Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Zero Days & Nearo Days

I've been doing a lot of hiking over the last couple of years. Often I am in the company of a good friend who is training for an Appalachian Trail hike, & who introduced me to the concept of Zero Days. 

In distance hiking, Zero Days are not a bad thing - they are resupply days, or days when you just give your body a rest. In my daily life, occasionally I will have a day when I just can't. Can't anything. On those days I just lay around reading, or streaming a show. As any self-employed artist knows, we can't afford many nonproductive days, & I used to hate myself for them; but understanding them in the context of a thru-hiker, I see those days differently. Sometimes you need that break. 

And, as I have come to realize, my days are never truly zero days; more like near zero. Nearo Days. Yesterday was one such day: supposed to be a teaching day, but 14" of snow said otherwise. Bonus studio day, right? NOPE. I spent no time in the studio, despite having leatherhard mugs that need handles & a jaunty jar that needs assembling. I just...couldn't. Things I did do: sent out invoices for the Maine Pottery Tour, & worked on updating the mailing list & the spreadsheet. Also shoveled a boatload of snow! So my zero days are not (usually) sit-around-eating-bon-bon days; it's my creative muscle that needs a rest. 

I do, on much rarer occasions, have literal zero days; unless "make coffee" and "keep breathing" count as accomplishments. I have learned to forgive myself for these days; maybe they aren't manifestations of laziness, but instead my brain insisting on a needed break. 

Today will be a teaching day, & tomorrow is looking like another snow day. Looks like were making up for the first, snowless month of winter, all in a week's time. 

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