Thursday, December 31, 2015

Going Too Far (Creative Diary Part 5)

I rarely get the opportunity to paint, and when I do, the results are hit and miss. So when I do get the chance, and things are going well, I find it hard to stop. I become so caught up in the enjoyment and excitement of the progress, that I barely notice my back aching, my fingers cramping, and my eyes going blurry. I just keep going. 

It isn't until I make a mistake, largely undoing a substantial chunk of my fabulous progress, that I realize I've gone too far. By this point, it is too late, the damage is done. The joy I felt seeing my painting take the shape I wanted it to, has been replaced with annoyance and disappointment. I feel stupid and angry with myself for not stopping before I went too far. This is when it normally gets worse. My stubbornness usually kicks into overdrive and I try to fix it right there on the spot. Of course the paint is still wet and it all mixes together and looks like mud. I fixed nothing. I have a bigger mess and am more upset. 

Knowing my opportunities to paint are few, and far in-between, I try and cram too much in. The result of this behavior often sets me back further than when I started, as I now have more to fix. Try though I may, I repeat this pattern far too often. 

Tonight, I had a very successful painting session. As usual, I went past to point of sore, tired, and exhausted. And yes... I made a mistake. Not a horrible one, but poor placement of an object, that will most certainly bother me. I came very close to trying to paint over it and start that section again, but for once, I paused and took a breath. I took time to stand back and observe all the things I had achieved on the painting tonight. I acknowledged all the parts I was happy with, and I took time to seriously evaluate how tired and achy I was feeling. Tonight, I turned away from my painting, washed my brushes and put away my paints. Tonight, I stopped myself before I turned a small annoyance into a big problem. 

Ten minutes later, cup of coffee in hand, I started to wonder just how often we all do this in other aspects of our lives? How many times do we push too far? How many times do we undo our good works because we were too busy trying to achieve more? How often do we then allow our resulting disappointment and overall grumpy demeanor impact those around us? 

Tonight, I went too far and made a mistake, but at least I stopped before making it worse. With 2015 drawing to a close in a matter of minutes, maybe I can start 2016 with a little balance. Perhaps in 2016, I will be able to stop going too far, and will be more successful at recognizing the tipping point in my activities, and stop BEFORE I undo my good works!

Happy New Year folks!
I'm ending the night the same way I do every night... Taking a moment to reflect on what I'm most grateful for. For me, that's family, faith, freedom, friends, and much more.