Sometimes I have aha moments that slide into some fissure of my brain and I forget what I learned. But this week I believe I have one I will stick with.
I have a passion to paint. I love oils with which I paint landscapes and wildlife mostly. But life seems to get in the way.
There have been years that I have gone without painting, which I discovered as a great outlet when my first child was a toddler—because we moved, started working full time, etc. Yet there have been moments I connected with someone and we started a painting class.
To digress…one of those times we painted weekly at a nursing home where I also worked part time. The residents would gather around, watch us paint and eat our cookies.
A lady in her 80’s who would observe us from her wheelchair, appeared each time as soon as she could get a nurse aide to push her down to the dining room where we were set up.
One day she remarked, “I always wanted to paint.” So my friend Kathy and I encouraged, brought her up to the table, shared canvas and paints and coached her. She was sometimes late joining us due to waiting for someone to push her wheelchair to the dining room.
After a few times of missing part of the time for painting, this lovely lady came to painting one morning pushing her own wheelchair! She had her art supplies in the seat. And she always walked to painting after that. And shared how she now looked at the world differently, really observing scenery when her son took her for a drive, studying how she would paint that scene, what colors she would use. She went on to put her paintings on greeting cards.
But, back to my “aha”. I have seriously neglected my painting the past couple years. Family medical issues have played a part, as have other adventures, such as my writing pursuits for which I’ve received some income, and my occasional shifts at hospice.
At home, I think I’ll reward myself when the necessary chores are done. But by then, I’m tired, and depressed. And because I’m reaching but never getting the carrot dangling in front of me, I feel tired and energyless. (Not a word my laptop says, but it fits me.)
A couple weeks ago a fellow artist said, “Let’s get together and paint once a week!” Being a “yes person” I said “Okay.”
We have met for 3 weeks, and this past week I have started my day with working on my painting, instead of saving it for the end of the day when I don’t have the energy.
And lo, (it’s almost the season for ‘and lo’ as in “and lo, there were shepherds abiding in the fields”) I have more energy and enthusiasm to tackle the rest of my day. The excitement of doing what I love and even being pleased with most of it, (some Hereford cows I’m working on are just not shaping up like they should) seems to rejuvenate me physically and mentally.
So, don’t put off the things in life that are worthy of pursuit and bring you pleasure. They are balm for the soul to use a cliché. I don’t know about you, but I’m not getting any younger!