A wee bit of overwhelm

Lilies from the supermarket.

Lilies from the supermarket.

As we wind down January and head into February, I’m feeling a little…overwhelmed. I agreed to run some printmaking workshops over February school vacation. I want the third issue of Art Together complete by the end of February. I have a guest post due by the end of February, and a column due as well. My husband will be away for another full week. February is only 28 days long. It’s not looking nearly long enough right now. But these are good “problems” to have—many Good Things will be accomplished in February. Yes.

So, a column is exciting! But also a bit pressure-y in a way writing my own blog is not. A magazine that comes out four times a year doesn’t lend to an immediate conversation with the reader, so I’m left trying to anticipate what those readers might want most. I polled my family members: If you were a homeschooler or parent who maybe wasn’t sure about “doing art” with your kids, what would you most want to know? These are the answers I received:

Husband: I don’t know. What do you want to know about [his industry]??

9yo: Give them things to do—art activities.

12yo: Make sure they know it’s easy.

5yo: Tell them what Art is.

I’m not touching “what Art is” with a ten-foot pole, I’ll tell you that much! (But the 5yo definitely thinks big and all-encompassing.) I like my oldest’s response. Inspiring confidence is definitely a goal of mine.

With all this writing ahead of me, I am keenly missing my running time. I didn’t necessarily compose writing while I was running—letting my mind wander in that way resulted in slower running, I noticed—but focusing my mind on breathing and pacing left it open to work on ideas without me beaming a spotlight on the process. Running is active mindfulness for me, clearing the brain. Oh, how I miss it. I get out for one-mile walks when I can, but that’s only 15 minutes and doesn’t have quite the same mind-clearing effect. I have another follow-up with the orthopedist next week and I’m hoping he says I can at least head back to the track (a soft, level surface) for short runs.

Sewing projects in progress.

Sewing projects in progress.

So how did I spend my weekend? Was I working on those deadlines? Um, not so much. I spent it at karate with the kids. Taking my daughter shopping to spend a gift card. She loved the mama-daughter shopping time (the boys went to get haircuts with dad), and I love that she loved it, even though department store shopping isn’t my thing. Doing the weekly grocery shopping, which, until spring arrives, now includes flowers as a line item. Sewing some pouches, none of which are complete yet. Planning another linocut. Spinning the wheels in my head a bit. How about you?

Lily sketch.

Lily sketch.

7 thoughts on “A wee bit of overwhelm

  1. Mo Awkati

    I agree with 9yo and 12yo. I would add showing them a how-to demonstration then followed by art activities. You may also need some kind of assessment suitable for the age group you teach. The assessment is to help you with what worked and what didn’t, learning styles etc. :)

    1. amy Post author

      roses will be two dozen for the price of one the week of Valentine’s Day! (also the week my husband is away in February–for the second year in a row…)

  2. suburbancorrespondent

    Knitting here – January is my favorite month for it! Socks, and more socks, and a linen-weave scarf. The girls have caught the bug, too, and are knitting cowls and blanket squares. I am so sad January is almost over. February is too short to feel cozy.

  3. donna lee

    I keep encouraging my clients to get outside for even a few minutes every day becasue it makes such a huge difference in mood. The sun is out today (although the wind chill is several degrees below 0) and I’m looking forward to a walk at lunch. I am feeling a bit of cabin fever even though I have been going to work. I’m tired of indoor air and indoor things. I want OUT.

    Flowers are a necessity and I have no problem picking up beautiful bursts of color for myself if no one else does.

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