feh-bruary

I was feeling pretty great about my lack of feh-ness over winter thus far, but it hit me kinda hard on Saturday. I’m pretty darn tired.

My painful shoulder issue from December turned out to be frozen shoulder, which means I am in physical therapy several times a week to stretch and strengthen the joint and surrounding muscles, and lots of at-home exercises to do the same. Supposedly this affliction is most common in women over 40; having just turned 37, I guess you could say I’m mature for my age. 😐 I’m spending a lot more time in my car; to and fro for appointments, picking up kids, working in the gaps, eating on the go–all at a time when I’d rather be hibernating.

I’m also feeling a lot of frustration around my art. Making things doesn’t come easy right now, and most of what I make, I’m unsatisfied with. I’m trying to go easy on myself by taking time to play with my iPad every day, even if everything I make sucks.

But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom! My shoulder is healing fast; I’ve regained most of my range of motion, and it’s no longer a constant ache when I try to sleep. All that car travel means I have plenty of time to listen to audiobooks — I finished the first book in the Outlander series, a horror novel called The Winter People, and now I’m working on Annihilation. Next week the kids are off school for a l’il winter break, and the week after that, I’m traveling to Amsterdam to meet up with my team. By that point, it will be March; one month closer to spring!

seaside

Y’all, I know these are pretty generic, but I’m hanging on to whatever creative impulses I can muster after a dry spell. Anemia has also reared its ugly head again; entirely my fault, I’ve been irregular with my iron supplements. Bear with me.

At some point soon I’ll put together a retrospective with the illustrations I worked on in 2019, and maybe even some thoughts on the last decade. Stay tuned!

Merry Christmas!

I finally picked up my iPad for the first time in weeks! My brain has been occupied with work and family things, and I’ve thrown myself full-on into lighting my LEGOs and watching The Crown in my spare time.

Here’s the Christmas letter I would have sent to family and friends if I actually sent Christmas letters.

We’re having a quiet family holiday at home this year. I got all my wrapping and prep done *before* Christmas Eve night, which is a holy miracle to rival the birth of Jesus. Unfortunately no one has shown up at my door bearing expensive gifts to honor this great achievement, but there’s still time.

Ellie celebrated her 11th birthday a few days ago. Her pre-teen passions are Harry Potter, Harry Potter, and Harry Potter, in that order, although occasionally she practices the clarinet for variety. Gwen prefers building LEGO, pretending she has her own YouTube channel, and all things Minecraft. Both kids made the honor roll and enjoy jazz dance lessons and griping about chores (when they’re not bargaining for extra screen time).

Exciting changes are afoot for the (alleged) grownups; Tim starts a new job in January! He’ll still be working from home, which is great, because I’ve grown accustomed to having a househusband. Now I’ll have a househusband with a paycheck! Cha-ching! We celebrate twenty years together next May and I intend to keep him for another twenty, at least.

Obligatory Christmas Letter medical TMI: At some point in the last two months I tweaked my left shoulder, and of course, I put off going to the doctor until it was so sore I couldn’t put a shirt on without wincing. Now I pay a chiropractor $20 a visit to crunch and contort my body into even more painful shapes, but I’m slowly regaining range of motion. I have heard the most unnatural sounds coming from my musculature in the last two weeks, and I’ve only sworn at the guy once. Maybe twice.

I’m looking forward to the new year with a sense of preternatural calm. Wait, never mind, that’s the spiked coffee and muscle relaxants talking (I kid, I kid). It’s an election year, so I’m grinding my teeth right alongside the rest of you, but thanks to regular meditation practice, I’m grinding them mindfully.

Ah well. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all! May your wine glasses be full and your coffee strong.