Everybody gets in a slump now and then, right? Even me. 2020 has been a crazy year for all of us. Am I right?
I have been feeling so guilty about letting everyone down, about not being there to root you on, to cheer for your accomplishments, to encourage your creativity. I have tried, I really have, but I feel like I was still coming up short.
I have let the angst of 2020, Covid, 2 hurricanes, losing my store to said hurricanes, and most of all, the lack of time with my kids and grandkids, determine how I looked at both my present and future. I have had about enough of that feeling sorry for myself, or rolling with the punches for this lifetime.
I have always hated the phrase “pick yourself up by your bootstraps”. When I was in the depths of despair with depression in my 20’s, my Daddy uttered that same advice to me, every time I saw him. It really hurt my feelings and kinda made me mad, truth be known, at the time. I thought no one understood. Maybe they didn’t. I’m pretty sure they didn’t, but if I had been able to “pick myself up by my bootstraps”, I dang sure would have done it. Nobody wants to feel like life is not worth getting out of bed for, but I did, for many, many years.
Now, nearly 30 years later, I am feeling that tug of wanting to stay in bed, of not feeling motivated enough to “want” to do anything. You know what I catch myself saying in my “self talk”? Yep. You guessed it. “Get up girl! Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going. The funk will end. It will get better.” I sure don’t want to have to start over with my art business, not after losing my health food store, coffee shop, wellness center and artisan market to Hurricane Laura. My life’s work, gone in one night. My life’s work, not my life.
I am doing my best to remind myself that I have been given a great opportunity to focus on the art that I love. I wanted to retire in 2 1/2 years anyway, and the Good Lord blessed me with it a couple of years early, just not exactly how I envisioned it. It could have been worse. It definitely could have been worse.
I know it is ok to grieve my losses. Healthy even. But, it’s not ok to wallow in it for months on end. I am ready. I am ready to wake up excited again. To greet each day with enthusiasm for whatever new project that I can sink my fingers into. I am tugging hard on those bootstraps, but I am not sure that I can do it on my own. No matter how much I want to, or how hard I tug.
I thought about online counseling. The depressed part of me isn’t in the mood for dragging all of my “woe is me” crap out in the open and having to share it with someone I don’t even know. Nope. Not in the mood for that, at all.
So, I have to have a game-plan, right? That’s the way my mind works. Make a plan, push yourself, do it, and be glad you did. Tougher than it sounds, but not impossible.
Much to my surprise, and old love is what is helping me to see the light in my days. Books. I have always had a love affair with books. Romance novels, sure, but self-help books have always been the jump start that made the difference to me. My goal is to write one one day! (Wish me luck on that one!)
The answer? (at least for me) Audio books. Books on tape, if you’re my age, lol, except that now they stream from my phone, tablet, and Alexa.
I wrote an e-book and created an Audible version a few years ago, to go with a Udemy course that I created on Flower Remedies. I get credit if you use my link, and your first audio book is free, if you use the link. I’d appreciate it if you do, but either way, I am going to share the audio books that got me up off the couch, and into my studio! (my Audible link)
Some of the links below are my affiliate links through Amazon, and I do receive credit if you use my link and make a purchase.
I was listening to this one BC (before Covid), and just finished it, and was motivated enough to start this blog post, and to make a plan for my next 3 videos! It doesn’t hurt that she shares weight loss advice, too!
Chasing Cupcakes by Elizabeth Barton was inspirational in so many ways. I wanted my daughters to listen, I wanted my granddaughter to listen, and I am hoping that you will listen. This one was so raw, and so real. Barton knows the struggle, and knows how to succeed despite the hard stuff…and she shares all of the details with us!
The audio book that really got me back on track was Find Your Artistic Voice by Lisa Cogden.
The author shares her own insight, but also interviews several artists who give us insight into their processes for finding their voice. Every time I thought an interviewee hit the mark for me, the next one motivated me even more. This was the first audio book that prompted me to get busy.
Don’t Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Hiller
This was another deep dive into having confidence in your choices, and taking action to reach your dreams. I am so thankful for her advice.
I highly recommend An Audience of One by Srinivas Rao, too.
This was an important one for me, as it reminded me to create art that pleases ME, and to quit trying so hard to create what I think everyone else would like. I have struggled with this from day one in my creative endeavors. I can’t paint perfect, like my Mama did. I am not good at the gorgeous floral landscapes that look like photographs, which is how my husband would prefer I paint. To be authentic to myself, and really LOVE what I am doing, I have to create for me. This audio book hit me where I have lived most of my life, and I am so thankful to have listened to it.
Art Money Success: Finally Make Money Doing What You Love by Maria Brophy.
I started this one during Covid restrictions, but before the hurricanes hit. This book is chock full of pure knowledge about making a living from your art. The author is a successful artist herself, and is married to a very successful artist, as well. Brophy shares real experiences with making money from art, and offers a ton of tips for ways to make money that I have never found in a book before this one. Very informative.
Listening to these books was like hooking a hoist to my preverbal boot straps, and I am forever grateful that the authors chose to share their stories with us. It made a difference for me, really, and I believe it will for you, too. Happy listening!
PS, if you have a favorite motivational book/audio book, or another way to pick yourself up when you are down, please share it with me in the comments. You never know who you may inspire! -Terri