I can’t believe that tomorrow is THE TOMORROW….the day that I send my youngest, Chachi off to kindergarten… full day…. 5 days a week. How can it be here? Like all parents at these milestones,  I have such a bittersweet taste in my mouth and my eyes have welled up with tears off and on all day. I talked to my mom today and she said she remembered that day well for her, too. Believe me I am looking forward to having 30 hours a week to myself, getting to work in my studio and picking up paint jobs to help feed these growing boys. Or perhaps I will find a job and become part of something that I have yet to imagine yet.  I am thrilled to not be driving 3 hours a day getting boys to different schools all over town. I am not delusional, there will still be plenty of running boys here and there. But, for this year at least, it will be a lot less.

As I watched Charlie take in his supplies to school and meet his teacher today, he instantly seemed smaller and younger than I normally think of him. He was nervous and quiet but curious to find his name on his cubby and locker. He didn’t wander far from my side but managed to spot a Dalmatian stuffed animal tucked away in a basket that looks like one that he sleeps with each night. He seemed relieved to see something familiar and he flashed a big smile. He has been checking in with me a lot to show me the progress of his first loose tooth or just for a hug and I am pretty sure he has a hard time breathing as I squeeze him as tight as I can.

My role as a mother is shifting, as it should. It is still hard to let go though and know how I will fit into the days ahead. But tonight we have slipped back into our evening routine. The boys are tucked into bed while it is still light out for the first time since May. Their school clothes are laid out for the morning and their clean and beautiful faces are lit up by their reading lights. In 20 minutes, I will go down for lights out and give lots of hugs and kisses and whisper something special in each of their ears. I am grateful I have years left of this part of motherhood.

I know Charlie is ready for tomorrow. I am as well. But, I have much more confidence in him than I do in myself. Can I really take this time and use it well to create this part of myself that has been bubbling to the surface for years? Will I have have the self discipline needed to push myself forward and move through the scary parts?  In my head, I have been using tomorrow as a starting point for big dreams. Now it is here. Now it is time to step up and get to work. I am going to honor this day by painting my studio door a vibrant red and set my intentions with each brush stroke. Then I am taking my friend, who makes me laugh and smile, out to lunch for her 50th. My mom agreed that tomorrow will be bittersweet, but she said it is definitely more sweet than bitter. So with her wisdom,  I will welcome sweet tomorrow with an open heart and mind.


Work in Progress

I had a to-do list a mile long. Chris was taking the boys to Virginia for a week and I was going to get sooooooooo much done. HA!

That was the plan in my head anyway and shockingly organized on paper. I think I got two things crossed off my list. I am trying not to beat myself up about it. After all, I had a wicked stomach bug for the first two days. I actually got some work done on the third. On the fourth day, I took myself on a date to Denver… banner day.. more on that later. The fifth day, I got the second thing crossed off my list before my friend from SC arrived. We then played and had too much fun. On the 6th and 7th day another friend arrived and we played and had too much fun as well… time well spent!  And then my sweet family finally came home and my house is buzzing once again.

But, I wasted so much time the first half of the week… or did I?

 Perhaps, what can’t be written down and crossed off the list is the constant work in progress. I learned how very important it is while working on a decorative finish to stop, take a break, step back and get a bigger perspective on the work in progress. It is important to see the whole room, and get a feel for what is working and what needs to change to get the right effect in the space.

 Last week ended up being just that. A step back and looking at the big picture. It was important to do. Within the quiet, I got a clearer picture of my strengths and limitations. I understand where I am really going to have to reach in order to take some necessary steps forward. That doesn’t mean I know how I am going to do that, but I know that I have to figure it out to keep moving, even if sometimes it is backwards.  I also realized that I have some foundation in my strengths and values and that I can learn and reach safely from here. And when I fall on my face, I am going to be able to get back up again. I know these thoughts are nothing new, but in the constant go, go, go of life, they are good to remember.

Thinking back to where I was a year ago in my whole art journey… well… it was only in my head, a dream. And now I am planning for two art shows, hopefully the studio tour and about to launch my website. The work in progress is layer after layer after layer… often like my paintings. Somehow they all add up and come together. Even the mistakes along the way are valuable. They can add an extra hint of color that make the whole thing work. So I am off to add more layers to my work in progress…. both on the canvas and in my life. Thanks for joining me along the way. You are the best layers of this journey.

A current work in progress….more layers needed… stay tuned…