So I lost something sometime over the last few years, and I didn’t even realize I had lost it. The good news is, I think I found it over the weekend. Let me explain.

I forget stuff sometimes – important stuff – because I’m so fixated on stamping out the little fires of day-to-day living, and trying to piece together chaos in my head, that things just slip. Like my own history, for example – I forget that I’m the sum of my parts, and where I’ve been. I’ve always felt like I’m only as good as the last thing I did, and so don’t tend to put too much stock in the things that I’m not doing anymore, but I don’t remember to at least give where I have been and what I have learned enough credence. As soon as whatever I was last doing is done, I get all emotionally hungover and find myself thinking that I’m not doing anything, and furthermore, never will do anything ever again.* I’m certainly not as good or as cool as that girl who was doing that thing a few weeks ago, right?

And that’s the funk I’ve been in for months.  I’ve been working and playing around with some projects, but nothing with any real focus – just a little here, a little there – dicking around, rather than really doing.

But check this out: I’ve been on a pretty good streak of doing yoga every day, and paying attention to what I’m eating, too. (And taking my vitamins – every day!) And we moved all that furniture around a couple weeks ago to make a project space, right? So this weekend, I finally got to the desk in the new space, put on some music,** sat my butt down, slid some fresh blades in my x-acto knives, and got down to business.

And let me tell you, it was delightful. When I’m engrossed in a project like that, and allowed the space and time, I can tune out the head chaos, I can focus, and, holy carp, add in the fantastic light in that room at eight o’clock in the morning,*** and I was more content this last weekend than I have been in months.

Meanwhile, here’s the lost and found part: see, once upon a time I managed a small press/layout service. And a few years ago I took on some freelance page layout stuff, and had a pretty terrible experience. So I finished what I had left there, and with a scant few exceptions, didn’t look at page layout programs again. And so, of course, then my inner critic stepped in to take up the void, and told me that I was never very good at it anyway, so no big loss.

Well, my inner critic is a total douchebag, just in case you were wondering.† And I’ve been working really hard on evicting him from my headspace, or at least giving him a giant-sized lollipop to stuff  in his mouth so he can go suck in silence and I can get some peace.

So the collage frenzy this weekend was tipped off by some layout work that was on my plate – I wanted to set up covers for a pair of chapbooks. And I did the collage work in bliss, totally putting off the part where I did the interior layout. But I sat down in the end with my old pal, Pagemaker 7.†† And guess what? Once I blew off the rust and remembered where some of the pesky menus reside, it was like no time had ever passed. I’m still pretty darned good at this – hello, Shocked Relief. So, the two books? Came out pretty freaking spectacular, I’m thrilled to announce.

I’m also thrilled to announce, I’m putting some jumper cables to the press, and getting it back on the road. It was good once before, and I fully intend to make it good (great, maybe even!) again.

There – it’s out in the Universe now =)

***

 

*I related so well to this video, I fucking wept while watching it. Not those little teary  cry thingsies, oh no no – we’re talking about the big sobs that you’ve been choking  in for a really long time, that when you finally cry the release is akin to an orgasm.

Go ahead, watch it – it’s one of the smartest and most healing things I’ve come across in a looooong time.

**You want recommendations? I have some! The new Mike Doughty is pretty freaking super. As is the new Florence & the Machine. Also, I discovered an Iron & Wine cd that I really really like (The Shepherd’s Dog). These things, liberally sprinkled with some Modest Mouse, have really eased things for me over the last two weeks.
***Yes, I’m a morning person. Don’t spread it around too much, or it’ll spoil my fanceh hipster facade.
†I’m betting that you have an inner critic like that too. I’m finding that most of the people I know do. What is  that?!
††At some point I really need to update to InDesign.

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