Before you get all like “long time no see” and “where you been” let me just tell you that I bought sweatpants. Y’all, I bought purple sweatpants. In my defense they are a washed out, super soft looking purple with a logo on one leg-OK, they say Beaver Island. Once you quit laughing I’ll explain.
Ya done yet?
Most people don’t find sweatpants to be a life changing experience. Nor do they write blog posts about them but this will be the exception to that rule. Did I mention they were purple? Picture me rolling my eyes-big time Liz Lemon stye…
A couple of months ago I was shopping at TJmaxx-the equivalent of Saks 5th Avenue for those of us who live in the woods. I walked in and came eye to eye with an outfit for which I would have sold one of my children (not really you guys-not that you read my blog anyway so it doesn’t really matter). I can picture it even now-white straight leg slacks, a silky coordinating shell and this drop dead, collarless, knee length Calvin Klein jacket/blazer that was three shades of gray and all kinds of gorgeous. I had a serious conversation with myself on the spot.
Self: I waaaaant this.
Self: I no longer have meetings to go to.
Self: I don’t have gallery openings to go to anymore.
Self: (maybe drooling a little) It’s soooo pretty…and shiny…
Self: I don’t even have an office to go to anymore. And, if I am going to be totally honest, finger paint and spit up do not belong on a knee length Calvin Klein jacket that is three shades of gray because that would make it less than gorgeous. And not shiny.
The evolution of my life is complete.
Fast forward a few weeks later and I am on a short vacation with my honey. We are off on an island with little or no cell service and relaxing our middle aged butts off. After hitting the islands library sale up for a few great books we head into ‘town’-a very loose term-and find a souvenir shop. We hunt for the perfect little somethings to take back to grand kids and others and that’s when I saw them. The sweatpants.
I stare at them the way I once stared at a Calvin Klein jacket and had another conversation with myself…
Self: Sweatpaaaaaants (kinda the same way Homer Simpson rhapsodized over donuts)
Self: Yup, purple sweatpants. Buy. Them. Now.
Self: And get that funky green sweatshirt while you’re at it.
Yes, my friends, I can wear these anywhere. I can get finger paint and baby urp out of them and they look good as new. I can also cuddle my three little grand daughters with abandon and never once worry about a dry cleaning bill…which suits me just fine.
I have been living in an extended season of letting go. Letting go of ambitions, aspirations, plans and, some would say, dreams. What I have been embracing is a new way of thinking about my life. Of searching for God’s plan instead of my plan. Sometimes, I feel as though He allowed me that journey down my own path so that when I finally came around I would be ready. And He was patient. It took me nearly three years to finally come around.
I am writing this with a 6 month old grand baby on my lap. No lesson plans, no exhibition catalogues, no vitae to update, no gallery to run, no gallery to take my own work to, no speaking engagements and no reason to have a Calvin Klein jacket (I am having a hard time letting that one go…). I have never been happier in all my life. Ever.
I would be lying if I said I don’t miss all those things-I do. I think somewhere down inside I long to have a gallery to put my work into or to speak at a conference again or teach, maybe even write, but the difference lies in why I would want to do all those things. Now, it would be to go down a path that is seeded with what God wants to grow and I have found contentment in waiting for him to show me. In this moment there is nothing that is more important than making silly faces at my grands, reminding her how much they are loved and that, above all, they are children of God. I don’t think I can ever find a better ‘job’ than that.