Sunday, August 7, 2011

Finding Art in the Mire

On Monday, I posted my art goals for the week. And I have to admit that doing that is a good impetus for me to actually be creative and productive! I will also say that I was more productive at the beginning of the week, but more about that later.

As a reminder, my goals were the following:

1. Process and post one picture to Flickr each day.
2. Start a sketch for my watercolor journal.
3. Glue the rest of my pages for my art journal.
4. Post at least one print to Zazzle.
5. Finish making another necklace and matching earrings.
6. Start my Pinterest-inspired project.

So, how did I do?

1. Met it! This was probably one of the easier ones. I process and post while my son is sleeping in the morning, so I am fairly easily able to get one per day.

2. Met...and met! I generally sketch and then add ink and color. This time, I just went for it. I had added the background and was debating over what to sketch. Then, after a rough day, I just grabbed my pen and drew:

And then, because I had some time and because drawing with no starting sketch was kind of thrilling, I started another page:

3. Oops. There just wasn't time to get out the glue and go to town. I'll try again this week.

4. Honestly, I don't remember if I did this. I know I posted something fairly recently, but I'll have to see if that fell within the past six days. If not, I still have 16 hours left to do it!

5. Done! I finished a necklace that I had started and the earrings to match! I was going to start the next one, but I have a previous one that I need to lengthen first. That'll be a new goal for the week.

6. Started! But not much more than that! I glued pages from Ayn Rand's Anthem onto a canvas board, but then I stopped because I have too many directions that I'm considering. But, goal was too start, right!

All-in-all, not too shabby.

Quite honestly, I did better at the beginning of the week. The end has been filled with a little bit of travel and a whole load of stress.

Hubby is a music teacher, and until the end of this year, his job was to teach 4th through 6th graders how to play instruments. He loves it, and he is so gifted when it comes to working with younger kids.

Then, the high school instrumental teacher retired. And because Pennsylvania is in a budget crisis (don't get me started on the money being given to the prison system...), the school district didn't hire a new music teacher.

They just shoved my husband into the job.

It's not what he wants. Now he has had to become the high school band director, one of the most public positions in the district. And he has to ensure that our county-famous 160-member band performs up to the standards that have been set over at least the past 15 years, but more like the past 80 years.

And he can do it. I know he can.

But he doesn't feel that way. So the stress of being given this monster is getting to him. The stress of being pulled from a job he loves is getting to him. The stress of having to deal with irresponsible kids and their even-worse parents is getting to him.

Last night, the straw broke the camel's back. And now he is so depressed and so despondent. I don't know what to do for him, and he won't let me help him.

I can tell him all the cliches, but he knows they are just cliches. I can remind him that for the handful of students that are causing him grief, there are over 150 others who are there to do the job and make him proud.

He just keeps seeing the stuff that is upsetting, and he refuses to see the big picture. He has made up his mind that the glass isn't just half-empty, it's empty. And I can pour more into it, but he just keeps dumping it out to prove his point.

I am at my wit's end. I don't know what to do. We've been through much worse than this, which I've reminded him, but he just won't listen to me. He is a stubborn man, and he has stubbornly decided to let this kill him.

I don't know what to do.


  1. Congrats on meeting your goals! I LOVE your watercolor pages. Especially since, they do seem to come from a place of truth based on what you've been going through with hubby. I'm sure words aren't going to help right now but my hubby always says to me in situations like that "Whether you think you can or you can''re probably right." And, please tell him that band was the only class in high school that kept me from killing myself. Most kids in band, are the ones you get bullied and teens are much more in need of a positive role model than anyone else I think. I hope the situation improves and I hope he realizes that the Universe needs him to be there for some reason, although it may not be clear yet to either of you. Hang in there and keep turning to the art for solace! ♥♥♥

  2. Thank you, Laura. I needed this! <3