I try to always stay positive, to look at life through the lens of possibility rather than frustration or failure. It’s a conscious thing, one I have to maintain daily since my inherent nature appears to be one of perpetual striving and worry.
For the last few years I’ve been struggling with what kind of mother, wife, artist, employee … PERSON I want to be. I’ve set up lists and calendars to manage all of my various goals, from financial to educational to physical to emotional, etc. I have had meditation scheduled, household chores, calorie intake, writing time … all of it, on a calendar, at one point or another.
This system is effective. Writing down your goals and making plans works for me, I have achieved a ton professionally in the last year and I have diligently maintained some semblance of regular exercise, dietary restriction and overall moderation.
All of my schedules leave no room for me, the me that just wants to make things, take naps and enjoy the day. I have been so busy trying to determine and achieve what I think I should be that I have not stopped effectively to think about what I want to be.
This all broke down for me last weekend. Due to a series of personal events I took a good hard look at my life and made some solid decisions about what I want to strengthen and what I want to give up. I can do a little bit of everything, but every minute I spend on something is a minute I’m taking away from something else.
I push too hard and I’m cracking under the pressure.
I need to simplify, to streamline.
The first step in streamlining is the art shows. I sorta like doing shows, they are lucrative and I get to meet all kinds of wonky wonderful people – but they also take up a HUGE amount of time for preparation, travel, etc. It’s just not in the cards for this summer. Maybe next year.
The next step is inventory. Managing a huge print inventory is also time consuming and something that I ONLY do for profit. I derive no joy or inspiration from that, it’s a sales job and it’s not worth it to me to maintain. I’ll be selling off my current print inventory and then issuing prints in a very limited and very different fashion, maintaining little to no inventory.
Beyond those two things, I don’t know. I’m creating constantly, and I won’t give that up, but I also have to balance the rest of my life. This has been a good, if painful, lesson for me. I wonder how old I will be when I get this life thing figured out.