This Fall has been a transition time, as both my girls are in school all day now, and for the first time since both of my children were born I have five days to work. Over the last couple of years Ruby came home at 12, and was in preschool at the most 4 days a week, so my work time had begun to evolve slowly, but it was still pretty choppy.
I had this idea that this Fall (cue angels singing) I would suddenly knock out so much work: paintings, illustration concepts, a book rough concept, blog, update my website, and come up with some longer term goals for making art. Um........
It hasn't turned out the way I imagined. (Cut the angelic voices and insert the crickets)
The thing about my girls being in school is that somehow I've signed up for doing more at their school: field trips, helping run an art event, volunteering in their class...plus there have been about 68 minimum days and vacation days, which all adds up to way less productive time in the studio than I thought.
So I am at a point where I am trying to figure out when and where to give my time, where to allow volunteering to cut in to my work schedule, what goals to lean hard into and what dreams or short term plans to let go for now. Historically I have said yes to too many things, and loved giving of myself, but then in retrospect felt that I was so available to others that I forgot to create space for my own work and needs.
I don't have any concrete answers right now, but I know that part of this soul searching is connected to feeling very 40, and realizing that there are things I want to accomplish that I haven't yet, and that I'm going to have to work hard and intentionally if I want these goals to happen. Suddenly I look around and I realize peers are mid-career, and I wonder what I am doing with my life. I'm not saying that in terms of comparison, because I very much have an internal voice pushing me towards making and doing. I am saying that out loud because being self employed and being an artist can be a very isolating endeavor in which you declare your own benchmarks and goals without community input or accountability, so here I am saying.... I'm trying to figure it out.
How can I make and do right now with....what time I have, with the season I find myself in, with the resources I have or don't have, with the gift and responsibility of being a mother to two amazing girls? I'll keep you posted.