19 Sep

I’m Not Dead Yet

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything remotely resembling a deep thought here. Moving will do that to you. It’s all about being in the present: problem solving and finding the pan you need to cook dinner, getting legal liscence plates and phone service ASAP, finding out which streets go from one neighborhood to the other and which ones get you hopelessly lost.

In all of this preparation for the move, the move itself, the rebuilding here, being separated from my husband and partner in crime (geographically, not legally), finding a new routine, knowing what’s looming on the horizon (deployment), I’ve shoved my artwork into the back seat.

I’ve been thinking about the missed deadlines and opportunities. The Calls for Entry that I’ve been ignoring. The things I could be doing to promote myself. I actually felt like I was on the verge of something a year or two ago. I had a show. I was excited about a new body of work. I built a website and had a bit of a blog following. I had a few pieces published in magazines. I could easily have leveraged that and submitted to more shows. Submitted proposals to magazines and books. Taken steps to grow the blog. But I didn’t. And I’m not going to.

Robin blogged recently about being an artist or a mom and how the timing just didn’t seem right just now. I know completely how she feels. I’m not a totally plugged-in mom, but I do feel I have a certain responsibility to my kids right now. Family takes priority. We have other things to worry about than my art career.

I’m not seeing this as a one or the other decision though. Sure, I’m missing opportunities and momentum now, but they can (and will) come around again. Not the same ones, but new ones, right for that time. I’m still an artist, and some day I might be able to be one in more than just my own mind. But for now, I’m going to do what feels right. I still crave the connection and validation I get through blogging, and I certainly can’t stop making things. I’m just not going to let myself feel guilty for not doing everything I could to promote myself as an artist or for passing up good opportunities. That can come later.

For now, there may be more posts about shave ice and family activities. It’s what I’m excited about today.

12 thoughts on “I’m Not Dead Yet

  1. Kristin that sounds like a great decision…but the part of me that’s been hoping you’ll explore more along the theme of ‘dream houses with roots’ is sad. Do you still own #5 in that series? Would you consider parting with it?

  2. You are making so much sense. Do what you have to do, make some time for what you love to do and you will soon have time for your art – lots of time.

  3. Kristin,

    I totally agree with Gerrie’s advice. And beside that it is also nice to read about your Hawaian experience and the way you handle this move. Have a nice weekend!

  4. I so admire how you have your priorities straight – for you – for now…..and how very fortunate your family is to have someone so selfless…what a great role model you are!

  5. Dear Kristin,
    It’s kind of romantic at first to think of yourself as being selfless with this decision but I found (when I was at this stage) that if you call it being selfless, after a while you start to resent being ‘less than yourself’ – that’s what it felt like. And if ‘momma aint happy, nobody gonna be happy neither’. Those children aren’t going to be small for long. Soon their friends’ opinions and company will be more important to them than yours. This is your time with them and your instincts, as the caring, feeling mom that you are, are confirming that. Live in this moment with them. Explore the wonderful new opportunities that your nomadic life is affording. If you make this a good time for them, they won’t, like many forces children, hate all this moving that was forced on them. Like Gerrie says, your time is coming. My children are all away at post-secondary schools now and it’s wonderful now too, to have all this pent-up creativity to let out. It’s not good to sit and pine for what was. I loved being an involved mom and don’t regret putting myself second at all now, looking back, but there were moments of doubt during those ‘children years’. The girls are well-adjusted, confident, grounded young adults. I couldn’t be prouder of them and the role I played in being available to help them when they needed it and being there for them doesn’t mean you never get to create. It just won’t be that single-minded effort that you’ll get to have later. Like I said before, it’s your zest that makes your blog a lovely place to visit. Be zesty about anything you want…rita

  6. ditto ditto…. i understand how you feel.. i was going to make this the year that i’ll find a gallery to represent me, and there’s that notebook with all the info i need to make the right connections just sitting there gathering dust… while i worry about getting the right fabric for halloween costumes. somethings are just more important for now.

  7. I echo what the ladies above have said. This time is so important to you and your family. Make the most of that for the time being. Your kind of talent doesn’t stay hidden foever. It’s all there waiting for you when the time is right. There is no price that I wouldn’t pay for some of that time again with my son at that age. Those memories are so precious and I’m so proud of who he has become as a grown man. When you feel like it’s the right time for it, your amazing talent will lead you forward.

  8. You know, the great thing about art is that you can do it anytime in your life and you never lose what you had–it’s not like being a software engineer and you find after you’ve taken a couple years off with your kids that the whole field has left you in the dust, or being a fashion model and after a couple kids you—uh, let’s not even go there! No, like your Mom said, life is art and it all adds up and is there when you are ready. Aren’t we lucky?

  9. Kristin, you have your head screwed on perfectly! Don’t miss a second of this precious time with your kids! You will have time later, and you will find time again soon, when you get settled. You are doing the right thing and I am proud of you for recognizing it!

    xo

  10. excellent call girlfriend!!! it will make your creative flow so much better once you´re at the point where you don´t have a little voice inside your head telling you that you should be building sandcastles with your kids instead of creating beautiful new things 😀 I know you´ll still sneak a little art time in there just because you have to.. lol.. so go ahead, focus on the now

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