Apparently some artists and other creative types thrive on adversity and get inspired by misery, but that sure is not me! When I’m unhappy or stressed or anxious about something, I can’t make anything. Fortunately I have a nearly stress-free life, and it is not like me to be anxious, I am generally fairly optimistic. I know I am fortunate to have a great life situation, and would not say I am unhappy or dissatisfied with any part of my life.
I have been completely creatively stalled since January arrived. And here the month is already half gone! I can make a list of little things that have been holding me back, I suppose:
January is the most active time for my last-and-only graphic design client, and their work has been keeping me busy. This kind of work is the very drop-everything and do-it-now sort, which doesn’t leave me with the 3-4 hour uninterrupted blocks of time I need for sculpting or painting.
I’ve had a few little health issues. I went to see an orthopedic specialist about persistent hip and leg pain that’s been keeping me from feeling good about my tennis game, snowboarding, and running. Then, a week ago I pulled a muscle in my calf very badly, and I can’t do ANY sports for at least 3 weeks if not more. A week later I can just now walk normally, as long as I don’t strain the calf. I hate it when I can’t be active! And having a nagging health issue can really weigh on my mind, making me not want to do anything.
The economy. If so many Americans have been spending more than they earn via “easy” credit, when is this house of cards coming down? And what does that mean for everyone else? All this gloom and doom in the news makes me feel like there’s no point in even trying to have a business that is based entirely on people’s “luxury” or disposable-income spending. And if art isn’t first on the list of non-essential items, I don’t know what is!
(Aside: Personally I could not live without art and beauty around me, and would give up certain essential things to have it, but that is just me!)
All that said, I think the #1 thing that has me creatively stalled, is that it is JANUARY. Paul and I have noticed that every year this time of year without fail, we are more likely to be restless, dissatisfied with jobs or work, wishing to make changes, grouchy, you name it. Probably it is that lack-of-sunshine syndrome, where supposedly we all need more vitamin D. Anyway, for some reason the little irritant things that normally don’t bug me, bug me and weigh me down. Which adds up to a bad stew getting in the way of this artist’s essential happy outlook.
I have also learned that if I don’t want to take drugs or vitamin supplements (which I don’t; I strive for a drug-and-supplement-free body) that I just have to ride this out. Fortunately this year we decided not to take it lying down. We were determined to be proactive about it… and in July we booked a trip to the Bahamas for the last week in January!! Now with a week to go, that is looking like the perfect fix and I can’t wait to get to the beach—even if I can’t do activities there like tennis, SIGH!
In December I listed off such a healthy list of things I wanted to do in January. Having a blog like this is interesting, because I can look back at myself so easily and note what I said I was going to do, or what I was thinking. (What WAS I thinking?? JANUARY was coming!!) If nothing else, I guess blogging will reinforce for me that saying about “the best-laid plans…” and to not be upset about goals missed or aspirations not met. Way to have a stress-free life!
Oh, and fortunately the ortho doc didn’t find anything like a serious injury or arthritis, so I am now free to continue to pummel my body with sports. (When my $%#!*&^ calf muscle heals, that is!) And, my graphics work is finished. So I predict—very bad prophet that I admit I am—that February will be MUCH better!