Now that InkTober is over, I feel a bit out of sorts. I don’t have a daily prompt to look forward to, like I did for the entire month of October, nudging me down a particular path, whether with my thoughts or the topic to draw. I liked having that daily structure. Modifying the challenge for myself to focus on my mindfulness practice – as I set out to do on Day 1 – increased my enjoyment, even though some days it was harder to get into the flow of writing without my thoughts constantly wandering off topic. I suppose it did help me to practice mindfulness because I needed to bring my thoughts back to what I had chosen to write about and stay with it to finish a coherent piece.
I also realized during the InkTober challenge that I’m not sure what my preferred drawing style or techniques are and that showed in what I produced. Although I managed to surprise myself on some days with my drawings, I had to stretch my artistic abilities. After some thought, what I’ve decided to do now to maintain a daily creative practice, instead of doodling or drawing or writing poetry when the mood hits me, is select one of the many creative books I’ve been stockpiling and work through it as if taking a course. I may not post my progress every day because I learned how tiring it could be, mentally and physically, to push myself to complete a daily challenge. However, even if I don’t post about it I will be occupying myself with something to improve my creative skills and to ward off boredom.
I also need to get back to where I left off writing about all my medical treatments and misadventures. I obviously haven’t written about that part of my world for a while, but there are still things happening that I hope might be helpful to others living with issues like mine. I’ve had a new medication added to my pain management cocktail and I have two important additions to my treatment plan coming up, which I’m counting on to deliver some changes to my health, but if they don’t maybe someone reading about them will benefit from them. The first addition is a six-week mindfulness and yoga-based chronic pain management course called iRest. The course starts next week and my therapist referred me to it. The second is a more invasive procedure that will happen under my pain specialist’s supervision at the hospital in the day/ambulatory surgery clinic.
I no longer have daily prompts, but I will have lots to keep me busy. With all the upcoming activity, I have to remind myself of the most important take-away I learned from InkTober: that even though some of it might be fun, I don’t have to finish everything at once.