Choices Part 3

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Image taken from the artforadults Instagram page. Not my work.

Several previous posts have outlined the events that have lead up to the mess my life is in right now. None of it is pretty, lots of it makes me ashamed. I am stagnant and depressed. I keep saying I have no hope, but if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be writing this, I wouldn’t even try to get up in the morning and the dreams I have would go away and leave me alone. It’s been brought to my attention that I have choices. I CAN change my life no matter how impossible it seems. I NEED to change my life, or at least my outlook on the life I have. I have always gone where the wind blew me, until it blew me into pregnancy and marriage, which seem like a dark corner where the gusts can’t reach and so I stay here damp and rotting till someone comes with a broom and sweeps me out. The thing is, I don’t want to depend on anyone with a broom! I want to sweep myself out! Maybe not even out of marriage, and certainly not out of motherhood, but out of this stagnant depression, this groundhog day like existence of doing the same things day in and day out. Get up, take kids to school, go to work, come home, eat, help with homework, go to bed and do it five days a week and then clean and prepare all weekend for the next week to be exactly the same. My life isn’t horrible. I have three beautiful kids who love me, a husband who cares deeply for me, a job that pays the bills and feeds us all even if just barely, a car, clean running water, this computer, all things that most of the world doesn’t have and many yearn for. It’s absolutely unfulfilling, boring and enslaving. I have no time or money to LIVE. I only exist and I MUST do something about that. So here I plan to list my dreams, plans to make them happen, obstacles to overcome, pros and cons of each including the effects they may have on my family, in the hopes of being able to choose a pathway to freedom and happiness, or at least less depression. getting them all in order is going to be tough, so please bear with me as I struggle.

 

When I think of the ultimate happy life for myself from this point on, this is what it looks like:

I could somehow magically quit my job and still pay my bills, no, pay them completely off except maybe the mortgage and I could stay home while my husband worked at whatever amazing job has magically presented itself.

I would still have to wake up Monday morning at the ungodly hour of 6:00am to take my daughter to school, but once I got home and saw my boy off, I could start laundry, do dishes, clean the downstairs and then the upstairs. In the summer, I’d tend my garden before cleaning the house, before things got too hot. That all should take maybe two hours. Then I would shower and dress and shop for the week. I’d get home, unpack groceries and head upstairs to Blog for the remaining two hours before it was time to pick up my daughter from school. We’d come home and I’d help kids with homework before starting dinner. We would eat, and clean up together, then I’d either hang out with them or go upstairs and read articles and watch vlogs on how to homestead, permaculture, how to raise animals for food, how to build treehouses, how to navigate the art business…

Tuesdays, up at 6:00am, off to school, home, garden, clean, shower, then go to some art studio like The Generator for four hours to work on some massive project till it was time to pick up my girl. Then home, homework, dinner, clean up, and hang with kids or watch more vlogs and read more articles on beekeeping and woodworking and outdoor survival…

Wednesdays, 6:00am, school, home, garden, clean, shower, Generator for art, school, home…well, you get the idea. All that till I could accumulate a big enough body of work to show my art at as many events, galleries and contests as possible up to and including Burning Man. Hopefully that would allow me to make more money and connect with people who could actually show me how to do all the things I have been trying to learn about through blogs, vlogs and articles. I would be able to keep up with housework and homework as well as having my own time to do the art, building and gardening work I’m passionate about. I would have time to plan the healthy meals which I love to find and prepare for my family. I would make meals and snacks that I know would help heal their minds, bodies and spirits as well as my own. We would use essential oils and other 100% natural products to clean our home and treat ailments and keep us healthy. I would have the TIME and money and energy to decorate and prepare for holidays and vacations. I would have TIME to clean up after our adventures and get the home back in order. On weekends I could afford to take the time and money to go on adventures with the family and bring them to my shows and exhibitions.

With the money I’d make from my art I would continue to fix this house up. I’d be able to put new floors in, update to energy saving appliances, make the murals and decorate the rooms the way I envisioned them. I could finish the ocean mural in my friend’s home and all the other projects I’ve started for friends but haven’t had the time or energy to finish. Once it was all done, I’d stay for two years enjoying it, making art, making connections and getting the kids through school as happy and healthy as we can be within this system and within this marriage.

Then we would sell this house and buy unimproved land somewhere and build ourselves a homestead where we could get EVERYTHING we need from our own land and be independent of the system except for property taxes, insurance, and the smallest necessities needed from town or other homesteaders. We’d go to music festivals and sell our wears and grow our own meat and veggies. I KNOW it’s not impossible! I can SEE people out there DOING it!

 

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Again, not my image. Taken from Instagram username wendyortizart.

 

All of that is how I WISH things could go from now till then. But where is the money going to come from? I have to face the fact that my husband is probably never going to get a job that could support us all and provide enough money to actually live life like that. No one is going to just GIVE us money to make that happen, and I’m not sure I’d even want them to. I hate feeling DEPENDENT on anyone. I hate being dependent on my husband for his half of the contribution to everything right now. I don’t want to ever feel obligated to anyone except those less fortunate than me. Maybe this hang-up with obligation is why I have a hard time opening up to my husband physically. I hate that I feel obligated and that it’s not my own not passionate choice in that moment, especially since there is only a small window of time between other obligations to get it done. I also HATE going to work outside my home and having to bend my family’s life around it. My kids are alone far too much of the time. I just don’t see any way around it. I make art whenever there are no other obligations and there is time before bed or I can afford to stay up and work when the inspiration is there. That happens maybe once a month, if even that. But I still do it and I will hopefully be able to come up with a consistent body of work at some point. Right now it feels like it’ll never happen. I’m struggling to come up with any kind of plan to make even small parts of this lifestyle come to be. Here are things I think I should do:

Meal plan on weekends and give a list of groceries to my husband. I don’t do the shopping, but maybe I should start doing that on weekends. He would scream about the bill, but maybe I can get him to trade the mortgage bill I pay, for the grocery bill he pays and then I wouldn’t have to answer to him for the amount of money it takes to feed a family of five an abundantly healthy diet. I’m not sure I’d even have the money or energy to pull that off, but I can look into it. I don’t get home till almost 7:00pm and I still have to help kids with homework, so he does most of the cooking and I’d have to depend on him to stick to the meal plan. Sometimes he’s not home till late either and then it’s even harder, but I enjoy cooking, and if we are eating right, the kids might not have as much trouble in school and I might be able to spend less time having to help them. I have no idea when we’d have time to fix up healthy snacks that so often require putting together instead of just opening a plastic package, but we can try…

I need to make a budget. How much we make vs. how much goes out. I already know it’s pathetic. I’ve done it before and got scared, so I put it out of my mind and hoped for the best. I need a PLAN for paying off all this debt that wasn’t a problem when I was getting paid a lot more. I can’t ignore it anymore. I MUST put in more effort to stay on top of my bills. I must get my money organized. I need to accept the possibility of bankruptcy or at least call the creditors and ask  for options to lessen the burden. When I think about this I get terrified. I’m no good on the phone even with friends and family. Seriously, the phone SCARES me. I know it’s irrational and after I do take care of something like that I feel better, but I’m literally terrified of paperwork and legal stuff and talking to people on the phone, or asking for help, or accepting defeat and fault. But it’s time to suck it up and act like the adult/parent that I am.

I need to stop complaining and be grateful. My kids aren’t sick, my husband isn’t sick. I am sick, but it’s fatigue and depression, not some life threatening, expensive hospitalizing disease. I CAN still get up in the morning and I CAN still go to work, I CAN still help the kids with homework and let them vent and talk to me about whatever they need. No matter how much I want change and adventure, no matter how much I resent my life as it is now, I DO have a lot of things to be grateful about.

Lastly, I guess I need to ask for help. I don’t know who to ask or how to ask or even really what to ask FOR. Anyway, enough for now. Thanks for reading. Really just typical American woman lifestyle stuff I guess. Advice and encouragement welcome.

 

 

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Waiting on the Other Side

  Are you there? 

On the other side?

Watching me? Waiting?

I’m lonely.

Slowly returning to normalcy.

No longer hiding and scared.

Still can’t eat much.

Can’t sit down much.

I walk around sighing

playing with my hair

touching my face

hugging myself.

One second smiling,

The next I’m dying.

I’m a twitterpated tween.

Shake it off

Check my phone

My inbox is safely,

despairingly…empty.

Love songs are no longer meaningless, but tragic.

Attempting to push emotions

& crackling chemistry asside

Trying to bring back logic 

In order to decide.

Think RATIONAL thoughts Jeanette!

Reality is rarely like our fantasies.

Don’t jump in blind.

(Self Portrait by JETTE 1997)

Bubble Bath Reflections

Forgive me please, writing is not my first art, I am a visual artist. Please take a few moments to browse through my work and comment whenever you like?

Taking a bath, listening to Yoruma Radio on Pandora. Staring at my completely bare bathroom walls with candle light dancing off them. Smelling the incredible scent of both candles and essential oils. I’m dreaming of what could be there on those bare walls staring back at me. I want a play of mirrors and fine art there for the candles to dance with. I’m in a particularly bitter and depressed mood for various reasons. The bath and candles help. The music is so incredibly soothing. It occurs to me that I could make music like that if I applied myself for years. But I don’t really want to. I’d rather apply paint or clay. Instrumental music is one art I would just want to appreciate and admire. That thought leads me to be disturbed. I DO appreciate music. It helps me relax, to think. This particular type helps me feel luxurious, rich and relaxed. But I’m none of those things. I’m not classy, I am starting a new job tomorrow that pays half of what I’m used to. I’m only hoping I can keep these walls that I have so many hopes for. Here I am soaking in clean water with beautiful light dancing around me listening to music that just a short time ago was reserved for only the most noble. Am I grateful? Oh YES! I am in clean hot water with bubbles and scents and can crawl into a nice bed within these many walls! But also, as I mentioned, I’m disturbed. You see, I’m an artist too. I know what it takes to acquire such skill, and how that skill is such a part of you that it’s impossible to separate the individual from the art. Here I am knowing that if I had to pay for the privilege, it’s not that I wouldn’t, but I COULDN’T. As an artist, and a good one I think, I can’t even afford to MAKE my OWN art without a full time job, much less support other artists. And with a full time job I must sacrifice family to make art.

I CAN’T pay for it, this beautiful music, and neither can many others, save the uber rich, or upper middle class at the least. Now instead of relaxing, I feel guilty. I want to give these AMAZING artists who bring me such joy and help and comfort, their due, just like my loyal fans who always profess to LOVE my work, but never buy any. I get SO bitter that I can’t get PAID to do the thing that brings me, and seems to bring others, so much joy. That means I CANNOT do it and feed my children too. And who does pay artists now days anyway? Advertising agencies I guess. But that leads to a whole other bag if worms….

I just can’t wait for the Kingdom to come! A day when I and everyone else can do what they are called to do and still have enough for themselves and their young!

And then I think how selfish I must be! I MUST be grateful for the job that will keep food in their mouths even if if won’t provide a vacation or art materials. Oh Lord help my selfishness? Help my worldly desires? Please bless the artists of the world whom you have called to make beautiful things for your sake and not for the pleasures of this world? Please help us be strong enough to deny ourselves while continuing to use the gifts you have given us for YOUR glory?

So blissful, and so melancholy at the same time,

Jeanette
A.K.A. JETTE

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Landed Three Jobs!

Well, I landed all three of the jobs I interviewed for! Any of them would be fun jobs. So fun I’m not sure which ones to take! All are part time and all start at roughly half of my previous hourly wage. Truly I wish I could just take one and work as an artist the rest of the time, but Hubby doesn’t think that’s a good idea. See, art is never a sure thing. I have faith, but I need to honor him. So I will pray on it and see where the Lord leads me. If He wants me to use the talent He blessed me with He will bring me enough clients and commissions to appease my husband. I’m putting everything out there and doing everything I can to promote myself as an artist. I’m putting one foot in front of the other and trusting God to build the ground under my feet. If the answer is “no” or “not yet” to an art career, then I have to suck it up and do what needs to be done to get the Hubs through school and the kids fed. Sigh…such is life and we make the best of it that we can!

Anyway, if you happen to stumble on this post, please feel free to browse my site to see my art share if you feel led and leave any comments you wish! I would love to create something uniquely beautiful for you! If you would like to book me for a mural, portrait, paint party or face painting, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

In Him,

Jeanette

A.K.A. Jeanette

I fall at His feet