The last few months have been rather strange...out of the ordinary compared to daily life. For the first time ever I had a serious health scare. After a few months and various scans etc... it turned out to be fine, and the problem was solved with a fairly straightforward operation. I have always believed in living every day to the full, and appreciating everything that I have, but for the first time I understood that even though I believe in that sentiment, I hadn't actually been 'living by it'. Having my health questioned gave me enough of a shock to really get it into my head that it is all very well making plans for what you want to do...but if you don't actually start doing them, it isn't enough. Basically, 'if not now, when???'
Originally, when I began working from home as a baker, the plan had been to bake till about 2 in the afternoon, then paint for the rest of the day. I thought that working from home would give me enough time to fit in more painting. However it always seemed that the cake business took up more and more time. Over the past seven years of having the cake business I have managed to fit in only a smallish amount of painting time, definitely not as much as planned or hoped for, and although over the past year it has improved slightly, I had never felt like I could establish a routine where I could seriously feel like I was getting somewhere with my painting. Having a health scare was what I needed to really make me think "all those plans you've made for making painting your main occupation...is it enough to keep saying that one day it will happen...what are you waiting for?". So, anyway, I worked out by how much I could reduce the cake business, to give me just the bare minimum income needed for bills, rent etc,...sort of a base line income...and gave up the rest!!!!! Then I did a few dances of happiness around the house... and got on with painting, and feeling a lot more like me!
Funnily enough I actually enjoy the small amount of baking I do now, whereas a couple of months ago I think I was working so many hours baking that I pretty much loathed each cake I had to make! Having a better balance gives me a chance to see the positive side more. I enjoy the fact that each day I have the social contact that delivering the cakes brings, enough so I can then enjoy the rest of the day in my studio painting.
It may all work out well, or it may all end up with never again having enough money and maybe having to find any job I can just to pay the rent and bills...but I don't care about that; what has made me most happy is that I gave myself the chance, and followed what I believe in.
The above image is called 'The Forest'. Oil on paper.