Thursday, August 26, 2010

Six Hours

Don't get me wrong, I love all of it. I love all of the joyous, jubilant noises of happy children in the back yard. I love helping to clean up the biggest fort we ever built. I love teens coming in the studio to talk and the chaos of a house full of teen cats, tom cats and little kittens night and day. I love all of the time outdoors, feeling the sun on my skin. I love the garden and dirt under my fingernails. I love biking and swimming. I love watching the quail families grow and when we have to rescue them from the window well. I love crickets and hummingbirds and sunflowers that give me hives. Sigh...yes, it's my favorite season.
Very most,I love every minute I spend with family, letting go of everything else.
Although, if you were in my neighborhood on the first day the kittens went back to school, you might have heard a hearty "hallelujah!" coming from my house. I've been bursting...BURSTING with joy for the past two days. If I were a leprechaun I would jump and click my heals together.
I love summer and everything we do in the summer and I also love to paint. Painting is hard for me in the summer. It's hard because there is a battle inside of me. I feel tugged by the urning to be out in the sun. I feel guilty because, even though my kittens are occupied and happy, I worry that I should be playing with them. Honestly, I don't think there was a single night this summer that I went to bed before midnight, then I sleep in, of course, and miss those beautiful morning hours when my mind is clear and focused and I feel guilty about that too.
So, when the kittens are in school for the day, and I have SIX HOURS to paint uninterrupted and guilt free, I feel so happy that I could cry. It feels so good to be working. It feels so good to funnel all of that churning and burning inside of me into paint.

As I have in the past few years, even though it takes more self control than almost anything I've ever experienced, when my six hours are up, I wash my brushes and close the studio door. That's the one thing that helps me create balance between having a career and being a mother. Put it away when they get home. On the days when the temptation to keep working gets the best of me and I justify working a little longer, I end up feeling guilty and frustrated so I don't paint well and my other duties as far as my household goes get neglected and I'm not in tune with the needs and wants of my kittens. Yikes.
Six hours feel like ten right now in the studio and I'm really trying to use my time well, doing work that I hope has value...but that's another topic. I can't wait for tomorrow, another day, another six hours.
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Claudia said...

How wonderful to have those hours back in your life guilt free. And how equally satisfying to know when to "close the studio door".

Can't wait to your latest magic!

pamela said...

oh wow, i can't wait for that day, bittersweet as it is! i mean six hours?? i'm still wondering how i can get a meal without a kid on my lap!

Anonymous said...

Go! Paint! Win!

Kim said...

I love this post! I know that icky feeling of guilt when you know you should've put your project away earlier. For me, it's writing. Thanks for helping me decide to do better (once again!).


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