Confusion. Feeling unplugged. Where to begin? The past 2 months have completely turned my world upside down. EVERYTHING has changed. The routine that I had finally worked into is completely gone. The well stocked studio is up north and I find myself transplanted in Florida. Our choice, but strange anyway.
Perhaps I should recap past events that brought me to this point. CHANGE is the operative word here. Everything in my life feels like it has changed. It's been a slow unraveling, but now as I look at my life, I realize that very little is familiar from six months ago. Lets see, where to begin-
In fall, my granddaughter Tatum started all day kindergarten. That simple act, which was happily anticipated by all concerned, in one day ended my eight years of daycare duties. Although I miss the weekly visits by these precious dears, I was happy to focus my time on my art interests. Ironically, at this same time, my guy was beginning the winding down phase of his career of forty plus years. As his office days began to slow down, it was emotional at times, as we both learned to spend more time together. The adjustment was so subliminal that it went unnoticed for the most part. But it was CHANGE in disguise for sure.
Our traditional Christmas rituals also underwent some changes as we celebrated our Christmas Eve dinner at our son's home for the first time ever. It was joyful, happy, and I have no complaints. It was just different. I no longer had the stress of cooking the traditional German dinner or the mess to clean up afterwards. The children were happy to play in their playroom, with their things, with their cousins. It was all good. However, I felt the end of an era. The torch was passed. CHANGE. My time as hostess had ended. It was time to start a new tradition.
My guy and I fumbled through that holiday week with few plans. For the past eight years we flew out to our place in Florida on Christmas Day to spend time with friends. Playing in the sunshine. Having a mid-winter vacation from the cold Wisconsin temps. This year, with the pending retirement trip planned at the end of January, we decided to stay home with the family for this season. Only the family by now has established their own traditions for that vacation week. We really are no longer a part of it. Time has moved on. The traditions have changed.
Next came the news that our dear mom was now ready of some changes in her apartment living needs. The day that we knew would one day be here had arrived. Assisted Living arrangements were needing to be made. This was a very emotional time. She has been clinging to her independence and doesn't want to think that she needs any kind of help whatsoever. The truth is, she does. Breaking this news to her has been an ongoing conversation. One step forward and two steps back. (Much like the way my life feels to me these days!)
By this time , I had realized that my studio time had taken a back seat to the family needs. After the holidays, the book sales were flat. The commission pieces were all caught up. It was time to regroup. Time to look at the year ahead and rethink my activities and associations. I realized that I could no longer commit to the girls in the Fiber Artists Coalition (FAC). After nearly eight years of weekly communication with these talented women, I resigned. Another loss. CHANGE.
Then came the weeks of doctor appointments for mom and for me. Time to take care of my needs as well. And finally, the actual, physical pack up and move from one apartment to another. Downsizing her things. Making decisions. Arrangements. Phone calls. It was near exhausting. After three days of settling in time, we said our goodbyes to mom, our kids, & grand kids. Hopped in the car and headed south to the sunshine to start a new life.
Which brings me to today. We have now been here for less than a week. Thus far it feels like a vacation. Reading and napping. Meeting up with our friends. Eating out. Getting unpacked and situated. Activating the cable tv and the Internet access. Stocking the cabinets and frig. The necessities of life!
Now it's time to dream a new dream. Get a new routine. Set up my studio and find my inner voice. This is the life of an artist. My art is never really too far away. It's always calling to me. Begs for attention. My eye notices the little details all around. Arrangements. Pictures hanging crooked. Knick knacks out of alignment. Birds in the trees. The movement of the water on the pond. The circles that form. Mandalas everywhere.
Don't misunderstand. I am extremely grateful for this time in my life. I am grateful for my health, my family, my marriage, my blessings. I am just in a little limbo of 'time out'. Time to regroup. That is the mood of this morning. I felt that I needed to share all of this with you. I may have been out of sight, but you are not out of my mind. I will be sharing this new adventure with you in this blog. I feel this is my duty. To share with you the ups and downs of the creative life so that you will not feel alone in your creative journey. The path is not always smooth as it is laid out before us. One day our confidence is high on the wings of a new commission sale and the next we are filled with doubt and self judgment at the way a new piece is revealing itself. It is a roller coaster ride at best. But if we learn to lean into the turns, the adventure is quite exciting!
It's now time to get dressed and start this day. What will your day look like? Ready for a challenge? Lets dream a new dream together. You go first. I'll listen. But let's remember to give thanks to the Universe for all the possibilities. "Thank you for the adventure that lies ahead. Thank you for it all!"