Anyone who I talk to about the fact that I have been completely knocked out with the. worst. flu. ever. for the last two weeks laughs at me for being surprised. They reckon it’s the 6-year-project-ending-body-gives-in-to-get-the-toxins-out-totally-inevitable-flu.

After the hugeness of the Ngapartji Ngapartji wrap up combined with 6 months in Canberra, completing the doco, distributing 1500 memory baskets, then putting on the final event in London, I think there could be something in this theory!

Whatever it is, it’s now getting a bit annoying. And given it’s two thousand and zen and I can’t speed up getting well, I just have to be zen. Even though it’s thrown many planned meetings & interviews to date. Even though I have had a cotton wool head. Even though I couldn’t read or process anything. Even though I couldn’t party with a mate who was over from Alice (sorry k!) Even though I was only capable of watching the entire first season of glee (ok there was one upside to being in bed for 10 days).

Today is the first day that my brain seems to be working and ideas are starting to simmer again. Given the sicky context I have been thinking a lot about stress, adrenalin and capacity. Thinking about how hard I pushed myself for 6 years and how, although it was very rewarding and dynamic, it was also very stressful and I was rarely ever relaxed, even when on a break, during those 6 years. I always had a sense of weight and responsibility throughout the life of Ngapartji Ngapartji. For the project; it’s opportunities, funding, reputation, administration and for people working on it; their opportunities, well-being, income, ideas and needs.

I have always adhered to the anarcho adage ‘freedom with responsibility’ and in some ways it does feel like the more autonomous, risky, creative and experimental a project (the more free) then the higher the responsibility. The less traditional structures, the more work to create new ones. The newer the model, the less examples or paths to follow.

I want to continue to work like this, with high levels of creative risk and freedom, I don’t mind the responsibility, but I don’t want the weight of the stress/pressure. Is that possible? I am not sure, but ‘how do you do this for your whole life’ is a question that is creeping in to my interviews with and brain-picking of people.

Time out, good silly fun, travel, mates and play seem to be big parts of many people’s approach to keeping balanced and healthy (and thus more effective and dynamic on their projects).  So I am pretty excited to have the space for a bit of that over in euro summer – once I finally kick this flu. The fact that I am capable of writing a blog post probably demonstrates that I am on the mend. Phew.

Advertisements