I hope everyone is feeling good despite all that is going on around us right now. These are the drawings for the twenty-sixth week of daily drawing
This week, I want to share some organizing tips. As some of you know, I have a problem with time… like there is never enough to complete everything I want to accomplish.
As I sat in my studio last Sunday, I remembered how organised I used to be in the past, how the house was always clean even if I was managing a part-time job, three kids and many obligations, with a husband who was travelling extensively and working late most days.
What is so different today, I wondered. I should have lots of time and be able to go ahead with projects, see some progress, and move forward and yet I don’t….
I already use two agendas (monthly and daily) but all I manage to do is put pressure on myself and I always feel behind.
So last Monday, I decided to dedicate my morning to making a time map like I used to do back in the days.
I went through old backups from a deceased and long discarded computer. Bingo! I found it under the title “Cleaning schedule” just like I remembered. My first surprise was to find that it dated back to 2003! So much has happened since then! I had a list of everything that needed to be done during a week, a month, a year or periodically. This was then transferred to a detailed weekly schedule on an Excell spread sheet with room for contingencies.
As I read through the documents, I remembered the sense of relief and purpose I felt in those days, knowing I could handle everything, including writing for a biologist trade magazine and painting for shows on a regular basis! I also had numerous activities, meetings, my son was sick and I had to drive him back and forth to school for about two months! I was in awe of my own organisation skills and of everything I was doing!
I went to work recreating this time map with today’s priorities and goals. I slotted each activity of the week in 30 minutes increments on my Excell sheet. I know this might sound a little compulsive but I love it and feel free for the first time in years! What I found is that I do have a lot of time to pursue passions without guilt or worries.
This week I am testing my new schedule and so far so good. The house is spotless, I was able to catch up on my daily drawings that were getting behind and even had time for a get together with writer friends. Gone are the thoughts in the back of my mind about what I might forget. It is a great relief!
Besides the fact that my husband is now retired and feels like we should live like on a permanent vacation, the main difference between my organised self of 2003 and now is twofold.
First is social media. Back in 2003, there was no time wasted at the breakfast table reading mindless posts on FB, being impressed by photos on Instagram or having long chats on Messenger. All these emails and news alerts coming in on our phones and tablets often feel more important than our own lives.
Then there is COVID-19. This pandemic has stirred something in most of us, a sort of lethargy mainly caused by the discontinuation of most of our activities, a state of waiting, like we are on the edge of something that must end before we can resume our “real” lives. If we though this was temporary at first, the stretching of this situation makes it difficult for many to cope.
We have been holding our collective breath for five months now hoping for this to end. The thing that became clear to me is that there might not be an end for years to come. This is our “real” life and time is finite.
Of course, right now, there is lots of time to pursue projects so why not take advantage of it! Organizing opens doors in our mind and frees creativity.
I am continuing with the digital project but must say that as I am progressing in the 30Faces/30Days, I now pick and choose what subject I paint and am dropping the ones I am not interested in. I will do 30 faces, but not necessarily from models suggested in the course and I don’t care for the Comic strip style like # 177.
I started to deviate from the suggested models with # 180-Alexa which is a portrait of my granddaughter. We were at a small beach and she was trying without success to open a can of suntan spray. I loved her annoyed expression and the way shadows fell on her face. I snapped a few photographs and worked from these. It was a lot of fun to apply some of the lessons to a portrait of my own. I plan on doing more of this.
Thank you for reading, stay safe and explore your passions. Now is as good a time, maybe a better time than any!
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