As I sit here thinking about the past seven months I can't help but feel that somehow I've lost my identity. When someone you love has a stroke or any life changing event which turns your life upside down you tend to forget all about yourself and focus all your energy and time towards that person.
I have a few notebooks that I either carry around with me or leave scattered around the house which are used to write down to-do lists. I'm not really good at remembering things so lists are a great way to keep me from forgetting the more important things and also keep me motivated for the long-term dreams in my life. I happened to stumble upon one of these little notebooks while cleaning out some paperwork and found a list that I had written late last year before my husband had his stroke. I've been dabbling in photography and artwork for the last couple years specifically photo art. Last summer my husband and I spent a week at Cape Cod where I took a class in digital art and he spent time golfing and photographing the gorgeous beaches on the Cape. The class was amazing and stemming from it I created works of my own. I had been focusing as well on Mandala art, a kind of esoteric circle artwork created on the computer but then printed and painted. It was a humble attempt and I certainly don't plan on becoming a famous artist but it's such a relaxing hobby which I love. I really was so excited about taking the next step which included finishing some projects that were laying around and possibly selling some of my work. My list is as follows:
Finish 20 x 20 mandala paintings
Finish mandala tablecloth (my sister made me a beautiful painted tablecloth and I was going to add artwork to it)
Frame existing art
Finish the painting of my cousins Liz and Marge (a happy photo of them at a wedding turned into a photo painting and will be a gift to them)
Set up the Artfire web site (I registered as a pro user of this web site and planned on uploading and selling my artwork here)
Take another painting class
Needless to say, none of the items on my list have been completed let alone started. Once the dreaded "stroke day" occurred all other items in my life were put on the back burner. It's been such a long journey and yet it hasn't been that long at all. Only seven months. In those seven months I've been scheduling doctors appointments, traveling back and forth between hospitals and rehab centers on a daily basis, working full time, organizing meds, filling out insurance forms, etc, etc, etc.
On this day my husband is in the hospital recovering from heart surgery (even after a stroke) and it's a Sunday early in the afternoon. I got it in my head this morning that I've got to do something for me. Another item on my list which was not written down but has been in my head for the last few months was to clean out our spare room upstairs, put a new coat of paint on the walls and then make it into an art studio JUST FOR ME! The room was pretty empty already so at 7:00 AM in my pajamas I moved the remaining items into the middle of the room and washed all the walls. Now I can go out an get a gallon of paint and start working on filling this room with my artwork. Will it actually happen? I don't know. My list of unfinished items is pretty long and soon my husband will be coming home again and will need alot of care. My husband was also my very biggest fan and the one person that kept me thinking that I could be good at this. Now he doesn't seem to really to care too much about what I do. It depresses me. But somewhere back in my mind I think he does support me and then again maybe he can take advantage of this room and make some artwork of his own. God knows it's good therapy.
One step at a time. First paint the walls, then put up some shelving and move all my paints and papers and supplies in. Maybe by the fall I can find some time for myself to play and doodle. Who knows, there may be a Picasso somewhere deep inside waiting to surface and then look out world!
If you're interested in seeing some of my digital art work or Mandala art feel free to browse the following blogs: