Summer was a whirlwind of art festivals and shows. It may have been the busiest summer I’ve had. It was good because in all of the busy work I got some real focus on my direction and what I want to be doing.
Then, at the end of summer, I was in a car wreck. Fortunately, it wasn’t serious, but it has messed my back up temporarily. It has slowed me way down. Of course I flew into panic mode. “But I have all of this stuff to do,” was my response. I don’t have time to be hurt. My back being hurt has affected every aspect of my life. I can’t paint long without my arms going to sleep. I can’t sit long without excruciating pain, spasms, and my feet falling asleep.
Like everything, you do what you have to do. Here are some things I’ve learned.
- It is not healthy to spend 12 hours straight painting.
- When you have a limited time to do something, you focus. No more letting people interrupt your work time, playing games on your phone, and getting distracted.
- You stop caring about the little stuff. What going to happen if I don’t get to it? Absolutely nothing
- Most of the stress or deadlines I feel, are put on me by me. Most of it’s all made up in my head.
- Prioritizing is essential…and so is breathing
- Sometimes you have to know when to just take a break, lay on the floor, and get a fresh perspective
- You ask for help. I can’t carry heavy stuff. I can’t even bend over and pick up things very well at the moment. I also suck at taxes and stuff I don’t want to do. You learn to ask for help.
- You take care of yourself. This body is my vessel. I’m stuck with it and any damage I do to it. I must take care of it so that I can keep doing what I love. I must give it time to heal.
- I don’t have to do everything today. There is no such thing as balance. I play many roles, and at no point in my life are these going to be all balanced. I don’t need to give myself additional stress by believing this illusion.
- Being forced to slow down (once past throwing my temper tantrums) has resulted in a lot of productivity, doing the small stuff that often gets overlooked, and being kind to myself.
These are hard lessons to learn. I haven’t handled them all with such grace. I still get pissy when I want to work a little longer or do a little more and I can’t. But I’m learning. I’m growing, and I’m making the best of it.