I’m back…no for real this time!

Hello friends, it’s been a while and a lot has happened since I last posted to this site.  I’ve still been creating, painting and exploring, but I’ve had to take a bit of a break from all the things that I want to do, including this blog.

As some of you may know, I have periodically struggled with depression.  It’s a fact and something that I’m learning to deal with in a better way.  In the past, when I’ve been in that state, I would often overload myself with tasks and jobs, I think trying to fill that empty void caused by the depression.  I would do this to the point of exhaustion and eventually overwhelm myself with so much stuff that I would be paralyzed by it all.  That was where I was about a year ago and it finally manifested physically with a really terrible infection that took me out of the game for several months last summer.  I was off work for two months and struggled with recurring infections until mid-December.  I was pushing myself too hard to get back in the game and had to pull back the reigns a bit.

I’ve recovered from the infection, but even more importantly, I’ve learned (once again, I seem to need a reminder every now and then) that I have to put my needs at the front of the line again.  I have to learn to say no, not only at work, but also too myself when I have a million ideas I want to try all at the same time.  I’m starting to be a little bit more strategic, thinking about all the things I want to accomplish and what steps I need to take  to get there.  I have so many courses that I want to take on Skillshare.com, but I’m learning to group them and figure out what area to focus on, rather than just be all over the place.  I’ve also learned that if I’m tired at the end of a work day, it’s okay to lounge on the couch for the evening.  I don’t have to feel like I’m being unproductive – rest is an important part of productivity.  Some nights I’ll pull out my iPad Pro or sketchbook and get some ideas down, other times I’ll just watch some terrible reality TV and I’m getting over feeling guilty about “mis-using” my time.

I’ve also carved out time again for just creating art – whether it’s sketching, painting, experimenting with new media.  Sunday night is my fun time.  If the end product is something that I may want to use for products, terrific!  If it’s just satisfying, cathartic or a hot mess, that’s okay too.  It’s just the fact that I’ve carved out the time for just me, with no expectations, no pressure and lots of room to express what I’m feeling.  Carve out some time just for you – you won’t regret it!

working on a gouache illustration in my black mixed media journal
Calypsos in progress
Calypso in memory of my Dad on Father’s Day

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I'm an avid birder and naturalist, with the good fortune to work as a park interpreter. I get to spend every day in a beautiful park, so no matter how challenging, all I have to do is look out the window and the natural world is there to greet and soothe my soul.

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