31 Dec

New Year’s Reflections

Yup, it’s that time of year again. I don’t do resolutions since I never keep them, but I do usually pause and take stock of what’s going well and not so well in my life. I’ve been mulling over the state of my quilt art since a week or so before Christmas. OK, I’ve been mulling a lot longer than that, but it really hit me hard then. That and Melody’s recent blog about taking your studio time seriously.

I have been frustrated trying to balance my duties as a wife/mother/housekeeper and my desire to be an artist. Anyone who’s creative knows you can’t just turn on the inspiration at a designated time, or expect to have resolved a problem, or explored an idea by the time the hands on the clock have moved a predetermined degree. This is my big problem. Some mornings, even though I have three hours to myself and I’ve already decided not to vacuum or clean toilets, the ideas or desire just aren’t there. Some days, I have the desire, but it’s noon and I have to pick up the kids, feed them lunch, taxi them to music class, etc. Some days, I’m ready to work in the morning, but I’m just not ready to stop at noon (yet I must). Weekends offer a little more flexibility for me, but my inner cynic swears these are getting sabotaged. OK, I’ll admit, I was PMS-y the week before Christmas which made me more sensitive to what was NOT working in our lives, and I’m feeling better now. Plus I talked to TS&WGH about it and he still purports to support my work.

A week before Christmas, I swore off art quilting. I decided it was wrong of me to persue something so selfish and self-serving when my family is still young and needy. I obviously had my priorities out of whack. So what did I do? I knitted a scarf (because I had nothing invested in it, I didn’t care if it ever got done or not, blah, blah, blah). I finished off the current Color & Composition exercises (you know, it would be a shame to just throw away those perfectly good pieces of fabric after I fused them and cut them and all, and I could fit an exercise in a three hour or less window). Eventually, the PMS passed and I realized that I can’t just stop creating! My mind fills with ideas and inspiration, and I am compelled to do something about it.

So, I have not packed up my boxes of fabric and sent them to the Salvation Army (or the German version thereof), nor have I burned my sketchbook. They are alive and well. I am still frustrated with the meager amount of time I can allot to my art, and I know I can’t do it all. The question remains though, what can I do? Only time will tell me the answer to that. I would love to say “Full steam ahead” on the idea of a show because I can’t imagine having another opportunity like this in a long, long time, but truthfully, that just may not be realistic. 2006 may be the year for me to learn patience and fortitude. Everything in it’s own time.

As they say here in Germany, Güte Rütsch im Neues Jahr (Good “slide” into the new year)! Cheers!

4 thoughts on “New Year’s Reflections

  1. I can’t remember any period during your life when you have not expressed your creative talents. Even you acknowledged this when you set aside art quilting only to have several other projects fill the void. So, keep on plugging during those bits of time that you do have and maybe narrow the focus to reduce the complexity. Happy New Year

    Love, Mom

  2. I am so right with you, Kristin. Thank you so much for saying it. You are not alone. I am striving to find the balance between enough time for me to be truly creatively productive, while still being as fully available for my family as they need me to be. Impossible, it seems. Every now and then it seems to gel — but generally only for a short period of time. I hope we can share more about this in 2006.

  3. Oh, you young things, worrying about finding time to become an artist. YOU ARE ARTISTS!! You are incredibly talented, but you are also wonderful wives and moms. That is important right now. Do you think those kids are going to be around for ever. They will be gone in the blink of an eye.

    I didn’t get involved in this venture until I was past 60. I am having the time of my life. You have a big advantage in that you found this wonderful passion early in your life. So take time to smell the cookies with the kids. Steal moments ehen you can to indulge yourself, and just keep on creating.

  4. This is so true. I’ve learned to stop feeling so guilty after my fourth was born an extremely demanding child. They’re all demanding, but him especially. All the babies took over my life for a time, but it reaches a point where you have to say enough! They are bottomless pits, those little cuties, especially where mom is concerned. My older ones will try and persuade me not to quilt!

    But just as I learned to make my relationship with my husband a priority, I needed to learn this as well. In fact, in the middle of reading your blog they were all coming at me 🙂 I pushed them aside a bit, then interrupted to read them stories and lay down with them for an hour, and here I am back at the blogs! You are no good to your children if you are not happy, just as you are no good to your children if your marriage is neglected. Sometimes putting yourself first is for them as much as it is for you!

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