Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

Checking-In

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I’m finding this month to be busier than originally expected. That is a good thing because I am immersing myself in my studio. Unfortunately I am not keeping up with the blog as often as I would like. So here is a little update.

New Approach to Tracking Studio Time

In my post summarizing Chapter 2 of Standing at Water’s Edge, I mentioned how I often cringe at the word “productive.” The word carries a bit of baggage for me due to my previous job as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Anyways, I realized that my previous approach to keeping track of time in the studio was also a hindrance.

This week I gave up on keeping track of every little thing I did in the studio.  Instead, I track time on my daily priority and to-do list. It has simplified the process significantly. It means I keep my time and tasks all in one place (ah, simplicity.) And I feel less self-imposed pressure to look and be productive.

OldStudioTimeLog (1)

Old Studio Time Log

NewStudioTimeLog (1)

New Studio Time Log

With the new studio time log, everything is on one page; my appointments for the day/week, priorities for the day, and a to-do list. And if I’m really good, I’ll add habits to remember, such as exercising and drinking water, and non-habits, such as spending too much time on Twitter or mindless busyness.

Mind Map

Prior to making this change I also wrote out my first ever mind-map. I have a long term goal to have my fine art in 10 fine art galleries. Creating a mind-map gave me a tangible, visible map for all the tasks I need to work on to reach this goal. Mind-mapping is neat because you can drill down to the smallest task you can think of in order to reach a goal. And you can add and expand the mind-map as needed.

After creating this mind-map, I took small tasks from the larger goals and created my list of goals for the month. I also looked at my schedule this month and, working backwards from specific dates, wrote tasks to be completed on the calendar. This whole approach gave me a great feeling of clarity at the beginning of the month and decreased the feeling of overwhelm that can easily creep up on me.

Back Update

About three weeks ago I started physical therapy to heal my herniated discs. I also had an appointment with a neurosurgeon who reviewed my MRI results and concluded that I am not a candidate for back surgery now or in the near future. (Yipee!) The herniated discs are not very big. The disc between L4-5 is the primary problem child; however, physical therapy has made a significant improvement in my level of pain. In fact, I have very little pain these days. In about three weeks, I’ve gone from having leg pain and cramping that would start soon after walking to having no pain whether I walk 1/3 of a mile or 3 miles!

The physical therapist uses a technique called the McKenzie Technique which essentially teaches you how to control and understand your body and your pain. In my case, we worked on back bending movements first to strengthen the back and to get the disc to return to its normal position and then we worked on forward bending movements. It really has been awesome because I felt a noticeable improvement in about 3 days.

Book Update

With this busy schedule I’m a bit behind on my own reading. I finished Chapter 4 in Standing at Water’s Edge this morning and will post a summary early next week.

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2 thoughts on “Checking-In

  1. Yep…crazy days are already here. Good news about your back. I did the same as you many years ago, and it worked. I did however have back surgery 4 years ago and have really been pain free for the first time in my adult life. So many advancements in back surgery just in case you ever do have to go that route. But, I was interested in your leg cramps….mine have been horrendous for several months…on medication for it and have EMG scheduled in Dec. Doc thinks a nerve is involved….may be back to square one!! Dang…you are organized. Inspires me!

    • Hi Lynda,

      I’m sorry to hear that your having more leg pain. I hope the EMG gives both you and your doctor some answers. I still have an occasional twinge in my back and expect that will happen; however, I’m mostly pain free, especially when walking and that makes me quite happy.

      Happy to be of inspiration. I’ve certainly found inspiration from many others online, including you and your sculptures!

      -Amy

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