I’m standing on the corner of Stay Calm and Freak Out trying to decide which way I’m going to go.
I know which way I’d like to go and I’m attempting to remind myself that I always feel like this before a show. So, you know what that means…
…It’s full on TIARA TIME!
Oh yeah. I was standing in my studio right after kid #1 came in sick, and a half-hour later, kid #2 came in panicked and crying, and I thought to myself, “when did life get so chaotic?” Then I saw the sparkling tiara sitting on my shelf. I don’t know what it is, but that tiara makes me feel like a gad damn Wonder Woman. I wore it the rest of my day and at the dinner table. I have to love my family for not even mentioning it.
Today, I’ve got to be in go mode. I have to get the house ready to be cleaned, go to Trader Joes for cookies and cider, Office Depot for a new receipt book, get the Christmas decorations out of the garage (omg I hope the box is easy to find), and start transforming my house into a gallery. Oh! And I’ve got to write this blog post. (Thanks for helping me suss out today’s to do list.)
Did I mention that I’m fighting off a migraine, whatever illness the kids have brought in, and haven’t felt so tired since having a baby?
This is how tired I’ve been: I went to the ocean over the weekend. I surfed Friday and had a blast. Saturday morning, I woke up to find a cold and windy beach but still, it was totally surfable. I watched my hubbie and his BFF paddle out...and promptly fell asleep in the van. Like the dead.
Hubbie woke me when they got out. I said hello, and fell asleep again. We left the beach and went to BFF’s house where we ate and I passed out on the sofa. Hubbie woke me and moved me back into the van where I slept until 8:00am the next morning. Sunday, we took at redwood hike, which was lovely, and then headed home where I was in bed by 9:00pm. I guess I needed the rest.
It’s been an exhausting couple of months. Some of the most physically and emotionally exhausting since giving birth. Before a show, I traditionally get crazy nervous anyway, but now, I’m heading into the show already feeling somewhat compromised. I just keep telling my body to pretty please hold off on getting sick until Sunday evening.
I am reminding myself that my holiday sale is filled with art all about joy, love, and laughter. Plus, I’ve decided to display my series called, A Lovely Mess, which I have not shown locally. A Lovely Mess is a visual description of the chaos of life, and the beauty that hides within, if we’re willing to look for it.
A good reminder.
I am so blessed in this life. I am surrounded by natural beauty and amazing people. I have a home, a car, too many clothes, and access to art, music, and the ocean. I love playing records and paint-dancing in the studio. I love surfing. I have a beautiful family, and the added bonus that we all like each other a whole lot (well…most of the time…they are teenagers after all…).
There are people in this world with real problems…like no access to clean water problems…and here I am whining about being nervous before a dang art show.
I know that my feelings of anxiety are valid and deserve attention, but today, as I stand on the corner of Stay Calm and Freak Out, I find myself feeling guilty about feeling anxious. There are people in this world with real problems…like no access to clean water problems…and here I am whining about being nervous before a dang art show.
My feelings are real and should not be dismissed but I have to wonder, when did I get so self-centered? Is it the culture that we’ve been raised in? We live in an incredible land of privilege. My guess is that even some people who live on welfare have it pretty decent when compared to a lot of the world. And yet, I would also guess that we are one of the most stressed out societies on the planet.
I wish this holiday, beyond all else, that I could just flip a switch and make the anxiety disappear.
I wish this holiday, beyond all else, that I could just flip a switch and make the anxiety disappear. I often think about the old crusty surfer that I met on the beach one day who, with a twinkle in his eye, told me that, “stress is optional”. It doesn’t feel optional. How does that happen? How do I get there? Teach me, Oh Crusty One.
So, great…now I’m feeling anxious over feeling anxious. Dang, the hamster is running early this morning. But I have hope. I have hope because right when I wrote the sentence about the hamster, I pictured it in my mind, aimlessly running in the wheel, but this time, the hamster in my head has a fucking tiara on.
My wish this holiday season is that everyone can drop a little joy into their stress filled days. That when our families start getting under our skin, we can picture them wearing tutus and tiaras. When traffic, shopping, wrapping and unwrapping makes us think of pollution, waste and debris, we can also see the sparkle of the season and remember how freaking lucky we are to be born here, and not Syria.
That the dark side of life is only one side, and we can choose to focus on the light and joyous side, and simultaneously live in a way that doesn’t feed the dark. What a gift that would be.
Do you ever have guilt about feeling anxious or stressed? In the comments below, I’d love to hear one way you could shift that perspective.
And look, I know I’m a silly human. I mean, who the hell puts on a tiara when they’re feeling stressed to the max. Apparently, I do…and guess what…it’s all good.
The photo at top is one of my little relief surfboard paintings I've created, for the holidays. They simply represent joy, positivity, optimism. This one is Psychedelic Sea Stars, 8"x10", Acrylic on Canvas, Framed $280.
CLICK HERE to learn more and join the waitlist to get early access to my online holiday pop up sale. Give a one-of-a-kind gift of love, laughter and joy and receive a FREE GIFT FROM ME when you order.
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes. To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure.