 

First, nearly every time I get on a digital device with internet access I am distracted. I blink sometimes and I’ve been down some rabbit hole somewhere for longer than I’d like to admit and I have to remind myself why I picked up the device in the first place. Digital planners, I wish that they worked for me, but alas, that is a big nope.

Second, actually writing down what I intend to do allows me to remember it better. It seems to set the intentions more solidly in my brain.

Third, it allows me to better visualize and organize my brain to get a week planned out loosely in advance, with room for changes along the way, of course. It weirdly doesn’t feel so locked in or as stressful as having a standing weekly schedule that is the same week to week. Getting to plan my time out week by week feels manageable and can be adjusted and assessed because each week I am starting with a blank template. Though I can reference the last week as needed.

There is something truly disconcerting about my weeks being exactly the same week in and week out. I’m under no illusions that my weeks will be extremely different going week by week but it does allow me the illusion of, weirdly, acceptable change. Who knew? I’ll take it though since that means I’m not completely incapable of dealing with/wanting change!

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