Can you fathom it? December again … another year has gone whizzing by … time again to access where we’ve been and begin planning where we’re going next year.
Normally for me the end of the year is all about looking back to see if a miracle happened, and if I actually met some of my art goals. This year I definitely got a miracle, but it had nothing to do with art, and I’m finding myself accessing my whole life!
45 years ago my sister and I were estranged from our parents and had virtually no contact with them for all that time.
One Sunday afternoon this past spring, my dad died. I found out about it on the following Monday morning … the miracle began.
Since then my sister and I have been about the business of helping my mom put her affairs in order and moving her into our home with my husband and me. She has been with us since early July, and she has been surprisingly cooperative … the miracle continues.
It’s been a huge adjustment for all of us. Mostly it’s been a joy-filled experience, but past hurts haven’t completely disappeared, and they raise their ugly heads on occasion. The good news is that dealing with them has been surprisingly quick and smoother than expected, despite the fact that my mom is naturally dealing with the grief and shock of losing her spouse of 70 years, along with her home and her whole life. Be forewarned … the last season of life is not for the faint hearted!
As for me, my life has been turned upside down! Mostly, it’s smoothing out quite well and I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by just how smoothly it’s gone. I was mostly worried about whether I would be able to continue working on books and all the fun I have with my website, but it’s turning out that all those concerns were for naught. There won’t be any more whole days of pounding the ol’ keyboard or drawing to the exclusion of everything else, but I’m learning to pace and schedule myself better. I’m learning to focus on work despite having people and distractions all around. I’ve not yet totally mastered it, but I’m getting better at it every day … old dogs can learn new tricks!
This old dog is a hider. I learned to hide in my growing up years, just to feel safe, and it’s ingrained in me. But God knows what to do to bring hiders out in the open … and He can multi-task!
The same miracle He’s using to provide for my isolated mom, is the same miracle that’s thrown me into circumstances where I have no choice but to come out and into uncomfortable places. And He’s thrown just the right amount of joy into those circumstances and that has helped tremendously.
He’s been there from the very beginning, and He hasn’t let go!
Just by the nature of our work, creatives are thinkers and philosophers. And, intentionally or not, our philosophical thoughts will shine through our work. As children’s book creators, we need to be especially aware of that fact, because our influence may reach into another generation!
So this December I’ve been looking backwards, at not just the past year, but my whole journey … looking at choices I’ve made and what I’ve learned ...