All through the pandemic so far I’ve heard people say they want everything to go back to normal. I doubted everything would, and predicted that some things would change permanently for good and for ill. Because that’s what happens over time anyway, even without a catalyst to speed up the process.
Twenty years ago I was broke and living alone. I barely drove anywhere and could only afford an hour a day of internet, which was mostly spent dealing with emails. A few years passed and when my income improved and I could get about again, online and in real life, it was like I’d been living on the moon. So much had changed I scrambled to grasp some of it.
Three years ago I knew I was heading into a new phase of my life. There’d be good changes (more time to explore hobbies), bad (the stress of my parents’ declining heath), and a lot of questioning of identity and purpose. I was ready to embrace change… but I couldn’t have predicted the pandemic.
“Evolve and Simplify” is my motto for this year. Now, nearing the halfway point, do I feel like I’m managing either?
Definitely! Until October 2019 it was always writing first, then art and craft equally in importance, but it has shift to art first, craft a close second, then writing a distant third. Socially, I’ve become much less tolerant of selfish people. More recently I’m contemplating what it would mean to be considered ‘disabled’, whether by myself or by others.
A little. I’m changing parts of the garden to make maintenance easier. All social media has been relegated to one session a week, on the desktop not the phone. I’m resisting the lure of new hobbies, wanting to consolidate knowledge and skills in existing interests instead.
In the second half of the year life will get much simpler when I finish the 8-shaft weaving course and the daily art challenge. In their place I hope to weave some of the structures I’ve learned but at a lazy pace, and increase the amount of art I do. I’d like to try some weekly workshops or joining a plein air group, and go back to always having at least one painting on the go.
Simplification can go too far, and evolution doesn’t always go in good directions, but I’m hoping that, overall, I can embrace and benefit from the changes to come.