I started this blog one year and 3 days ago and it has been a wonderful adventure. I was actually inspired to write it by the move Julie and Julia, and I discovered that if you do write a blog people--even those you have never met--will read it. The original purpose of this forum was to explore art--especially mine--and to overcome a serious artist's block. I discovered much more than that. I learned that blogging was an effective tool in healing from grief, a way to get to know myself a little better, and that I had something to share with others.
In tandem with recovery from emotional pain and grief came physical pain. My hip troubles started a year ago. I went to the local orthopedic and he scheduled surgery for last February. A few days before the surgery was cancelled because the doctor got into a squabble with the clinic and he went on administrative leave. They brought in a man to fill in for him, but I didn't trust him--by this time I didn't trust any doctor. I hesitated to let him do the procedure so he suggested physical therapy. PT helped but I still limped through the summer and I lost interest in doing a lot of things that I loved--like gardening, especially as the pain increased again. By autumn I was back where I started and I could barely walk with the cane. I actually started using the walker in the house but I had too much pride to take it anywhere with me so I just hobbled around. I found a doctor in Spokane and scheduled surgery for November 8.
I am very grateful for a new hip and the amazing recovery I have had. The first time I went out of the house--with the walker; had to swallow that pride--I looked down as I walked and noticed that my foot was straight--it had been crooked for a long time. I was pain free and driving within 3 weeks; I gave up the walker shortly after that and the cane a couple of weeks later. I still need to do some work to retrain my body to walk right--limping is a bad habit--and to build up endurance, but I am very pleased today to be on the road to recovery.
I am also extremely grateful for my friends and family who helped and encouraged me throughout this year. People who would wait on me so I wouldn't have to get up, my daughter and daughter-in-law who took care of me after surgery; grandsons' who helped with heavy things and shoveling snow. I also appreciate the ones who visited me in the hospital and at home or sent cards. I have a princess balloon from a friend who said it was for the little girl in me; he also gave me a ballerina figurine so I would remember that I would dance again. I am amazed by people who celebrate my progress with me. The first time I went to a recovery meeting--with the walker--everyone cheered. I have never been cheered before. Who Hoo!! I am looking forward to being more active in 2011.
In regards to the art, I did 4 drawings and finished 2 paintings this year. I also did 6 sketches for my grandchildren for Christmas. Not a great body of work for the year, but it has turned my head and heart back into the right direction. The goal is to think about art, not critically, but to encourage myself and let others to encourage me. And to encourage others in finding and using their talents. I have an art page on my Face Book account where I sold 2 paintings: Art of Maxie Lee, and I also found a sight where I can meet artists from all over the world and create a collection of my favorite works and also display my own: http://artofmaxielee.deviantart.com/ I am working on my setting my studio in order so that a real artist can work in it; funny how something that is not being used gets piled with stuff.
The other significant thing I did this year was put my house on the market. It hasn't sold yet but nothing else in town has either--it's just a sign of the times. It has been an adventure getting it spiffed up and I couldn't have done it without help of family and friends. Having the house for sale has been good for me forcng me to keep the house tidied up every day, as I had been letting things go around the house--more bad habits. One day my home will sell and I can get the kind of house I really want; I had placed the matter in God's hands, though, and it wouldn't do for me to get impatient.
I have been thinking about the new year, not making resolutions, but thinking on new directions. A friend suggested that I make a list of what I really want to do. I think one thing I'll put on that list is to draw a self-portrait; maybe I can learn something new about myself. I am optimistic about 2011.
The drawing is one I did a few years ago but I haven't shown before. It is of a house here in town. I took the photo on a snowy day, so that is the title.
I hope everyone has a good year.