Sunday, October 22, 2017

Evidence of Work and Patting Ourselves on the Back

"Evidence", an example from one of my creativity
workshops.  ©gaylepritchard
Boy, do the days, weeks and months fly by. I have always loved John Lennon's lyric, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." His line resonates throughout my being. Overcoming the hindrances of life is how I have learned to go with the flow while still remaining focused.

It's not that I am required to do x, y and z on any given day. Flexibility to the workday is one of the many benefits of being self-employed. What is required of me, rather, is what I set out through personal choice and motivation to accomplish, and I am quite disciplined in that regard. I keep my eyes on the prize.

Over the past two months, life has certainly happened, and derailed me on and off for a time. My darling nephew died suddenly, five days after returning from his honeymoon. That happened at the same time that my brother was told he needed emergency bypass surgery, and then the cardiologist proceeded to throw roadblock after roadblock in his path, preventing the surgery from happening for nearly three months. One time, the surgery had been scheduled to take place the night before my nephew's funeral, six hours away, so the family fretted over plans as we tried to figure out how to be present with our brother for his surgery, then drive six hours and arrive in time to be with our sister the morning of her son's funeral. It was actually a relief when they cancelled the surgery when the doctor supposedly "found" signs of kidney cancer in his blood-work. Mind you, none of this had shown up in the previous three pre-op blood-work tests, and, of course, he did not have cancer of any sort. It was the closest I have ever come to having a panic attack.

Another time the surgery was scheduled, but didn't happen, my husband and I had driven the three hours to the location, rented a hotel room, and were prepared to camp out until he was up and around. Prepped and shaved and ready to receive anesthesia, the surgery was cancelled one last time due to a miscommunication between the cardiologist and the surgeon. It was an emotional roller coaster for all of us all summer long, I can tell you.

My 2017 Vision Board, made each year in January 
in a workshop with my daughter. It requires taking 
time to consider and focus on what it is you want in
your life in the coming year. The results are always
I write about this only because I suspect that your life has these periods, as well. It is so easy to have plans derailed, and sometimes it is really important for us to turn our attention elsewhere and put aside whatever it was that seemed so important before the disastrous event occurred. It's okay. Yes, deadlines may loom, and freelance opportunities are waiting for your return, but it's very difficult, at least for me, to be creative on demand, and crisis-mode tends to inhibit that creativity temporarily. More importantly, there is never a time when the needs of my loved ones would take second place. There are simply moments when you need to be present for others.

I do admit, though, the delitght and joy that fills me when I can return to my work. Down the rabbit hole and immersed in my creative mojo is the place where my soul lives. Since life has settled down, I've made up for lost time. I have entered three writing call to entries, as well as Cleveland's Keep Talking storytelling call for entries on the theme of "medical." I have written drafts of two new stories, and worked on editing others. I am pulling together two new creativity workshops in hopes of presenting them at Hippocamp 2018. I have entered a regional juried art exhibition, and two national ones have deadlines looming. I'm ready with several new pieces.

This coming Friday curators and docents from the Cleveland Museum of Art will attend the exhibition I am so honored to be a part of, In the Details. Over the next few days, I need to finish preparing a seven minute presentation about my artwork. I'm on it. I know what I want to accomplish, and I keep working toward those goals. It makes me happy. It feeds my soul.

So, take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back if you have been able to keep working toward the things you want to accomplish. If not, give yourself a break. Tomorrow is a new day.


  1. Life certainly can take over. Yet you are able to make art that is reflective and I am sure healing to you. You are often in my thoughts. I am so grateful to count you as a friend.

  2. You, too. It's lucky we have a place to put our emotions. Thanks, Clare!