Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Don’t let distractions and loose ends unravel your life!

In a previous blog, I told you that two art galleries had closed in downtown Fort Myers. The good news is that two more have opened in their stead. The art community is not giving up just yet!

As a member of Arts for ACT, I will display two paintings in August. During the month of September, I will present approximately 25 paintings in the middle gallery keeping me busy throughout the summer.

Several paintings are in the works, including one for Christmas to be used in fliers and programs for a church-sponsored “Live Nativity.” Summers are not as quiet as they once were in Fort Myers. Full-time residents work to keep the art community alive during the off season; and with fewer people, more calamities and causes vie for our attention.

Case in point: It’s summer, so why do I feel like I need a vacation? I can’t seem to say “no” to people and programs I love. Before I know it, I’m tied up in so many activities I have difficulty getting to my own projects.

Reminds me of a loose thread I pulled the other day. I thought it would snap and that would be the end of it. Instead, the unraveling began. I pulled it through the fabric to the backside and tried to secure a knot, but the knot popped through the loose weave in an unsightly lump. I poked it through again and tried to tie a bigger knot. Before I knew it, I’d lost control and unraveled enough thread to make a hole.

Life seems like that sometimes. We allow too many loose ends to consume our thoughts and our time. We need to reassess our goals and focus on our priorities before our “best laid plans” are completely undone by inconsequential's.

I realized I’ve allowed myself to “float” through each day rather than follow a plan. I’ve permitted “other things” to keep me from painting. I’m producing less by doing more favors, requests, and work for other people. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in volunteering and serving my church, my community, and my friends. But if I allow that to consume all my spare time, I’ll have little leftover for me.

I was brought up to believe that “creative work” was a waste of time. It’s been a constant struggle between the things I “should” do and the things I want to do. I try to remember that talent and imagination are gifts that must be nurtured and used in order for them to grow. Since these gifts bring joy to others, they are equally important to the requests and assignments others give to us.

My goal for the coming month: stay focused. Schedule time for myself to flourish and bloom. Join me in assessing your own needs and following your dreams!