Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Purge Urge

I've been doing a lot of thinking these past few days.  I think most of us do, as the end of the year approaches and the new one begins.  Why is that?  Why are we wired in such a way that we're always looking for a new beginning, a fresh start?  We're always trying to reach some pinnacle of perfection....  Or is it just that the storage containers and bins go on sale and suddenly we're all struck to be "Martha Stewarts" and have our lives perfectly organized and labeled?  Heck, even her life isn't perfection, remember that little jailhouse stint of hers?  But seriously, what is it about the new year that brings on this sudden nesting urge?  Is it the word "new" and therefore we want everything to be shiny and bright?  Or is it the clap-trap trimmings of the holidays have by now lost their luster and excitement and we're getting tired of the tinsel from the tree showing up in every room of the house and stuck on our socks?  It's funny because yesterday our tree and Christmas decorations were perfectly safe.  The thought had even crossed my mind that perhaps we'd leave it up for another week.  Today, I'm planning how tomorrow it all comes down so the tree can be picked up on Tuesday's trash day!  What happened in that 24 hour period that flipped the switch in my brain?

And don't even get me started on my studio!  For those of you that have followed the perils of my studio the past year know that I just put it back together in September after having it torn apart for many months.  Guess what?  I'm ready to tear it apart again!  Not in the same sense, but this time a purging - a new year's purging.  I think it's all part of "the thinking" I've been doing.  You see, yesterday I went out art supplies shopping.  Now as an artist, that's fantastic, right?  I mean, an artist can never have too many art supplies.  Guess what?  Yes, they can.  That little shopping trip made me realize a few things about myself and also the direction I want to go with my art.  It made me decide I really need to focus.  Oh sure, I can do lots of creative things and I paint and I can draw, but I don't think I'm the best I can possibly be at anything in particular and therefore, I need to focus.  So, the first thing I did was say buh-bye to my Two Frogs Studios Facebook page.  I don't do that anymore, haven't done it for some time, so why was I hanging on to it? Stuff... hanging on to "stuff"... time to purge.  I'm tired of hanging on to bits of Frogs' flotsam.  That'll be the first stuff purged from the studio.  Then I'm hitting the bookcases.  I've got to have a real honest conversation with myself on my books....  The rest of the supplies are safe, since they were recently purged.  But no more Mooney B. Finch's eraser stuff (Google "The Magical Drawings of Mooney B. Finch", it's a great kid's book), nah-ah, I'm done.

While my Lizzy is home, I'm doing a "stuff" purge of the house.  I'm going to get my Sarah and Lizzy together to go through Grandma's tea cups and whatnots and decide who wants what because it drives me crazy every time I open a cabinet door in the dining room.  All the "stuff"!  Oh, and my closet - not that I'm a clothes-horse, I tend to buy art supplies before I buy clothes -  but I do hang on to pieces because I like the fabric.  I've got some great batik-like "stuff", but I need to figure out how to re-purpose them. 

Throughout the past year I've done mini-purges here and there, in this closet and in that closet, but Lord have mercy! There's still too much "stuff"!!  I tend to approach things now as, "if I were moving tomorrow, would I take this with me?"  It works pretty good.  You really has to be honest about the question though and that can be hard because justifying why you have decided to keep the hobnail glass slipper with a chip in it, given to you by your Aunt Selma, when you were a little girl many moons ago, that you only ever find when you're moving around "stuff" in the cupboard, looking for other "stuff" just isn't working.  Yeah, that slipper is outta here... right after the Christmas tree comes down. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reality Check

Oh, I don't know... It's been nearly 3 months since I last posted anything on my blog. Of course, I do have some really good excuses.  We went to Spain for 10 days in late October - yeah, I know! Awesome! When we returned, I started working at English Gardens, a garden center during most of the year, okay, ALL of the year - but a Christmas decorations bonanza during the holiday season. I was the Porch Pot Princess - a title I gave myself, although my name badge just read "sales associate"....  My primary job was to create custom seasonal porch pots, which was great because it fed my creativity "jones". Oh, don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.  Anyone who is creative has this "itch" they just can't scratch enough - it's our "jones".  Anyway, on top of that, I'd sprained my right wrist with my new "spinner" suitcase, my first day in Spain.  I know... no one is shedding a tear for me.  I get it.  I've been dealing with the wrist situation since late October because I've never given it the time to heal completely (i.e., rest it, ice it, wrap it, whatever) and I'm probably the "worst patient ever" at taking care of myself when it comes to injuries - I've got things to do!  If I can keep going, I do, like a idiot.  And fugeddaboud going to the doctor's.  It's not that I have a fear or anything about doctors, etc.  Heck, I worked in an emergency department for 13 years!  Nothing freaks me out.  I just figure if I can function, it's not broken... it did squash my typing ability, though.  Even now, it twinges a bit.  It's gotta be a ligament.... 

But that's all neither here nor there.  That's just where I've physically been.  And now, my birthday is less than 12 hours away and the start of the new year is less than 36 hours away.  I realized today that this birthday and year's end mark an interesting place on my life's time-line.  It will mark the beginning of the end of the fifth decade I have spent on the face of this earth. What will I do this final year of my fifth decade?   I have lots of ideas of where I'd like to be.  What I have to do is figure out what I truly want and how to go about getting there and that's a toughie.  I have this general idea, but I've never put together a real game plan.  Why?  Because, truth be told, I don't know how exactly.  And, quite honestly, I've not put in the needed time and effort.  Part of that last statement is because I'm at a loss as to what exactly I should be doing and I tend to allow other things - such as "life and it's distractions" get in the way of my creative progression.   I guess having been a daughter/caretaker, wife, mom for so many years knocked "artist" off it's track and I'm still having trouble getting back on the rails.  One would think it would be so simple to jump back on track, but when the "train" has been derailed for so many years, so many times, it isn't that easy.  The train has forgotten it's schedule and not sure where the destinations are anymore.  But it's time for no more excuses, no more hesitation, time to re-write that train schedule and get back on the track, right?  I'm sure once that happens, the destinations will become much more clear. 

We always have such high hopes for a new year.  The trick is to turn those hopes into realities...