Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

My turn to whine!

If that smile can't make me smile, nothing can! I need a daily does of Keller Bug Juice to keep me going these days. Currently dealing with both Iron Deficient Anemia and B12 Deficient Anemia. Not only does it make you bone tired...a tired even sleep doesn't relieve, but the B12 thing is causing some mild depression. I'm sure it won't last. Needless to say, those close to me know I've had a very emotional season. The busy-ness of my art business and the shows can be exhausting enough. From July til now, the end of October, we've experienced my mom's illness and death and the mother/daughter issues I've dealt with since. Mom died nine days after my first grandbaby was born. What a roller-coaster week of emotions running back and forth several times a day between two hospitals. That was followed closely by having to take my aunt to chemo twice a week, and a five day a week regimen on chemo/radiation starting next week. She has no other relatives in Mobile. After my mom's death, I was diagnosed with a blocked nerve in my foot, arthritis in my hands and neck, high blood pressure and B12 deficient anemia and also had my iron increased cause it was no longer enough to keep my levels up. Oh, God forbid I forget about pelvic prolapse. What a pain in the ....everything! Soon thereafter, my daughter wrecked her car and I started keeping Baby Keller (which is my current favorite thing to do) after Jen went back to work. Somewhere in all that my dog got gastoenteritis. What a joy that was. All that over a four month period. I feel out of balance. I have always said "just take it as it comes" but I'm beginning to feel like I'm standing in front of one of those pitching machines and it's shooting basketballs in my direction! Stress took its toll on me. Insomnia keeps me in a sleep deficit. I've beem fighting off sick-bugs for weeks. I'm fighting back though. I mustered up all the stamina I could to do the last couple of art events and I'm not taking on any shows this fall. I'm gonna meet the commitments I've made and try to relax and get my health back up to par and paint and kiss that grandbaby girl and love my family and my dog-sons and try to enjoy the holidays.

Oh, I can put on a happy face and say hurrah! That's what everyone wants to see. People ask "Are you okay" and I say I'm fine or just tired. "Everybody's tired" or "it could be worse" they say. So, for the most part I just say "I'm fine." Fine. I'm good. If I elaborate, I'm afraid I'll just cry, for heaven's sakes. I don't like feeling like that and I'm not gonna unload on someone else. Everybody has their own things to deal with .

God will see me through this season of my life. Gosh, I'm glad there were a few years scattered in there between Katrina flooding our home and the sudden loss of my great aunt, who was the heartbeat of our family. That still brings tears to my eyes. And still a multitude of unmentioned chaotic uprisings. But hey! Life goes on and everybody has one. The happy times, the laughter, the knowing smile from my husband keeps me afloat amidst all the sadness and tiredness and physical pain. It'll be okay.

While waiting on my aunt while she was in chemo a couple of months ago, a kind woman told me I looked tired. She asked if I was a caregiver. She said "Love your neighbor as yourself" means a lot. The "as yourself" part is what people miss. Take care of yourself first, she said. You're of little use to others if you don't. Timely wisdom.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pondering . . .

It's "Boo" Season! It's also time for fall art shows!

Shrimp Festival is coming up October 8-11 in Gulf Shores. Grand Festival is the following weekend in Fairhope. Hope to see ya'll there.

I'm looking forward to the fall/winter months after these shows are over to not only prepare for the holidays but to ponder which direction to go with my art-venture. I need to focus on one medium: watercolor, acrylics or oil. I love watercolor. It's the most relaxing of all for me to work with. I love the bright colors of acrylics and the beauty of oils too. But I feel like I'm all over the place. I equally sell each medium but some are more time consuming and cumbersome than others. Watercolors require framing, matting, glass and caution while loading/unloading for shows. Oils take forever to dry and acrylics and oils are both messy mediums and end up on my clothes and everywhere else during the painting process. I'm also considering limiting the outsources I work with. It is exhausting going all over town changing out work and keeping up with the paperwork records of where everything is located. I know I need to become more involved with the art associations I'm affiliated with but for now, my time is not my own. I made the decision two years ago not to allow the art aspect to push aside "life" and not to over schedule myself as long as my daughter was still in high school. I also have a new grand baby to spoil. I hear all the time "if you aren't visible, people forget about you." I watch fellow artist friends stretching themselves thin and well, if it made me "thin" I'd be beating the pavement! Wouldn't we all! Seriously, I remind myself that I didn't begin doing the shows for recognition and fame, but as an outlet to sell and pass along paintings that were lining the walls. The hobby turned into a business and the shows became back to back and the race was suddenly on. Then my mom became ill and I lost my momentum. And the art world kept revolving all around me. Because of lack of time to paint, I've found myself throwing together pieces that don't bring me as much joy to reveal and, knowing I am my worse critic, feels substandard because I know what I am capable of doing. It's only with the acrylics that I feel that way. Maybe because I feel fine detail is expected of/from me because of my watercolors. Hmmmmmm... Have I solved my dilemma by having a conversation with the keyboard? Perhaps. I can focus on watercolors and do the occasional acrylic or oil when inspiration for a fun, fabulous piece tickles my fancy. We'll see what the future brings. I need to build a cohesive body of work for next year. My biggest job, and the most rewarding, is still being a mom and a wife and keeping a peaceful home. During the often frantic pace of being an artist, I miss keeping house, cooking, working in the garden and just being me. The peacefulness is what I miss the most because preparing for art shows causes chaos all over my home because my studio is too small to do it all simultaneously. First things first....clean my studio so I can focus. Time is on my side this season.....I hope.