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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Balancing Act -- the Demands of Work, Family, and Personal Choice

Seafaring Pelican 
Sitting at the salon waiting for a haircut made me lament the amount of time it takes for pure “maintenance.” Not only do we spend hours keeping our body’s clean and our fingernails and toenails trimmed and polished, but we spend hours each week exercising, eating, and sleeping.

I know, I’m being anal (it’s what I do best!). The thing is where do we draw the line? Where do we find time to do what we love; to write, to read, to paint, to draw for me? Add to that composite the demands of a job and family and you get my point!

Great Egret Fishing, watercolor
The key is learning to use your limited free moments wisely. Snatches of time can be used for birthing ideas, drawing on a potential canvas, or jotting down a few words or sentences in the rush as they come to you. My best ideas are inspired by activities like driving, ironing, or fixing a quick meal. I suspect the flowing of fresh blood when I'm on all cylinders.

I keep a pen and paper handy in every room in my house. I have a moleskin notebook in my purse, in the car, and where I watch Television. I use them constantly, even on the go.

Pelican Pointe, acrylic on panel
As I was running errands today, I jotted down the word “maintenance” as an idea for this blog. Afterward, the movie “When Harry met Sally” flashed forward. The film is a timeless classic that illustrates beautifully the principle of high maintenance, and low maintenance. The crux of the matter is that we’re all high maintenance, only about different things.

I use a certain product that only Sephora sells. Another “must” is found at Ulta several miles away. If I were less picky, I might be able to compromise and save money on gas and time; but as I said, I’m high maintenance, at least about some things. Most of us want the best for ourselves, even though we could sacrifice and scrape by with something less. 

Normally, I hate to shop. Oh, I love to spend, but I hate to try on clothes. I’d rather order an outfit online and hope for the best than struggle in and out of sticky clothes on a hot muggy day in Florida.

Leap of Faith, 16 x 20 oil on canvas (Snowy Egret)
Choices. That’s what it’s all about. I would rather wear my grungy paint clothes each day than worry about shopping for a new outfit that I may wear some of the time. I really get into my groove when I’m slapping paint around. I’ve ruined more clothes thinking that I’ll take a few swipes at a canvas before running to a meeting or a dental appointment.


My stack of paint clothes has grown the past few months from two outfits to five. My husband considers that high maintenance. I say, do whatever it takes to keep on painting and keep on trucking to do what you love!
Sandhill Cranes at Twilight, mixed media on canvas