I stress out over my children and their needs. I worry about my husband and his travel schedule. I fret about my gallery and whether or not it's good enough or if it will make it through another year. I cringe every time I look at my dog hair covered floors. I am a bundle of nerves and knots, mostly self-induced. And I long for simplicity.
The other day I was, once again, fretting about how I was going to get everything in for the week. I wanted to spend some quality time with Kevin and the girls. I wanted to get 3 good crossfit workouts in. I wanted to work a little extra at the gallery. I wanted to spend more time at the girls' school. I wanted to start designing the poster for my art crawl coming up and begin the promotions. I wanted to do a blog post. I wanted to start a new painting series of 'The Stations of the Cross', which I promise myself I'll start every Easter.....for the last 5 years. I wanted. I wanted. I wanted. So I made a 'to do' list.
Oh, dear. As I read my list, the skin on my arms literally started to ache. How the heck?
Among all the things I felt I needed to do, I also had to paint 2 new project samples for classes that were coming up in the next few days. I dreaded it above all else. It was the last thing I wanted to do. A sad use of my time. A roadblock.
But, I figured......I'll get them out of the way first. Then I can conquer my list.
As I started to paint.....just putting a background color down to start......something happened to me. I began to relax.
As the 'faceless face' of my simple little angel came into view, I breathed a little slower. She wasn't breathtaking.....no magical, creative masterpiece.......but she calmed me down. And when I finished her and stood back, I smiled. And my skin stopped aching. So instead of moving on to the second project or to my enormous list of things to do.....I decided to paint a second sample for the same class.
During the second angel, I turned on the radio and caught myself singing along with whatever was on. I was enjoying myself. I was very much having a lovely time with my simple, little angel. And I realized that in the hustle and bustle of my life......and the crazy list of things I decide must get done before I can relax......I haven't been enjoying myself. Even when I paint.....I'm painting to sell. I'm painting a class project. I'm painting what I think I should. And, I dread it.
It shouldn't be like this. Painting should be my outlet....like it used to be! It's supposed to be the one thing that helps me get away from it all. Something fun I do with my kids to connect us together. But, it has become a job and another item on my to-do list to just check off.
A little girl had her birthday party at the gallery today. She asked if we could teach her to paint 2 hummingbirds looking at each other....blue and pink.....on top of a purple flower, if that 'wasn't too much to ask'.
So, I painted her sample. And, again, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. It's not something I would generally paint and I had to break from my 'list' to do it.....but I loved doing it.
And, her mother sent a lovely thank you this afternoon for the party, the painting and my wonderful instructor who taught it.
Funny...... the enjoyment a simple little painting can bring.
I suppose everyone has that one thing that calms you down. Going for a walk. Reading a book. Jogging. Coffee with friends. And, it's so easy to forget to do those things just for shear enjoyment. Life is crazy for just about everyone I know. Let's not forget to slow down and do what fills our tanks back up. The list will be there tomorrow. Take care of yourself so you can tackle that list without wanted to slam your head against the wall.
And if you feel the need to learn how to paint a 'simple angel' or 2 hummingbirds kissing on a flower (you can even pick your colors!).......give me a call and we'll decompress together!