this post has been simmering in my mind's kettle for about a month. i keep going in and changing this or that. getting my thoughts lined up and generally trying to make this post say exactly what i want. i think this is it! although my decision to return to the classroom is ultimately a personal one, and one which i neither need approval nor seek advice, i still want to share some of the thinking behind it.
i offer a total of 5 online classes. those classes are how i’ve earned an income since going on my leave of absence. if you're reading this post and have ever signed up for one of my classes i really have YOU to thank for making all of this possible. you probably didn't realize it when you registered for a class, but your patronage has introduced an element of freedom and opportunity into my life for which i am ever grateful. big thanks for all the travels you've given me. i don't have to tell you how much that means. even if you've never taken a class from me, but you keep coming back to read DFLA, i have you to thank too. you've all made blogging a magnificent adventure. this by the way is my 1389th post! i've developed a fondness for so many of you out there on the interwebs who come knocking on the digital door of moss cottage on a regular basis. it's fun to keep in touch through our blogs/instagram/facebook/email. nice to stay connected. hear your stories. explore your recommendations. i like hearing about your journals, trips, gardens, cats, books, and ideas. and of course i love the people i've met in the flesh via DFLA that have become friends outside the digital realm.
the last few years have been good ones for earning extra money doing what I love, but i’m a pragmatist. if I left my day job for good I would have to become more of a YES person in my art life. occasionally i would have to do things i’m not so keen on doing. i might have to do some things i strongly dislike doing. i would have to be careful not to burn bridges or squander opportunities. i’d have to care more about what people think. be more diplomatic. i'd have to come up with a big ambitious plan to keep my boat afloat for longer than just a year. i might get exhausted.
of course, if I lost my regular day job tomorrow i would roll up my sleeves and get busy writing a whole new chapter in my “art entrepreneur” book. I would teach classes at live events and enjoy doing it. i would be more industrious and come out with more than 1 online class a year. i would make and sell art. i would write and publish my own book. hell, i might even start advertising and accepting advertisements on my blog. save less for retirement, sign up for obama care. invest in a life jacket. in other words i would get my arse in motion.
but, if i don’t lose that dayjob, if things unfold the way they’re likely to, then come january i’m back on the force. i’ll keep right on teaching online when i develop a new crush or fixation or passion. i’ll keep right on blogging about whatever blows my skirt up. i’ll keep saying NO to things i don't want to do. i’ll live the creative life at night, on weekends, and summer vacation. and in the day, during the week i’ll go back to herding cats. and depending on what kind of cats i get i’ll either love it or hate it. and i’ll tell you right now that if i get another cat that bites i’ll be biting back. but you know what? something will be completely different this time because in another couple years i’ll take another leave of absence and i’ll keep right on doing that. as in… regularly. regularly people! i figure i can go full throttle for 2 years before i’ll need a nice long vacation again. a long break looming on the horizon is as good as a big sunbeam shining in from the other end of the working stiff tunnel. which means i’ll have so much light flooding that narrow space I’ll need to keep my shades on. i like to call it the best of both worlds. i get to LIVE the way I want and be master and commander of my own ship, the young punks get someone to teach them how to keep a visual journal and play baseball. occasionally i might have to put one of them in a straightjacket, but hey what job comes without a certain degree of stress? at the end of the day i have a couple of warm furry cat-o-pusses to come home to, a bed that needs a warm body taking a nap in it, a stack of books that require reading, a blog to write, a future trip to plan, a sketchbook to keep, friends to go on art retreats with, a year long sabbatical to dream of, an art table that begs for lot of messes to crowd its surface, and no necessity to wrack my brain for how to stay afloat via art making.
it’s all good.
so that means i’m not running off to “follow my bliss.” my bliss is right here. it’s just rolled in a bit of salt, but that little bit of salt makes everything else mighty sweet. it offers me security that I need. it allows me to travel & play more. most importantly, the cat posse can continue to live in the style to which they’ve grown accustomed.