“Maybe it’s time to put new photos in the album inside of your head,” suggests one of the many life coaching books in my library. It sounds so obvious and simple but is really much more complex than it sounds.
I have many images of the past that are not so troubling, but my problem is the wealth of images of the day or days ahead. Legend has it that for Hitchcock the worst part of movie making was the actual making of the movie. It was boring to him because he had already so meticulously crafted the movie in his head and on paper, that the actual filming felt tedious and repetitive of the process of creating it in the planning process. I have a problem of that with living my days, sometimes. Meetings and phone calls and even written documents that I have already rehearsed, prepared, or thought out to the point that I can hardly experience them in the moment. I feel like the administrative or production assistant to the creator in chief of my life. Whoever that person is.
In numerous articles about Gloria Vanderbilt, I have read that she completely redesigns and refurnishes her Upper East Side home every few months, like a constantly changing Bergdorf-Goodmand display or stage set. I don’t quite have the Vanderbilt level of budget to do that to my home, but I try to swap out photos and the various collections I have a few times a year.
On my morning commute I heard a report about how a disturbing percentage of single men do not change their sheets more than four times a year and see nothing wrong with that. A somewhat bemused announcer said that the men admitted that it had a negative impact on their romantic encounters. I don’t change my sheets daily, but if I don’t change them at least a few times between weekly wash cycles, I get irritable.
The changing out of scenery has a huge impact on energy for me. Seeing or doing the same thing each day can be incredibly draining to me. It’s not necessarily about travel. In fact when I traveled up to 50% of the time I was beginning to feel I was in more of a routine of repetitiveness even if I was visiting several different cities each month. I started getting confused on which airport I was entering, and the all started looking the same.
Sometimes looking at the cycle of the sun around a stationary object can be more engaging and “alive” than constantly running. The journey may become more internal, but it goes deeper.