Friday, April 27, 2012

Pick One

Years ago, I visited a printer who had a sign in their front entrance 'Quality, Speed, Price:  Pick Two'.  It made me smile because I think it can be applied to other things. Honestly, there are some days when picking one seems enough.

Balance is a difficult thing. I think it's probably even trickier when you work at home (and I'm not in any way diminishing the burden carried by those who work outside of home).  I can try to ignore duties attached to the house when I am supposed to be here being creative, but the house surrounds me. If one of my girls has a dentist appointment,  I'm the one with the 'flexible' schedule so guess who drives her? If Meeko needs a haircut, I'm the one who takes him (he's looking cute, by the way). Throw in a medical appointment for me, a sick day for one of my girls, two walks a day for Meeko scheduled in between rain and wind storms, and a week can disappear.

One of my daughters came home from school this week saying that some of her friends thought that everyone had a cleaning woman. No, not everyone.  We don't have a gardener either.  Well actually we do, but she lives here and is feeling bad right now about how neglected the garden is.

My husband is away from the house about 13 hours on most days and often works weekends, not by choice. He has an impossible job.  He comes in the door at the end of the day like a hurricane and rushes around the house being 'mostly' helpful in a very condensed way. It makes for a family life that feels upside down sometimes.

Beyond the demands of day-to-day family life, it's hard to achieve balance online as well.  If I look after my blog, I'm not painting.  If I'm painting (and I did finish a painting this week), I'm not producing new prints for my Etsy shop (which still take me a lot of time to do).  If I spend time making treasuries for Etsy (which is really helping my shop get more views), I'm not visiting other people's blogs and encouraging them.  But if I spend time visiting blogs, I feel like I'm cheering on others and I'm neglecting myself.

You get my drift.  I'm sure you all live various versions of this. It's hard to achieve balance or even feel that you're getting close some days. I'm not complaining. I'm mulling. I'm sifting. I'm deciding for today which one to pick.



23 comments:

  1. My "balance" has been precarious lately at best. My house is a mess as I write this and my lawn needs cutting, again, already!
    Yet, here I am, checking my shop, messages, and various social media. LOL.
    Your blog is a small respite in the maelstrom of this. Thank you, once again for being a familiar voice of understanding!

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    1. There's comfort in company! Thanks for your encouraging words about the blog, Jody. I've already told you I think you do an amazing job of keeping your art career going with those two little ones of yours. P.S. Maelstrom--good word!

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  2. We went into battle today - me and the dogs. 6.30am quiet and peaceful, doggies snarfing kibbles and all of a sudden DOG ALERT - a huge heron was attempting to land in the yard in pursuit of the fish and frogs in the pond. Not sure the neighbors appreciated it but that heron was vanquished and sent off to fish in the river like nature intended.

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    1. Sounds like a very dramatic start to your day! (Froggy, right?)

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  3. I hear you - balance is a darn tricky thing! Just a while ago I had none, right now I'm doing OK. It goes up and down! :-)

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    1. I know--sometimes, it's the things that go up and down; sometimes it's our way of handling them!

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  4. First I want to say how much I love the photo you've used to illustrate the theme of today's post.
    Then ... then ... oh yes, balance is the one hard thing that we must work on our whole life through. And even more if you are a woman (IMO) and even more if you take care of someone else (may it be your own children, your own parents, or inlaws', or simply pets), and even more if you are mostly the only one who must juggle with everything (like when your husband works outside quite all the time)
    I have no solution for better balancing, unfortunately. My only advice is to "weight" or measure (virtually) all the things you are the only one to do, check if you don't forget yourself in the middle of it, and if you see if there are things (small or bigger) that you could ask someone else to do for you (at least from time to time) Easier said than done, I know. But we must accept that we can't be everywhere, or do everything. From time to time, something's got to stay on the side, for a moment. Then we come back very happily to it.
    Thinking about you & hoping you'll find the right balance, at least for today.
    xoxoxo

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    1. Sonia--I'm glad you saw the connection with the photo. :) That's the hard thing sometimes. All the 'flowers' seem worthy of being picked. I agree that balancing is a day-to-day thing and that we need to remember, somewhere in the process, to be kind to ourselves. xx

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  5. Aaagh.... a life that is balanced, would that I could? I seem to get thrown from one thing to another just lately, up to my eyes in projects. But if I'm honest, I do love creating, just wish I could be happy/content with what I create. Contentment, I find this difficult too, always striving? Could give it all up and live in a hut, away from it all? But I would still want to create. Talking of which, I've just discovered this paper artist Elly Mackay, WOW, her work is magic! Take a look if you get chance. Have a lovely peaceful weekend. :)

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    1. Balance, tricky. Contentment, sometimes impossible. I know what you mean. I'm glad to know that you are getting so many projects though. As hard as that must be, it's wonderful to be in demand. I will look up Elly Mackay right now. Have a good weekend too.

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    2. I did know her after all. I've seen her work on Etsy. Yes, her work is wonderfully imaginative and original.

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  6. Balance.... always changing.. as long as I stay flexible I can stay balanced..
    I can pick one of your beautiful flowers today and another tomorrow. Years ago a wise woman told me I would have all the time I needed to do everything I needed to do....I just needed to embrace the moment.
    I create because I have to...even if my creation is a delicious salad!
    Happy today!
    Sherry, who dances with butterflies

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    1. Sherry, I think the joy you take in the natural world that surrounds you and in all parts of your life that you share in your blogs is very beautiful and inspiring. I like your idea of embracing the small creative moments of each day.

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  7. Thank you for being so honest. This post is exactly what I needed to read right now. Balance is incredibly hard to find. I search for it most days. Love your blog! Xo

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    1. Thanks for the nice comments about my blog. I looked at your blog and know that you have a little sweet pea. Enjoy your little one (those early months are so wonderful and intense) but try to find a moment for yourself every now and then.

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  8. just remember every balance needs a strong fulcrum or it won't work.
    you are the fulcrum so always remember to nourish yourself in what ever way
    keeps you strong and healthy of body, mind and soul.
    xo
    m

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    1. That is a very good way of looking at it, Margie. xx

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  9. Swings and roundabouts - that's life as a working mum/artist/wife etc. Nothing is forever perfectly balanced, regular tuneups and repairs are needed here and there - the road is never smooth! Letting things flow over and around, rather than try and swim against the current is what I aim for. And can I possibly fit in another cliched proverb???

    Computer time runs differently to normal time - hours can go by in front of the screen in the blink of an eye. I know that I neglect Etsy, blogging, etc etc, but I try and prioritise painting time to be top of the heap. An artist friend of mine got herself so depressed by doing internet "research" on other blogs/artists/online shops etc. She thought that because others were already doing it, and doing it well, she had no hope of emulating their success. She started a blog but then quickly gave up.

    I still have a long list of chores that need doing. I bought the fabric to recover my window pelmets, but so far the cat is using it as a new "pillow". I have hundreds of bulbs that need planting, as well the sweet peas & roses, but they are still patiently waiting. Calligraphy Guild meeting took up all of Saturday. Tomorrow is painting delivery day and the car needs to get serviced - it will be tight squeezing in some painting tomorrow, but I'll try! At least the dog got pruned on Friday!

    Things take as long as they take. When the going gets tough, have another chocolate.

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    1. You are so right about computer time being a vast time pit, Cindy. There are good things about the internet (I know all of the lovely people here, for instance) but it has that other side too. You can feel like it's you against the world. And you are also right to make sure that painting time is at the top of the list. My walk upstairs to my studio can take a lot of detours some days, to the point that I don't always get there.

      Love your cat's pillow. And I think your dog and Meeko are on the same grooming schedule. Yes to chocolate as fuel and inspiration too. I bought myself a lovely dark chocolate bar (with chili!) last week and allowed myself a square each time I sat at my work table to paint.

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  10. Lovely pictures:)
    Kram Emma

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    1. Thanks Emma! We have an Emma in our house too. :)

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  11. i actually have a venn diagram of similar requirements with the space on the center that covers all three as impossible utopia.

    suddenly, you made me miss my job

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    1. No matter where you are or what you are doing, Perrine, I think it is the same. Balance is hard to achieve. But when you are in the corporate world, what you are mostly doing is balancing the needs of others.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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