January 2011 – A Big Balancing Act

As some of you may know, as much as I’d love to be a full time artist, I’m not.

I have a full time 9-5 job coupled with full time family responsibilities and everything else I insanely manage to muster in, tying shoe laces, figuring out dinner, toddler Saturday activities, packing lunch boxes, making those work deadlines, hit the gym, hubby time, call mom, chat with a  friend aaaah aaaah aaaaaahhhh!!!

I try to squeeze in my art late nights and weekend but it is so difficult! It’s just one big balancing act and on many occasions those balls go tumbling every which way! But where there’s a will, TRUST ME… there IS a way.

I am currently enrolled in the January 2011 Blast Off Class, taught by renowned art business coach Alyson B. Stanfield. The class is held over the span of 18 days online via a blog. The first 5 days within this class where a major eye opener. I’ve always had so many dreams and goals regarding my art but never had a clear idea of what steps to take and upon what path in order to get there. For the most part I’ve been in a state of “would be nice if one day…”

So what I’ve been doing in this class is envisioning my goals, in all their glory, not with held or tuned down in the slightest. And from that, identify what I can do on my part perhaps, seasonally, monthly, weekly, daily etc. to get me there. This is exactly what I’ve needed. Some wind behind me to help give me a push and stop sitting on excuses. I know “why” I’m doing it but more importantly I now know “how” to do it, and do it in a manner that suits me.

I have  developed a routine, and plan of things to do that will get me closer to my goals and please this dear soul of mine. It’s amazing how “direction” forces you to get real huh? I always found I had so many ideas or plans but they just hadn’t happened yet for one reason or another. The idea of reinforcing your “to-do” items in a routine is so hard but yet so beneficial.

I feel as though this really ties into what I’ve discovered about myself over the years. I have always found routines COMFORTING. The best way I can explain it is that it feels like someone is giving you a big hug and whispering “it will be ok”. Uncertainty and I have never been great friends. I can get bogged down in what I “haven’t done” way to quickly. But I know that through routine it WILL get done eventually so it’s OK.

So I’ve sat down and planned when to paint, what exhibition I’d like to work towards, how often I’d like to partake in some professional development initiative, what days I shall blog on, when I’ll update my facebook, when to read up other artists, visit their blogs etc. It can seem like too much so easily but a routine helps me tie it in with life, to balance it all and keep on trucking. Though it may not always happen in the way that I want everyday, I at least have an idea of where I am and where I’m going else I’ll begin to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re anything like me, balancing a vast amount and wishing to maintain and got after those dreams, then perhaps a little routine will do you some justice. Find a quiet spot somewhere, hide if you need to and start defining a routine that works for you and fosters your passion. Challenge yourself but within reason. Your new routine may require some people, along with yourself, to adjust but it can happen in  a positive way. Perhaps you just need an extra 15min in the morning along to note down a journal entry to think of an upcoming exhibition, time adds up. This is a step in the right direction, there’s always room to grow. Go for it!