What it's like ...

Self portrait

What it's like the rest of the time ...

I lead an ordinary sort of life. Most of the time I am a happy camper. Not literally a happy camper. Just a reasonably happy sort of person who occasionally has had bouts of clinical depression. The clinical depression hasn't returned since I received treatment for Graves' Disease. Maybe my thyroid was doing a number on me for years?

I am the Vice President and soon-to-be President of a local art association. That is my biggest achievement although "achievement" is not the right word. It doesn't mean that I won a popularity contest. What it means is that I have been willing to do a lot of work to improve the art association. I kept coming up with ideas and telling people there my ideas. As soon as people there figured out that I was willing to implement these ideas and do work, they grabbed me and made me V.P. Being the Vice President involves an automatic four year commitment to the association. When you are the V.P., then they make you the President after two years unless you run away very fast, leave no forwarding address, and commit a felony. I will be the President this May.

I consider it an honor that they are entrusting me with this responsibility, even if it does make it hard to get my life in balance. It's hard to find time to do everything well. There aren't enough hours in the day! And even if there were, I'm not willing to work hard all the time. It's hard to get enough done in the time that I am willing to work. I don't get paid for the art association work. I don't get paid in dollars. I do get paid in personal satisfaction and in growth. Being involved as an officer and a board member has taught me a lot.

Prior to my being the V.P. of the art association, I had never been an officer of anything. I never considered myself to have a lot of social skills or leadership abilities. However, as time goes on and I need to get more and more done, I find myself stepping up to the plate and doing what I need to do. It is both a lot of fun and a lot of hard work.

Besides doing all this unpaid work, I also do work to make money that pays the bills. I work with my husband in the antiques business. We buy and sell antiques. Lately I have been doing tasks that involve a camera and the computer and he has been doing the describing and the sales. My husband has been buying and selling stuff since he was five years old. It comes so naturally to him that it is like breathing.

What got me involved in the art association is my work with a camera. I went from using a camera for making pictures to go with articles that I wrote for publication and pictures for advertising to using a camera to make fine art. My camera and my printer are my metaphorical brushes and clay and paint. Now I am getting into drawing and cartooning as well. As they say, an image is worth a thousand words. Being someone who can use up thousands of words, I enjoy the brevity of describing something in an image.

An ordinary day in my life lately is spent doing things like writing up press releases for art association publicity, taking photos of art association events, taking photos of antiques for resale, taking messages on the phone, doing my cartoon homework (for a class I've been taking), looking for interesting movies to see (I like independent films a lot), corresponding with internet friends, working on websites (the art association's as well as my own photography-related site and the estrangements site), going to meetings, figuring out solutions to various problems of the art association, talking with people, noticing the disorganization and dust in my messy house and wondering if it will ever get straightened out (maybe if I move or die?), watching TV in the evening (Sopranos, Desperate Housewives, Apprentice, Sundance Channel), taking me and the cars in for repairs (as I get older I feel like an old car that is getting worn out and needing new parts), and giving head scratches to my pet parrots.

That is pretty much what most of my life is like. So it's not all angst and more angst. There isn't all that much time for angst all the time 24/7. That much angst would be an unaffordable indulgence. Life is too short to spend it on that much angst.



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