Sunday, April 10, 2011

The journey resumes, but at a slower pace

After a long absence, I am finally back at the blog.  It has been far too long since I last tapped out a recounting of where my journey has taken me or ideas as to where I hope I might find myself.  I found that over the past month, my lack of blogging and sharing my thoughts with you has left me feeling cut off and my artistic soul feeling empty.  These are not feelings that I enjoy.  Being away from communicating regularly with my friends meant that I was very alone at a time when I really needed to be involved in artistic discussions, practising my craft and chatting with my friends .  My stress level reached an all time high and anxiety attacks were frequent, making me feel that life was out of control.  And, life was out of control.  Anyone who has moved knows that at some point during the transition from one place to another, you do lose control of your life and you just have to do the best that you can to maintain your sense of self and home in order to carry on with some semblance of sanity.

Maybe that does not make sense to some, but I am equally certain that some reading this will nod their head and agree with what I have written.  It takes time for a new place to become home.  Unpacking a mountain of boxes and trying to place the contents in areas comparable to where they were housed previously is not an easy task.  Just getting the essentials of daily living into cupboards, closets and drawers takes significant time.  Friends told me not to worry, just keep moving things around until I felt better about their placement.  That seems like such a lot of work and not conducive to maintaining a sense of balance in my daily life.  I like to think about where things are going to be placed and get them into that resting place as soon as possible.  That would be why I pushed myself beyond what was sensible and found myself on the floor a few times when my legs buckled and I went down full force.  Luckily, the results were only bruises to my body and and maybe more significantly, bruises to my psyche.  I had to sit back, reassess what I was doing and then make a conscious decision that it was not imperative that the entire flat be in perfect order within a week of moving into it.  Once I had made peace with that decision, I could move forward and try to get my life back in order.

I am a creature of habit.  I freely admit that and know that I need to loosen up and just proceed with each day as it unfolds.  That sounds so sensible and yet something that I am not able to yield to just yet.  I like to get up at a certain time each day.  I move slowly and get myself organized in order to make the most of each day.  The past two weeks have been predictable in that I knew I was unpacking 18 years of my life and needing to find out where the various aspects of my daily life would end up.  With new cupboards, closets and an assortment of drawers, none of which matched in terms of size to my old flat, I had to reposition everything including my thinking process so that I would remember where I had put much loved tea mugs, books that I needed to have near me in order to feel comfortable and my odd assortment of CD's so that I could calm myself and Molly Cat with familiar music.  As uncomfortable and upset as I was, poor little Molly Cat was even more so.  My little feline companion was adamant that she was not going to leave the old flat and climbed to the upper kitchen cabinets sobbing and meowing her distress.  My friends who had come over to help me move were caught up in the drama and I could see the concern in their eyes as they watched a little tuxedo cat and her owner become unglued.  This was not the happy move that I had envisioned and I felt horrible for uprooting Molly from life as she knew it.  Eventually, the wailing kitty was persuaded to crawl into her carrying case and made the move down two floors into a new foreign flat that smelled of fresh paint, new carpet and all other scents unfamiliar.  How strange, we find these scents appealing in a new home, but in reality, it is familiar scents of lavender, chamomile and citrus that would make Molly and I feel that we would be able to live in this unfamiliar place.  And so, in order to make the flat familiar in some way, I set about washing the counter tops, setting out candles and hanging a few little bags of lavender to scent the air with familiar fragrances to calm both Molly and me.

Molly and I have been in our new flat for two weeks now.  The closing on the sale of the flat came through sooner than we had originally planned and allowed us more time to pull the last of our belongings down to what is becoming home for us.  We are becoming used to the sounds in the new hallway and I am hoping that maybe this will be the week that I start hitting the correct floor button in the lift and head to the correct door once I walk out into the corridor.  I have tried to keep life as normal as possible and it has been just these past few days that Molly has started eating with her usual vigour.  The various rooms are being put in order and the pile of boxes is diminishing.  My studio is a mess and likely will not be put to rights for another week or so.  I have learned that it is better to take my time and do a bit, rest some and then resume putting life in order.  Better to take a little longer and be comfortable with the changes than to rush into the chaos and make life even more frenzied than it has been.

A friend who was over helping prior to the main moving day told me that experts suggest that we should go through a "move" every seven years or so.  While you might not actually change your residence with such regularity, you should reassess what you have in terms of belongings, edit them as you would if you were actually moving to a new place and eliminate what you do not need.  That sounds terribly sensible and I know that I will not be following this piece of advice.  I find comfort in seeing old tea mugs and remembering how I came to own them.  As I place some well used books back in the same bookcase I have had for over twenty-five years, I glance through them and smile at notes that fall from between some pages.  I have brought a lot of my old life with me to this new place.  Memories of what has been are mixed with nervous anticipation at what life will be over the next eighteen years or so.  It has been that long since I last moved and so much happened in that period of my life that I have to wonder how much change I will go through in the years to come.  The journey continues and the only thing that I can assure you of is that I plan to make the most of it.  Every journey takes energy and commitment, a determination that one will move forward and learn something new each day.  I look at where I have been in my life and see that I am not the person I was eighteen years ago, ten years ago or even three years ago.  Change has been a constant throughout the years and I expect that it always will be.  I think that is what my journey is all about in many ways.  Change is what keeps the journey fresh, keeps me looking forward to things that I once thought were never possible.  I once thought that my journey was not one related to art, but I now realize that for a while, the journey was leading me to an artistic life and that now the journey is all about life being artistic.  I might hit a few bumps in the road, even some detours, but I know without a doubt, that art is an important and necessary part of my life.  I have met so many wonderful people along the way, been able to participate in artistic ventures that had not even been dreams not so long ago and learned to incorporate art into my life every day .  The journey continues and while I might not move along as quickly as I might like to, the journey teaches me so much that I do not mind taking a little longer to get from one place to another.  That realization itself is worth taking a little extra time to think about and celebrate.



I am going to try to stay on my posting schedule of Sundays and Thursdays, but I hope you will be patient with me if I stray every so often.  The move took a lot out of me physically and mentally, more than I thought it would.  I really want to get the flat organized and desperately want to get my studio up and running.  I have put up a few pictures of the mess that will be conquered and turn into Chez Rutheemac.  Pictures need to go up on the walls and drapes on the windows would be a nice touch.  Right now, the only room with window coverings is the bedroom.  Needless to say, I am careful not to walk around in my scimpies!  Here is to a productive week of putting my life back on track and finding a quiet spot for some artistic pursuits.   


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post. It is quite amazing how we see new beginnings as 'nightmarish' once we begin...but with a few quiet moments of centering ourselves we see the blessing in change. Good luck with everything. I am very much the same - dislike disruption and change yet my entire life is about change ... Have a blessed day :)

Ruthee said...

Life is about change and we need to embrace it rather than run and hide from it. You are so right, centering ourselves helps us to see the blessings. Welcome to My Artistic Journey, I hope you visit often!