This week I made my first painting since Sunny was born. 16 months without making anything. Paintings used to pop into my head and tap me on the shoulder until I put them on canvas, but since her arrival, my mind seems to be more focused on if there are any choking hazards in the vicinity.
I didn’t mean to paint it, it was an accident. I was doing this weird “no wine” night with Kyle. We have been stressing over things and been falling too easily into the booze-Netflix coma in the evening, and knew we needed to wake up a bit. (Are we alone in this? Oy! Get away from me, you Bota Box tyrant!)
I was upstairs in my closet. I saw my paints, and I saw a canvas I started more than a year ago, and I just went for it. It felt great.
So often our brains tell us that making art or doing that "side hustle" thing you love is just an extra burden to our already horrifying to-do list. Something we should do - oh how fun, another way we are failing! But really, creating can give us life. Energy like nothing else. If, we just make the space to do it.
I have learned to accept and even love that creating and dream chasing happens in the tiny stolen moments between larger lame moments. After bedtime when you still smell slightly like baby puke. For ten minutes in the morning before you open up work email, and then another 20 while eating a turkey sandwich on your lunch break.
Whatever it is that puts a skip in your step, I hope you are taking the time. Not in a “you should be doing more way,” but in a “you deserve it” way. You deserve to take the stolen moments for something good. Yes, life is crazy and so, so busy, but also it is so, so fleeting. What else are you going to do? Watch more Netflix? (note: sometimes that is also life giving - keeping it real.) Dream chasing and creating is worth it, and so are you.
P.S. I bought the painting in to show Sunny in the morning and she literally screamed PRETTY! I had no idea she knew how to say that word, or even what it meant. That made my week. If you are wondering how people with babies survive, it is because of those little moments that melt you into a puddle and give you the fuel to change one more poop-filled diaper.
P.P.S. I got an email recently. A painting I sold (of a neon Elvis, of course) burned in a house fire, along with an entire art collection, and they needed info for insurance. I would just like to say that nothing has made me feel like more of a "real artist" than when my painting BURNED IN A HOUSE FIRE. How exciting. Also sorry dude about your house, whoever you are.