I won’t lie; I’ve been pushing myself hard. I have been traveling for 3 months on a contract job, where I’m only home one day a week. I know it’s temporary so it’s easy to keep my eye on the goal. While doing this, I have also tried to balance out my job as an artist. I haven’t been able to create much (which definitely has its effect on me), but I can work on the business side of things. Throw in making sure my son is getting what he needs from me, and the fact that I’m still sorting through boxes from moving the week before I went on the road, I’m wiped.
Nearly every hour of my life is scheduled at the moment, which for anyone who knows me, knows it goes against my grain. I’m not complaining. Everything that is on my plate I put there. I am however, running a little thin. On a positive note, I’m in the home stretch.
This weekend seemed to top me out. It was Memorial Day weekend so I actually had 4 days at home. I flew home on Thursday night just to get ready for an outdoor art show. This involved pulling down a show that was already hanging, getting things from the studio and then resetting everything up for the art show.
The first day it rained all day. It was hard to keep a positive attitude. Worrying the paintings were going to be ruined due to the weather made it hard to enjoy the event at all. (Despite the weather, I still sold 5 paintings and 2 prints)!
The second day was a battle with the heat. The sun was shining, the humidity was intense, and we only had a 10 minute rain shower. I quickly adjusted the giant red afro I call my hair into some braids and made the best of it. I could feel my spirits rise. I sold 2 more paintings and a few more prints.
To wrap up the weekend I piled all of the paintings back into my car and drove an hour to my art studio. I dropped some paintings off and picked some others up. My clothes were sweaty and felt disgusting. I started to notice that my feet and neck were swelling from the sunburn I had gotten from standing in the sun for 7 hours (yes, I did wear sunscreen, but I’m a ginger). I was hungry and tired and I’ll admit, grouchy.
I had to hang one more show before I could finish for the day. It took me about 2 hours, but I did it. The show looked great and I was finally feeling relived I could go home and shower and put on clean clothes. I grabbed a painting that wasn’t staying and stepped out to put it in my car. I turned to get my car keys and realized the door had shut behind me.
I had officially locked myself out. I panicked when I realized what I did. My keys and phone could be seen just on the other side of the glass door taunting me. The car keys and the building keys were on the same key ring. I stopped and accessed the situation. There was no way I was getting back into the building. I went to the businesses next door but everything was closed for Memorial Day. The streets were abandoned.
There was nowhere close for me to go and even if I did, I don’t know anyone’s phone numbers (damn technology). I finally came to the conclusion I was going to have to call the business and hope for the best. I memorized the number and walked until I found two men loading furniture into a truck. They let me borrow their phone and I dialed the business number. Just as I had hoped, I got the voice mail but it did include an emergency number. I called the emergency number and got the owner. He agreed to come meet me in 20 minutes. I thanked him repeatedly for coming since it was a holiday.
I was too tired to cry. I just sat on the step and breathed. And then I remembered how much I needed to be locked out of everything. No phone to call anyone, no way to check email or to do lists. I looked up and the sunset was amazing. Beautiful pinks and purples filled the sky. The weather had cooled and there was a cool breeze. The birds were singing and I could hear the trains in the distance. It was the first moment I sat down in quite a while and was just present. I sat for 20 minutes just taking it in and being present. I was grateful I had locked myself out.