Year of Sweat Squared

Blazing a creative trail out of decline

The radio announcer mentioned Spring. It's the only explanation for my sudden rush around the house, pulling covers off cushions and shoving them into soapy water. That, and the fact that the sun's out. My Year of Sweat Squared hasn't played out as planned. Last year's Year of Sweat was a success, but I thought I could ...

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The radio announcer mentioned Spring. It’s the only explanation for my sudden rush around the house, pulling covers off cushions and shoving them into soapy water. That, and the fact that the sun’s out.

My Year of Sweat Squared hasn’t played out as planned. Last year’s Year of Sweat was a success, but I thought I could push it a bit further – hence the “Squared” component of this year’s theme. It hasn’t work for two reasons. First, my feet keep pulling me up. If it’s not one, it’s the other. I’m off to the podiatrist on Wednesday as a first step (pun intended) on a rest-of-my-life journey to keep my feet on the ground. I will not give up my bush walks.

Second, after four years of combining work and study, a lot of things needed tidying and rejuvenating. The garden was tired. My studio was tired. The pantry was tired. My office was tired. It’s not just that the physical spaces were in need of work. Nothing sang to me anymore. I needed some rejuvenation as well.

Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t think of anything fresh for the new Year Of theme.

So … now … it’s the days before spring. Eight months of the year have passed. Where am I up to?

The garden is much improved. Plants have been re-potted. New plants bought for previously empty pots. Vegetable garden is up and running again. The shed is cleared out, but still needs a clean out.

The studio is functional again. My office is part way there, but still a way to go. The pantry is … well, one shelf is done.

Those four years weren’t a total decline. I managed to keep a few things ticking along while burrowing my way through books and journals. I got a bit of sewing done, although that was more by necessity than desire. I learnt a lot about digital photography. And I re-established my love for jigsaws.

And therein lies a very important point. Even though great chunks of my life were stagnating, I kept the light burning. It wasn’t a blazing bonfire, but it was enough to keep my creative spirit alive.

So this weekend, in honour of Monday’s First Day of Spring, I’m reinvigorating my rejuvenation after the winter slow down. The cushion covers are off. Furniture is being moved. And another jigsaw will be finished.

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