Posted in painting, Random ramblings, Self Care

The root of my evil

I think that I’m flying off on an unplanned tangent. Not at all the

post I was thinking about at all but it’s my blog so I guess I can do that. The encore career one isn’t going anywhere and I can do it another day.

I was totally pumped to realize that with the newest member in the door I now have 200 followers. This felt quite significant although in reality for the amount of time and blog posts I’ve done it’s not much. But then I’m not in it for money, I regularly go off in all subject directions and I’ve never really pushed to move the blog forward.

Today I read a blog post of someone I recently started following, a Vancouver Island retiree with some similiar interests and the title of Retirement Reflections. She has been blogging for just over 3 years, she has 198 followers and her post now has 128 comments. Which is about how many comments I get in six months. That is in a good year. She has quickly grown a following and replies to all comments; a standard action for bloggers.

Before you think I am green with envy I will admit I was for a moment. But then I stepped back and thought about it. That many followers and that many comments is going to lead to a LOT of expectations. One thing that is super cool though is that she’s really connected via her blog to other writers and they get together IRL (in real life – I figured out what it meant finally). Obviously she’s writing and connecting at a level that is quite impressive.

Which brings me to the next item that occurred today. I’ve been challenging myself to use the watercolours every day to try and absorb what’s the instructor is saying. I’m trying. I seem wildly unsuccessful if one goes by the paintings. Seriously look like they were done by a 4th grader. Na – a second grader. I seem to be lacking depth perception in creating the layers. So it kind of feels like the above situation when I see a painting that is just so clearly head and shoulders above mine.

But then I stepped back and thought about it. Our “eye” becomes unresponsive if we don’t train it. So realistically I’m doing fine and my supportive husband and my friends haven’t run out of polite comments yet. It’s all about a LOT of expectations and those rest solely on my shoulders. I’m the one thinking that I’m not improving and getting frustrated. Occasionally thinking that when the class is over I will ditch the paints and go back to fabric.

So as you can see it’s not actually green with envy that has me but rather the root of my “evil” (which is a little harsh but I use it as that’s the saying). Which is my expectations.

I think it’s a fairly regular occurrence for a lot of adults I know to have these unrealistic expectations. About a lot of things from how long something takes to how much we earn. Creativity can certainly take a hit here. Everyone else’s always looks better and we only see our own flaws.

I think I need to take a lesson from my grandchildren. Look how many tries it has taken Baby C to perfect standing. And he just keeps on working on getting that skill down. No matter how many times he crashes over he tries again. Little A is working on words like crazy and if Nan and Pa don’t understand she just repeats it again and again. Or shows us. She doesn’t, usually that is, decide to just quit. Not an option for a toddler. They don’t have expectations, they just have milestones that they will at some point reach; learning every step along the way.

That’s what we need to embrace as adults. Learning and letting go of our own expectations. Easier said than done but, especially with creativity, necessary so that we don’t just quit trying. Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to show you my grade 2 painting but I did learn things from doing it. So mission accomplished once I reopened my eyes.

Bernie