It's OK to not make art all the time

art struggles news nothing to do with art

Sometimes life throws an unexpected curve ball at you, like around this time last year when my husband fell off our porch step, broke his foot, and had to be chauffeured to work for a few weeks! And when these things happen, we need to be able to give ourselves the grace that staying afloat is perfectly acceptable. Sometimes it's enough to just survive, even if we're not thriving. 

Our society tells us we need to constantly hustle, that relaxing is a waste of time. After a while this messages seeps into us and we tell it to ourselves as well. This is something I've been struggling with for as long as I remember, and it came to a head in the spring when I started having anxiety-induced insomnia. I had piled wayyyyy to much on my plate, and had basically suppressed all my stress around the pandemic situation of 2020, so my body finally said "ENOUGH!"

Overall I've been in a better place over the summer, and I'm trying really hard to not hold myself to ridiculous standards of overachieving perfectionism so I don't get back to that place. Having monthly checkins with my Score mentor helps with this a lot, actually, because it forces me to take stock of what I accomplished since our last call. Listing it all out helps me remember how hard I am truly working and what I've achieved, instead of immediately moving on to the next thing.

But I haven't felt like making art this week. I'm a bit disappointed as a week ago I felt like I had broken through a block I'd been in and could paint again, and then this week has been too draining to do anything with that.

Work has been frustrating and intense. My husband went back to school and the news I'm hearing from that is much a hot mess. A dumpster fire floating down a river of shit. From death threats from parents, to restrictions on how and what they can teach, and people refusing to wear masks or get vaccinated...some days it's all you can do to not scream and crawl back under the covers. My husband is an eternal optimist and even he is having a really hard time with all this BS. 

Two of my good friends are also going through some seriously rough stuff, and I really want to be able to be there for them. With only so many hours in a day, something has to give, and it's art. I'm choosing to focus my time on my husband and my friends, and that's ok. That's more than ok! That's good! It's the right thing to do, because in the end? It's only our relationships and the impact we have on other folks around us that will matter. 

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