Sometimes I will meet with friends who have children. I’m always amazed that they can function. I think of all the things I do to show up in life, and then multiply it by two for each friend’s child (possibly the significant human, if they have one, as well.) So, a mom (effort x 1) with two children (effort x 4) and a significant human (effort x 2) would have to put six times more effort into the average day than I do. These same friends sometimes talk about the difficulties of keeping everything going. I’m impressed that everyone is alive. I don’t care about laundry, house cleaning, or even small people wearing clothes.
The last couple of weeks have been a mental-health version of the keeping the kid alive. Each day, I’ve counted it as a win. I posted a couple weeks ago with an update about my mental health breakdown, but I didn’t post last weekend because there wasn’t anything to report, and I didn’t want work hard just to create a post. In the last two weeks, I’ve returned to work half time and I’ve completed a few tasks around the house, but it’s been extraordinarily quiet. I haven’t felt steady. As I explained to my mental health team, being on this new medication is like driving a new car; you’ve driven cars before, but you’re not sure where everything is in this one. My emotions are all over the place. I had trouble concentrating and felt exhausted after working for just half a day. This week was better than last week, but I am still fretting over things way past the healthy point.
And so, my friends, I do not have much art to show this week. Picking up a paintbrush has been one more thing than I could manage. I did some work on a long-term art project (hopefully I’ll write about this next week) and did a little work for the Watercolor Society of Oregon. But mostly it’s been walks with the dog, puzzles, and reading.
Today I did clean off my studio area and do a very small doodle in my art journal (3-D even!); however, art feels like mopping the flour while the toddler is on fire.
But never fear! I do have art news. My painting, “Glimmer” is in the 16th Annual Emerald Spring Exhibition 2022 at the Emerald Art Center in Springfield. This national painting competition features 66 top artists from all across the United States vying for cash awards. The exhibit runs from May 3 – June 3; Artist Reception is May 7, 5:30 – 7:30 pm and 2nd Friday Art Walk, May 13th, 5:30 – 7:30pm. I plan on attending the artist reception Saturday night, but like most everything else, that plan is subject to change.
I return to work full-time this week. While I have some anxiety about this, I have made some adjustments. First, I have decided to go back to 8-hour days. This allows me to flex my schedule as much as necessary (when I am working the 9-4-5 schedule, any deviations from my listed hours must be taken as personal leave). Second, I have decided to take one hour lunch breaks. This allows me time to leave the house and take the dog to the park. I’m hoping it will also allow me to decompress. In addition to these changes, I’ve spent today doing my weekly food prep and generally sorting through life to make sure the next week is as easy as I can make it
So, this week my goal isn’t to do a good job at work; adequate is enough. The goal isn’t to lose weight or get in shape; lack of hunger is more than sufficient. A great piece of art isn’t on the horizon; a doodle if I feel like is acceptable. The dog and cats being alive is satisfactory. The house still standing passes all necessary inspections.