Sunday, March 21, 2010

Creativity Experiment, Day Five: Anxiety

Today's Tarot card in John Remy's creativity experiment is the Nine of Swords.

It isn't a happy card, in contrast to the nice day I've had. On the other hand, some of the less-than-positive aspects of the day's card have manifested themselves in my day precisely because I haven't been able to participate in today's installment of the experiment as fully as I would have liked.

And so, just a little reflection on how even a good day can hold anxiety and guilt:

It’s amazing, the things that make me anxious.

Today, it has been not having the time to get around to doing something really creative for today’s installment of John's creativity experiment.

It was a nice day, which I spent helping a friend move and and then, with my roommate, having guests for dinner. Still, all day long, chittering at the back of my mind was anxiety surrounding the possibility that I wouldn’t have the time or energy to properly fulfill the commitment I've made to participating in the experiment this week.

And sure enough, here I am at the end of the day, friend moved and guests on their way home, trying to think through some of the ideas that I thought about in considering the card of the day while I was guarding cars while they were being loaded to move Jen's belongings from her old place to her new apartment and while I was helping sort her yarn into storage bins once we got everything moved in at the new place.

I had some interesting thoughts and some interesting ideas about how to write about them, especially about the aspect of the Nine of Swords that touch on worrying and anxiety. Goodness knows, with my OCD, I've got plenty of first-hand expereience obsessing on things and working myself up into anxiety attacks over them. But none of the things I’ve tried to put together this evening around those ideas has worked out.

I probably shouldn’t feel badly about it at all. I fulfilled a commitment to a friend, I had fun during the day, and I’m tired enough that I’ll probably sleep very well tonight. But what I really feel, deep down, is that I’ve let myself down by not rising to the challenge of John’s experiment today, and that I’ve let the other participants down by not participating fully myself today.

I should feel relaxed after the nice day I’ve had, and instead I’m sitting here feeling that I could have and should have done better, and feeling guilty and anxious because I didn't.

Which is, perhaps appropriately enough, entirely in the spirit of the Nine of Swords.

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