Those were such difficult times back in 1988. That may have been the year I prepared a handmade Christmas for the girl’s dolls. I made everything, from fuzzy houseslippers to lunch sacks with tiny (sculpy) food inside and handmade napkins, party dresses, play dresses, sweaters cut to fit from thrift store finds, pleated skirts, and gingham blouses,doll size jump ropes, chairs, and scoured thrift stores for doll size possibilities. I even found three tiny tooth brushes and sawed the handles off to fit doll size hands; everything you can imagine an 18 inch doll might need, I tried to make, including towels, washcloths and one inch bars of real soap. The girls say it was their best Christmas ever even though I didn’t have a dime to spend. I presented it all on the dining room table, nothing wrapped, just a magical scene of doll land spread out to ooh and aah over! We didn’t even have a camera to take a picture of that magical array, nor the reactions of those three little girls who still believed in magic! But they remember it in every detail and remains so special in their memories.
I wish I could gain some of my enthusiasm from back then. Lately I have been stuck, unable to pull myself up and get busy creating again. I have hundreds of ideas, I have the time, I have the materials, but I don’t have me. I don’t know where I’ve gone. I know 2009 was a very difficult year for me; losing my job and not being able to find another one. Trying to overcome the humiliating experiences I endured just before termination. Then getting sick and spending every day coming to terms with that; endless doctor visits, treatments, and more treatments. Now it is all behind me, but I can’t get myself moving. I think I should feel so joyous that I am okay and have a solid future ahead of me, so why am I acting this way? Sometimes I force myself to join something, or attend some art related event, but I am no sooner there than I want desperately to return home. Have never been a very good joiner, but was certainly better than I am now! I have practically become a recluse and I don’t even care. I go to visit my daughters in Portland and spend the entire time fighting an overwhelming desire to come back home. This whole thing is exhausting, and frustrating. I keep thinking I’m going to run into myself any time now and things will get back to normal, but it hasn’t happened and now 2009 is many months behind us — so — what do I do? I am not a whiner, I do not complain to others about my problems, I have an aversion to this kind of behavior. I know I am a strong woman, I know I have been through much worse than this – but somehow it seems to all have accumulated and grown into such a force that I can’t get past it these days.
Sorry to be so down, sorry I haven’t got any art to share – just boo-hoo poor me. Boring.
I don’t think anything can kick the wind out of us like illness. I’ve just come through several surgeries and find my usual optimism tested like never before. I’ve had a lot of “nothing” days like you describe. I am not really fighting it. I have a weird faith that my psyche and body need time and that it is better to be honest about that now than to deny what is happening and then bump into the wreckage later.
Although you may not be painting in the studio you are creating art here on your blog and that is good. I actually love this post and feel less alone in my own boo hoo. (I live outside Portland too.) xo
Judy – I think feeling alone is the worst stumbling block to being productive, and to viewing life a doiable! Its just so difficult to create something when your life seems so tired out and fragmented. I have a friend who keeps encouranging me to accept my physical limitations right now – to sleep when I feel too overwhelmed to do anything else. It feels good to have someone give permission to be “lazy” – or depressed! I’ve been resting a lot and I now have good days and fewer bad days, but its been a struggle. I’m glad we found each other -and since our reactions to our illnesses have been so similar, I graciously accept your boohoo days any time you want to share them! I feel so happy that I made you feel less alone.
Like Judy I feel deeply touched by what you’ve written, quite honestly amazing how beautifully you lay bare the melancholy that lurks in the soul of women as they age after a lifetime of being busy for others.
Such sweet memories captured in your heart, cherish them. Thank you for sharing, it helped me remember too.
Thank you for the lovely comments on my writting – sometimes comments like yours are just the thing I needed to hear! I’ve been wandering around trying to get started on something, but stuck in thoughts from this whole last year and a half of my life – and feeling guilty for not being grateful and happy, and guilty too that I am one of the lucky ones!