Hello, everyone! I haven’t been terrible active on the blog (art aside) because I’ve just been working tons. I’m going to try to catch up on a few things so this post will be all over the place.
This is unrelated to everything else I’ll discuss on this post, so here is a Little outfit I wore the other day:
I have a few new skirtalls coming, so I’m pretty excited to create new outfits with these:
I finally paid off my PayPal Credit account and closed it (I may already have mentioned that) and a few days ago my last Amazon Card payment cleared so that account is zeroed again –well, until next Christmas. It was a big one, over $400, so I am very pleased.
I also set a little money aside and redecorated the kitchen with it:
This may not look like much, but in seven years I never really did put work into the kitchen, so it was important to me. The most significant things are the new trash can (which is motion activated) and the Instant Pot.
In addition to that, I’ve made good strides on my next goal of paying an old debt. It’s the last thing I have to pay before I can begin the fund to move my mom in with us. I wanted something to encourage me, so I put this neat lightbox on the studio wall:
It’s still a big number (but less as of writing this post, actually $3,950) but I paid a big chunk in just over a few days, so my expectation is that as long as I make this my primary goal, I might be done by June. And then I can begin saving the $10,000 I need to move my mom with us (not counting the money I’ll have to save to renovate the room for her, but I expect that to be under $1,000.)
So, about all that. Recently, I’ve been contemplating the entirety of last year, how much closer I’ve grown to my mom during our long Zoom calls, which regularly lead us into conversations deeper than we’d have when we were living together. How I’ve changed, and how she’s come to accept those changes in me. And other things… like how tired she looks —more and more every day. How even on her days off, she gets constant stressful calls even during the couple of hours we set aside to talk. It’s been so long since my mom had free time for any fun. I don’t even remember when it last happened, Christmas aside.
Then there’s the pandemic, the utter helplessness I’ve felt as she continues to manage a gas station in this situation at her age… her landlord continually bringing people to see the apartment which he has been trying to sell for years (so we never know when he’s kicking her out once each contract ends. Every yearly contract could be the last he gives her, and every time he raises her rent.)
But I think it was having her for Christmas, just her and I, that really cemented it for me. It was the first such Christmas in many years, and I realized just how much my assumed role has changed. How I want to cook for her and care for her, keep her safe, comfortable and happy. I enjoy my life so much, literally every day of my life is a dream, and were it not for all she sacrificed so we could be here, Christopher and I never would have met.
There’s something that has been eating at me more and more. I think Grandpa’s recent passing reinforced it too. When my mom and I left Argentina, we always hoped that if only we were patient, and worked hard, someday we would see my Grandma again. Actually, the goal was for her to move with us. But time passed without any possibility of this happening, let alone seeing her at all. Same with my dad. Patience, patience. The day would surely come.
But it didn’t. My Grandma died of leukemia in her 70s. My dad died of emphysema in his early 80s. I was 18 years old when I last got to see them.
And now my mom is in her late 60s. In four years, she will be 70 years old. How much time do I have with her? Hopefully, a good number of years still –but how much time I am okay losing until I can enjoy days with her while she still has her health?
I want to have breakfast in the morning with her, and to have dinner the three of us in the evening, and maybe play games the three of us together once her brain remembers how to do something other than work and stress 24/7. I want to go on walks together and have mate in the afternoons.
But most of all, more than anything in the world, I want her to wake up and not dread the day. I want her to think “I have nothing to do today. Nothing to clean. Nothing to cook. No stressful, dangerous job to go to.” I don’t think my mom has ever felt that since she was little. I want her to enjoy her life. And I want to learn to drive so I can take her places. I want to take her to dinner once in a while, something that used to be a once-a-year luxury for us… I want to binge watch tv shows with her, or go to a movie and not have her fall asleep halfway because her body and mind are so utterly and constantly exhausted.
I want her to be able to pick the colors for her room, to furnish it with new furniture that she actually likes and isn’t used or the cheapest thing she could afford.
And I know I may not always manage it with my art, and taking some “real” work may be necessary, but all that I can manage to do with the money my artwork brings is an extra source of pride. Of course I couldn’t do that without Christopher. He takes care of me after all. But if I can, in turn, use my art to take care of her and of my business expenses, I’ll feel like I am succeeding.
I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I have a great desire to be reliable, even if it takes me time and effort to become someone that can be described as such. Because of this, cooking is becoming more important to me, as well, and I’m trying really hard to learn. Paying my debts feels important. Looking after our house and after my husband, properly, feels even more important than before. Asking for help less and less becomes more important too.
I want them both to feel proud of me, to feel lucky to have me as a wife and daughter, rather than a “well, it could be worse.” But above all I want to believe that they are —lucky, that is— as I am to have them. So, I’m trying as hard as I can.
I know, deep inside, that part of what planted the seed for this was seeing my own reprehensible behavior and lack of responsibility to others reflected in someone else. In being disgusted by seeing that reflection, I also became angry with myself. It’s all well and good to look down on someone for being irresponsible and self-centered, but incredibly hypocritical when you are better than that only by some small measure. I knew I didn’t want to be that way, not anymore and not ever again.
So, now, my debt is my priority. And I want the people who love me and look after me to be my priority, rather than always my own self-centered ass. I want to be a source of comfort, not worry.
Anyway, are you all getting ready for Valentine’s Day? I’m working on a small surprise for Christopher but it’s terribly hard and I truly do not know if it will be ruined before I am done. For all the effort put into it, it looks more than a little clumsy (so far.) I’m hoping it will come together once it’s done. I’m working a little bit on it every day, because it’s really tiring.
That aside, believe it or not I’ve been writing (I’d say the next chapter of Meganeea is 80% done, illustrations included, and the chapter after that has the same level of progress in both aspects.) And somehow, in between hours and hours of illustration work, I’ve managed to sneak in a little gaming and reading. But I’ll save that for future posts. It may take a while… this blog is hugely important to me and that will not change. I’m just trying to be as responsible as possible and get my work done.
I guess I’ll end this here, go do the laundry, and then draw some more before it’s time to make dinner. I hope things are going great with everyone!