I’ve been trying to clear out my podcast feed, starting by prioritising a handful of episodes to listen to each week. I started with a 4-year-old interview with Amanda Palmer (listen or read the transcript) on the now defunct Routines and Ruts podcast.

The upside of coming to this episode now, is that there were some nuggets of wisdom that align with the current focus of both my work and my personal projects. The downside was that I’d chosen to listen while out for a run, and every few minutes I felt the need to pause and make a note of something I’d heard.

What follows are some highlights and ideas that were sparked through listening to this conversation.

Our phones have turned us into Gollum

Amanda’s point is that because our phones have become a single place where the majority of daily life happens, it’s hard to create boundaries. A thought popped into my head, probably from the one device thing, that our relationship with our phones is similar to Gollum’s relationship with the ring - if we’re not careful, we lose sight of who we are and what is important to us, just like Sméagol did.

There is no pause button for creative minds

This is a really valuable reminder, something I’ve experienced in the freelance communities I’m in, especially with creative folk and knowledge workers. The urge to keep making things and putting them out into the world is strong. There’s a pull to keep going. A fear that if we stop, maybe we’ll never start again. However, when we allow ourselves to rest, what we’re actually doing is changing gear or switching modes, and creating space for more expansive thinking.

“Your internal combustion engines are always working on something and your experience is always being synthesised into whatever is going to come out in the tray at the end of the day, whether it’s a week from now or ten years from now.”

Rest is not a reward, we don’t have to earn it

That’s it. There are no wiser words I can add to that sentence.

Everything works in seasons

Sometimes our commitments (our work, our relationships, our hobbies even) require us to be constantly on, constantly active. Sometimes there are lulls or droughts. It can be easy to feel the need to push against that, but what would happen if we accept and work with the season we’re in?

“anything in general has these cycles that you just need to take in, respect, and work around, and then have enough understanding that you don’t stack them back to back to back.”