Monday, June 29, 2015

midlife monday: getting back to normal ... whatever normal is these days

the watcher on the stairs

found this post in my drafts for editing last week - guess the subject has been on my mind for a while. forget the getting back to normality shit - we're into summer vacation mode right now - anything but normal for ten weeks!

Normality? what's that?
Just a year ago, we were getting ready to put the house up for sale. It meant a whole heap of decluttering and throwing out unnecessary belongings to make room to look minimal. Staging the house was a breeze after this as suddenly our storage cupboards were empty.
And then it was sell/buy full swing.
Clean the house.
Stash stuff away.
Clean some more.
Don't touch the white towels.
Nag bitch, nag - issue the reminders, keep the house saleable.

And then we did sell. Packing, decluttering the remainder and sorting between rental and storage, trying to second guess what we might need and for how long we might be living no fixed abode.
More nagging. Inevitable.
Fitting in my work around the domestics. Inevitable.

Moved into rental, unpacked and then packed for moving out. Unpacked in our new home just in time for Christmas - guessed right!

And in between all the packing, unpacking, reminding, arranging for contractors and renovations and materials and tradesmen ... I gave up giving a fuck.
Furniture still in the basement? who gives a shit?
Books in boxes? wtf they can stay there.
Items temporarily relocated for renovations? temporary? wtf
Garage piled high like a junk yard? I can get to my bike and my workbench so what?

But recently - I'm finding that the ability to give a shit about the sweet home we live in is returning. I care about my living environment; paintings hung, curtains refreshed, sofa set up in its summer covers, furniture set out in a pleasing arrangement, outdoor living in comfort ... my housemates?  ... all they need are walls and a roof apparently. Simple tastes, simple life, or waiting for someone else to do it all?

Over this last year, I've found that my energy is no longer limitless; my strength is not what it used to be. I don't have endless stretches of time at my disposal. Since I can't do everything,  I plan to spend my time and energy wisely, to concentrate on the projects that inspire, re-energise and invigorate me, and keep the spirit of giving a shit flowing back.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

le weekend

The weekend, first weekend of the summer vacation.
Not just poached egg, but muffins too.
Firefighters' Annual Pancake Breakfast (twice).
Blackberry Gift Shop.
Walks with the dog.
A concert.
Pulled pork sandwiches.
Staying up way too late.
Reading books.
Buying yarn.

Friday, June 26, 2015

friday forte: summer - let's start again

Summer - take 2.
After yesterday's grouchy start - a headache, a poached egg (poached all by himself), reading in bed, walks with the dog and finished off with a pulled pork sandwich before a concert.
Summer - bring it on!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

SPT 25jun15: ready for the summer

Somehow ... I managed to grab some time to celebrate the end of the school year and the start of summer with my Wee Guy before hurrying back to the keyboard.
Somehow .... I thought I had planned how to cram in my hours of work this week.
Somehow ... mr ebb managed to forget to take the Wee Guy to catch his bus this morning.
So, what should have been maybe an hour that I could spend cramming work into minutes, ticking off some hours, became nil.
Tomorrow, it's all up to me too.
Next week, I'm expecting ditto though I did book the Wee Guy into a couple of half day camps in anticipation. I'll be working weekends to put in my hours.

Just after the shot above, I had a mini meltdown, trying to explain to the Wee Guy that I hate being the parent who is always too busy to do x, y and z. I don't want this for the summer but it's true - I am always too busy, trying to cram in the hours, catch up with the stuff, putting the domestic scene to rights ... to be quite honest, I'm sick of this scenario.

I could cut back so I have more time to give my family, but quite honestly - I've cut back so much over the years. What I do now is paid anyway, and I cut back on my personal time to cope domestically. However, right now I've cut out so much personal time that all that's left is the paid time owing to someone else. I'm totally sick of having to ask, to point out when I can't manage, that I need him to step up rather than it being an automatic action. This morning was yet another disappointment, and I'm furious with myself that I expected anything different.

I maximise my time, cramming work hours into all the nooks and crannies of the day, so that I'm available - available for what? replacing light bulbs, replacing groceries, keeping a stock of bus tickets, running to the bus stop, being at home, mending domestic this, organising domestic that, planning domestic this, spotting needs ahead of time, reminding this, nagging that, picking up the pieces, taking in the slack ...
One of my housemates is too young to know (right now, he's scrambling eggs for lunch, so maybe he was listening ...); the other should be more aware and more respectful.
Here's to stopping all of the busyness this summer!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

wordless wednesday: mother and son artwork

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

the daily pussy: in the wild

Monday, June 22, 2015

midlife monday: life could be sweeter ...

... and I'm in a hurry to get there.

This time last year I was in the midst of keeping the house ripe for sale. Somehow, all of the process fell to me - the nagging to keep it clean, the packing, the compartmentalisation of goods for rental or for storage, the coordination, facilitation, decluttering - mysteriously, only I was capable. I packed twice; I unpacked only once. I learned my lesson, but it nearly broke me.

I have never felt so utterly exhausted, so spent, so empty as I have in the last year. This year started with preparations to move house, continued through moving twice, to renovations, a massive decorating project that I completed myself in a weekend, and then more disruption with flooring. Work-wise, with a new client, a college class, regular writing work and domestic stuff, I've just had to keep going. There hasn't seemed to be a break where I could catch a breath.

At the end of 2014, when we moved at last into our sweet rental after the chaos of packing, storage, selling, buying, I had serious worries about my health. Nothing that I could pinpoint, but a vague feeling that I was getting old ... fast. Luckily, that feeling hasn't come back but I've noticed how tired I am, and I've taken notice.

I'm not willing to run around after the boys as much as I have done. They're old enough to cope themselves, and if they can't then they can do without.
I've set up my nest; since home decor is something that apparently matters only to me, I'm concentrating on the areas that matter most to me.
I've unpacked the things that matter to me.
I'm not chasing around making the house beautiful, since it's only me that cares about what the place looks like anyway - I will save my energy.

In the last week, I squeezed in lunch with a friend and took myself out for an evening - it felt good :) Somehow I hung on to a Friday night art class though I wasn't very productive.
I squeezed out the time to take part in a school trip with my son.

I have another three weeks of full-time-for-me hours to pack in somehow, and then I reduce my hours to run alongside my son's holiday routines. College finished on Saturday; I only have a couple of tasks for the artist cooperative; I have no plans for major projects ... except for spending some time looking after myself. My waistline is spreading and I need to get fitter; I haven't caught up with friends in ages; leisure moments seem few and far between - these I need to fix.

I've enabled my husband's bike rides, fitness classes and drinks with friends - I need to start doing the same for myself.
I matter to me and I shouldn't neglect what I care for any longer.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father and son birthday cupcakes silliness rolled into happy father's day merriment - lots of love to you two xxx

at last - the birthday cupcakes arrive! Happy belated 50th old man - here's to many more together XXX

Happy father's day

Friday, June 05, 2015

friday forte: work not in progress; work done

frustration: feel the rush
necklace: mixed media, tracing paper, acrylic medium, beadwire, pearls, glass, ribbon

Finally! Studio almost unpacked.
Made stuff.
Feels good :)

I started this piece months ago, when my studio was in boxes, storage and not accessible. Basically, it's what I had to hand and portrays the frustration of being away from materials, tools, beads, ... I'm sure other artists have felt this way too.

It's like a withdrawal - going cold turkey.

It was tempered however, with simply not having enough time to create, which in itself is a frustrating experience.
So I took what I had and I created.

It is an amazing rush when you can make something out of so very little.

And now I have so much ... but then I always have, maybe just not recognised it.

Here's to more creativity! and less frustration.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Thursday studio shot: flowers, real and imagined
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!