Monday, January 09, 2017

The Muse & Real Life

The time between semesters was to be for getting some household projects done as well as, of course, preparing for and celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve. I had a backlog of tasks due to busyness during the fall semester. I really am surprised at how many hours it takes to do two college studio art classes when you are really giving the learning your all. I wanted to do the projects but also that thought was in my mind that I wanted to do creative things, paint just for me, etc. I also surprised myself by spending quite a lot of time working with my soap business, reassessing things, taking inventory, cycling out old soap, and thinking about where I wanted the business to go.

A major project has been to deal with my fourth bedroom which is supposed to be an art and craft studio and storage area for my finished soap that is listed for sale and which also holds bins of supplies such as the display pieces for when I do my home shows and holiday fair markets. The room has the bones and it has my supplies but it also was a place to stash boxes of crap. I unearthed this stuff and discovered a few boxes of old favorite childhood books of one son's, a couple of boxes of Cub and Boy Scout stuff for both kids, a box of a Yu-Gi-Oh! Card collection, 22 boxes of homeschool records, a box of my own childhood art, and a handful of boxes of antique photos and saved important and possibly important papers from my great grandmother and grandmother. The goal was to get the room to a point where I could walk in and use the surface spaces and my easel when my muse was with me. I also need to be able to not feel suffocated when walking in there, by seeing 30+ moving boxes stacked lining one wall and protruding into half of the floor space.

So I have stifled my muse since mid-December in order to do regularly daily living tasks (cooking, laundry, pet care) as well as having quality time with my son who is home from college, with my two weeks with my son who was on break from high school and spending time with my husband, of course. I have shoved in the grind of the projects but they are not finished yet. I have kept diligent and increased my gym workouts. However one back weightlifting session gave me a muscle spasm in the middle of the class and I hobbled out unable to walk or descent stairs, and needed to get a ride home from my husband as I could not drive. This put me on rest and icing regimens for almost a week and was such bad pain that normal sleep was not had for 14 nights. My project cramming was slowed considerably during the injury (which is at 95% recovery as I write this). I also had peppered in visits to the chiropractor and the sports massage therapist.

All this to say that I am back to the same old struggle that probably every other creative person and artists has. That sometimes when your muse is with you, you are tied up doing important tasks. Other times when the muse is with you, you are able to put aside the lower priority tasks to make time for art making. But sometimes real life is so tedious or frustrating or stressful that it ruins the creative drive and even if you have free time your mojo is not with you. Although I have not gotten sick, when you are hit by a head cold or the flu or a stomach bug that physically is such a drain that the mental energy is not there to create.

I am in a weird place as I start this week. It's my last week off before the next semester and a new routine starts. My back feels pretty good but I'm afraid to add back in weightlifting and cardio workouts lest I injure myself again and maybe worse. I want to go make art upstairs but the box clutter shoved to the walls is stifling me. Also the hallway is lined with boxes half sorted that need to go to the attic or to be moved out to donate away the good stuff. I was unable to lift those boxes so the project was kind of halfway done only. And the Christmas tree still needs to be taken down (I do this alone).

The discipline of attending college classes is really good for me. It took wasted time away so I was online web surfing less and spending less time on chat list  and on social media (which also kills my mojo most days). The classes help me do things not just sit and  think about how I want to do them, or sit and chat at a keyboard saying I want to do things.

I am so tempted to add in a second class to take Painting II but it would again cause me to not have time to take care of my body, I need yoga to stretch my tight muscles but class time conflicts with yoga. If my muscles get too tight it pulls my sprine and hips out of alignment and causes limited mobility and real pain. Then I have to start cycling chiro and massage to try to fix it. I need to work out to keep my core strong to hold my spine and hips up or else I get pain and strain from my weak muscles. If I work out too hard without stretching I injury myself. So it is a crazy cycle I am in, it is hard to find a balance between the right type and amount of exercise then time to stretch out too (with yoga).

I have also finished five weeks of using a bullet journal for the first time and that is helping me stay focused on my goals and to not forget to do certain tasks and errands. It is funny how being accountable to a little bullet journal helps me discipline to stay on track. Technically it's not the journal, it's the mental exercise of refreshing you mind with what is important and what is needed to do, when you see it in your face all day it is. Hard to make a conscious choice to ditch the important stuff to do time suck activities like spending an hour Facebook

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