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Oct 24, 2017

Grief and the Story of Two Salesmen.

Teaching my dad to selfie
My dad passed away last month so I am more concerned with resting and grieving than making art. I am grateful I got to see him so often in the last few months of his life, he was a very loving person, it meant everything to see him light up and reach out for a hug when I walked in the room. I hope I gave him the same joy in return.

Grieving is hard. Nothing makes sense. Going to the day-job in the morning feels like being run over by a dump truck in slow motion. I feel fortunate I had a couple art classes to teach. They reminded me how work under normal circumstances is enjoyable and sustaining.

In one class we talked about the obstacles toward finishing projects. There are many of them but time is often the biggest. I overcome this with sheer perseverance, continuing to work a little bit week after week even though I only accomplish about 25% of what I mean to do.

plein air in Peavy Arboretum


My supervisor at one teaching job told me an interesting anecdote when she learned that I always put more on my to-do list every week than I can accomplish. She said there were two salesmen, one set a goal for himself everyday of making 3 calls. The other set a goal for himself of making 20 calls a day. The low-aiming salesman always met his goal and felt so good he continued to make calls everyday; he did really well financially. The high-aiming fellow almost never met his goal, he always felt discouraged and did not sell a lot.

This made sense to me but I am so personally attached to my goals the thought of only writing down three small things each week was not acceptable. Now that grief is having a say in my priority list I find myself adopting this approach. I'm curious to see how it goes.

waiting out the rain

I have been out for a couple of plein air sessions, one was in a rain storm which was great for my spirit, not so much so for my painting but I still like it.

rainy arboretum