Procrastination

Frightened of buttonholes.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m frightened of doing the buttonholes on the shirt I am making.

They are kind of irreversible.

Once the fabric is cut (which you do as you start making them) then there is no going back.

It feels like I could really stuff this up.

What if I get it wrong and all the hours of sewing this shirt are for nothing?

Ah, that’s interesting.

I’m worried about the outcome…which is the opposite of how I approach making a shirt.

When I make a shirt I’m most interested in the process. I encourage myself to let go of the time it takes me to do make it and how the shirt will look in the end…and just do this step, now.

I find making shirts such an interesting metaphor for my life. I avoid getting things wrong, which means I find finishing things I really care about can be difficult. It’s ok to get things wrong.

Ok, it’s time to make the buttonholes. 

If they don’t work, they don’t work.

At least I will be moving forwards.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,281

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I am blah.

I am blah. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I am blah. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am blah.

It’s not a very nice way to be.

Nor is it a disaster.

It’s just a bit in between.

Blah is a nowhere land.

It's not any of the strong emotions that I have clear names for.

It’s like a version of life jetlag.

Something about the rhythm of life feels out of sync.

And I just find myself…blah.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,276

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Resolution.

Resolution. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Resolution. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I just want everything resolved without doing any of the work.

Is that too much to ask?

Love

Luke

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Day 1,196

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An unhelpful conversation.

An unhelpful conversation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

An unhelpful conversation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m having a bit of an unhelpful conversation with myself at the moment.

Stopping myself from doing things because of how it might look to other people.

I have this habit of knowing what I want and then standing on the edge of it and not taking the action that needs to be taken to make it happen.

Letting all kinds of small logistical problems get in the way of me doing the thing I want to do.

I could really do without that kind of stagnation.

Is it a fear of doing something publicly that might not be quite right?

Of changing direction in public? Of having to explain myself to others?

I’m not sure.

But I would dearly love this unhealthy conversation to stop.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,191

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Do the thing.

1153_dothething_2500_030219.jpg

Dear Self,

I woke up this morning and decided to do something different.

For a long time now, I have been frustrated with how much money I spend at supermarkets that are part of massive, ethically dubious companies.

I promise myself that I will try an alternative, but I always find myself back in the capital S ‘Supermarkets’.

Why?

When I really think about this I don’t like the answer I get.

The truth is that I like how calm and ordered they are. I like how, most of the time, I don’t really have to talk to anyone. I like how few choices I have to make.

On visits to Preston Markets, which is the kind of place I would rather imagine myself shopping, I have felt overwhelmed. How do I know who to buy cauliflower from? I mean there are at least 7 different shops selling it, how would I pick? And the people, so many people awkwardly moving past each other and getting in each other’s way. And then the conversations with the deli staff I have to have to get my filo pastry…

I have found myself deeply resistant to engaging with all these things. And that really sucks. Because I know I want to spend my money and my time in a place like the Preston Markets.

Last night, at Campfire, I set an intention for myself, something special I wanted to happen for all of us as a result of being together. I decided I wanted to welcome everyone, to remind them that they belong, but more than that…I wanted to invite everyone to welcome each other. To reach a little beyond what they might otherwise have done and help someone else feel welcomed by connecting with them in some way.

This seemed to really work. I watched that little barrier that we can put up at times get lowered. I saw people taking care of each other simply by connecting.

At the end of Campfire someone came and spoke to me and told me how excited they were that someone else had shared some of their paintings…they told me that it reminded them of a thing they always did with their sister, how they wanted to do that thing…and also how they used to play an instrument and how they felt inspired to pick it up again. We chatted about that space between the thing we want and doing the thing we want. The little habits we have that get in the way. And how in the end you just have to ‘do the thing!’.

And so, this morning when I was about to head to the ‘Supermarket’ I decided to do the thing. To go to the Preston Markets and grab the couple of things I needed. Even though it was more complex than the alternative, it was the thing I wanted. So, the complexity was worth it.

On the way there I had a thought. What if I approached this in the same way I would encourage someone to perform at Campfire? What would that look like?

For me that would mean I would lower the bar.

I decided I didn’t have to actually shop at the markets. I would just go there and get to know the place a bit better. Have a walk around and understand how it all worked.

I have to say this went very, very well.

I arrived and found that on a Sunday morning it is all reasonably calm.

I walked around and found not as many of the fruit and veg shops were open.

I walked through all of the ones that were and got a feel for the different places. They are all quite different in their tone, they seem to specialise in a particular thing.

I checked out the price of cauliflower at all of them.

Then I went and found a deli I had been to once before, walked past and got a feel for if I liked the look of it.

Then I went and did some shopping. I bought more than I thought I would (but not too much), even found a bakery for some bread. At the end of it all there were a couple of things I couldn’t find – so I went to the Supermarket and got them.

As a result, I spent 90% of my money at small businesses. That’s the thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

When I went into the big S to get the last of the things I realised that these places have been cleverly designed to wean me off interacting with staff, designed to make it easier and easier to grab things I don't really need.

Which is why I had to really consciously choose another path. One that feels better on all levels…but that takes a little effort and even a little discomfort.

Maybe some of the people at Campfire last night had this little moment when I invited them to welcome each other, I imagine someone did. Because we have been trained, largely by our choice to use social media in the way we do, to avoid actual contact with people.

I hope that what it looked like happened is actually what happened. That welcoming each other opened the door for each of the people at Campfire to feel welcomed.

Because then everyone who decided to come along, even though there were a million reasons why ‘staying at home’ was easier, did the thing.

And when I did the thing…it felt great. So, maybe, doing the thing felt great for them too.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,153

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I love the rhythm of my life.

I love the rhythm of my life. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I love the rhythm of my life. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The thing about holidays is that the rhythm of my life goes all haywire.

It seems like it is ideal.

Freedom!

I can do what I want, sleep when I want, watch movies when I want, exercise when I want, eat when I want…

And that all sounds perfect, except it does not suit my constitution.

I am a creative soul who is incredibly nurtured by rhythms and structures.

I love deciding, in advance, what is important to me and then structuring my time to reflect that.

The decisions about what I will be doing when are then taken care of.

Time away from such a schedule is great, for a moment, but I tend to let go of the fundamental things that keep me balanced. Movement, writing this letter early each day, eating my meals at regular times, getting enough sleep…

Maybe I need to build a holiday rhythm? So that way I can have time away from the everyday but not lose the fundamentals?

Also, it’s nice to have a break every now and then, but the everyday is not a punishment I need to escape.

It is comforting to know that I love the rhythm of my life.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,143


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Whatever I want.

Whatever I want. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Whatever I want. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I can do whatever I want today.

Like every day, I guess.

But today, I can see that choice clearly.

And I really hope I use that freedom wisely.

I hope I do something good for the world with the time I have today.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,074

16/11/18

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Strange spaces.

Strange spaces. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Strange spaces. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Strange spaces.

In between spaces.

Neither place spaces.

Not resting, not inventing, not creating or recuperating.

I don’t know what I’m doing next spaces.

The tide is out places.

In between spaces.

Strange spaces.

Love

Luke.

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Day 1,055

Move!

Move. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Move. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I want to get back to the gym.

I want to move, sweat, lift.

I want to feel the pressure of lifting heavy things.

The habit has slipped through my fingers…busyness, a few colds, schedule changes…and it is gone.

It is so weird. It feels like I never had it. Have never been fit. It feels like I have no idea how to enjoy being fit.

Which isn’t true.

I know that it makes me feel good.

I know that it helps me solve problems.

I know that it puts ‘big problems’ into perspective.

So, today…I move.

Love

Luke.

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Day 974

Not doing the thing I want to do.

Not doing the thing I want to do. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Not doing the thing I want to do. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

There is some stuff I am not getting done.

I’m a bit frustrated with myself…but I don’t know if this is reasonable.

I can’t quite tell if I am procrastinating or if I am just genuinely busy and can’t keep up with everything or if I am just choosing to do things that refill the well instead of always attacking the next thing on the ever-expanding list I have.

I know the problem.

I still haven’t written the ultimate list of all the things I want to do to get my creative projects up to speed.

Until I write that list I can’t see what I want to do and so I can’t really choose what order to do it.

  1. I wonder how long I’m going to keep not doing the thing I want to do?

I wonder.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 957

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Buying some stamp money is a way to say thanks. A way to show your love and appreciation for the things I make and share.

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