Not of everything, of course, but certainly of a number of important details. I’ve neglected my blogs—both the Healthy Norwegian and my writing/life blog. It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say, quite the contrary. It’s just that I haven’t felt like doing it.
I neglected to send a Christmas letter and/or cards. I have no real excuse except that I spent December 4th (my birthday) through January 13 in frigid Minnesota/North Dakota totally absorbed in my daughter and her family which consists of three adorable great grandchildren and one teenage granddaughter. We did crafts.
I did most of the cooking and lots of dishes which freed Caryl up to work with Stable Days Youth Ranch. And let me tell you, managing SDYR takes a lot of energy and time and plain old hard work. Try caring for horses and all that entails in minus degree weather.
I spent a fair amount of time cuddled up to the fire. While I managed to work on the updates of one of my Jennie McGrady Mysteries, I neglected my writing. I have neglected my quilting—mostly because didn’t have my sewing machine or materials there. I did however, manage to mend and put the binding on a partially completed quilt from my last visit—did I mention that I fixed the defunct sewing machine?
So yes, I neglected to do a number of things I would normally do. I won’t say I’m sorry because I’m not so much. Okay, maybe for not sending Christmas greetings to some of my favorite people.
When I talk about neglect, I have to add something that I have sadly neglected for years and years. Or maybe it wasn’t neglect so much as redirection.
The Lost Artist
Many of you don’t know this about me. I am an artist. In my teens I loved to paint. I would spend most of my babysitting money on oil paints and brushes and canvases. I painted all kinds of things and I was pretty good at it. I loved being an artist.
Then along came adulthood, marriage, kids and a career that actually brought in an income. I had somehow lost my creative-artist-self amidst the business of life. I didn’t realize how destructive the loss of my artist self was or how much of a toll it had taken on me until I fell into a terrible depression.Over time, I managed to crawl out of it with God’s help, and I came to realize that I needed to fulfill a part of myself that I’d lost.
Coming Full Circle
To fill the need in me to create, I became a ceramicist and then a potter. For years I created vessels from clay and eventually turned to writing. I’ve missed painting however and recently decided I had to go back to my roots. Oils.
So, yes, I have neglected many of the things on my to-do list to immerse myself in painting. I’ve taken some classes and am still not back to where I was, but I’m having a great time. While back in MN, I worked with Maddie and Andrea and Caryl on creating landscapes. I encouraged them to create and we created together.
I suppose in a way I have created a monster—neglecting far too many things in lieu of art. I’m sure things will even out eventually, but in the meantime, I’ll be posting my works of art here and there. Here's one of my recent efforts. I’ll continue to amass paintings and may eventually be forced to sell them. For now, I’m reliving my passion for art. I’m spending my hard earned money on oils and canvases and brushes and classes to improve my techniques. I’m smiling more.
Never Neglect Your Passion
I guess if there is a lesson in all of this for readers and friends is it to never walk away from your passion. If you are going to neglect something let it be the things that don’t really matter in the end. And be true to who you are. With that I’m getting ready to spend 4 days at a quilting retreat. Yes, I’ll be neglecting some important stuff—like work, cooking, cleaning, even painting, but I’m going to have a great time and I’ll be creating quilts for family, friends, and for charity. And I’ll be smiling.