49

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What to write? The last several weeks have been overwhelming and stressful and in that time I turned 49. I have been thinking a lot lately what exactly that means for my future. I’m clearly on the back half of my life and not yet hit the milestone of 50 but what happens now and what do I have to show for it? Obviously, I have the best kids in the world that are my proudest accomplishment but I’m talking personal kudos. I still feel like a kid that hasn’t grown up in many ways. I feel I have been a successful starving artist i.e. non income producing artist with a soul. So I have shown that I’ve got the goods and that I can tap into an incredible source of creativity and dig out meaningful artwork. I guess I’m stuck in that “I don’t know how to get my work out into the world for all to see and enjoy” place. That’s always been the catch. Is that a self esteem issue or just not part of my DNA to be a salesperson? And what to do about it? It is so opposite of how confident I am in my work. And at 49, are my parents actually proud of me?

Next in my bag of “to deal with” is how to handle my kids. I never thought in a million years that everyday would be spent making sure they succeed. I hold my breath in the morning and literally pray at night that they will make it through the obstacles du jour. There is nothing left for me at the end of the day. Will I ever get to be footloose again in my life? Will I get to wander the world while I can still walk? Not be on the clock? Disney didn’t prepare me for this!

Innately I know I shouldn’t be thinking about the “what ifs” all the time! I’m missing being in the present moment and really living life and seeing, feeling, sensing what is right in front of me. At present, however, I seem to be wallowing in it. Hate this s–t! Maybe Buddhism should be on my radar….

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About baba paul

Crazy for photography, jewelry, travel and people. Most of the photos on this site were taken with an iphone!
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8 Responses to 49

  1. Joelle Kurrus says:

    Baba, Thank you for your heartfelt post. As a fellow artist and 49
    yr old, many of your concerns are also my daily mantra. I think of all of the challenges that bring us to this work and how we wrestle with so many inner fears and challenges. I am saved each day by one thought, “Return to the bench, keep working, be authentic, embrace the fear as the viable reality it is, but after acknowledging it, release it. Work sets you free, striving for excellence sets you free. (that’s excellence, not perfection)” James Taylor may say it best, “since we’re only here for a short time, might as well enjoy the ride.” Go in grace today and enjoy the ride of your life.

    Anything else you want to advise people who are looking to build upon their artistic talents?
    from Monumental designs today:
    I would offer two points of advice, the first being stay true to yourself and the second don’t take the easy path. We hear the words “be true to yourself” again and again when it comes to creativity in business and design but these words are invaluable. The best advice I can give when you are refining your craft and developing a style is to have a good case of tunnel-vision. Getting lost in the sea of what others are doing is the fastest way to kill creativity. The barrier to entry for many creative business start-ups is low but the longevity of these start-ups is questionable. If something seems easy, it most likely is for a reason. If you want to make a living from your art, dig deep, study your market, define your audience and take baby steps towards building a brand that can last. Your art will take you only so far and is not an easy street to a profitable business.

  2. dawnsherrill says:

    I just want to know what is in that glass?

    Sounds like you’re going through all of the normal stuff…..middle age crazy! Love you girl!

    • baba paul says:

      That’s Kate’s Rose! Yes crazy stuff and feeling crazy! xxx

      • katemckinnon says:

        YUM YUM! Nothing like a French rose to lift spirits.

        I’ve been thinking about the things that you said for a few days now. And I think it’s natural both to want to give ourselves to our children, and then not to be able to count that time spent as personal or creative progress. At some level, of course, you have to let them go a bit. You can’t spend each day clenching your guts on their behalf; you just have to be there for them, and hope for the best.

        And carving out creative time isn’t really the issue, is it? You go to tons of workshops and classes. It’s more a sense of accomplishment you are questing for, and I have some hard news for you: It’s a personality type. The very thing that makes you feel how you did when you wrote this post is what makes sure that you don’t make average work. When you suffer through the middles of your workshop, you could easily be sitting there, replicating what you saw, but you aren’t. You are birthing something new, and it is a process.

        And a lot of people don’t engage in the process, which limits their angst, sure, but also limits the distance they can travel.

        I have all of the same feelings that you do about my work. It’s difficult. But then if I really look at the things that I HAVE done, and more important, the caliber of the people around me (because we can in fact judge a person by the people who love them) then I realize that I’m doing pretty damned good.

        You could have an easier time of it if you had lower standards, but that is not a state that is available to you to choose. So I guess you’ll just have to go on digging deep, asking questions, and sure, suffering a bit through the tough spots.

        I wouldn’t let every day be hard, though, especially if you are just prophylactically suffering for your kids. For mental health, it’s best to relax between disasters.

        I think very highly of you, Baba- your work, your standards, your questioning mind, your generous heart. There aren’t many out there like you.

      • baba paul says:

        Wow. I love it that you are always spot on and five steps ahead. You are such a wise person. Thank you so much for always being there for me. I can spit out what’s going on but I have a tough time then being objective about it. Thank you for translating it for me. You are the best!

  3. Ellen says:

    Sounds like it’s time to schedule some non-negotiable creative time before you go right round the bend.

    Nice Post!

  4. dawnsherrill says:

    You’ll get there…..enjoy the ride and the kids. The Buddism does help. Shall I send you some books?
    You’ll never regret living in the moment.Really…

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