I have been working really hard, not sleeping well at night. It's fairly par for the course at this time of getting an exhibition mounted [yup, a private view opens in four weeks]. My head is whirring non-stop with ideas and to-do lists and I find it difficult to stop my bloody brain. I'm normally such a great sleeper, sigh.
On the other hand, man am I getting stuff done! It feels good to be focussed so intently, to feel like it's all going to come together in the end.
Today I've been thinking about Mum. About how during the years of her sickness, I really had the brakes on with my work because I know myself well and knew I couldn't manage a big workload as well as manage my own emotional fallout.
I remember well the day I got the news she was terminal. I was sitting working in the studio of my dreams that I'd only just rented, the studio I'd waited so long to have. I heard the news on the phone and felt my world crumble. From then on my work and that studio just kinda crumbled too and my work/life took a path the last couple of years I didn't quite expect.
I'm not saying I haven't done work for the last couple of years. My god, I have! I just mean the focus of my life has really been my son, and coping with the idea of losing her. As a result my life's been quite a lot smaller than I had imagined it would be. Work took a big backseat in terms of priorities. And you know what, I'm pleased it did.
I'm glad I took the time to focus on Mum. To be with her when I could, to process my own loss and grieve and sleep and cry when I needed to. There is nothing more important to me than the people I love, and that includes my work and any ambitions I might have for it.
It's five months since she passed. I think of her every day, I know she's with me always. In the early hours of this morning I put a pillow behind my back and pretended it was her cuddling me, even though she hasn't really done that since I was a child. It was a comfort for my tears.
But I was saying to a friend this morning that I feel like I've turned a corner in this sadness, got renewed drive and energy for my work. I've no longer got part of my heart wondering when she would leave me. She already has.
It's so very good to be feeling this new energy. I feel a lightness, and a kind of steely determination to do my work, and this new show. I feel my focus sharp and clear.
None of us know what life brings, eh. On the day this photograph was taken, that beautiful couple sure didn't know what the sixty years they had together would hold.
All I can say is that today I feel alive. Aligned. Awake. I'm hurting less, laughing more. I'm hopeful that a new happier season in my life has begun.
And that, my friends, is good enough for me.