Health and happiness

I have always prided myself on being able to juggle many tasks, meet varying deadlines and go the extra mile when needed.

Having a positive outlook and being able to pick myself when knocked down is how I have always lived my life; it’s this type of attitude that has probably helped me to work on my MA while also working full-time.

Therefore, when I began to feel exhausted a few weeks ago (it seem to really start after I had worked a 6am to 9pm day – from getting up for the day job through to packing away after an evening’s cyanotype workshop), but I put it down to just burning the candle at both ends for too long.

When a few other symptoms began I went to see my doctor and have been diagnosed with an iron deficiency. To start, I have to take supplements for a week before a review, and may possibly need a ‘transfusion’ (I think this just means giving me iron intravenously, not a blood transfusion) which sounds a bit more scary but apparently can give up to three months iron intake support.

Then to add to that, my impacted wisdom tooth played up and I needed an emergency visit to the dentist. I now have to attend hospital on Monday for an X-ray to determine whether surgery will be needed.

The way I have been feeling recently has had an impact on my ability to achieve what I would have liked. But health (physical and mental) is of vital importance and this had led me to the conclusion that I need to be kinder to myself. And to let things go if I can’t achieve them.

I had hoped to spend time creating much more cyanotype images but I simply do not have the energy to do so, yet.

There are numerous blog posts I still want to research, write and add to my blog.

As my final show approaches, I need to keep my focus on that. I feel it is all pretty much ready and I am confident it will look good in the space.

And I most definitely need to be tweaking and polishing my ideas for my Final Major Project and Critical Review of Practice.

Normally I would not share my personal health issues on this blog. I am not doing so for sympathy, I am doing so as my health and my happiness are inextricably linked to my ability to be creative and develop, refine, and nurture my photographic practice.

I also feel it’s important to be open about how outside influences can impact on the work an artist creates, or their inability to do so.

There is a sense of ‘why now”; I only have five more weeks or so until final hand-in. This is when I really need all my reserves of energy for the final push.

I know I have a long to-do list still but it’s time for me to review it and determine if I can meet all of the items I have on that list.

And if I can’t, to accept it and know that I have still tried my best.