I had a nagging feeling through mid-August, September, and somehow I’m already nearly done with October: I said I’d write. I take my commitments seriously; sometimes too seriously. As the days wore into weeks and months and I still wasn’t updating this blog as consistently as I’d intended, I decided to let it go.
Wes and I made an enormous life change back in May of this year, deciding to live full time in the 19′ Airstream Mobile Art Studio, point ourselves south from Alaska, and live smaller/get pickier about our work. Me, I doubled down on art and painting as a primary source of income, alongside continuing to consult on a project-by-project basis. Wes took a job as a hike/camp/backpack guide with a company based out of St. George, UT, which is where we’re currently based.
It’s so easy to write that all out in retrospect. But the mechanisms that support this new life – the new budgeting spreadsheet that enables us to better allot our seasonal incomes, the vehicle(s), the scheduling of our work – are all new. Adaptation looks like waking up in the morning and feeling torn between going for a walk on a sandy trail or sitting down to the easel to paint. It looks like a new transmission for the truck costing what we thought was a pretty healthy margin of financial error – strike those numbers from the spreadsheet marked “savings”. It looks like Wes’s trips blocked off on a Google Calendar; dovetailing with my consulting projects in Alaska and us realizing we’d better actually take time together this coming Friday night because it’s the last time we’ll see each other for a month.
In short, it’s learning. As I articulated recently in my (new! But also very much not new!) Alli Harvey Art Values, it’s progress over perfection. It’s doing, vs analysis paralysis.
For me, it means even when I’ve stated that I want to update this blog more frequently, when I don’t do it, noticing it and freeing it. This is, overall, still (and maybe always) a time of shift as we spend our first weeks, months, and eventually year(s) in this phase of life. I will need to get more comfortable with knowing where I will push myself to discipline, and being okay if there are places where I slide.
And you know what this enables me to do? Be better present. I can’t tell you the number of moments these past months that I have been filled up to the point of tears with amazement at a connection, a view, an opportunity, or just a fleeting feeling. That feeling – that builds to overall contentment – makes me a better me. So when I do paint, write, facilitate, I’m all the more there. This, wildly, still feels like a novelty.
But what have I been doing all these months?! Well, a mix of painting, travel, consulting, and spending time with friends/family. I’ve accrued quite the selection of potential paintings from trips to Alaska, Reno, and across Utah. Some potential photo references below!
More soon. Or – at least a little sooner than this last time, I think and hope!