Slowly getting back to normal

pear postcard

Normal? What is normal, anyway? The concept of “normal” can be subjective and context-dependent, varying from person to person and situation to situation. When people talk about “getting back to normal,” they often refer to a routine that was familiar and comfortable before a disruption or change occurred. This could pertain to daily routines, social interactions, work environments, etc.

For me, getting back to normal means having the time to sit in my studio to create. If you’ve been following along, you probably know that I’ve been cleaning, reorganizing, decluttering (or trying to), getting rid of, and making space for others in my home. In the midsts of all that, there was little time and energy to create. I found that I would sit in my studio and try to do some work, only to find myself distracted. I couldn’t focus on what I wanted to do because I knew what I NEEDED to do, which was clean and organize. Not a lot of fun, but necessary for my own peace of mind.

Now, most of the reorganization has been done. When I think back to when it all started – way before I found out that I was going to have company for a while – I needed to get rid of stuff. Too much stuff around was cluttering the mind. The act of cleaning and reorganizing became a form of mindfulness. That heightened sense of awareness allowed me to let go of the unnecessary and make room for creativity. No judgement. Just openness and acceptance. Of the fact that I have too much stuff. Of the fact that all that stuff gives me comfort. Of the fact that I am not a minimalist. Of the fact that I like to be surrounded by stuff that reminds me of specific moments in time. Of the fact that some people might consider me a pack rat. Of the fact that I know that some things are more difficult to discard than others. Of the fact that I know the importance of doing things on my own terms – discarding and keeping at my discretion.

My goal was to accept that this was my reality at this time. Accept what I needed to do for me. For my own happiness. Peace of mind. This state of mind did not mean resignation, but rather acknowledging and embracing the reality of my current experience. There is no right or wrong. No good or bad. It is what it is. I know that there are people out there that dislike that expression: It is what it is. But in this case, it proved right. I had too much stuff that needed to go to make me feel lighter, and give me room – physical and mental – to create.

Now it’s time for me to get back to my normal and start creating again. Finish some pieces. Make new ones. Teach classes. Record videos. Cut and paste in my sketchbooks, and do all the things that fill me with joy. And yes, try to remember where I put everything. There is one truth: I did know where everything was before – even though things were piled up high. Now, after the rearranging, I have to remember where I put stuff – I know it made sense at the time. I am already missing stuff. Oh well …

So here’s to welcoming the new normal …

I will be back soon with more news from my studio. Until then, keep making,


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  1. Remembering where the new spot is after cleaning and reorganizing – omg, that struggle is real! It’s not just you!

  2. Ana, I am glad to hear that you are back to creating in a squeaky clean and reorganized studio. I know that great feeling! I am also without my studio space while housing some friends for a few months. Soon it will be cleanup time here too and back to my normal.
    Enjoy your visitors and your newly arranged studio, as usual I am looking forward to seeing what you create.

    1. Thanks Hilde. It’s been a long road it seems, but … I’m getting there. One more push for a few days and the basement should be finally done. Now to tackle the garage! :) Never ending …

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