An Epiphany: I’m hiding from my art

Leah Spelt L-I-G-I-A
6 min readApr 14, 2022

May 11, 2021 — Pandemic life round 2

I’m a pot of boiling milk, simmering in the process. Each “Mom…” uttered the heat cranks a little more. Patience. Patience brings the heat down. When that milk bubbles and overflows the mess is never worth it.

Mom look at this! Mom…Mom…Mom, did you see my red top with the blue stripe on the left arm? Mom what are we going to eat I am STARVING, I think I am going to literally die, when do I have to hand in the assignment? Hun, did you see my Phillips screwdriver? Do you think we can go back to Disney World soon? Why does Xena smelly funny? Mom, I’m bored! Can we bake something… Hun, how is it we have so much laundry???

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

These are among the few questions that pass through my filter every day… Every. Single. Day. I try to bring forth my creative work but lately, I feel like I am dragging the limp carcass of a dream I once had… Why is this so freaking hard???

Did you know studies have shown that it can take 23mins and 45 seconds to recover and get back to where you were before the interruption? So by this metric, I am 4 hours behind in my 20-minute work session.

After my 150th interruption from my boys, I give in, ok fine I quit. I’ll take a play break (even though I have not gotten anything I want to be done, done) to me right now my boys are young, and it's more constructive for me to be present and be with them right now. Of 4 children the younger two are 7and 8 years old… as a mom of teens 14 and 18 years old, I already know how fast this time goes… I can’t yell and boil over this time. Not this time.

My big kids are busy with homework, they are locked up in the secure fortress of their room. My husband? Who knows what rabbit hole he went into but I am in my office on the main floor. Our home is an open concept, what I lack is a door. Whoever popularized this home concept, clearly did not have kids at home during a pandemic.

The boys are wandering around from one activity to another. We’ve had our school time, outside time, play with the puppies time, there is no screen time today which after the first 5 interruptions, I immediately regret grounding them for their poor behavior this morning. I make a mental note to myself to choose something else.

I try explaining what I am doing, I try suggesting activities to get involved in, I offer to go ask Dad or your brother, “I think you should try and make the lasso work” anything to remove yourself from my space.

I can feel myself getting a little more agitated with each innocent interruption I am tempered because they are just wanting to be with their mom, they want to have a conversation. After 45 mins it's clear I am not going to get anything done. I throw my hands up and say ok Boys what do you want to do? Let's play a game, sure! Which one?

I head to the kitchen to fix us up a snack and a drink when my 7-year-old starts talking about making nunchucks and selling them to kids like the one Michael Angelo had. They are pretend ones but kids can buy them.

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

That project suddenly raptures my children's attention and has become irresistible, the irony: the second I gave up on my task and wanted to engage with them they found something to occupy themselves with. Now as I write this they are out in the cornfield which hasn’t yet been plowed, the land still holds the dry and brittle stalks from last year's crop, my boys take these stocks, break them in half, and use every roll of tape we have in our house to put these playful weapons together.

A side note about the tape.

We have resorted to hiding the tape but even then, they seem to have tape radar, we bought and hid a Costco sized pack of hockey tapes, enough hockey to take a triple-A player through an entire season, and give away a few roles, we bought that at Christmas, do you think we can find any now??? Electrical tape, duct tape, masking tape, all our Christmas wrapping tape… all of it, is gone. When I have a package to send and I need a small strip to affix postage to my package do you think I can find it I am relegated to using the half-dried school glue sticks licking it to moisten it just enough to get it to stick.

With my rant now simmering down I am ready to get back to work but in this whole debacle, I made an important realization… That or the paticience and persistent voice inside me, my wiser more knowing self whispers to me… “Just do it your way and stop worrying so much about following the “systems”. So what if you get it wrong, you just might get it right”.

I realize in all these months learning more about how to market and set up my campaigns I am more confused and distracted than ever. A part of me just said write for god sake, just write what's in your heart, and the people who need to see it, hear it will… Stop worrying about it so much. You are spending money on this program, that program, all these great videos, and tools but none of it is getting you any closer to where you see any sort of measurable result. Why because you are still setting up to do the work and not ACTUALLY doing the work.

Learn yes, trial and error yes but don't keep waiting to get it “right”, for the love of chocolate ice cream get it wrong and learn. It's not wrong if you do it your way. Those systems work for the people who created them and that's great but growing your creative business is like parenting, there are generally good practices that you want to adhere to but ultimately it has to be yours, you need to develop your own system.

Otherwise, you (I’m talking to me here) are still just hiding behind the noble mask of learning, there needs to come to a point where you come out of your safe little bubble and show up, for better or worse. Art doesn't guarantee it will work, but it feeds a part of your soul, that without it life makes a little less sense and feels a little emptier.

What art are you hiding from?

Hi, I’m Leah spelt Ligia, thanks for reading!

I am an artist, a writer, a speaker and an all-around lover of life and learning.

This is my journey into the world of following my creative dreams. I’m the author of “Living with Dirty Glasses” if you are ready to clean your life lenses and start creating the life of your dreams you can grab your downloadable workbook here.

Thank you for reading. This is my journey into the tumultuous world of following my creative dreams.

You’re welcome to join me for the ride (:

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