The last two years have been insane for me. I had two different surgeries and survived a blood clot in my leg that broke of and created multiple clots in my lungs. I saw my mom through a divorce, treatment for cervical cancer, a gallbladder attack that resulted in gallbladder removal surgery, and a kidney shunt. I lost my beloved cat Molly (while I was away in Arizona and was “there for her” at the end via Facetime, thank the universe for the technology we have today.)
All these things were (some continue to be) very stressful. For two years, I have filled as much of my time as I could with “fun” things like concerts, movies, going out, shopping, etc. Do, do, do. Go, go, go.
Part of this, is being an at-home full-time quilter and artist. I don’t get much socializing during the day, and I often do crave it at night. A lot of that though, has been “filler”. Filling time so I don’t feel the stress, sadness, anger, anxiety and fear. I think parts of me realized I was doing this, but I chose to ignore it. This has been evident in the myriad of ways I have found to avoid the studio during the day.
The final piece to this puzzle, is that by and large I am an introvert. This obviously has been a recipe for disaster. I have been creating less and less, despite trying to force myself to create. I have avoided writing, pretty much all together. I shouldn’t be surprised at all. I have been stretched thin, by circumstance and by decisions to make so many plans.
I forgot the important advice I’ve read so many time, in so many books and articles. Everyone needs to take time for themselves. Creatives I think, are especially sensitive to this. We put so much of ourselves into our work. If we have depleted ourselves, how much can we afford to give to our work?
I have a big project/opportunity starting in the next few weeks and I need to devote energy and time to that. I have a commitment, and while I don’t always stick to commitments I have made with myself, I rarely if ever, let someone else down I have committed to. So, this means I might be saying no more often. To myself, to my loved ones, and my friends.
I will still go to concerts, movies and out to dinner. But I will try and be more responsible about leaving at least a couple nights a week to start, that are free of obligations. I need to give myself that time to recharge and find inspiration for my work. Time to reflect on my goals and direction for my work. Time for the artist part of myself.