Every so often over the years I’ve written about the times when I’ve had to do a sort of mental housecleaning… a periodic clearing of the metaphorical clutter in my life. Sometimes that also involves clearing out a bunch of physical clutter too. I have a tendency to collect too many irons in the fire.
I’m a curious person. And a creative one. I love discovering interesting things about the world, and am always seeking out new ways to interact with the land around me. And sometimes I follow rabbit holes that take me on incredible journeys with twists and turns and irritating dead ends. I get involved in pursuits that suck in my time and energy, and I collect a lot of physical clutter on the way, too.
A Reminder to do the Periodic Clearing
I listened to this podcast while driving to my studio this past weekend, and it reminded me that it was time to do my periodic clearing. The title, “When to Quit Your Art” sounds a bit scary, but don’t worry. I’m not quitting my art! And neither is the podcaster/artist Christina Staib of Case Artworks. But I definitely do need to throw out the supplies I will never use, and resolve to let go of ideas I’ll never pursue. And there are time-sapping other activities I want to restrict.
Additionally, there are a couple of new time-saps I need/want to do that will need the space in my life I manage to free up with this periodic clearing. I’m wavering on which of the commitments I want to make. I can’t do both, so I need to choose. And I’m not even considering letting go of my pigment-making and painting, so no worries there. But I need to do something that will earn some income for our household in addition to continuing to fund the business of Wild Ozark. So, I need a ‘real’ job or I need to get a side-hustle that will provide that life-support until the studio-gallery gains traction (or until I see it won’t). Either one of those will consume a lot of the time, plus possibly more than I will free up with my periodic clearing.
The Most Important Things
Just as I have to choose which photos and videos to keep whenever I run out of space on my phone, I also have to choose which aspects of my life I want to keep. It’s far easier to organize the irons in my fire and carry out my periodic clearing after I’ve narrowed down the things that are most important to me in life.
- Art, Studio time, and interacting with the Nature that inspires it
Dabbler in Many, Master of None
There is nothing wrong with being a dabbler if that’s what makes you happy. But when I do that, it inevitably means that I can’t master any of it. And there are things I want to master. So I need to dabble less and focus more. Translation: I will probably not make watercolor paints often anymore, since I have found that I love working with oils.
The Goal of Becoming a Master
I want to become better at my art, and I want to become better at growing food and my plant-based art supplies. And, I want to become better at attracting art buyers to my studio in more time and money efficient ways. I’m not sure how to go about the last one, but it’s something to think about and devote time in strategizing about.
Mastering my family life is the hardest of all for me because I am obsessive at pursuing the other things on that list. Probably more obsessive than whatever ‘normal’ is. I don’t feel that I live up to expectations that others in my life have for me as wife/mother/grandmother/friend. And I’m not sure how much is because of neglect on my part or unrealistic expectations on their parts, lol. I’m not even sure if it’s important to TRY to meet anyone else’s expectations of me in those roles. But I love my husband and the rest of my family, and I want them to know it. If I never make time for them, it’s not showing much love, whether I feel it or not. So I think I need to try and do better at this somehow. One thing I need to do right now, before I work on this post even longer than I already have, is to go clean house a little bit. LOL. So I’ll be back to work on this more later.
Things to Discard or Back Away From
- Social Media
- Stressing over things I cannot ‘fix’
- Trying to fix other people’s problems
‘Discard’ is such an uncomfortable word, isn’t it? To throw out, to throw away, to get rid of, to let go of….. all of those phrases are uncomfortable. There are euphemisms that feel better: to give away, to rehome, to part ways, back away from, … etc. It doesn’t really change the properties of what is being done, but it soothes the part of my mind that resists the change that must occur to carry through on the need to do this periodic clearing.
There has to be a letting go of things, circumstances, activities, or limiting interactions with those elements. The desire to do it all and keep it all is what gets me into this situation to begin with. I just can’t possibly continue in that way. My time is limited, and I have to choose where I want to spend it.
Social Media and News
Backing away from so much scrolling, posting, and reading the social media posts and news is going to be difficult and it’s a double-edged sword. There’s the seduction of those platforms to make you think they’re important and necessary for business, and keeping up with family. But are they really? I’ve been posting a lot to do with my art studio and my art, and I’m not sure it helps business-wise at all. The algorithms favor paid promotions or boosting, so my posts aren’t seen by more than small fractions of my followers. At any rate, social media is consuming far more of my time and mental energy than I wish it did, therefore I am going to wean myself away from it.
So, with that said, if you want to see or hear from me more often than you might see or hear from me anymore on FB or Instagram, consider following here on my website (use the form below this paragraph) to get it in your emails when I make a post, or subscribe to my newsletter (here’s the link for that). I make a newsletter once a month for the main one, and more often or less often for the special interest groups you can sign up for.