Craving Distraction, But Too Distracted To Be Distracted

2:18 PM

From the Imaginary Visit To Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks class*
Have you ever found yourself desperately wanting to distract yourself from something ongoing in your life and at the same time you're too distracted to do anything for long? 

That seems to describe where I've been at for the last few weeks. 

The few times I've been able to focus has been either while preparing class materials like the piece above from the Imaginary Visit To Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks class or when I am painting in my sketchbook...not sketching, but painting. 

I guess painting takes a lot more concentration and so I find my sketches turning into paintings in my current sketchbook. 

What is it that I need to be distracted from? My mother's worsening dementia. 

We've started exploring options for in-home care to take some of the load off from my father and it's been...rocky. Big-boulder-sized-rocks-kind-of-rocky. 

Painting has always been a balance between meditation and torture for me. The further I've traveled down this path of creativity, the more the balance has shifted towards mediation and away from torture. 

In the past, I've struggled over the smallest things gone wrong in a painting. Now I recognize it as part of the process and not critical (usually). It flavors the painting with nuances of the me, as the artist, as the imperfect being that I am.

From the Imaginary Visit To Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks class*
It is times like these that I am so very thankful for the outlet of creativity in my life. I feel like maybe, just maybe, I might create something beautiful out of the stress and unhappiness that comes from watching my mom fade away. 

The image above is from my Lavender Fest "story" book...it's morphed way past a journal or a sketchbook at this point as it has become my escape when things get a little too intense. 

This situation has been impacted my life in many ways with (or not) sketching being one of the more obvious. It has also had an impact on the time I've spent online and posting to social media and this blog. So if I go missing, know that I'll return. I'm either dealing with a mini-crisis or recovering from one!

* The two top pieces of art focus on incorporating maps as decorative elements onto the sketchbook page. The diagonal rectangle in the top image is an envelope that will be filled with a treasure from my trip. The cool thing about the envelope that there is another map printed on the inside!

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15 Creative Thought(s)

  1. SO much sympathy and empathy...it's a very difficult time, been there. And thank God for your creativity.

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    1. Thanks, Kate. I know you've been there...and survived. I/we will too. One way or another.

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  2. Dear Laure, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this issue right now. I was so lucky with my mom. We had a lot of issues before she died, but thankfully dementia wasn't one of them. I believe it has to be one of the toughest things anyone has to face. I'm glad you have your painting to help you.

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    1. I know you have your share of challenges with your mom, Cheryl. We'll get through it. Not sure how, but one day at a time, I guess.

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  3. I never had to deal with dementia with my own parents although it was other issues and painful choices. My heart is with you. Thank the heavens and earth that you have an outlet to cope with this. The collage of happy memories and colorful paints can brighten the corners of our darkest times. You are not alone. You are well appreciated and surely well loved.

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    1. I have found myself wondering how folks cope who don't have a craft/artistic outlet... Thanks for you kind words, Sharon. They are much appreciated.

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  4. It is unbelievably difficult, but creative endeavors offer some blessed relief. Wishing you strength and patience and the ability to be good to yourself.

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    1. In ways I never imagined. My grandmothers both had a long life and one had memory problems, but there are so many facets that were not part of the equation that are present in this one. Thank you for the strength and patience. I'm fairly sure I'm going to need them in massive quantities! Along with a sense of absurd humor.

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  5. Dear Laure you are not alone. My parents are both very unwell and they are struggling to keep independent but it is difficult. Just want you to know I care. I will be" looking up" for you.

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    1. Thank you. Hugs to you as you go through the struggles with them. It's a tough road on everyone involved.

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  6. Thank goodness you do have some distractions to help you through this difficult time. Sending you (always) love and encouragment for this and every challenge.

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  7. So sorry about your mother. My daughter's mother-in-law is dealing with dementia also. She was living on her own just over two months ago but then was knocked down by a car backing out of a parking space and has gone so downhill due to all sorts of stuff due to the accident and being in the hospital so now is in a rehab center from which she'll probably never leave. It's been rather shocking to say the least. I sure hope you find someone who can help her during this time in her life. Your dad certainly does need a break! It's very tough on the primary caregiver (for my daughter, being a stay-at-home mom, it pretty well fell on her shoulders for a while) but it's actually tough on all who know your mom from family to friends and your mom herself. Best of luck with the whole situation. Make sure you and your dad take care of yourselves while taking care of your mom!

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  8. Laure..my heart hurts with u..went thru a similar crisis with my mom...and me 800 miles away and her loss in September..take the time u need to be with her...Art as u can..and know we r with u on this difficult journey...hugs!!!!

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  9. The title of this blog got my attention. Oh my! This is sooooo me! I try to teach my children to 'live in the moment' and 'appreciate the small stuff' and lately I'm not doing so great at this myself! Going to take a moment.....take a breather......and just BE! Painting sure brings my joy! Thanks for your blog post! We all need to be reminded now and then to RELAX!

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  10. May you find the strength, wisdom, and peace within yourself to cope.

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