Friday, April 11, 2014

Oh! A Lesson Learned the Hard Way.

One of the things I will try to remember on my next residency is not to unpack a single thing on arrival. Instead take at least 2 days to recover from the energy it takes getting prepared because I end up having to take those 2 days anyway, but with added pain to deal with. 

Thinking back I was preparing work for an exhibition and packing up boxes for leading workshops and a 4-week residency. Not only deciding what to take but packing it up and loading stuff in and out of the car, and that's aside from all the home duties I didn't really need to do like shopping, vacuuming, cleaning floors and toilets and changing beds. I also had to visit the specialist and attend a 3hr art therapy tutorial before I left and finally, sitting in the car for over 2hrs just to get there! You get the picture. I knew I was knackered, but did I rest on my first day....No!

     Cross Country.            JPfeiffer   $380        40 x 60cm 
     Entry for 46th Beverley Easter Art Exhibition (sorry, still have to get a decent photo of this one)

So, by the evening of my second day here I crashed. I was walking around with my head in my hands, with my neck and shoulder muscles locked into flight or fight position, when all I wanted to do was r-e-l-a-x them, but it was too late. I'd already pushed myself past my limit and they were not budging one iota. With headache, backache, feet ache, a couple of pandol and a heat pack, I tried to let go by going to bed at 7:30! Up again at 4am still feeling the same, I got up and tried one of my other methods to bring my stressed muscles to submission...a scolding hot shower and I felt some release. I took more pandol and heated up a blue gel heat pack. Half asleep, I saw it blown up like a balloon through the microwave window and in a panic quickly turned it off. As it settled back to normal size, there didn't appear to be any damage, so I wrapped it in a pillowcase and headed back to bed. I woke up this morning feeling this cold slime running down my definitely had a hole it!

Anyway I spent the rest of the morning stretching and releasing and keeping my neck and shoulders loose. I rang up the massage lady across the road where I am staying and sadly she was not open till Monday. I knew I would be ok by then. Any way I'm pleased to say the headache has finally lifted and I'm able to concentrate on blogging again. Just have to watch I don't sit in one position for too long so right now I'm going for a short walk!

The lesson for me is to be aware of my bodies subtle messages, and not just push through because I'm wanting to finish something, ( unless there is an actual deadline ) listen to the aches and pains before they become catastrophic, try to get a good nights sleep, drink more water than I want to and stop every 20 mins to stretch out a few muscles and get the blood circulation again.

And just in case I forget, can someone please remind me when I next head off for a one month residency ...on arrival, take those 2 days before doing anything else. Thank you!!

1 comment:

  1. Ok here's the residency schedule:

    Arrive at Residency.
    Go to kitchen and drink 1 glass water
    Unpack only clothes and toiletries.
    R E L A X
    For following 36-48 hours indulge only in eating, lying around, walking, sleeping, drinking water, meditating, occasional chats with locals, meditating, stretching, bit of reading, praying, and a bit of a think a la Winnie the Pooh. will be time to get started on being the 'working artist'!