‘How obtusely proud we are these days of being busy! Yet to be busy is actually to advertise one’s own enslavement.’ ROBERT DESSAIX

How ironic that ahead of one of the busiest ten days I’ve had since I went to Northern Ireland and the London Book Fair last year, I’ve been preparing to interview the writer of the above quote at Perth Festival Writers Week.

Robert will be speaking with me about his book The Pleasures of Leisure and how he believes many people would rather do anything than nothing. In other words, they’ve lost the capacity to enjoy idleness and leisure.

I can tell you now, that after Perth Festival wraps up, and after get through another three days at my arts job, I will want to do a whole lot of idling!

Let me give you the break down. I’ve been working at my arts job the past three days. From tomorrow, my schedule looks like this:

  • Chairing a PFWW event with Rachael Johns in Fremantle on Wednesday.
  • Collecting Lorena Carrington, illustrator of Vasilisa the Wise, at airport on Thursday.
  • On Friday, I’ll be taking Lorena to Fremantle for sight-seeing, followed by attending a Kate Forsyth PD session at the Fremantle Literature Centre so I can sell Vasilisa the Wise.
  • Chairing a PFWW event with Tess Woods at UWA on Saturday and hoping to catch a session or two for my own interest.
  • Attending Kate (and Lorena’s) events at UWA on Sunday before chairing a PFWW session with Robert Dessaix, before heading out to dinner to celebrate Vasilisa the Wise.

There’s a lot of driving involved, plus my husband is heading to Melbourne for work, I’m committed to going to the gym two mornings a week, and I’m going to have to make sure the kids (okay, young adults) get their dinners … so I’m sure I’ll have moments of exhaustion. And I’m not sure I’ll get a lot done on my Wildflower revisions although I’d like to fit that in as well.

But that’s OK.

I’ve got this.

I have.

Because, when you think about it, a lot of this “busy-ness” is actually leisure.

I’ll be in the company of friends.

Hanging out with the writing community.

Checking out my next ‘just because’ read.

Engaging in meaningful conversations.

Eating good food (and maybe probably even having that with wine).

And I’ve been preparing myself for the busy-not-leisure bits as part of my commitment to honing my direction this year. How? I’ve worked really hard at developing good self-care habits like eating well (and eating slowly), taking time to refocus and/or meditate when needed, and committing to an exercise regime.

Oh, and I also have a great audiobook to listen to on those long drives – Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown (it’s really making me think) – as well as a couple of Spotify playlists to match my mood.

It’s all good.

As I said on a make-up free Facebook Live this morning (trust me, that was a big step for me): “Sometimes, you just have to get on that rollercoaster and you take the ride and trust that you’re going to come off the ride just fine at the end. Maybe your heart’s going to be thumping a bit, maybe you’re going to be a bit sweaty and you need to have a lie down. But that’s OK. That’s what life is all about.”

[bctt tweet=”I’m not a fan of rollercoasters, but I do enjoy the ride that is life. ” username=”MoniqueMulligan”]

PS. Watch this space for a Writers Week wrap up.









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