My fingers feel as though they will literally fall off if I don’t take respite soon. I have just finished the third milestone of my thesis, the research and methods section. I have designed an experiment to test the hypothesis that the brain releases dopamine during the art making process. It involves fMRIs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in research. However, if supported, it can serve as basis for an intervention during the first 30 days that SSRI drugs are administered for depression, because those drugs can take up to 30 days to kick in. It can also be used by individuals that opt out of taking antidepressants even though they may be dopamine deficient. This has been hard, hard work….very difficult. I have been wading through tons of literature, examining studies…testing them for validity and reliability. ugh. My brain is melting! So….How do I handle all of this work and stress? I get another job, of course. For whom? Facebook!
I now have a contract position in which I evaluate and rank posts. (Don’t ask.) It won’t begin until Monday, and I will be doing this on top of my thesis work, writing the Chinese fashion catalog and laying down the foundation for Ajhan Life, the wellness retreat business I am going to open with my partners later this year. I am writing a website that is yet to be launched, designing interventions, writing classes and lectures….man! It’s a lot!
On top of all this, I have been purging our home, getting rid of as many material possessions as possible. We own some very beautiful objects and have antiques and other pieces that have great sentimental, as well as monetary value. I have an amazing jewelry collection, too….but I am paring things down, saying goodbye to the lion’s share of it….because after awhile, one’s possessions begin to own the person, rather than the other way around. I prefer a more modest lifestyle, one in which I am free to move around the cabin and not be tied down by these encumbrances. SO…..
I am meditating more than ever these days. I am taking time out of my busy schedule each day to make art. Whether it is merely the “Photo a Day” that I post here, or a collage or a painting or another mosaic…or some of the new jewelry I am designing and creating, I MUST make some kind of art every day. Sometimes, during the evenings, when I finally decide to knock off the work for the day, I will take out my sketch book and sketch. My drawing is vastly improving with practice. I wish I could say the same for my guitar playing. That still sucks, but my songwriting skills are getting better every day. I have a close friend in the industry who is already shopping one of my C&W songs….so we shall see. If it is purchased, great….but I’m not counting on it, and that isn’t the reason I’m doing it. Writing music is simply something I have always done. Now that I have learned to take a more formulaic approach, I am curious to see how it will do.
So…..These are the reasons you don’t see me much on this blog these days, but as I’ve said before, I’ll be back. Other areas of my life are sweet and good. Have lost not a single friend. I’m healthy. I’m happy. Have the best family I could possibly hope for. Even the yard looks great right now. My roses and other flowers are doing beautifully. I still manage to socialize and have fun. I still have time to make music and laugh with friends. I still get out and walk with the Beebs every day and enjoy the beautiful city that is Portland.
Sometimes, it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done….but there are. There really are….and I’m doing it.