Burn-out or Waking Up!

Almost double iceland Poppy

This beautiful Iceland Poppy greeted me yesterday as I strolled through the garden - morning coffee in hand and wrapped in a blanket to keep the rain drops at bay.

The explosion of pollen heavy stamens and half formed petals looks exactly like my mind has been feeling lately.

And I can't really explain to you exactly what that means. What I do know is that ever since I returned from my visit with my sister where I was completely shut off from the internet and phone and TV, I have been wanting to retreat into media/internet free space most of the time!

Instead of feeling like I had been "missing out" when I returned home, I actually felt more like I didn't want to return - at least not now!

My first thought - panic - Pamela you have hit burnout! Three and a half years of non-stop blogging and you have burnt out your brain!

Looking over the posts already planned for the next couple months - no passion! All I really want to do is work on a growing pile of personal projects WIP's and wannabe WIP's - projects that have been shunted aside in favor of projects for the blog - for over three years.

OMG - have I lost my passion for blogging? Is it all over?

Iceland poppy

Then three things happened.

First - I became aware that I am not alone - apparently many people I know in internet space are going through similar "stuff". You very well may be one of them.

Hummmmm..... perhaps the planets are in a bad mood - OR they may be in a fortuitous alignment pushing us into introspection and asking us to question where we are at the moment and where we want to go. So many of us seem to be in this mode.

Second, my friend Teri sent me a lovely book - "Pencil Dancing: new ways to free your creative spirit" by Mari Messer. How in the world she knew I needed this book - especially now - I will never know. It is serving as a gentle reminder that nothing is lost or gone - the mind has not emptied or become barren. It simply needs rest.

And last, and most important, I realized that this lack of passion has an expiration date!

Snow globe - Father Christmas on a Goat

My mind, muse, creative center are all tingling with excitement with the ideas and plans I have already got in store for the Harvest Season and Christmas! I am very excited and enthused to get started on every one of them!

In fact - right in the midst of all this "down time" inspiration popped in to visit and I now know most of the countries I will be featuring in December.

So I am thinking what all this really means is this: beyond needing a rest, I am mostly passionate about Christmas!!! And I need to pay attention.

Not long ago, after taking Diane's most excellent Craft Blog Tune-up Class, I wrote this in my journal in an attempt to describe what I want my blog to be: "like sitting in a comfy chair, next to a crackling fire, drinking cinnamon laced coffee, nibbling biscotti, letting the mind drift into that place between dreaming and awake where the muses of creativity and inspiration dance."

Sounds like Christmas to me!!!

Painted Desert, Northern Arizona, USA

So........this is the deal! I am going to do something I often offer as good advice to my friends - some of you will no doubt smile - you know who you are!! I am taking some unstructured time!

I have erased every post planned for May and June! Gasp! (Except for "Supporting Free" of course!)

And I am going to muddle through the next couple months with no blog post plans whatsoever - totally unstructured! I have no clue what that is going to look like but then I suppose that is the point!!

It will be fun to see what develops. I hope it will be fun for you too!

Hi Pam from someone thats

Hi Pam from someone thats allways been in the "dark side" I think that you will feel free, impowered, and creative and ounce you experieced this you won't go back to structure and inside the lines.

Just so anyone who is

Just so anyone who is interested knows - what Heidi means by the "dark side" is that SHE is the person who taught me to color outside the lines! She is comfortable there- I had to learn!!

We all need some time off for

We all need some time off for ourselves periodically. I personally think it jump starts the creativity after a little break. We can only do so many things a day and I feel that we need to choose what is most important to us and not worry about the rest. I wonder if my family will notice if I decide to stop cooking and spend some more time in the craft room? lol

I love the description of

I love the description of what you want your blog to be- that is pure poetry! You painted an image with words that made me feel like I could just step into it- and your blog really is like that for me! I completely understand where you are coming from, and the need to just run with your muse for a little while. I have no doubt we will all enjoy the ride with you (and at your pace!) Cheers, Pam!

This -does- make me smile,

This -does- make me smile, Pam. :) But I'm sure you'll do more than fine and even appreciate the unstructured time! Just try it and see.

I recognized myself in the "down time". I too, am in a crucial moment in my life, where I have to decide what's next. I have many projects I want to start, but I Just need to decide which one is the most important and that I care the most for.

Much hugs to you! :) I'm sure you'll do more than fine with this decision. And I'm pleased that you are taking care of yourself!

I hear you Pam, As Sarah

I hear you Pam, As Sarah often tells me "my mojo just isn't happening" We create responsibilities for ourselves and suddenly we reach a point were we have little if any "me time". That's when you have to say what do I really want to do today? I know you will continue to inform and enlighten as but, you need time to breathe and we need time to absorb. Slowing it down a notch might be just what we all need.

Yay Pam! I'm glad that you

Yay Pam! I'm glad that you are doing something good for yourself! (And it sounds like I could stand to take Diane's tune-up class). Clear your mind and ENJOY some media free time.

There's lots of different

There's lots of different creative seasons - enjoy this time!! xoxo

I often find that I am tired

I often find that I am tired of being on the computer and just want to connect with real people. That is one thing I don't like about the internet. Even tho I have met some really lovely people via the internet, I have a strong need for the face to face contact... to look at a real person and talk to that person. And I frequently find I want to do something else besides look at a computer screen.

I know what you mean about

I know what you mean about that flower feeling like how your brain is lately! But these are so beautiful.

And my Love In the Mist came back from last year's gardener hacking, and it's growing better than ever! I'll send you a photo as soon as they pop out their little heads!!

I'm glad to see you taking

I'm glad to see you taking this advice that you've given me and others so many times Mom. This is just the next step in your creative journey, and just like your garden needs those quiet months between November and February, we all need to let things lie fallow once in a while. I totally agree that this is a pretty widespread sentiment in the community right now. At least we all have comrades-in-arms here!

At first i wanna tell you

At first i wanna tell you that i love your beautiful picts, love them of the bright colours and showing what you mean in the text.
well done!!!!!
i reconizes your story by myself and some other friends as well what you are discribing. Good choice you've made, we all need some time to go for us self.
to get inspired or to explore new ways.
I have made up my mind as well, i only will read articles when they are really inspiring, and of people that i really like,( like you;-D)
I found out that i needed the time to make my own art work and not following blogs for new ideas. (i'm not talking about your blog, your blog is the expection for me to read and to follow.!!!!)
So great and cool of you to choise for yourself!
Hope it's working well for you.
and... if not you always can change;-D
hey hope you find your inner crafting creativety soon back.
and love to hear and see how they find a way on here;-D

I just want to say I am

I just want to say I am inspired in some way each and every time I visit your blog so I am sure even an unplanned post will delight the soul. We all need a break now and then to recharge the batteries so to speak . Keep up the great work.

These images are so beautiful

These images are so beautiful Pam.You know I've been on a blog break for many good reasons and finally dipping my toe back in the water.
I'm happy to hear you had a lovely visit with your sis. I think unplugged time is good for the soul, helps us wake up our senses a bit.
And just so you know, to me, your blog is just what you described in Diane's "Tune-Up" class!
Nice to "see" you my friend, I clearly have a lot of catching up to do!

Good for you! I say go

Good for you! I say go wherever the spirit takes you. Besides, ideas never really go away, they evolve, change, expand... marinate. I often put planned projects aside for inspiration projects that I'm more interested in the moment they stike. I hold the "things I just didn't get to" until the right time of year rolls around again. More times than not the ideas I put on hold end up better than before. And the time I spent on "unstructured projects" is always rewarding! Can't wait to see what unfolds in your new found "free" time!