It’s World Watercolor Month this month. July. For me, typically, this would mean that I would look up the prompts, write them all in my day planner, and then do all I could to create AT LEAST thirty-one works of art that match the daily prompts, all in watercolor. I would post them with the hashtag. If I missed a day, I might do two the next day. If I knew I had plans that would get in the way, I would plan (in my day planner) how to make up that prompt.
January. A lovely month. Fresh start, new year, all that. For me, it means the yearly daily yoga challenge. I started a Facebook group of anyone who wants to encourage each other. And I post the calendar, and I do the days, and I love it.
I love a challenge. No spending challenge? I’m down. DIY date challenge? Count me in. That ice bucket challenge? I totally did it! 52 hikes- let me do 146! Daily yoga, daily painting, read the books, take the walks, whatever. I’m in.
This year, it’s July 5. I haven’t even started World Watercolor Month. Today, I looked at the prompts and my calendar. I started to put them in. I whited them out. I made a list of things I want to create myself. When I got home tonight, I knew I should paint. I spent 20 minutes on Tik Tok. (I’m currently doing an indefinite no social media challenge except Facebook and TikTok. It’s completely arbitrary, but it’s going well.). Then I got out my palette and began gathering my supplies. Then I couldn’t find my tracing pad. I couldn’t find my box of new paints I wanted to use. I didn’t have any more paper towels and I couldn’t find my painting towel. So then I sat next to the supplies I gathered, and painting seemed like a chore. It did not feel like what I wanted to do at all.
But the challenge! Today’s prompt? “Welcome.” Today’s plan? A window with a flower box. I grabbed my computer and started to write instead.
Why is a challenge not intriguing me today??
I think it’s just because life has been challenging lately. And I just feel like doing me. At first, I felt a little like a failure, not rising to the challenge. But then I thought, who’s gonna know? Me? And who cares? Me? Do I really care about this? I’ve risen to lots of other challenges this year. How bout the my husband lost his job with the holidays around the corner challenge? How about the got Covid for the second time challenge? How about the my kid’s having trouble at school challenge? How about the we’re blending our families challenge? How about the career challenges? The life challenges? And were these fun? I mean, sometimes. There was definitely a lot of fun to be had amongst these challenges, whether they themselves were fun or not. And did I learn a lot? Heck yes. But maybe there’s not room for these other challenges right now when I’ve got other challenges to tend to.
Or maybe there is, but I’m filling that up with other stuff. Maybe it’s time to enjoy that invincible summer inside me for a while. Maybe these little not-so-little moments that make up the fabric of our lives, the weeknight ordinary evenings amongst the challenging times- the trips to the library, the walks around the neighborhood, a quiet evening hike, a couple hours volunteering at the food pantry, a fire in our backyard, a selfie stolen between moments watching our kids play in the park, friends tie dying in the backyard with us, a snuggle, a reading session outside together, tending the garden, making a new recipe for dinner- maybe those are the things I want and need to focus on right now. Or maybe I just want to hike however many times I want, do yoga as often as I want, paint however many paintings I want. And maybe I’m just going to do them on Wednesday. World Watercolor Month, I’ll see ya when I see ya.