Falling down and moving forward


I recently completed a project for a favorite client’s event: designing and then creating 150 custom collage bookmarks centered on the conference’s theme of “resilience”. The participants were Nurses and PA’s working with children and their families at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Research lead me to many great quotations addressing resiliency, “bouncing back,” and recovering from adverse situations, and of course I started thinking about my own “bounce backs.” I’m definitely a “glass half full” kind of gal and generally handle adversities fairly well. However, this past weekend I received a rejection notice from a show that I was sure I would get into and was thrown for a loop. (Just to be clear – this in no way compares to what these children’s health care professionals deal with on a daily basis and how they learn to cope and move on.)


To be so confident about an outcome and then get a different result caused me to fall down and go into high melodrama for an entire day. Grumping around, being unpleasant to my ever-supportive spouse, re-examening my past, questioning my work, my commitment, comparing myself to other artists and makers . . . when I wallow (which isn’t very often) I do jump in with both feet.


Exercise and a good night’s sleep definitely contributed to today’s uplifted spirits and recalling Mary Chapin Carpenter lyrics, “Sometimes you’re the windshield . . . sometimes you’re the bug,” gave me the opportunity to embrace the bigger picture and cope. Do I think I should have gotten into the show? Yes. Am I questioning my art practice? No. Am I moving forward? You bet!

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