Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time and the Flying Girl, or You Are Here

Time and the Flying Girl, or You Are Here
Golden Fluid Acrylic

The inspiration for this was the prompt for Illustration Friday, Time. I didn't want to do what I felt, what I did, because the idea of this large, looming clock scared the heck out of me. And then, when I felt that jolt, I knew I had to. This was the issue I had to tackle. My first idea was the deadline of how much time I have to accomplish what I want, but I think it ended up being more than that.

Am I here? Right here? In this minute? In this day? In this life?

This is the place where I am, yet I spend so much of my time feeling like I have to chase a deadline, run after the fleeing opportunities, capture every spare moment and wring out of it what I can get.

I have been very anxious lately. I think it's from this idea that I have that I have to start making money very soon, before my kids start school full time. Also from the idea that I have to be productive every minute of the day.

So much of my creativity is geared, now, towards somehow making money with it, although I don't seem to be able to gather all the loose ends and set up my business. I am always not doing enough.

But I think I have to accept my life as it is, and accept the time I have. I've got limitations here, with my full time stay at home mom gig, that limit what I can do with my business. I'd like to make it a full time job, but I am not ready for a full time job. I need to take it step by step and start slow.

I think I need to accept that I can't do it all at the same time. I cannot paint every night, blog every day, (twice,) revise my novel during naptime, cook healthy meals, keep my kids happy and strong, figure out the business world, get all of my shop things set up, and still say healthy myself. There's just no room in my day for all this. And the things that end up getting short shrift are the things that are hard (like business, like revising) and the things that feel "indulgent" (like time to relax and eat healthily).

I also need to not put so much pressure on myself in my productivity, expecting every piece to be perfect and meaningful.

I'm still not sure where I can fit revising into my day. It should be nap time, but the kids are sleeping less and I can't seem to carve out the time. I feel so exhausted when they go to bed at night that the brain function is tough. Maybe I am making my excuses, though, and I can break through.

That's another thing I was thinking about this. This pushing through. If I give in to my exhaustion, I won't write. But if I push through the initial exhaustion, I may very well end up writing some great stuff. I know, it's happened before.

However, if my expectations, every time I sit down to do the work, are that I should come up with the breakthrough piece that will get me a writing contract, then it seems too momentous to tackle.

So I'm thinking, lower my expectations of myself. Recognize my time limits and what I can do within that time. Perhaps let go of writing/painting/blogging every day. And the work I show up for, let go of the expectation of brilliance. Just be, in that moment, THERE. Paint for painting. Write for writing. Work for the work, not for the future burdens of making a living.

If the intention is there... somehow I think showing up for the work will get me down that path. Brick by brick the road is constructed?

What are the bricks you want to lay down? What are the small steps that you think will get you to your goals? What work are you going to show up for today?


Genie Sea said...

Woman. Challenges notwithstanding. You are simply genius. I have such faith in you, and I know you can make it. Your talent sometimes leaves me speechless. :)

Sara Moriarty-delaFuente said...

These challenges that you speak of are daunting. I experience them daily, along with the guilt that accompanies. I agree that us mothers need to relax our self-expectations. In my morning pages I list two creative goals for the day. Nothing huge or monumental. Just enough to be able to say that I fed my creative spirit. I started with one goal, became comfortable, then bumped it up to two. I tried three and after a couple of days of "failure" I remembered that success was the point. Two creative goals each day is my sweet spot. Anything extra is icing on the cake!

Thanks for your honest perspective. I know it is silly but I sometimes feel alone and isolated in my conflict between mother and artist. Relating to your words has boosted my spirits!

marta said...

This was painful to read. The exhaustion! I know that exhaustion. It follows me everywhere. And those challenges--making the world for your children, keeping up a home, making art, maintaining your health... and these short phrases don't begin to capture it.

But keep creating. You keep creating and that is amazing and inspiring.

Querulous Squirrel said...

When I was much younger, I used to believe that every day had to represent a microcosm of my whole life. I was exhausted. Then I realized I could stretch it out to a week. Mondays for this, Wednesdays for that. Then, with work and children, it became this year this and that year that. With a little mixing up there on impulse for the fun of it. That has worked the best for me. Your gifts will not evaporate.

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