Lately it seems like I’m in a down, or re-charging phase of my life. I first noticed it with my blogging–the ideas weren’t coming as quickly for me, and even once I chose a topic, it took longer to write/execute the ideas that I did choose to write about.
In the past, this used to freak me out–it made me feel that I was being lazy, or getting old or something. But now I’m beginning to accept that it’s a natural part of growing as a person.
Farmers for centuries have left fields lie fallow (meaning not putting seeds in the ground) to restore the fertility of a certain fields or plot of land. I love that ‘restore fertility’ idea! I think that’s what’s happening for me now–I’m having a slow, down time to restore the fertility of my brain 😉
So, that’s one part of it–acknowledging that I’m having this down period. The other part is how do I react to it. Do I just shut it down, and tell folks I’m not mentally open for business? Generally, no…I think the opposite of that is needed to work through the process. That means that I need to stay busy, keep that weekly planning schedule going, and this will help me stay productive during this ‘fallow’ period. Hopefully it will also help me get through it quicker.
I remember this great idea from Bono–when he was in school, one of the teachers talked about an artists ‘writers block’ (where the artist was unable to write). Bono’s reaction was ‘why doesn’t he write about THAT–the writers block?’
And that’s a wonderfully interesting idea, and not just for writers. It could be for any artist, teacher…any occupation. It’s basically the act of acknowledging that you’re in a ‘fallow’ period, and then working your way out of it. The writer uses writing to work themselves out of it, the musician uses music, etc., etc.
Whatever your craft is (accounting, teaching high school English, building cabinets, etc.), the idea is to work on THAT to get yourself out of a down/fallow period. Even if (especially if) you feel like you’re grinding, work on your craft to get yourself past a down period.
So, that’s what I’m working on right now–making a bigger effort on my music skills to get myself through this ‘down’ time.
What techniques have you used, or seen others use to get through a ‘fallow’ period in life?