I am writing this from my new living room in Worcester, MA. I think its pronounced "Woosta" but I'm honestly not entirely sure.
When I last left you, I was picking up steam on projects and events in Louisville. I felt like I was finally gaining some traction: attending events, making connections, starting new projects. So why the sudden halt in production, in posts, in anything resembling working on my art?
So much life has happened since November. I actually attempted writing a post the first week of December about Yelp's Art in Action, but only got a few sentences in before it felt forced. I never want anything in this business to feel forced. This business is me, and I want to be as authentic and vulnerable as I can be.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, my son started crying and didn't stop for 3 weeks. this was not the unaware wail of a newborn looking for food or a diaper change. This was a panicked, pained cry of desperation. I don't think I have ever endured something so difficult in my life. I could hold him, and still he would scream. I've never felt more helpless or alone. After talking to some of my other mama friends, I realized that this happens to all of us. Then it was Christmas and New Years. A whirlwind of events and wrapping paper and family drama ( because it wouldn't be the holidays with out it).
At the beginning of December, a friend of mine asked me how I balance all my creative interests and motherhood for a blog she was writing. Here was my response:
"Honestly? It's really hard. It starts with the constant encouragement and support from my husband. He is my cheerleader, co conspirator, tech support, and sounding board. I truly have a partner in parenthood, and I know how blessed I am. But a swift, and practical second, is a schedule. There are only so many hours in a day, and I choose how I want to spend each one of those very carefully. My son has been on an eating and relative sleep schedule since we brought him home from the hospital, and that makes our days somewhat predictable. I schedule blocks of time and days of the week that are dedicated to Kenzi Cox Paintings. I have set class times for circus and aerial yoga. I schedule my time for planning classes. I plan our dinners, have a set day for groceries, and I am in constant communication with my husband about balancing my time away from home and my time with my family. But, I think the most important decision I've made about my schedule is that when I am home with my family, I am home with my family. I'm not working on my next post, typing a blog post, or planning my next class. I'm playing with my baby, snuggling my husband, and having a real and present conversation with him. All of this means making a choice about which things take priority in my life. Right now, building my business, raising my son, and maintaining a health relationship with my husband are my priority. So, I bake less. Right now, I train my aerial work less than I did before my baby. There will be a season of life where those things can have a larger part. I wont always have a infant (insert big mama tears here), and my painting business won't always require so much of my time. So for now, I train once a week instead of four times, and baking is for special occasions. Sometimes things fall through the cracks and are completely out of whack. But it will all fall back into it's normal rhythm soon, and the balance will return."
The hilarity of that response is that the very next day, all hell broke loose and any semblance of balance in my life flew out the window. My life was whirlwind of family and teaching. I clung on for dear life, and we all made it out the otherside of the cylcone known as December.
Enter January: My husband accepts a job in Boston starting February 5th.
On the one hand, YEAH! FINALLY!
On the other, I basically spent every waking moment of January (including the restless middle of the night ones) worrying about and looking for a place to live and how we were going o pay for it. Massachusetts is EXPENSIVE. We were looking at doubling our rent for half the space. We ran into land lord after land lord uninterested in renting to us, scoured neighborhood after neighborhood, and found nothing. A whole month of up and down and on January 27th, we signed a lease. That's right, four days to plan and execute a cross country move.
We have an apartment, a home. And now I have a new studio. It's sun-soaked and bright with beautiful hardwood floors. I'm surrounded by boxes and I'm still getting settled, but I'm so excited to dive back in. I'm product testing and sampling different printing companies so I can start selling prints of my work. I'm also now scheduling event appearances! I'll be available to paint live at your event, to capture the feel of your day. I'm so excited to join a new community and return to working on my art.
Watch out 2018, here I come.