simplifying

This weekend was a perfect fall weekend. The sky was a shade of blue that made you stare, not quite believing the luminous blue was for real-a shade so saturated it didn’t seem possible. My husband did yard work, my kids ran in and out of the house, my dogs chased frisbees. And the whole time I had a gnawing uneasy feeling. I was supposed to be doing something, not just relaxing, enjoying the day. I felt like I was playing hooky. A year ago I imagined this moment. Making a living doing what I chose to, enjoying my family and my time with them. So why in the world should I not be completely at ease??? I explained my feelings to my husband to which he (a bit too quickly) replied, “It is because you can’t relax! You can’t just ‘be’ in the moment and enjoy. You always need to be thinking of your next great idea!” Wow. This annoyed me, irritated me, really steamed me up. A sure sign that he was exactly right. Ever since I was a young girl I have schemed to make money, had goals, plans, something in the works. It seems I am not happy if I don’t have a bunch of things going at once. This past Thursday I took the morning off and I painted a painting just for me. It was so different than anything I have ever done and it was so freeing. At the end it was exactly what had been in my head and I was so happy with it. So happy I did another, then another. “Hmmm, I began thinking, I should do a whole series and contact some galleries…” See? I just can’t relax. Can’t just “be.” So I really thought about all this last night. After a lot of contemplation I decided to simplify. That for the next few months I will concentrate on nothing else but commissions. I may draw or sketch for me, but no brainstorming on how it might make me money. That not only gets exhausting, but takes the pleasure of creating away. I will have more than enough work with my commissions. I am not going to offer holiday cards, or prints, or anything else. I will enjoy my holiday season by painting other people’s dogs and maybe something else just for me. It is comforting to think that I am giving myself permission to enjoy what I have and know it is enough. I have the beginning of next year to try new things and see where it goes. I don’t anticipate this will be that easy at first, but simplifying sounds really nice right now.

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