Oh, Where Did the Hours Go?

October 18, 2014

Running shoes

Running shoes

Yesterday was a day off work, a weekday reprieve since I work this weekend.  I had a hard time falling asleep on Thursday night because I was feeling overwhelmed again — the stresses of too many things I’d like to do and need to do, and worries about finding the time to fit everything in.  I woke, not really rested yesterday morning and decided that if I accomplished two things — running around Green Lake and painting at least one watercolor sketch — I would be happy.  Everything else would either get done or not.

But before I could run, I noticed that the cat litter box was in desperate need of cleaning.  Jellybean is getting messy in her old age.  That was not a task I wanted to deal with first thing in the morning, but it had to be done.  So I was crabby when I started my three-mile run, but by the time I returned to the house I felt wonderful.  I try to run every day, but I had skipped Thursday because I have felt all week like I was coming down with a cold.  Of all the things in my life, my commitment to running every morning — getting my blood going, sweating, and being outside — is always worth the effort.

Watercolor sketch of sandhill crane

Watercolor sketch of sandhill crane

After showering and putting a load of clothes in the washing machine, I sat down to paint a  bird portrait.  I saw this sandhill crane in Homer, Alaska several years ago, and I used one of my trip photographs to paint from.   I was pleased with the painting, and I really should have started another painting when the going was good, but I stopped to grab lunch at a café.  That was it for playing with paints.  I’m happy to have made at least something.  To help me stay on track to paint or sketch something every day, I have just started emailing a photo of the day’s work to a friend.  She does the same.  I do find that even this informal accountability is giving me the incentive to pick up my paintbrush instead of finding an excuse not to make art.

Making bread in the bread machine

Making bread in the bread machine

Apple pie from windfall apples, ready to go in the oven for supper

Apple pie from windfall apples, ready to go in the oven for supper

Folded laundry

Folded laundry

I dream of spending my days off relaxing and reading a stack of books.  I am stressed by the huge pile of books I have checked out of the library right now.  Part of this reading is in preparation for my Alaska post, the next in my Armchair America project.  All this is fun, but I find I can’t quite carve out the time I hope for.  My days evaporate in quotidian tasks.

Yesterday, in addition to cleaning and changing the cat litter, I washed and folded clothes, made a loaf of bread  in my bread machine, and used up some windfall apples in a  pie for supper. (I added a tiny bit of leftover quince sauce for some extra flavor.)  I took some photos for my next Wordless Wednesday post and edited and uploaded them.  After that, I did have an hour or so to read before I started making supper, and then after supper my husband and I watched a DVD movie.

So my day passed all too quickly, filled with homey tasks and some creative work, too, but not enough time to relax and rest.  Does this happen to you, too?


Well-worn running shoes

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about shoes.  There is something soulful about shoes, especially well-worn ones.  Perhaps it is because they faithfully hold your weight and ground you in your surroundings.  Over time they conform to the unique shape of your feet.

I have several well-worn pairs of shoes in my closet.  As you can see, my toes tend to punch holes through my running shoes.  I guess I have perky toes.

I love Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of a pair of shoes.  It inspired me to try painting a pair of my own.

Vincent Van Gogh, A Pair of Shoes, 1886

Preliminary pencil sketch

Watercolor sketch of running shoes