Thoughts I am thinking this morning: it struck me as - at early o'clock - I cheerily headed out with the dogs, then made their breakfasts and found time to give each of them a morning cuddle, that I do this 365 days a year. Without a second thought. Come what may from all other angles of life, whatever the demands of pre-work and school days, I get out of bed and I do this. I don't think about it (much), I just do it and enjoy it. Every day it is its own reward. I remember feeling this way on Katherinenhof where my aunt and I worked in the 80s, looking after a large number of Egyptian Arabian horses (her skill set, not mine; I just got lucky). Those early starts were hard core in the depth of a north German winter, but every time the horses looked up blinky-eyed, straw sticking out of their manes, as I switched on the barn lights, I was happy. It still works that way now but with dogs. And a bit less straw.
So what is it that inspires that commitment and dedication which, if applied to a creative endeavour, would make me super-productive?
There's my deep love for the animals concerned.
There's the constant feedback of affection from them.
These are nurturing acts and that's a big thing for me.
I'm wondering - given my frustration with myself around giving time to creative work and sticking with it - is there any way I can reproduce that for something without a pulse?
Reading that back it's pretty damn obvious - it's the maternal/nurturing instinct. Scientifically, I get a big old kick of oxytocin or whatever it is. In real terms, I love the dogs to pieces and love makes me feel good. Seeing them thrive physically and emotionally makes me happy to my core.
How do we transfer that? Can we love an activity the same way? Does it simply mean loving ourselves the same way?
I can see from these thoughts that I am capable of commitment and dedication and infinite follow through. I am not somehow 'broken' in that respect. Again with the positive feedback.
Of course this love and devotion also shows up in the way we parent and the way we nourish an intimate relationship, but it's clearer with the animals because so much of it is routine and repetition.
I have no answers yet, I'm just Stream O'Consciousness-ing about it. I'd love to know what you think. These days I'm really only blogging so I get to chat with you in the comments.