I made cakes! The fondant map of the world still lies in my future as a scary white whale, but the actual cakes are done. My new mixer is broken and I think the motor went because it wasn’t expecting to mix the sponge for seven cakes in one day, but that’s kinda bullshit so I’ll be bringing it back and getting a new one of course. I’ll have to be careful in the future.

It’s probably too much, these elaborate home-made cakes. But I wanted to do it, and not just as a symbol of performative parenting. I mean, I admit it, there’s part of me that likes showing off, but I wouldn’t do it just for that reason. I want to show off something that I spent ages doing, but the actual doing is more in the vein of one of those interesting kids experiments that twin1 keeps watching on YouTube; I want to see if I can do it and see if I can produce the expected results.

Actually that’s really like the drive to draw or paint. I get an image of how something could look in my mind and I feel driven to try and create it in reality.

Am I pretty much repeating the same stuff as I said yesterday? Well, yesterday was most certainly defined by my mission to make these cakes.

It has been another week off running though. My illness was slightly resurgent – in fact on Monday night I coughed so much I ended up throwing up. I don’t recall that ever happening in my life before. It’s been adding a varnish of exhaustion to my every day as the coughing has be thoroughly sleep-disturbing. But even if I’d been feeling well enough to run, I didn’t feel as though I had the time.

But enough complaints, mostly today I’m feeling accomplished because I nearly finished my sculptures. Now my brain turns towards work for the day. I have some correcting to finish off and I’m thinking about the whens and logistics of that, and also about entering some results and applying for a personal day and all that other good stuff. And then it’s mid-term break!

But I still haven’t started on the drawing project that came to my mind about two weeks ago. Is it because I haven’t set a deadline on it? Should I say I will definitely start on X date? Well, maybe. Here’s my hard deadline so – I will give myself the midterm break to work any excuses out of my system: Get better, tidy house, catch up on sleep and errands, and to use the time as well in order to do some forensic time accounting and cordon off inviolate drawing time.

It always feels like a bit of a big ask to carve out inviolate time for two different things. I’ve been prioritising running, and I don’t want to drop that, especially as I now need to rebuild the stamina I’ve lost this last month and a bit due to illness. But I want to add in the drawing time now.

(I know G. reads this [hi!] but I want to emphasise that this is not a passive-aggressive way of asking for more personal time.)

I think it can be done, with organisation and choice-making and utilising some evening time that at the moment still seems so difficult to use for anything more than collapsing and liquifying my brain on the internet.

So there’s the plan. Is that a plan? It’s more of an aspiration really, isn’t it? Well, the midterm is for the plan. I have confidence in my ability to come up with a plan anyway.

Did I just identify a life priority? I keep saying that art and creativity is one of the most important things for me to have present in my life, but I only like to say that with my inside voice because I don’t really believe I have the “right” to be doing artistic and creative things. Because I’m not “great” and why would I be “wasting” my time on it if I’m not great.

Umm … maybe coz creating stuff makes me happy? Makes me feel alive and purposeful. Makes me feel whole and right.

Why is it that we feed ourselves these really harmful narratives about success and the need for financial gain from our creativity in order for it to have been “real”. And if you’re not good enough, or even just matching enough to make money from your art, then you’re not an artist.

It’s enough for me to just use part of my life to make stuff.

But I do seem to need to keep reminding myself of that.

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