Kneeling on the cold bathroom tile, head over the toilet, muscles contracting in my chest, my back tightening, aching, body heaving; there is nothing left. I feel a warm hug around my back, it’s Jack. I sit up and sob. “I feel so bad” I say. “I feel bad I can’t be here for Jack and Fiona today” I say to Alan. He has stepped up today, his longest day yet taking care of Jack and Fiona. I told him this morning, “I might need to stay in bed today, up all night with the flu”. Wednesday it was Jack, Thursday Fiona, Friday me, then true to form Saturday Alan was on the couch with the flu; I was back in action. I missed Jack and Fiona on Friday. I missed our morning routine, our bed time routine, this was the first time ever to miss both. They understood though, they knew I was sick and they had some understanding of what it felt like; even though they are only two and a half and true empathy doesn’t develop for years to come, but I felt something, something I have taught them, to care.
Today I am recovered, Monday morning. Taking time for myself in my studio. I notice that “Creepy Kitty Lady and Scary Pumpkin Face” need more work. I white out the whole painting. My hands are covered in paint; I should be wearing gloves. I re-work my “Creepy Kittty and Pumpkin Face” and love it. Lately I’ve been thinking ambiguity is the death of paintings. A painting needs a clear intention to be successful. That can come quickly or through tortured time, but when I paint something genuine I know. It might take time to know. Sometimes I think a painting I’ve done is really good, I post it on Facebook, then the next day I feel it isn’t right, I get a new idea to make it better, more specific. That’s the process. The process of painting. Which brings me to my “Book Project”, I am so stoked on my books. I am working on many at one time, experimenting with new ways of displaying them, it’s really exciting and so “Me”. I will be “un-veiling” my new series next October during my “solo” show! (hush hush-more details to follow throughout 2017) I am also planning on publishing my “Naptime Paintings” Memoir. I will “un-veil” at the same time. My brother has taken the job of “editor” for “Naptime Paintings”. I’m really excited.
I used to get so down in the dumps when I’d miss time exercising or painting from being sick or the babies being sick or just life getting in the way! Especially during PMS!!! I used to be SO much more filled with SELF DOUBT! I feel like I’ve really changed, it’s been gradual and hard coming, but I finally feel all my mindfulness practice is paying off. I can look at things now in a “general” way. I can tell when I start going down the rabbit hole and can stop myself. I don’t wake up and say “I’m gonna change my life: start eating better, start exercising more, do this and that better, stop doing this or that.” I’ve grown past that into acceptance of “the way things are at any given moment” and the way I AM at any given moment. It’s quite a change for me, and a welcome one at that. Maybe it’s an un-shedding. A letting go; A welcoming of good things, not thinking I don’t deserve them. The guilt, such a waste of emotions!!! I realized today I am taking “being a painter” as a real job! The sales I’ve made at my show at The Fourth Wall have really helped propel myself into this direction once and for all! I know I won’t “make the mortgage” or anything like that selling my paintings! But at least now my pieces are starting to be appreciated and taken to new wonderful homes and hung on new wonderful walls for people to enjoy!