Process shift


"When fall hits, things go from zero to a thousand miles an hour in an instant," I said to someone at the Municipality's launch of their United Way employee campaign yesterday.  It is a sentiment that we all talk about and feel as summer's warmth gives way to autumn's chill - or in some cases further south, autumn's snow.

The days start earlier and end later, activities and obligations pile up unceasingly, and there never seems to be enough hours in the day.  Sound familiar?

I knew this was coming as I devoted uninterrupted time to my painting over the summer.  I knew that a great test lay ahead as to whether I could keep up with my newfound pleasure amidst the conflagration of appointments, work requirements, rehearsals, special events, family obligations, and myriad other tasks and temptations that suck so many of us into the vortex that doesn't seem to slow down until a few days before Christmas.

In anticipation of the inevitable, I made a commitment to myself to not let the painting slip away from me, as it has done many times before.  I've written down that intention; I've spoken it aloud to my family; and now, I've written it in this blog.

I WILL PAINT EVERY WEEK.

It's different though; it has to be be.  For instance, last night I got out in the studio for an hour, squeezed between evening computer/social media work and spending some precious TV time with Heather.  Instead of doing projects in one fell swoop, I'm tackling them in drips and drabs.  That hour sure felt nice though, listening to my jazz music, playing with a few colours, doing some collage and just zoning out for a few minutes.

It feels different in another way.  When I did most of my painting in the summer, it was as the temperature was flirting with 30-degrees.  I was often sticky by the time I did my splattering late in the evening.  Now, my extremities are constantly chilled.  The furnace in the shop went on a few days ago and unless we have a delightful Indian Sumer in the next month, it will stay on till May.  Paint doesn't like to freeze either.

I'm a creature of habit.  I love a good routine and don't necessarily respond as well as I should when a process shift is thrust upon me.  But, isn't that what life is all about?  Stuff pops in out of nowhere that tests our mettle and resolve and inevitably makes us stronger.  If life was perfect, uninterrupted, and predictable, how boring would it be.


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