Earlier today, I had this text exchange with my husband:
Him: Are the painters there?
Him: Are they painting?
Me: I don't know.
Me: They are on ladders/ the side of our house. They do not have paint in their hands but it seems like they are doing some kind of painterly work.
- My husband texting, "???" is the equivalent of that silent look that all couples give each other once in a while.
- "Painterly work" that isn't painting is real and important.
On the occasional commitment-free day I have, I think, "FREEDOM!" (with the appropriate hint a of a Braveheart-esque Scottish accent) and then, "I can paint all day!!"
But the reality is usually different.
I will remember that I need to send my portfolio to the lady that asked for it at the event I attended last night. I will then realize that I need to update my email signature and spend half an hour "making it look right." From there I will tweak my resume and draft the email and then I will find her on Facebook to make sure I'm spelling her name correctly. "Do I 'friend request' her now or after I press send?" I decide on later and then edit the email, attach the resume, and a couple of images so she can see at a glance what I do.
And then I get discouraged because I have spent all of this time not painting.
What I have to remind myself is that "painterly work" i.e. the business of promotion and networking and generally putting myself out there and saying "I am a painter," matters too.
Don't get me wrong. On the days that the spirit moves and I am able to paint for hours at a time - there is nothing closer to magic.
In the meantime, I will paint when I can, do painterly things when I should, and not be too hard on myself in either case.
p.s. High fives to my house painters for inspiring this post. It is close to 100 degree heat index out there and they are troopers.