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If it isn’t fun, I’m not doing it


echinacaceaThe past year has challenging with personal health issues, family worries, work concerns, and Hurricane Ike. Art-making was not even in the backseat—it fell off going around a curve after hitting a particularly deep rut in the road. Two weeks ago I had surgery to remove a mass in my chest—only 5 percent of such open biopsies are benign. I was prepared to hear words like primary lymphoma or metastatic. The best I could hope for was a drug resistant mycoplasma. Although the surgeon told me it wasn’t infectious—I chose to pretend I didn’t hear that statement. As it turns out, what I did have was something incredibly rare—and even then rarely malignant.

 

I could say that now I’m turning handsprings in elation—but my arm is still not as strong as it was before, I have some numbness in my fingers, and I tire out far more easily than I would like. While my brain is thinking of things to do, my body is still sitting on the couch curled up with my Kindle, a heating pad, and my Teddy bear—a gift from a dear friend. Creativity is somewhere but not nearby.

 

What I have been doing in the past few months, though, is re-assessing and de-cluttering. I took a long look at some of the projects I had stuffed in bags, fabric and patterns for the business suits that I no longer wear at work, fabrics and projects given to me by well-meaning friends and family, and a lot of ‘I ought to do this so that I can belong’ projects. Then there were all the tiny scraps, the left-overs from assorted projects that in my frugal youth would have been the basis for another project, the things I picked up at workshops that were ‘too good to throw away’. I have filled our trash can—the one that is four feet tall and two feet across and on wheels twice—to the brim! I have burned a pile of stuff twice that size. I have filled a box with lengths of dress fabrics and Vogue patterns and skeins of yarn to send as a donation. I have filled two laundry baskets with

‘stuff’ for the Salvation Army.

 

 My new philosophy is “if it doesn’t look like it will be fun or I really don’t like that color (turquoise-pink-mint green), then I’m not doing it!” If it turns out that I need to wear business suits again, the store will have fabric and I might even just buy something off the rack—and that would be a new experience! And maybe fun!

 

I’m not done yet; I still have shelves of fabric and baskets of nearly finished projects to sort through. I wish I didn’t tire out so easily so I could get it all done—this week! Today would be better! But I think I can see Creativity standing down the road waving at me.

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