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May 17, 2019

What to Do When You’re UN-Inspired

I’m fortunate to report to a spiritual action partner on Fridays. Today in our texted exchange I wrote that I haven’t blogged in several days and wasn’t feeling inspired lately. I’d had a great rush of activity, notice and praise around the publication of my memoir over the past two weeks. But for two days now, there’s been relatively little adrenaline flowing.

“Write about that,” she urged.

Okey-dokey I less enthusiastically responded. Here goes:

Similar to any post-partum experience, after tremendous ex-ertion there’s an equal or greater de-sertion of our vitality and spirit. I’m sure there’s a bell curve somewhere depicting this flow and its predictability. Even though I could guess it would come and recognized its arrival, I always forget how to handle it.

I’m so good at to-do’s that when my list grows short, I’m at a loss. I’ve written my thank you’s, created my sales spreadsheets and sent out invoices for copies sold. I have three more good-sized presentations, but I’m already looking ahead to blank pages on my calendar where book activities have filled non-coaching time slots. They are very white and uninterrupted.

Did you see the Joan Rivers documentary, A Piece of Work? I’ll never forget her holding up her datebook with its empty squares and saying, “This is fear!”

With great wisdom, my spiritual guides advised me to allow myself time to recoup, play (what?!), have fun, do something for myself. Anyone relating to this conundrum?

I’d gotten a great podcast recommendation–Beautiful Writers with Linda Silvertsen–from my friend and colleague Kim DeYoung. I recently listened to their interview with Candice Bergen. It prompted me to reserve her memoir, A Fine Romance, from the NYPublic Library. After consuming that, I ordered the first season of Murphy Brown which somehow I missed.

When my wise guides told me to chill and have fun, I followed their instructions and lay on my couch yesterday watching the first four episodes of that iconic show. Murphy, described as “sharp-tongued and hard as nails” when it debuted in 1988, seemed only slightly impolite given the characters who’ve been created in the following decades. I enjoyed each episode and will watch the first season in its entirety.

I also listened to Terry Gross’s Fresh Air interview with Howard Stern, a long-time hero of mine (yes, it’s true, and it was great to hear how tamed he’s become!). I’ll order his new memoir Howard Stern Comes Again on Audible so I can hear his voice read it. I wrote this and then checked. There is no audio version. 🙁

I’m following my advisors’ good orderly direction hoping to get so lost in the joy of listening, watching and getting away from my computer that I will be delightfully surprised by an offer that comes when I’m not looking. And if not, then I’m still having fun and taking my mind off my work. Always a good idea.

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  1. Rosalea

    Good for you. Having fun is really fun.

    • Jane Pollak

      @Rosalea Well said, my friend!

  2. tom cotton

    Love this post, Jane, and my advice would be to reach for creative stimulus and rejuvenation way outside your practice area–when I’m in this place, I go to museums or galleries, and drink from a different well…that ALWAYS refreshes my creative spirit and inspires me in ways I’d never anticipate if I just tried to be inspired “close it”…xo

    • Jane Pollak

      @Tom Great advice, Tom, as always. I’ve got the Leonard Cohen show at the Jewish Museum on my calendar, planning to visit Hudson Yards and climb The Vessel, and just walked through Fort Tryon Park on a gorgeous May night. I feel better already. xo

  3. Michelle Hazlewood

    You may chuckle with me as I read your first paragraph. I saw that you texted you hadn’t “Jogged” in a while! I thought, “Me too!” as I am recovering from a knee injury as upbeat as possible. As far as feeling uninspired, I have to create my own inspiration most of the time similar to choosing happiness. With this gypsea (not a typo) course I am on, I get 99 “nos” or things that end up falling through to every 1 that happens as I’d hoped or better. So it boils down to the thoughts I allow to take up real estate in my mind and the actions I allow to occupy my time. Delighted to hear you have allowed yourself some fun in various ways. Not only will that help bring you back to a place of inspiration, it contributes to your life balance as well! Thanks for sharing your downs and well as your ups since this also assists in inspiring others as you so magnificently do! <3

    • Jane Pollak

      @Michelle So well said! I particularly enjoyed your gypsea reference. I’m inspired by YOUR fortitude. Thanks for your comments.


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