“Life Gets in the Way”
A polite way of saying, “I don’t have time.” Sure we all need to go to the store, vacuum the carpet, and handle life when something gets thrown in your face. Doing what you love usually takes a backseat to “life”. Let’s break this down…
When you think about it, what is life worth living for in the first place? I would imagine that you would try to spend as much time as possible doing what you love. Whether it’s being with family, growing a garden, building dollhouses, sewing cat outfits, whatever it is that gives you joy. In my case, painting and creating art is what I love to do. And I mean love, like from the bottom of my heart kind of love. I just know it is why I was put on this planet. My role on this rock hurtling through space is to create and in doing so inspire others. Pretty simple huh? Well if you look at it, it is. We just complicate the crap out of our lives . Life is about choices and this morning when I sat down to the computer thinking about how many weeks past since my last blog post I made a choice. I commonly hear the phrase, “I don’t have time to paint.” This usually gives way into a recitation of all the incredibly important life-threatening chores that has monopolized their time. I’ve got to say, it’s kind of irritating to listen to. Here, let me give you a few examples from a real-life situation:
A: “What have you been working on lately?”
B: *sigh* “I’ve been wanting to work on this big piece for a show that’s coming up but I haven’t had the time. My landlord wants to move back into our house so we have to find a new place by April WITH our horses. There’s nothing that’s affordable in this area so I’m just looking on Craigslist everyday.”
A: “Oh man. Tell me about this piece you’re wanting to start?”
B”: “It’s going to be a wild self-portrait but I’ve been working a lot so I haven’t had anytime to paint or even develop the idea and it needs to be done next month. I’m totally freaking out because I also need to buy a new car ’cause mine is dying so now I need a new car AND a place to live AND I need to finish this piece. Oh, and I need to do my taxes.” *sigh*
A: “When’s your next day off?”
B: “Tomorrow but I can’t do anything because I have to clean the house ’cause it’s a mess THEN I have to go back to work the next day.”‘
Kind of draining isn’t it? It’s hard to be in a conversation with Eeyore. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m person “B” and I am moving with my caravan of animals, looking for a new car, and figuring out this life-changing piece of art that’s due next month. Come on, Jaya, pull up your big-girl panties and pick up a brush, who gives a crap if you haven’t vacuumed in a week? This is life, it’s going to throw you blows in a whirlwind of chaos. How do you deal with it? Make a choice. This is easier said than done…
One of the major blockages to doing what you love is bum bum BUM…chores! If you look at it, a lot of those mini-crisis situations can be put into the chores category. I’m not talking about driving someone to the hospital or dealing with an exploding septic tank – I’m talking about chores. Have you ever read the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?” It starts out with a child giving a mouse a cookie, then the mouse needs a glass of milk. To drink the milk he’ll need a straw and to wipe his face he’ll need a napkin, etc etc…Should I paint or do the dishes? If I do the dishes I’ll need to unload the dishwasher. If I unload the dishwasher I’ll need to clean the kitchen counter. Pretty soon you’re deriving a plan on how to re-paint the house. Does this sound familiar? I made a choice to write a consistent blog meant to inspire others to create and it’s not going to write itself. Wallowing in whatever chaotic situation you’re in or getting pissed that you can’t find the Windex isn’t going to make it any easier. This is only expended energy that could have been used to do something that is creatively productive. The trap to watch out for is using chores (a lot of what people call “life”) as an excuse for why you’re not doing what you love. This is a pretty scary something to look at under the microscope. Why aren’t you doing what you love?
Vanilla or chocolate. Sweater or jacket. Cadmium red light or naphthol crimson. Take out Susan or Karen. Buy a house or rent. This job or that job. What if it’s wrong? What if you can’t go back? What will the neighbors think? This can be frightening. It’s so much easier to get wrapped up in that comfortable downy blanket of BS instead of taking the leap into the unknown. Trust me, I’m pretty good at the BS. Paint something on your day off or mow the lawn. Even for something as simple as picking up a brush the same drama will show up. You want to fluster someone? Call them out. “How’s that piece going?” See what they say. I like to cut them off if they start to waffle, “GET ON IT!” Expect a deer-in-the-headlight expression.
I understand that there are these little paper things that come in the mail called “bills”, and I’m pretty sure you need a roof over your head, and clothes on your back, and food in your stomach. Do what you need to do but remember why you’re on this planet. I doubt it’s to sit in traffic thinking about how gas is on the rise and how you can lower the interest rate on your credit card.
Life is chaotic. It’s not going to stop being chaotic. How do you live with chaos. What makes life worth living. Do it. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to check Craigslist…