I hope you are doing well!
Yesterday marked 3 weeks since my brain surgery and I am in the phase of recovery when I have to remind myself to take real rest.
This quote by Jennifer Williamson has been coming to mind a lot. There are times when I just feel like I am being slack and have to remind myself that I just went through major surgery a few weeks ago.
I am still dealing with killer headaches a good bit of the day, but I also have a nuggets of time that I feel motivated to create. What a blessing!
Slow living has been something I have been moving toward since I finished my last Disney World residency in 2019 and had to switch gears in my business due to health issues.
Even while in recovery, I am excited to be “working” a bit. Being an artist means that there is really little difference between work and creative play, except when it comes to the business operations aspects. My recovery “work” has been fun and playful, giving me time to create in mediums like needle felting and knitting that I don’t normally devote time to.
I have also been stitching books which is what actually brought me to this reflection over real rest.
There are over 50 Plant-Stained Paper journals and stationery sets waiting to be photographed for my next shop update. Whether that sounds like a lot or not is subjective, and to me, it is complex.
I used to start every residency at Walt Disney World with around 3300 pieces of original art. 3300 pieces! Every piece original! There were years I was at Disney for four or more residencies, often for longer than 12 weeks at a time and sometimes in two or three locations simultaneously. That’s a lot of art!
I look back and truly do not know how I managed, although I know it was with a lot of help! Now, looking at a stack of 50 pieces that have to be photographed, I am patting myself on the back, proud of the accomplishment.
It has been almost a year since I had a Plant-Stained Paper shop update more than just adding one or two in the mix. These papers are ones I have spent the better part of this last year making. I have been stitching these journals for weeks, not just since I have been home recovering but for many weeks before surgery as well. In other words, I have taken my time.
Slow working, being in the moment, really engaging with my work is a luxury that I am affording myself. With my surge in online teaching and the launch of my Art & Soul Art Journaling membership, production of Plant-Stained Paper and pottery is no longer my main source of income and I have to say, as much as I love producing and putting my pieces out in the world, it is really nice to spend quality time with them before I do.
So what in the world does all this have to do with real rest as Jennifer Williamson is referencing? Rest is different for everyone. Real rest for me is engaging in creative process, being in the moment of that magic happening, and not feeling the pressure of a time crunch.
My recovery is definitely reaping some artistic products and I am fortunate to put those out there for my audience, especially since medical bills are starting to trickle in.😳
Where others may veg out in front of the TV or lounge around with magazines, both of which I do a bit too, I find my favorite way to rest is when my mind is reeling with creative ideas and I can play some of them out while laying around in my comfy spot still in my jammies.
So what about you? What does real rest mean to you and, even more importantly, are you getting any?