Slowing Down

{Peter Harrison Asleep. A watercolour by John Singer Sargent. 1905}

If last week was a blur, this week has been a delicious slowing down. 

I'm lying in bed with my laptop on my knees.  A bird is singing merrily in the garden, enjoying a late afternoon splash in the birdbath.  

I haven't had a day off in three weeks.  I worked every weekday and every weekend, from dawn until dusk, hunched over my studio table, paintbrush in hand.  By the time I'd finished the project, my hands were so stiff I had to practically pry my fingers off the brush. 

This one deadline may have passed, but there are still a few more fast approaching on the horizon.  I spent the morning making a schedule for myself.  A gentle schedule. A schedule sprinkled generously with down time. 

I resolve, going forwards, to honour weekends; to take at least one day off each week.

You don't realize how important it is, until you're deprived of the luxury.  The worst isn't even the physical fatigue, but the mental burnout. It's absolutely impossible to generate original, interesting ideas when your brain feels like mush!

I also want to get back into doing other things, like playing the piano, dancing and reading all your fantastic blogs.  New activities add so much richness and inspiration to life.  

So here's my quote for the week, because Eddie Cantor can say it way better than I can: 

Slow down and enjoy life.  It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast--you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

I going to spend this weekend curled up with a book, just like Peter Harrison did in 1905 (see above), dreaming of all the gorgeous illustrations I intend to paint in the coming months.

Do you have any special rituals or favourite things to do on your days off?  I'd love to hear from you!