Taking Things One Week At A Time And Playing With Shimmer Sharpies…

Well, I think this week’s blog may take on two different themes because I just don’t think my brain has been thinking in a solid frame of mind all week. I am feeling the pressure of the semester and just trying to keep my head on straight throughout this online semester. Also, I am trying to allocate the time for myself to open up and feel creative without the pressure of needing to post something about it.

Let me start with the not so fun stuff, like laundry that has piled up to the point where you have no more clean pants. Or that therapy appointment you know you should go to, but you are insisting to yourself that it’s going to take up too much time, so you don’t go but instead of being productive you just scroll through social media. Not to mention the hours’ worth of homework you are actively procrastinating while you imagine all of the ways your classmates could be judging you during zoom classes.

Life is moving so fast that in one moment I may feel like I am rocking productivity and the next I am literally laying on the ground crying because I don’t think I’ll have enough time to read everything. I am the type of person who is always looking ahead, trying to plan and strategize for any future inconvenience while still trying to put out all of the current fires in life. In some respects, I think this has helped me throughout life because I am hardly ever surprised, but when I am surprised it sends me off my rocker.

I think as I grow older the number of things that can be planned out and strategized for continues to dwindle because with age comes the wisdom that nothing is predictable. So, my ability to constantly look to the future may help me with school projects but for the majority of life that isn’t schedulable, I think it makes it harder for me.

That is why I have been practicing taking things one week at a time since I have started the fall semester. Breaking my energy up into weeklong segments allows me to focus my time on the tasks at hand while still being able to look to the future but just for a week or so. If I try to think of all the projects, I’ll have to turn in by the end of the semester I just end up stressing myself out. Each week all I need to worry about is doing the reading for each of my five classes, complete two to three quizzes, post to discussion boards, complete two to three weekly projects, and of course attend my classes.

Within that week, each day I just focus on finishing whatever tasks are due first and I cannot explain how much this way of thinking has changed my life. So, maybe a week is too short for you, or too long but either way I truly believe that at least consciously knowing every task you need to complete and when is a game changer to productivity.

With this method of mental organization, I usually end up leaving my painting or creative time for the weekends. More often than not I just find time for my creative endeavors in the evenings or early mornings when I can convince myself I have caught up on homework. There have been a few days that I chose to focus my mental energy on something for my little business rather than homework and I quickly regretted it when I came out of the creative trance.

Needless to say, creativity sometimes takes a backseat when I feel like I have a million other responsibilities and I couldn’t tell you why it makes it harder when I feel the pressure to post on my social media outlets. Considering I don’t want to see myself fall out of practice, or worse just stop altogether, I have been channeling my inner silly and trying to have more fun.

Since I try to finish a painting every week, this week I wanted to add a little something extra to the art. I painted a typical scene I find easy, some clouds and a mountain top, but the dried product was so bland I decided to add some sparkle. Metallic Sharpie’s are always fun to write with, so I picked some up and went to town on my boring painting, trying to create something new and exciting.

The first stroke was the scariest because I knew that I couldn’t really paint over it unless I wanted to completely restart my painting and video. Once I placed that shimmering gold sharpie tip on the canvas I just hoped for the best and glided it across the slightly defined mountain tops. By the time I got to decorating the clouds I was just playing around with different shapes and patterns but eventually decided on a simple dot effect, this meant I had to fill in quite a bit of my mistakes.

In the end, I was left with a simple sparkling design (if you catch it in the right light). It may seem silly and I’m not sure exactly when else I could use this technique, but I did enjoy getting to do something brand new to me. I think it freshens up creativity and hey now I’ve got a new multi-medium art piece. Thank you for reading this week’s blog and make sure to check out the video of my sharpie creation!

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.

4 – 30 – 2019

Supposedly 66% of Americans do not believe they have a good work life balance and frankly businesses aren’t helping, unlike France who encourages employees to disconnect digitally from work and gives 25 mandatory vacation days a year. Most working class americans are working long hours, weekends, and holidays, not too mention making minimum wage.

I’ve been a part of that statistic ever since I graduated high school, and because of labor laws protecting minors I still I had the chance to do teenager stuff even though I was working over 20 hours a week. Now as a “legal adult” I work long hours and get paid decent but I’m also too exhausted to do anything but sleep and work. Although I can take care of my basic needs, as someone who has a lot of dreams and wants to do well in life I find it hard to make time for productive activities or even fun activities. Of course work is a productive activity, I need money and everyone has to work crappy jobs before success, but as far as my dreams go I don’t want to be working at a supermarket my whole life so it can be a struggle convincing my brain that my reality now won’t be my reality forever.

As for having fun outside of work, it can be difficult because even though I have two days out of the week off, I find myself just catching up on all the tasks I got behind on while I was working. Employers are expecting almost 24/7 responses from their employees, leaving little to no time for things like family time, self care, fitness, and most importantly fun. Even at my job now, most people I work with are expecting to get called in begrudgingly on their days off. This is one of the key reasons I would like to start my own business someday, I could manage my time without having to cater to someone else’s needs. I read somewhere that modern culture has taken the role of work and put it as priority whereas in the past things like family were priority. I don’t know why that is and I’m not sure what to do about it but what I do know is I need to allow myself to make something other than work a priority sometimes.

Yes, I can blame the all work no play environment but also I have to take responsibility for the habits I’m doing, or not doing, to boost energy and fulfilment. 57% of those unsatisfied said that technology has ruined family dinner times, not only that but in my personal opinion technology is ruining Generation Z’s self esteem, motivation, and work ethic. Every single day I choose to scroll mindlessly through my phone, at the end of my night I couldn’t tell you one useful thing. I’m wasting literal hours of my day, hundreds of hours of my life on technology. A co-worker of mine and I were having a conversation the other day about her reading a book before work, she said “that’s just not something kids do anymore”. She is so right, eight year olds are getting the latest IPhone’s, babies don’t want to play with toys anymore they want our phones.

Don’t get me wrong I think technology is an awesome resource but we also have so much nonsense, mind-numbing material. Out of everything on the internet the amount of educational or resourceful information is miniscule compared to the dumb shit you see. If we took the vast database of knowledge we have on the web now and put it to education instead of prioritizing entertainment, I believe we would raise a much more intelligent generation. It’s all about balance something most don’t understand, you can most definitely watch all that netflix and youtube but is that really the only thing you can do? There are so many educational and interesting podcasts out there or even you can paint along with Bob Ross on youtube. Hey, maybe even push the bubble and read a book or take a walk or reorganize your house, there is so much to be done and frankly the balance seems to be in favor of the less productive tasks.

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.