Sacred Time as an Artist, blog

My husband and I often joke about having a "normal" day, the amusing part being, that never happens in our crazy world. Probably not in yours, either. The only normal thing we can count on is that Real Life regularly gets in the way of our daily agendas. The really funny thing about this is, I'm an artist who works on my own schedule and we are "retired". After spending 35 years on 24-hr call, you'd think we'd be used to interruptions.
It isn't like we have to drop what we're doing and fly to Aspen (usually, in a blizzard) for a few days within the hour anymore. (Pack--close up the house--get the pets to the vet for boarding--order catering--reserve rooms for everyone-oh heck--cancel my haircut, again...oh NO! The Smiths and Jones were supposed to come for dinner tonight!!) These days, disruptions often occur in the form of unexpected (if very welcome) visitors to the gallery out here on the ranch; sometimes, it's a phone call or email that demands my immediate attention; happily, only occasionally is it illness or injury or death. The first two weeks of May, a major forest fire threatened my studio and our neighbors here in the Texas mountains. That was a big one. Whatever the issue, something unanticipated appears daily to pull me away from creating.
Most days, I choose to create anyway.
Because that is who I am.
I am an artist, a writer, a creative spirit. If I don't create, part of me curls into a tight ball of frustration and I'm no good to anyone. I seldom spend all day in my studio, but daily, I try to carve out at least a teensy span of time to be an artist. This doesn't mean I paint every day -- if we're traveling, I may go weeks without painting, but during that time I draw, take photos, write, or work on my website (a surprisingly satisfying and extremely creative activity). Five minutes or five hours -- I don't sacrifice "real" life for my art, but I regularly call time-outs for my artist self. I don't wait to create until everything is in order and life is running smoothly. If I did, hundreds of paintings wouldn't exist today. I make myself take a recess from real life to retreat, even briefly, into my zone of Sacred Time.
Being an artist means absorbing inspiration, seeing the world with a special intensity. Constantly honing my skills permits me to share the essence of my visions with others. This means I can be an artist by painting, or by sitting quietly for five minutes, soaking up inspiration while watching light play across desert rocks. Being an artist isn't defined by results: It's a condition and requires special attention
Sacred time recharges your batteries. It gives you energy to navigate whatever routes life throws at you. Reserving spaces of sacred time means taking time to enjoy your own company between the demands and companionship of others, knowing who you are and doing what you're meant to do.
That, to me, is real life as an artist--or as a "normal" person.
Take that time each day.
It's your own REAL LIFE, and it matters very much how you spend it.