cease and desist…

“If people are highly successful in their profession they lose their senses… Sight goes. They have no time to look at pictures. Sound goes. They have no time to listen to music. Speech goes. They have no time for conversation. They lose their sense of proportion – the relations between one thing and another. Humanity goes.” Virginia Woolf.

burnout velvet

(I was looking for an image for burnout, a search turned up loads of images of burnout velvet, like this one  from buy and create fabrics I guess burnout can be beautiful too if you let it…)

Or if you are me, and you refuse to listen to your exhausted body, your back goes. I have spent a painful few days trying to get my back to behave. It has been gripped in a violent spasm since Saturday night. My doctor remarked that maybe this was a good thing, the alternatives could be worse, heart attack, stroke… a woman cannot run on fumes alone, not forever anyway. My husband made me practice saying NO! (Like that will work!!) Really I am serious he sat next to me saying,  “n..o… now you say it…”

I am often asked how I fit everything into my life, like many women I do it by not sleeping mostly… LaWendula over at woven letters was musing on truth this past week, she wanted to let go of duty and be free to play more …

So here is my addition to women speaking truth, I am overcommitted, I need Valium and about 37 hrs in everyday! Even though I was in pain, it was good to lay in bed for two whole days, and watch sappy movies and sleep (I slept a lot!). I would like to say I feel renewed, but what I really feel is foreboding, I KNOW I have to make some changes in the way I live, I am still exhausted and in pain.

So fellow artists/bloggers tell me true, how do you balance it all?

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9 thoughts on “cease and desist…

  1. me either:( any time I think I successfully have all the balls up in the air I forget something and they all crash down around me. But what I love about being part of this blog world is that now I can admit to that, that I’m not as organized or pulled together as I seem to be if you were just outside looking in…

  2. oh no, you know I empathize and understand the back issues 😦 Hope it behaves soon.

    “So fellow artists/bloggers tell me true, how do you balance it all?”

    I am saying no. The rad craft show was my last obligation to the arts council after 5 years of a board member work plus some. I stopped working on the biz of art, and I decided this year to just explore and play in the studio. If I am in the mood I enter a work into a show, and the solo shows every few years. I decided after a major burnout to get back to my art roots (going to life drawings sessions, concentrating on the process of creating) and let the chips fall as they may.

    rest, rest and rest. listen to your body.

  3. I found the eminently sensible Kirsty Hall on ‘Up all night’ notes on being an artist brief and very helpful. She also mentions ‘mindfulness’ a Zen concept – sorry I don’t the exact link but you’ll find it on her excellent blog. Lesley

  4. oy! I hope that you do find that balance, and heal well. I’ve been re-listening to Caroline Myss, who you may find value in if you aren’t familiar. Listen to that bod of yours – the beautiful messenger that she is, holds much wisdom.
    xox Karin

  5. jafabrit, I think this is part of the answer to me, I need to say no, my spiritual reading this morning was about a woman who said that cancer was a blessing in disguise for her, because it finally gave her “permission” to say NO. Isn’t it sad how for so many of us we need a major crisis before we can say no to demands on our time…
    Karin I’m not familiar with Caroline Myss, I will look her up, and I am being forced to listen right now! But I am promising myself to do better, I hope I can make that promise stick!
    Lesley, I read Kirsty’s blog too, and she makes some good points, but I feel her career is ahead of mine and allows her more breathing room, although I could be wrong about that.
    Part of my problem is that I started so late I feel I am always running to catch up to all of you who are walking ahead of me, I know this is nonsense from my ego, my creative self knows I am the only voice for my work, but most days I just don’t really listen…
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions, I really am trying to listen, I am exhausted by even the thought of getting back onto my crazy life right now!

  6. I don’t know what all you are saying yes to… but I know that it gets easier to say no once the kids are older… and yours are nearly at that age… well, it’s not so much that you say no more… it’s that there aren’t as many questions…

    Regarding starting late… i’m easily 10 years older than you and easily 10 years (or more) behind you… I deal with that by believing that I will live to be 120, meaning I still have 1/2 my life ahead of me. Don’t feel like you have to do it all today. Let it unfold at its own pace. (It will anyway…)

    we should get together daily for yoga and meditation. (this is a test… will you say yes? or no? tee hee…)

  7. lindsey, thanks for your thoughts – we really should get that cup of coffee!

    Jen, that’s no fair, totally a trick question, aren’t yoga and meditation supposed to be good for me?! I’m not sure that you are 10 years behind me, maybe as far as the institution is concerned, but lets face it your pictures are already light years better than mine!! But let’s live to be 120 and drink tea on teh porch, sounds like a good plan to me!

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