This past week I was due to be in France at the Biennale Internationale d'Art Textile, but of course, that was cancelled ages ago. It is now due to happen at the end of October and I am really hoping we will all be able to safely travel again so I can attend. I was going to exhibit a selection of my quilts and those of the group I belong to called 'Six Dames'. We have a website (click here to visit) where we show the work but the exhibition was something I was really looking forward to. Meeting old friends and seeing all our work hang together was going to be really special. I made a catalogue to accompany the exhibition, which may now not get printed, so here it is should you feel like browsing through it. Click the button below to view it.
It feels a little weird saying this, but during this enforced 'pause' of the day-to-day activities I took for granted I have actually been grateful for the opportunity to just stop. Without thinking about it I it filled every hour I had (and more) with appointments, deadlines, activities, jobs, hobbies, schedules, challenges, housework and more. To make sure I didn't forget to do all those things I used calendars, schedules, to-do lists and scribbled reminders on notepads. My phone pinged several times a day to keep me on track, dashing from one thing to the next. Does that scenario sound familiar? I was running to keep up with the speed of my little hamster wheel, and I was running so fast it couldn't stop; but it was all of my own making. I put most of those things on my to-do list and set the timeframe, nobody else.
Waking up each morning now, the first thing I do is listen to the birds. I can't remember the last time I woke up without at least 5 or more things I wanted to cross of my daily 'to do' list. After a bit of daydreaming I stop and think.......... what day is it today? (Not that it really matters, except if the nice guy from Sainsbury's is coming then I need to get the Dettox out to wipe down the incoming groceries, which feels very weird.) It sort of reminds me of when I was a kid and didn't really even think about about what was coming next - I just took things in my stride.
I have lots of friends and colleagues that are busy with their families, juggling working from home, home schooling, spending hours online to hopefully get a delivery slot or even spend hours in line at the supermarket and I appreciate that I am so lucky not to have those pressures - so I am taking advantage of the fact that most of my work and forward planning have completely stopped. Teaching and exhibitions are off for now, and probably for the rest of the year, but instead of being sad about it I feel strangely relaxed. I'm not setting myself deadlines, or stressing myself thinking I should be 'making the most' of this 'free time'. I'm just enjoying doing whatever I feel like, and I can't remember the last time I felt like that! I've made scrubs, laundry bags, clothes, cut a few lino blocks and done some stitching, but it hasn't felt like I've had to do it, and like the feeling. I've also had lots of new ideas for things to do which makes me wonder if maybe I freed up some space in my mind to let that happen.
Whilst I look forward to things reopening and doing some of the things I miss I am presently loving taking things in my stride once again, and strongly resisting the suggestions to set myself a challenge to get xyz done.
Am I weird or do others feel the same?
Thanks for reading.