When All Else Fails: Art

In The Studio

I had an amazing art week last week! That’s important to note because the rest of the week? Well… it could have been better.

The job search continues. I had two interviews last week, one by phone and one in person. The phone interview went as well as could be expected considering I haven’t interviewed for anything in 16 years (and even that was only for an internship set up by a business acquaintance to finish my culinary degree–very informal). I’d brushed up on standard questions and practiced quite a bit, but I was still a bit rusty. Not surprisingly, I didn’t make it to the round two interviews but it’s okay, it’s not like it was my dream job or anything. And I have time. (She says in an effort not to stress out.)

The other interview was much more informal, it was in person, and the company owner had reached out to me after seeing my resume on Indeed. Very different experience. And even though I think it went very well and would enjoy the work (still in printing, but on the design side) and the office environment, he’s still interviewing candidates and there’s not a set need-by date for the position yet, either. Which could be great since my schedule is flexible for the next couple of months anyway. We shall see, but I am crossing my fingers for this one.

Aside from that, there was the upset of taxes. Ugh. Every year we say we’re going to get them done sooner but, well, just like the cobbler’s son has no shoes and the mechanic’s yard has cars up on blocks, the bookkeeper and accountant file their taxes at the last minute. What made it worse was fining out how much we owed and how misinformed I was about state income taxes.

See, Florida doesn’t have personal income taxes, Georgia does. Now, I’d called before we moved to find out whether and where my Florida wages counted as far as all that went, and I was told that out of state wages (completely earned out of state from an employer with no locations in Georgia) did not count for Georgia income tax. So I (thought I) knew that my self-employment income would be taxed but not the day job.

Not so.

Bother and damnation!

(And, no, I guess we didn’t notice the second half of 2014 wages that would have been taxed after we moved. Most likely they were offset by my convention income and business expenses, but it hardly matters now!)

Add to that (literally) the fact that Todd was uninsured for the first five months and, yep, the penalties are definitely in effect!

It was an expensive lesson.

And speaking of insurance, that was another of last week’s hurdles. Mine ends this month (what with the company officially closing and all) so the options were adding me to Todd’s company policy (~$800/mo) or buying a separate plan. As I suspected, the independent plans directly through BCBS were half the cost or thereabouts, so I’ll be signing up for one of those. Of course, the way the non-employer-sponsored plans work is you sign up by the 10th of the month (usually) for coverage that starts following month. So I’m going to be very careful in May.

Especially after we remembered Todd’s accident happened last May, one month before he was insured.

There’s been talk of bubble-wrap and other Jennifer-proofing measures.

Only half in jest.

But even with all of this going on, there was still art. Every night. Something creative, something fulfilling. Even if I could barely look at this blog (which was down for a couple of days due to a server issue, so, yeah, not helping the utter paralysis I felt when it came to posting) or anywhere else on social media, I could spend a little time with canvases and paint and go to bed a little lighter. Even cleaning up the Abyss on Saturday felt good, and I found some works in progress (a mini canvas and some cross stitch) that I made time for, too.

So when I say “better living through creativity,” here’s living proof that it’s not just a tagline. I really do think that the time spent at my worktable helped me survive this trying week. That I would have been far more miserable had I ignored the projects and gone to bed early or vegged out in front of the tv, wallowing in the fear of the unknown.

And there will likely be more trying weeks ahead. This one, for instance, didn’t exactly start out great (but I think I’m over the hump, now, having had a good cry over it all on Monday). But I have projects on my desk and my birthday to look forward to at the end of the month, so I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other and applying brush to paper.

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