There are only so many hours in a day, and as person who struggles with energy issues, there are only so many of those hours I can spend working. We all have our limits. How we deploy our time is not just a daily consideration, it is the means by which we craft our lives. What is life but the sum of each small part that makes up a day?
What time do we give to really engaging with other people? How much time do we have for our spiritual lives, for the natural world, for proper rest and sufficient exercise? What time are we lovingly pouring into food prep, study, ritual, prayer, writing, dreaming, creating? What duties do we have to family and workplace?
As I do not have an infinite supply of spoons (which have become a term for talking about energy levels amongst people who struggle with energy) I cannot do all the things. Some days I can’t do much at all, because I hurt too much. I make my life choices based on how I can get most benefit out of my time and energy, for myself, the causes I support and the people who have a use for what I do. Art is time consuming. If Tom’s work requires ten or twelve hours a day at the board – and sometimes it does – then those few remaining hours have to cover down time, inspiration, exercise and social life if he is to stay at all sane.
This leads me to the carpets. It may shock you to hear that in my flat, the floors and carpets are not always perfectly clean. Quite often there’s a muddle in the living room created by whatever I’m working on – a rag rug takes up a lot of room when in progress. Currently I’m turning strips from Wool Against Weapons into blankets. They occupy a lot of the floor because there is no other space for them to be in. I think there is more gain to the world from this than from daily cleaning. I also don’t write as much or as well without the mental spaces craft creates for me.
Some visitors handle this better than others. If we are expecting people, we will make sure the place is functional, I may even clean something important, or Tom will (the bathroom, usually). I’ll be more likely to make a cake than render the floor perfect, because I think the cake has a greater value. My other half is more likely to run out for biscuits, and cake, than to hoover. This is how we roll.
People who understand how we live and why, turn up into the cheerful chaos and enjoy being in the flow of creativity. That’s always lovely. One of us may be working. There may be wool all over the place, but the recognition that there is love, and good things being made, changes this into a comfortable sharing. People who ‘get it’ seem able to enjoy the space we have, chaotic though it is. Not in spite of how we are, but because of it.
I find it tough dealing with people who are critical. People for whom a recently cleaned floor with no bits of plant that followed us in from the last walk, is more important than how much book got written today. Putting the carpet before the creativity raises barriers. People who judge the dust on the shelves, not the songs we’ve been singing, from my point of view, miss out on the best we have to offer for the sake of the things we aren’t so good at. A life lived is messy, and frequently sheds things on the carpet.