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Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Sprout of Green!

I'm trying hard not to get too excited about the spotting of a green shoot -- probably a daffodil or paperwhite. Maybe a hyacinth! After my "Unsupported Personality" issues (previous post), this is a sign.
As our snow is slowly receding under the sky of a comparatively warm day (we are above freezing), we are beginning to see brown grass and dirt. And a wee bit of green poking its head out of the lawn. We are seeing the beginning of spring. Or so we choose to think.
I am reminded that Daylight Savings Time begins on March 9 (which is today). This means that unless we have a snow or ice, Rick will be on the bike with his gang after work every Tuesday. The Tuesday Night Ride is sacred. 
The other night Rick and his musician friend Byron got together -- as they do weekly -- to play flute/guitar duets. Rick is dedicated in the art of practice and the music they made was indeed lovely. 
 
Things like that don't just happen. Whether it's riding his bike, playing the guitar or building his business, Rick is tremendously disciplined. And he seems to have boundless energy. Sure, he'll have a down day like everyone else. But he pushes through it. And he usually comes out on top.
I was thinking about this as I looked at this mess I call the art room, some piles in the family room that need attention and too many things that need sorting or purging. Then, instead of taking ten or fifteen minutes to organize at least one shelf or toss out that old stuff, I do a blog post about being undisciplined. (I may be smiling, but look at the rat's nest behind me!)
I'm OK with that in some ways. Like so many of you who are working outside the home (or even in the home, for that matter), by the time the end of the day rolls around, dinner is done and Lizzie is fed, it is dark and I'm ready to shut down and snug up with the glowing screen of my laptop, followed by a good book or a favorite show on the telly. I don't have it in me to talk on the phone that much or head out for an evening of fun or do that shelf where I crammed the most recent of the Michael's bags.
The other day I signed up for an Easter egg carton swap at Amusing Provincial. I've seen some of these on your blogs -- you have partners and find out a bit about them, then decorate a six-egg carton to make it all pretty and stuff it with fun art things -- ribbons or button, lace or flowers -- you get the idea. 
 
I did it for a couple of reasons -- first, they were darned cute! And every time I do a swap, I meet fun people -- some of you are some of them! 
 
But when I have a deadline, I'll work heaven and earth to meet it. And if a deadline is what will get me some art time (something of which I have recently deprived myself), then it sounds like a good deal to me.

I was sharing this with someone at work who asked me "How do you do it?" 

"Do what?" I asked.

"All that you do. You've had all this health stuff going on, but still -- you work, you're on the board for the university theatre, you have two blogs, you have book club and friends and Rick. Then you go sign up for this! (I didn't tell her about the classes in May.)  How do you do it?"

"Some of it I have to do. The rest, I want to do."

It's an easy answer. But Annie, in an email, called me out on that concept. "At some point you will start balancing the needs against the wants. The weightier side of the scale will point you in the right direction."
 
Fair 'nuf.

Right now I am going through a lot of introspection, looking at what I must and need to do and how what I want to do fits into all that. If you never do any of the  "want to" things, then what's the rest of it for?
My primary priority must be to get healthy and build up the strength I've lost in the past year. I'm seeing an infectious disease specialist to see if there is something the other docs may have overlooked that might help me be healthier for longer periods of time. I bought the four DVD set of "Sweating to the Oldies" because going to the gym with all those people with germs scares the heck out of me right now. And at the end of the day, I don't have it to give.
I saw a sprout of green. And the thyme in my garden is fragrant. If these plants that suffer the frozen days of winter can pop back and share their gifts. I can, too.
And besides, for what it's worth, the day is getting "longer!

(And, I have a new look at a most wonderful book by Vivian Swift on Chopsticks and String. Check out "When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Journal of Staying Put." It's dazzling.)

21 comments:

Jenny Woolf said...

You do wonderfully well! I think you should hold on to that image of the shoot of green, and imagine it growing into a beautiful flower.

Introverted Art said...

the art is beautiful... but I just cannot repeat enough times how much I hate daylight savings.

Becca said...

There is a time and season for everything, and the season now is for you to build up strength. the right time for clearing and organizing will come, too.

Today felt so hopeful of spring , didn't it??

Retired English Teacher said...

I like you introspections. You give me encouragement as you look inside yourself because I see so much in you that is also in me.

Green, days with more light, and Easter goodies to make all add up to ensuring brighter days ahead.

As far as the mess goes, I've walked around mine for months. I am finally digging out because I will be entertaining my high school girlfriends this coming weekend. Deadlines - I always meet them.

Get well. I hope you find some answers on your health. I too am fighting back on getting stronger.

Retired English Teacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne Huffman said...

My mess, like this past winter, has it's moments of really depressing me; but longer daylight hours and the prospect of spring are encouraging. I hope you get stronger and healthier and bask in the sun. You can always tidy up later. Enjoy your art swap.

anno said...

The pauses in life lend it shape & meaning: I'm pretty sure we need to inhale just as much as exhale. Wishing you peace, friend: peace and health.

Kathleen McCoy said...

Isn't it wonderful to see the first hints of spring? And it's also great to see a picture of you looking so happy and much better. Your health comes first. I hope you keep getting stronger and feeling better in the next few months, Jeanie. The battle of the "shoulds" vs. "wants" continues into retirement and the challenge is always to strike a good balance between them.

Introverted Art said...

Jeanie, I am not wishing my life away but I am SO looking forward to retirement ;-)

Jeanie said...

I think the right balance is an issue at all stages of life and from here you seem to be a very balanced person (except for maybe working a little too hard?). I hope that right now you keep getting healthy at the top of your list. With good health and a little spring sunshine a lot of things will sort themselves out for you.

rippleeffects said...

I wouldn't have known that you're having some health issue in a previous post, I wouldn't have thought so, because of all the work you're engaged in. Just look at this post, lots of work must have gone into preparing for it, including the wonderful art work that first had to be created. I wish you all the best in your health, Jeanie. And I'm sure to look forward for some visually stunning art works. ;)

culdesacchronicles said...

You have it just right, Jeanie. Do what you can, take care of yourself and enjoy the things you love. I'm still staying away from crowds to avoid anything contagious. I still use my walking tape when the weather is lousy, but we've gotten some lovely days recently. The daffodils are blooming and I seen a few trees that are just beginning to bloom.

Wishing you the very best, Jeanie. Rest and heal.

Jennifer Richardson said...

I understand the breathing thing
is exhausting.
I struggle there too.
The solution I found
turned out to be less of a solution
than I'd hoped.
And I can't seem to exist
with absolutely NO dairy, grain, corn, nuts, eggs, sugar, and a whole host of other things I seem to be overly sensitive to.
I mean how does a woman live
on such a rigid diet?
I'm still opening wide to healing
and waiting patient.
Love to you in all you do or don't do.
(you're a human being, not doing...remember.)
Your value doesn't lie
in what you produce.
-Jennifer

Peter Olson said...

Such a lot in one post, so much of what I believe is "yourself"! Really impressed, including the thoughts about the needs and wants...

~*~Patty S said...

Balance is such a tricky thing in this life and it never ends!

I think it is important to note what we DO and not so much of what we don't do...easier said than done I guess

hope you have time to play and refresh doing things that delight you

and spring is definitely on the way
oxo

Privet and Holly said...

Jeanie, your musings
on wants vs needs
really speaks to me.
I have a dear friend
with terminal cancer
and I've really put my
own life under the
microscope lately,
trying to determine
what I truly WANT to
do with my days....
Does blogging even
fit in, anymore? I'm
really wrestling with
these questions. Good
to know that I"m not
alone! Love all your
beautiful pictures and
you always make your
art shine : )

xo Suzanne

Marilyn said...

Yes, take care of yourself and be well. I hope they can figure it all out. But being a creative person, I think there just has to be some creativity thrown in. It does make the heart sing.

shoreacres said...

The feeling that if we just push a little harder, work a little longer, struggle a little more consistently we can "fit it all in" is one of the greatest temptations in the world, especially for people who are creative and engaged with the world.

There are limits of all sorts in life, and trying to exceed them can lead to trouble. I'm so glad to see you (apparently!) easing up a bit and taking care of yourself. Don't think for a minute I'm not talking to myself, too. ;)

And thank goodness for that green! The seasons are turning, for sure - and I can't wait to see your eggs!

Tracy said...

That hint of spring green has my toes tapping! And LOVELY greens & blues with your new artwork. Love the leafy work at the bottom. Just now surfacing after 2 weeks+ I've been down with flu & migraines--slowly mending. Fist chance I've had to post and visit friends. So great to catch up with you. Like you, I know how it is to try and balance health, life and creative flow. :o) Happy Weekend ((HUGS))

Leann said...

Morning Jeannie

Love that little shot of spring springing:) It excites me to see these little signs!

You studio shot is wonderful - keeping it real is refreshing. A lot of us have that mess pushed off to the side for our photos to reveal a perfectly set up photo. Bravo!

Have fun with your egg crate!

Leann

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I think you do not give yourself enough credit and that co-worker's comment is evidence of that! I think we look at others and wonder how they 'do it all', and think we aren't doing as much or enough, but then someone else looks at our life and wonders how we do it all. We just overlook some of the things we commit ourselves to. I, too, have things I have let fall to the wayside, like organizing my coffee table which is kind of keeper of all things that I don't know where to put... I could spend 30 minutes organizing it, or I could lay in bed with a book. I choose the book. ;)

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