(some squirrely cuteness for you)
I am realizing that I have a tendency to do things quickly when my life gets chaotic. I tend to cut corners when ever I can, even if it sacrifices quality, just to get it done. I find myself leaning towards things that offer me immediacy, efficacy, and minimal effort right now. It wasnt always this way, but I think Motherhood has really sucked the patience and focus out of every other facet of my life to stockpile for constant toddler antics, and now with my dear husband back to work for the school year, I am overwhelmed with responsibility and demands.
In my life right now, I find that I will watch a TV show instead of read a book, make a meal with partially pre-made products over completely from scratch, and text instead a phone conversation. I hate being this way, but its the only way I find that I can cope with my schedule right now. When I have phases like this often my frazzled attitude and behavior will bleed into my artwork time and inevitably disaster always strikes me. This is what this week has been like for me. I should know better by now, that things will just end up going badly while I am feeling scattered and drained, but I push myself to meet my self-inflicted goals for the week (as far as producing work for the fall craft shows). That's what happened all week long. I'd be working away on something almost about to finish and "BAM!" I'd notice something I messed up or forgot to do, etc and some un-premeditated expletive would explode from my mouth. I couldnt help it, I was so often frustrated by how difficult it was becoming to finish anything well this week, while home alone with my son, and it just became one long string of "Oh Sh*@t!" moments. It was incredible and annoying and humbling all at once.
A Few Stories From My Week
I started working on the journal necklaces I needed for the shows. I wanted to make 30 and spent an entire day printing the images, altering the photos, attaching them to backing, cutting them out, cutting sanding and staining the wood, attaching the images to the wood, and then covering with resin glaze. It was a ton of work. Finally. the covers were all there on my work desk done and almost dry, when I hear "Mama?...Wow!" and then a smack. I turn around to see my beautiful son with at least 10 of the tacky covers stuck to his hand. He immediately starts freaking out that they are stuck on him and starts shaking them onto the very dirty carpet where they got bits and pieces of stuff stuck in the sticky glaze. (Oh $%!#*!!!)
I was finally able to salvage all but 5 of them and continued with the project. I was all the way at the end of the process and ready to start drilling holes in the covers and assemble the jewelry, when I realized that I had bought the wrong thickness wood and the back and front cover together with pages on the rings are too wide to close correctly. (Oh *&$*&^$!!!) I had 25 finished covers that I couldnt use!
I gave up on those and moved on to doing the pendants for other necklaces that would feature little prints of my art in them. I had resin settings for them and was eager to see them all assembled. I printed the images, fitted them in the settings, and covered with resin glaze. A few hours later they were partially dry and I looked closely and realized that the resin that I had used came from a bottle that my son had shook up (i have two bottles and I picked the wrong one). The pendants were drying perfectly with a million tiny little bubbles trapped inside the clear coating. It made my art look like it had freckles! (Oh *#@!$#!!) I quickly worked to scrape all the resin out and the image underneath before they got too hard to salvage the pendants. Luckily, I figured it out in time and can start over with non-shaken glaze. (here are the freshly washed pendants.)
Then last night, I tried to get all the transfers finished for the Christmas ornaments that I am making to sell in Oct/Nov. It was so frustrating to get the transfers to come out perfectly! I dont have a lot of experience with transfers, mind you, but it seems simple enough. I would have 2 or 3 in a row come out spot on and then 2 or 3 that were just terrible. (Oh @#&^!) They had large pieces of the image missing, stuck on the transfer paper and refusing to release. I had to make twice as many as I needed just to get enough good ones done! I was so frustrated by the end of it that I just threw them all in a heap on my table and left the room for the rest of the night.
I closed the artroom for the rest of the night and all day today... I left the house and had a wonderful visit with a good friend and some of my family. I held my son and we tickled each other, read stories, and played hide and seek for hours, ignoring all other things that needed to be done. Then I sat in silence while he napped and felt my head start to slow down. I centered myself.
Weeks like this dont happen all that often, the ones where it seems like everything just keeps going wrong one after another. So here I am at the end of my week, utterly exhausted from fulltime mothering and doing crappy artwork, but surprisingly feel myself finding a healing center. I have very little work to show for all my effort this week, but I am hopeful for tomorrow, coming away with a very hard learned lesson... I am not perfect, I am growing, and when it all seems to be going wrong just walk away, let go of expectations, and let your heart and mind gather your frazzled pieces and become whole again.
Do you have weeks like this? How do you find your center amidst all the chaos that life throws at you? I wish you all a very balanced and restful weekend :)