Hearts and Jobs

This weekend I spent 90% of my waking time on our screened in porch.  It is by far my most favorite place to be in our home.  Just throw a bed out there and I'd be happy as pie.  I spent the weekend watching movies, drawing and painting.  I added it up and think I spent almost 16 hours out there.  Alone.  It was a tiny bit magical.  The book is coming along perfectly.  It was just the time I needed to get it finished.  I suppose being pushed with a deadline is good for the creative juices.  I only wish I had more time to devote to my art like that.  Long stretches to paint out complete ideas.  Instead of here a painting there a painting.

Billy and I had a "date night" Saturday since Mailey was at a Girl Scout camp out and William was at the Coutny fair.   Honestly I can't remember the last time we did this.  Time alone that is.  We went to our favorite restaurant called Beirut and actually sat outside (So I was literally outside from 7:30 am when I started my run until bedtime Saturday.  Awesome).  They serve yummy authentic Lebanese food.  It is amazing food.  I could live somewhere far off and eat happily.  American food is just not my favorite.  Anyhoo.....during the course of our dinner I expressed some of my anxieties about not getting to be an artist right now.  I told him about a bunch of opportunities I had to sell my work recently but had to turn them all down because I just don't have any extra time to devote to anything.  I love teaching but I'm having serious stress out moments over not getting to make art.  I whined about there not being enough hours in the day.   That weekends the kids are just so needy lately.  Wanting to constantly be entertained.  And that's when he said it.  "Then quit.  Quit talking about it and quit.  Be an artist.  Do it."  I was a tad taken back.   But not really.  He's always been my biggest supporter.  With every crazy idea I've had he's never said NO....or why don't we think about that....or question my ability.  Instead he's always said what needed to be said.  Do it.  He may not say much about much.  But when I need him to tell me the truth, he does it.

Then the rational side of me said to him that financially I have to teach right now for the regular salary.  We moved into the new house and I took the job to keep Mailey in her school.  But in the end, once he quit the legislature my working became a neccessity.   BUT...BUT....if he would help us stay on track with our finances and ifn we were to add more to savings I could do it.  He then threw out the "Don't you make more money as an artist anyways?"  The painful truth is yes.  But there is this huge thing.  I love teaching too.  It brings me crazy joy.  This year has been the absolute best year yet.  It's like 3 years is the magic time to be in a school and get comfy and the kids get comfy and us all become a happy family.  So I am NOT quitting teaching.  But I am thinking and long term planning about my future.  I'm kinda tired of whining about what I'm not getting to do.  Some pretty heavy decisions will need to be made.  But I've got an entire school year to decide.  In the meantime, I'll sneak painting and jewelry making into my weekend routines when I can.  I'll continue to dream about the future.  Because I see really big things there.   As much support and love you guys have shown me over the years here in blogworld I have a feeling if I were to take the leap you'd be right there ready to support my decision. 


Julie Kirk said...

I just wanted to say ... that everything you said sounded so familiar to me! To say: it's not only you. To say: I'm grateful you shared this. I don't comment often ... but I do enjoy your blog and your honesty.

Julie :-)

Beth said...

Jenni I know exactly how you feel. I taught art for 29 years and always felt 'incomplete' because I didn't have time to work on my own art. There were many many times that I wanted to quit, but just couldn't do it financially. Yes, it is that regular paycheck that makes it hard to give up. Now that I am retired I am enjoying art every day...and there is still not enough time in my day to get it all done! I'm sure you will make it work, whatever you decide to do. But feed your art soul. It is important for your health.

roc said...

i truly believe the "magic" you felt in your porch was just the magic you felt already inside waiting to come out. i believe we create the lives we want. when you believe you can do it and trust that it is so, you will go higher than you ever imagined you could go. good luck in taking your leap of faith.

Dale Parker said...

Jenni I have felt the same as you lately. I teach art in a public school and in two years I can retire with full benefits...at least that's what I hope but am a bit skeptical because of the state of our state government. Anyway I have been trying to hang in there but the whole thing is...trying. My frustration came to a head when I learned three weeks into the year I would have to move to another room. Yikes! You can imagine how much stuff an art teacher has. After another meltdown with me ranting about my job my husband told me to just do what I want. Of course I can't do what I want...because we can't afford to. So I encourage you to keep making art and make plans for the future too! I will be one of those that takes a class from you again! Isn't great to have supportive husbands though?

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