It’s a gray, cloudy day in Los Angeles. Or at least in the part of Los Angeles I live. I rarely see clients on Fridays, which means I’m working from home and don’t have to dress remotely professional, lounging in ripped jeans and a t shirt with my hair in a ponytail.
My dog is lying down, whining at me from next to the couch (I can never bring myself to write in a more proper location, like a desk.). At first I think it’s the whine that means, I want to come cuddle with you while you work. Which I love.
Then I realize it means he wants to play because I haven’t taken him on his daily run yet and he has all this pent up energy. I try a bit of tug-of-war since the concept of fetch is still mostly foreign to him. It’s ends up being more of a workout for me than my 80 pound pure muscle puppy and I’m completely breaking all the dog training rules, but sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
It isn’t enough and the next thing you know he has the zoomies all up and down the driveway into the backyard and through the house. Now I’m cracking up. And now he’s (at least momentarily) exhausted himself and I can get back to accomplishing.
This is the life. Mostly. I suppose doing this while seated next to the ocean with something delicious to drink out of a coconut might take it up a notch. But overall, this is pretty much what I was going for when I decided to work for myself.
Yet, even living the life, I’m feeling uninspired. I could blame it on the gray, although I actually like the change. Still it’s softly whispering to me to crawl back into bed and only come out to watch Netflix or heat up leftover Thai food.
I have plenty of half written articles, poems, and stories I could work on, maybe even finish if I’m lucky. There are some projects I’ve been contracted to do, but they’re a bit mundane and I have plenty of time. I’m sitting amongst some still unpacked boxes and reflecting that this attitude is probably why they’re in this state. Still I make no move to lift a lid.
For a brief moment I contemplate writing something like, “7 Ways to Spire Yourself When Uninspired” but remember a vague pact I made with myself that I wouldn’t write another article with numbers in the title. So I scrap that idea but still pat myself on the back over what I think is an ingenious title.
Now my pup is curled up next to me on the couch with his head on my lap snoring and I think again, this is the life. Still, I wait for that inspirational lightning to strike and cause me to leap off this couch with my fist in the air to symbolize how that idea will change the world.
Then, my therapist voice pops into my head along the lines of the Nike phrase, “Just do it. Just do something, anything.” So I start with the most mindful thing I can think of, which is to record my current situation. This takes me out of my head and I'm then able to recognize this as an experience we all go through.
Even the most prolific geniuses to have ever walked this universe experience moments of “meh.”
In the past I would have done what a lot of people (particularly perfectionists) do when they feel uninspired: become more anxious going over and over the to-do lists, try a bunch of so-called motivational tips, and felt more distress when they didn't work. Instead I stopped judging myself, accepted it for what it is, and know that I’ll move on with my day.
I still need to unpack some boxes and will likely have to put on some dirty south, booty music to make it happen, but I’m also going to be okay with the fact that I don’t feel particularly enthused about that or anything. Inspiration will come along again when it’s ready, as it always does. I did manage to write this and I’m going to use parts of that title I came up with so perhaps I did experience a bit of inspiration after all.