Now that the first quarter of 2011 is nearly over, I think I have stumbled onto what my Word of The Year is going to be.
This past year, from my birthday in 2010 to my upcoming birthday, has been one of personal exploration, decisions, failed (and successful) attempts, and refining of artistic visions. I tried a lot of things (submitted to magazines, taught classes, did shows), was successful with some of them, and not so much with others. But through it all, I realized that I was allowing myself to get mired in negative thinking, spending way too much time comparing myself with others, and constantly thinking that whatever I did in a particular moment was somehow just. not. enough.
Which is ridiculous.
I mean, really.
So I hit a giant 'reset' button somewhere after the holidays, and took everything back about eight hundred notches. I thought about my plans and what I really want. I'm pretty happy with what I've been doing lately, which, compared to last year, isn't all that much. I've got a couple of custom commissions going on at the moment, and I was just asked to create bridesmaid jewelry for a friend's wedding this fall. And I'm making some personal projects that aren't all in the artisan jewelry realm. I'm also exploring my interest in art history, and dipping my toes back into the waters of my medieval living history hobby.
I have no plans to submit to magazines in the near future. I didn't do Lori's recent (and OMG awesome!!) Bead Soup Blog Party, but I am planning on joining the next one. I have signed up for no spring and summer shows. I'm taking it easy. Very easy. And it's nice! I'm finding that when artistic vision and inspiration really strikes me, I'm so incredibly productive, it's almost scary.
I can see now that there are only two more years before my littlest ones are in school full time, and after that there will be MUCH more time to get involved in all these things: shows, magazines, online stuff. Right now, I am doing what comes up and what I feel led to do in the moment, and that means accepting that what happens or what I do is simply enough.
It came to me over the weekend that 2011 is all about Acceptance -- of me as a person, an artist, a mom, all my various roles. Whatever I am doing is the best I can do at the time, and it's what I am supposed to be doing, and ALL I am supposed to be doing.
I guess this means I really can't Do It All.
Do I feel the insistent pull of "Sign up for shows!Submit to a magazine!Get yourself Out There!Be Involved!!"? Of course I do. I am a goal-oriented, responsible, achieving, first-born child! It's my Job! *snicker*
But I am consciously reminding myself (pretty much daily) that the most peaceful and happiest path I can be on right now is one in which I possess and define boundaries that allow me to not feel rushed, stressed, overwhelmed, ragged at the edges, and creatively spent. I don't have to be everything to all, and I don't have to do everything to be a successful person. Sounds like comprehending that would be a no-brainer, right? I mean, duh! But it's remarkably hard for me to grasp that and integrate it.
It's all good, though. And it's going well.
Oh, and here's a shot of my latest custom order....
So, my question to you is...how are you doing with your chosen path this year?