It’s January for a couple more days and it’s only now that – for lots of UK residents – the new year really gets underway. January is the dreaded tax return month for us (at least it’s our last chance to file one anyway) and many people put it off until our only option is to do it online at the last minute. I think this makes two years in a row that I’ve filed on the 28th, which for me, is pretty impressive.
I’m sitting here sipping tea (visual aid photo after this paragraph) and contemplating my persofonal* to-do list. My year is now wide open and I have only me to answer to until the 28th of next year. Going through the numbers has given me painful (but not unexpected) clarity on the state of my business, and so change is topping my priorities list. Being a self-employed artist/art tutor is not typically thought of as a wise career for people who want the financial good life, but my aim is to make a living doing what I love, and so that’s the focus. Anything beyond that success is bonus.
There are a few things I’d like to have done this month that have not happened. I wanted to launch my new art works shop site, but that was held up equally by severe depression and getting cart approval from the people who securely process credit card transactions. January is a limbo month for lots of people and businesses, so sometimes it’s tough to get traction when you need it. The shop shall be launched, and a newsletter too, but right now I’m not beating myself (or approval systems) up over delays. It’s happening, and for that, I am grateful.
Look at this: I’m writing again. It’s not my finest, nor my most interesting, but the fact that I’m typing out words is a good start. I know when the word flow slowed to a trickle and why. Depression. Years of it. A long time ago I remember thinking aw man, mom is now reading my blog, but that soon turned into the best thing ever. I even wrote more often knowing she could easily keep up with my day to day life from several thousand miles away.
Then she died. I wrote less. I retreated into depression to a depth I’ve never known before. I’m still in it, but beginning to see beyond the dark. Functional depression is a strange thing and becomes who you know yourself to be rather than a situation to overcome. I’m finally – hopefully – overcoming it, maybe a little anyway.
So here I sit drinking enough tea to test the capacity of a camel and I’ve just heard Pete’s buying me lunch. I can’t think of a better reason to wrap up this post. TO THE SANDWICHES!
* personal + professional, because what I do for a living blurs my boundaries