State of the Art: April 2020

It’s quite rough out there these days. I hope you all and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We’re doing fairly well in my rural neck of the New Hampshire woods, though some of us are getting a bit stir-crazy from staying home all the time. I have to admit, though I do miss seeing my friends and coworkers, I’m in introvert heaven right now. It’s so quiet and comfy at home, I’ve been playing Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley pretty much every day, and I have 24-7 access to my good-bad kitty Tribble! 

While all that is lovely and fun, I am getting to the point where I find myself wanting more structure to my days. I was talking with a friend about this, and I had said how I need to be more proactive in making a routine, how I gotta practice it regularly. Her response was this:

“Be gentle.

Less ‘need’ and ‘should’ and more ‘I would like to’, ‘it would be kind’, ‘I want to’ – we all have to be careful about how we punish ourselves without realizing it.”

I hadn’t thought about my words that way before, and I said as much. Using that “should” vocabulary colors the action in question with judgement – that if I don’t do the thing, then I’ve failed. I fall into that way of thinking all too often, and it leaves me feeling discouraged and with a severe lack of motivation.

I do think I would benefit from some kind of routine or schedule, but now I want to approach it with more gentleness. I would like to have a balance of staying on top of my goals while also being kind to myself; particularly during these anxious days we’re living in. I’m holding a lot of stress that I haven’t processed, and I want to be mindful of that. 

I hope you will be gentle with yourself during these strange and scary times.

Author: Katie McMahon

Katie is a comic artist and illustrator living in rural New Hampshire in a town mostly populated with elderly folks and roving gangs of sassy turkeys. She enjoys reading comics, playing board games and RPGs, drinking fair trade tea and coffee, discussing feminism and social justice, and cracking the best groan-worthy jokes the internet has to offer.

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