“How lost do you have to be to forget which day it is?”
— Judith Shulevitz, The Sabbath World

Disappearing into the distance, into the fog.  Skagit Valley in October.

Disappearing into the distance, into the fog. Skagit Valley in October.

The other day as my husband walked out the door to start his day, I reminded him that we would not have a DVD movie to watch that evening.  But instead he could watch Monday night football.  He gave me a quizzical look and said, “It’s not Monday.  It’s Saturday.”

Oh, my.

This is the life I grapple with.  My library job, like so many in the retail and service sectors, is a seven-day-a-week affair.  That means I work every other weekend and have my days off sprinkled across a work schedule that repeats every 14 days. It’s an irregular, fragmented life, and I just can’t seem to get into a smooth rhythm.

Is it any wonder that I’m feeling discombobulated?  I can see this is truly not just my own private issue, but a public one.  “Shift work, it is now clear, disrupts circadian rhythms, fosters insomnia, and induces inattentiveness, memory loss, and depression, especially when the shifts are irregular.”  (Judith Shulevitz, The Sabbath World)

One of the biggest challenges presented by my personal time patterns is sustaining any momentum with my painting.  I am doing a pretty good job making painting a top priority on my days off work, but those days occur so irregularly.  It’s frustrating, but I do the best I can for now.

“The abnormal effort necessary to produce a true piece of work is not an effort that can be diverted or divided.”
– Jeanette Winterson, Art [Objects]:  Essays in Ecstasy and Effrontery

“. . . haste is the enemy of art.  Art, in its making and in its enjoying, demands long tracts of time.” (ibid.)

“With a moment snatched here and there, it’s hard to achieve that feeling of being in the swing of something, the self-forgetfulness that psychologists call flow.”
— Judith Shulevitz, The Sabbath World

I know I am in good company with my struggles.  Mason Curry’s book, Daily Rituals:  How Artists Work explores how artists make time each day to be creative and how some earn a living while making art.  One of the blogs I follow, Gwarlingo, posted an excellent review of this book here.  It’s worth a look.