A Little Girl with a Hammer

I throw a jar of diluted black watercolor paint on my paper, I’m thinking about Fiona hitting a little old hammer on the glass table and I’m inspired. I walk into the library to check on my babies. She’s lifting it up, “No Fiona! Oh my gosh you guys.” I look in the drawer where she got the hammer, there’s a box of wall fasteners and nails too.  I send Alan a text: “We still have a lot of childproofing to do.”  It’s a never ending scavenger hunt. We ended up not going on our great adventure today. We stayed home and were adventurous instead. The babies took two naps, I had two sessions in my studio, time to write and take a bath. We had lots of good times together. We read books, played outside, ate breakfast and lunch together. We cuddled a ton, learned new words, sang songs and listened to music. (I think that might be why it took them so long to go to sleep, they were processing a ton of information) I hear Jack cry, I look out on the deck and can’t see what’s hurt him, pick him up. Fiona cries two times, like yelps, I realize it’s the screws on the deck, they’re burning their little feet. The sun is strong today. I wonder if they can make the connection. I kiss their feet to show I understand what happened.

I open the special roll of paper I was gifted. Nervous to use any because of its history and age. I have the creative spirit flowing today. I feel myself getting on the hamster wheel. I need to calm down. The paper is beautiful and strong. I work in layers, watercolor, collage, acrylic, listening to the babies babbling on the monitor. I am very productive and like what I’ve done, but then I start to overwork and get stressed. STOP.  I’m not painting again for a few days I tell myself. Now its morning and I want to paint again. Maybe just one quick session so I don’t get all tangled up. I asked Ramona to come for three hours this morning so I could paint. Now I’m thinking I should do chores, cleaning, purging, putting away laundry. That brings me to my list. My constant should and shouldn’t. I could divvy up my time, One hour in my studio, one hour with Billy, One hour doing chores. But then am I fully present if I’m pressuring myself so much?

Thinking about staying present, made me think of perception and how that affects things. I thought of the lists I make and how they interfere:

  1. Don’t eat any more sugar or drink any more coffee.
  2. Don’t enjoy the sunshine.
  3. Don’t look at Facebook or check my e-mails, turn off my phone. Forbid myself or only allow myself at designated times. (This rule is impossible because then my phones off when I want to get a great shot of Jack and Fiona.)
  4. Don’t think negative thoughts about myself or anyone else.

If I say I’m not going to do that anymore isn’t that one more thing I’m adding to my list? Forcing myself to be a certain way, think a certain way that’s not coming naturally. Hindering myself from staying present. Putting pressure on myself constantly. The next thing out of my head was going to be something that started to give me anxiety. I almost did it again by thinking, “I need to get off the hamster wheel.” That’s what the Zoloft prevents. That’s crazy. I thought there was something up when I started making my lists again. I noticed that I had stopped making them as well. So now that I know this about myself how do I flip the switch off? One idea, go to the studio when Ramona gets here and work as long as I need to! The chores can wait.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist