You may have noticed that my Blogs have become somewhat infrequent recently. The truth is I have had to drag myself to the keyboard to write this one. Normally I bang one out in about 20 minutes, and have to restrict the frequency lest I overload you. Now I am having to work really hard to find my theme, and it feels a bit like pulling teeth. It feels like someone has extinguished my Creativity flame.
How come? I know exactly. I am stressed, probably more than I realise, by the ongoing illness of our beloved Cocker Spaniel, Rufus. He is like child number three to us, and he has been struggling with an immune system which as gone bananas for the last 6 weeks. He made good progress initially with steroids, then had a major relapse and was dangerously anaemic, and is now rebuilding very slowly. Because he can’t do his usual exercise he is not so hungry, so has lost weight and muscle, which makes him weaker. We are on 7 different medications and several new types of food, all of which are unsettling him, and unless we can find the right combination fairly soon we are worried that we may lose him. The Grim Reaper is lurking out there in the garden, and it is very stressful.
My wife and I are both exhausted (we have to tend to him at 2am and 5am) physically, and feel life is on hold. Meanwhile I have a training business to run, requiring my creativity cells to be working as usual. Which they are not. I have a simple role play exercise I need to develop for one client, which I’d normally have done in an hour. I’ve been struggling with it for over a week now. I guess it’s one of the few downsides of being self employed. You don’t get ill, and you work out your own solutions to your problems.
If I were coaching someone with this issue, one approach I’d take is to use Myers Briggs GRIP theory. I’d find out their MBTI profile, work out what their Dominant function is, and thus what their GRIP (stressed) profile is, and then coach them to regain their Dominant function again. In my case, Extraverted Intuition (externalised big picture thinking) becomes Introverted Sensing (inward sensitivity to detail). I become overwhelmed with minutiae, and get stuck unless I have all the detail at my fingertips. So I need to get myself back to my Dominant, which is to remind myself of the Big Picture.
Easier said than done, I’m finding. The equivalent of pulling your own tooth out (which I have never successfully done, but did try once as an experiment. It failed.)
Sorry, I think that’s all I have to say on the subject. The well has run dry. Creativity and Stress do not a happy couple make. I wonder how the current economic climate is depressing creativity levels across the globe?
I hope to be back in a more balanced frame of mind next time (all it would take would be for Rufus’ blood count to have gone up to 30 plus at his next vet’s visit). If so, I’ll think up a creative way of making it up to you that will astound you.
By the way, I just realised: isn’t today meant to be Black Monday or something – the most depressing day of the year? In which case this Blog can add to your personal gloom, and I have the perfect excuse for feeling this way. You mean I’m not alone? Oooh, I feel better already.
Thanks for listening.