Thursday, November 21, 2013

Living a full life?

Bronzey brown leaves keep fluttering by my bedroom window. I’m snuggled in my bed, under a comforter and wearing an oversized hooded knit sweater, cream colored. The sky is grey, so are the trees, and the light. The yards are still green, but the marsh grasses surrounding the neighborhood have all browned to a golden ochre. 
Dreary gray day outside, where are you snow?
My normally very quiet neighborhood currently echoes with the sounds of garbage day, and roofers replacing the roofs that were damaged by hail back in August. (Ours gets replaced in the next couple week.)

I’m listening to Christmas music. I’m waiting for snowflakes. 
Toasty socks for a blustery day.
While I love and adore being an artist and having my studio at home, there are times like today that I miss having a studio space in an arts building. I’ve been particularly lonely and anxious lately. I suspect the impending Minnesota winter (good bye sun) is a big contributing factor. But the bigger issue is the isolation. 

I previously belong to a couple of guilds/artist groups. I have let one of those lapse, and the other just hasn’t worked out. I’ve had something else going on every time there was a meeting. (Same thing with a third group I was thinking of joining, bad timing!)

I am an introvert, but a sociable introvert. The trouble is, sometimes I get stuck in a loop where I don’t want to go out, don’t want to socialize, and cloister myself away in my studio or my bedroom (where I generally do my research and writing from my laptop.) It’s fine at first, but then I will suddenly find myself anxiety ridden, mildly depressed and lonely. This is the same time I realize I have stopped feeling creative, and have stopped…well, doing any thing creative.

Yesterday while I was at the gym, I was reading Artful Blogging. One of the bloggers was talking about living a full life. She was saying how currently her life is “full”, of creativity and inspiration. She listed all the things filling her life. 
I rescued Bartholomew from Ikea. He's adjusting well to life with an artist.
That’s when it hit me, sitting on that stationary bike doing knee rehab time. My life isn’t full. I’m busy a lot yes, but it’s not full. I’m not entirely sure yet how I want to fill it. I’m pretty sure however, that the lack of “fullness” could very well be the explanation of my many prolonged creative dry spells. Now I just need to find how I want to fill my life.

Are you living a full life? How do you fill up your life?


  1. Oh Miss Stephanie I know this place well. There are things I want to and need to do and am finding those challenging. I'm still feeling a bit lost and bereft from this last 12 months or so. I know it'll get better and I know the source of strength that this year will bring. I'm looking forward to your Journey and seeing how this brings you creativity and joy.

    1. Miss Teri, it's been a couple years - how do you feel you're doing nowadays comparison? :)

  2. Dear Steph ~ I'm so lucky to live in a neighborhood with fabulous people who mostly know each other, look out for each other, and share social gatherings throughout the year, some of which are child-centered. I'm also a member of the Red Hat Society, which offers endless opportunities to participate in various events, some local, some trips out of town. I'm a crossword puzzle addict, and work a minimum of 4-6 a day. I love to read all kinds of materials, but mostly books. I have friends with varied interests who willingly share their interests with this old lady (many of those friends are younger people, many of my son Brian's generation (40 somethings). I still enjoy cooking nearly every day, and scour publications and the Internet for new recipes to try. I think you get the idea. There are times when I need to just take a day to just veg and nest, but even then I'm usually reading, listening to music or finding something to divert me. Variety is the spice of life, and that's an old adage that happens to be true. When I was going through rehab following my two knee replacement surgeries, there were times I'd get cabin fever, but that passed in time. Just look for some small way to revive your interests beyond your immediate self. Life is just waiting for you to participate! With much love 'n BIG OL' HUGS ~ EL