Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taking Time to Care...ABOUT YOURSELF! By Karen McGovern

It's madness out there.  I mean, seriously.  Holiday fever has hit with the efficiency of a targeted missile strike--which, according to my TV and newspaper, is pretty darned spot-on.  I will not take a bunch of time here to tell you what you already know.  We are all under intense pressure as artists right now to create for our clients, for our shops, for our family and friends--all while somehow balancing annoying things like EATING and CLEANING THE HOUSE.  And, those people we live with, constantly expecting us to ACTUALLY HAVE TIME FOR THEM. Talk about juggling chainsaws....

So, as I try to do the 1,000 things I do every day anyway, and try to fulfill orders and commitments artistically, I have decided to add one more thing to the very top of my list.  Take two hours EVERY DAY TO DO NOTHING.  Now, I say take two hours....that is so I can negotiate down if needed but still feel like I have given myself a break.  I go to Starbucks and have a grande iced upside down caramel macchiato with salt an extra shot of expresso.  OMG THAT IS SOOOO GOOD!  And, have you tried the new pastries Starbucks is now carrying?? THE LITTLE PECAN TARTS ARE FROM THE DEVIL.

I read.  I take a nap. I sit in my orchid house.  And, if I am in the studio, I take that time to make something JUST FOR FUN.  Like this ornament.  I don't make ornaments, but this one just sort of happened.  It's a partridge--like from the pear tree thing.  It also sort of looks like a fancy version of the animated birds in the opening of the Partridge Family (GOD I AM OLD).  If you are looking for a quickie hostess gift to make, a simple brass or copper spiral (14 or 16 gauge wire), soldered to itself at the end and hammered makes a lovely ornament. Color with patina or metal paints, add a ribbon or raffia string (please do not use a crappy wire hook like I did), hang from a wine bottle and you have a great gift! 

I have taken to throwing myself (and my husband if he is not frantically working) a happy hour every day from 4:00 to 5:00 pm.  We sit with an orphaned bongo antelope we hand reared who needs the company until she is ready to be introduced to the herd.  She will be one year old this Thanksgiving and yes, I will be throwing a birthday party for her.

Hello, My name is Delilah and I am the cutest thing on EARTH.

I work seven days a week from dawn until dark.  Seriously.  That's what it takes when working with captive wildlife.  I could throw a joke in here about how anyone with kids understands working with captive wildlife--AMIRIGHT???  And, all the cliche things we read about how we are no good to anyone if we are not good to ourselves may be trite, but are also true.  Especially this time of year when we are in creative overdrive on top of everything else.

Bottom line, taking time for yourself to do nothing is not only okay--IT IS NECESSARY.  AND, if anyone dares to try to make you feel guilty for doing so, they deserve to be punched in the throat.  Or ignored.  For two whole hours.

Now, not everyone can take two hours every day.  So that's where the negotiating comes in.  Take an hour.  Break it up--15 minute here, 20 minutes there, whatever.  Pop a clean, dry dishtowel in the microwave for 15 seconds, spritz it with lavender and mint essential oil, plop it on your face and lay down for 10 minutes.  YOU WILL EMERGE A PRINCESS OF GOOD MENTAL HEALTH.

Also, the day after Thanksgiving, make a pitcher of coquito and label it something hideous so no one will drink it but you.  "Mom's diarrhea medicine" will work nicely.  Then, give yourself a huge glass sip every damned day till it's gone.  Try not to drink it all at once.  It will be difficult, as this is a coconutty dream of a beverage created by angels and delivered to mortals via unicorns raised by ancient Puerto Rican Shamans, passed down through the ages by the grace of all things alcoholic and wonderful.  If you don't want the booze, skip it, and add some rum extract instead.  You can thank me later.  Why wait till after Thanksgiving you ask?  WERE YOU RAISED BY WOLVES? Coquito is traditionally a Christmas beverage, so anytime after Turkey Day is wide open. 

Whatever you can come up with to give yourself a boost, a mental break, a pick-me-up--DO IT, and do it as often as you can.

Finally, I made earrings.  That's sort of a big deal for me, because I would rather chew my own arm off than make earrings.  BUT, I wanted to prove to myself that I could and I DID IT! As of this post I have created 30 PAIRS OF EARRINGS!!  Also, I like displaying them on a big wine glass....might do this for the holiday gift show I am in this coming Sunday.  Wish me luck!  

For those of you participating in holiday shows, I wish you crowds of appreciative shoppers scooping up your wonderful works.  I wish all of you a happy and peaceful season.  Enjoy yourselves, and make something BEAUTIFUL!

In closing, I leave you with this from Archie McPhee. Because EVERYONE needs a Santaur this holiday season.


Juliette Williams said...

What a wonderful post, thanks for the smiles!! And best of luck with your show :)

Kelley said...

Thanks Karen for a great article. Especially the Coquito recipe. I posted it on FB saying it should become our family tradition too.

If you remember The Brady Bunch you must be near my age, so how in the heck do you work from dawn to dusk seven days a week?? Even with your 2 hr down time? I'm more of a dawn to after lunch type person.

Your articles are always so fun and interesting. Thanks!

Carol Dekle said...

Hi Karen!

Happy early birthday to Delilah! How exciting that she will be released into her very own herd. That has to be quite the event!

Your earrings are beautiful, I'm sure they will be a big hit at your upcoming holiday gift show! Good luck!

Ann Schroeder said...

I got a huge kick out of this post. It was part of my two hours. Thanks.

nancy john said...

Pendants were certainly ubiquitous, adorning and accentuating rockabilly clothing fashions. Some common styles included cute cartoon-y pictures

Beautiful Bracelets

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