For the past month, I’ve mentally felt as flat as a singular pancake. I’m not talking thick, fluffy, American style pancakes here, no no. I’m talking like a plan crepe on a plate. That’s not to say I’ve felt bad – crepes are great! It’s just that everything has felt a bit meh.
I’ve been trapped in a cycle of waking up, going to work, coming back and flopping on the sofa; with good reason too. I had an asthma attack in January that shook me about and is still lingering. Technically, I’m used to them – shout out to my fellow lifelong asthmatics! But this one happened so early on in the year, so away from my usual triggers of seasonal change or illness. Unfortunately, it did mean that I was out of action for a while. I had a week off work sick because of the asthma attack, another week working from home to battle the chest infection that followed, and if I’m honest, I’ve been feeling the effects of post-viral fatigue up until this week.
Whilst I’ve been curled up in my blanket coughing or lying on my sofa thinking “I should probably get up and actually do something”, life has been moving on. Out I come of my little medicated steroid and antibiotic bubble and suddenly I’ve got essays due for my Masters, a spare room to finish decorating, a staircase to renovate, a blog that hadn’t been touched in a month, washing piling up, cat adoption papers to fill out, and work emails coming out of my ears. I began falling head first into all these tasks; no longer ill enough to take a day off, but ill enough that I was constantly exhausted.
Then, my creative spark vanished. Amongst all of the busyness and juggling of different spinning plates, I hadn’t realised my cup was empty or my candle was out. I was just focusing on my tick list, tick tick tick-ing everyday until I got to the end point – “write a blog post”. Well, I drew a blank. I put my fingers to the keyboard and tried to type but there was nothing to say. All that came over me was a wave of distraction, brain fog, and urge to shut the laptop and lie down. And this is how it has been for the past few weeks.
However, I’ve started to notice the ache is back. You know the one? It’s like a small burning sensation in my stomach. A little burn that gets brighter and brighter everyday. A yearning for something that I haven’t done in a while. A feeling of ‘something is missing’. The ache to do something creative.
It’s taken me four weeks to ignite this feeling again, from seeing my candle was out to noticing the strike of the match. Right now, I’ve got my hand shielding the candle, trying to gently keep it burning. But it is alive. With a bullet journal spread here, a colouring page there, a read of a chapter every now and then, it’s no longer flickering. Whilst it might not be lighting a room right now, the spark is back.
I guess what I am trying to say is to check in with yourself every now and then. Even in your busiest moments, make sure to ask yourself “how full is my cup? Is my candle alight?”