Last week I was really ill, I had to clear my schedule and pretty much sleep the whole time which was so frustrating.
On the Friday morning I woke up feeling a little bit better, I scrolled through my Facebook feed while still in bed (a terrible habit I would like to get out of!) and came across a post from a local art community. My heart ached as if I had not been ill I was meant to be taking my mum to the Waterperry Art in Action event in Oxfordshire that day.
I love art, I have dabbled a little. When I was still living in Cheltenham there was a great drop in center you could go to on a Thursday night and pretty much try your hand at whatever you liked. We’ve moved house twice since then and I have still not managed to find a class quite like it. In that moment I decided to have another look for a class I could take, I’d really love to learn how to paint properly. I found myself looking at art retreat holiday and I began to weep.
What I haven’t explained is that I am also 26 weeks pregnant with our first child, so being drained and emotional, I was crying because this wasn’t the first time I had looked something up that I wanted to do, only to remember that my life was going to change beyond recognition very soon.
So far my career has seen me on the road creating in store displays for an international home and gift wholesaler, working for myself as an interior designer, carrying out various office admin jobs, working in a gallery, working as a pot wash in a kitchen! I’ve been an internal sales manager, and an operations manager for two different companies; then flown solo again as a property investor and now another career change into life coaching which I adore.
But what do I really love most? What puts me in the zone where time just flies by and I couldn’t be happier or more in touch with myself and my thoughts? Creating. Art and design. Either looking at it or actually trying to achieve something myself. But I hardly ever do it.
If I am honest, my ideal future ‘me’ dream is to own an arts center where people can come and experience all different types of art and craft but somehow I never find myself working towards that. I am always working towards ideas that seem more tangible for the here and now.
So when I found myself weeping it was because I was cross with myself for not investing more time and money in my passion, in what makes me happy before this point in my life (36 years old and pregnant.) And this is because I’ve always bowed to outside influences of working towards money rather than a life that makes me happy. Luckily with coaching I have started to turn this around.
I am sure our baby will also make me happy, no doubt, and hey – I’m not about to die any time soon I hope! But when mum called on Sunday to say that she had ‘good news and bad news,’ the good being that she and her friend had been to Waterperry on Saturday instead and had a lovely time, the bad being that after 40 years that was the final Art in Action weekend at Waterperry meaning I had properly missed out, I couldn’t help but feel that I had stupidly missed so many opportunities. Mum and I went when I was 19 and had been talking of going again ever since, I just simply hadn’t organised myself to accommodate it.
Luckily there will be plenty of time to pick up my paint brushes in the future and if I can’t make a class I am sure I will be able to look up some ‘How to’ videos on YouTube. There will be other similar art in action type events around the country too I’m sure BUT it really was a good wake up call for me and I wanted to ask you – what do you put off? What would you really rather be doing?
My husband isn’t into art at all but he is quite happy to drag me around beer festivals and brewery tours because home brewing is his passion and I support him. He did pay for my art classes in Cheltenham as a wedding present but like I say I haven’t found anything similar since, I am sure when we take some time off next week he won’t mind a few gallery tours…
It’s not to say you need to make a career out of whatever it is you have been denying yourself, but just put your foot down and make some time for that one special thing that makes your heart sing. I really notice my energy drops when I spend weeks of too much time on the ‘shoulds’ and not enough time on what really brings me joy, it’s not frivolous time wasting it’s investing in your soul.