Like A Little Hamster

Day 27 - Syberian Golden Hamster Watercolor - Doodlewash

Today, I’m still a bit jet-lagged from our Paris trip, and it feels much later to me than it actually is today. I keep looking at the clock thinking it’s late and I’m surprised to find out the actual time is much earlier. Philippe and I have been trying to get things done around the house, so stopping for a moment to sketch a little hamster for today’s prompt was really a treat. I’ve got so many things to catch up on after being gone for two weeks, but I’m still feeling a bit lazy and in vacation mode. It’s like a hamster standing and waiting to decide whether to jump back on that wheel or just burrow into some wood chips for a lovely nap. In this moment, the latter definitely sounds more appealing. Yet, I’m still very happy to be home again and reunited with our dog Phineas. He had lots to tell us when we picked him up, squealing, howling, and yodeling as basenjis do while trying to tell us something. I’ve no doubt he was telling us off for leaving him for so long, but we instead like to imagine he was just telling us about all of the fun things he did at camp. Though he initially had lots of energy and excitedly ran around the house in circles, he’s now just as exhausted as we are and curled up on the couch, quietly snoring.

As slow as time has gone, I’ve not managed to get much done today. I was doing fine all morning, but by afternoon I felt like I was floating in a fog. Then I felt like something zoomed out of that fog and crashed into me. Yet, I keep scurrying about, sort of unpacking my suitcase and then getting distracted by something else that needs doing. The end result is that nothing is totally completed, but I’m so happy to be home again that I don’t really mind. Philippe and I are listening to music and having a glass of champagne to celebrate our return. At least, that’s the excuse we used when we opened the near-empty refrigerator to find a bottle sitting there. It’s the quietest and most low-key celebration as two introverts silently recharge after two full weeks of constant interaction. If anyone wonders how I had time to paint during the trip, it was actually easy and extremely necessary. Without making that little painting break, I would have collapsed in exhaustion. It was a perfect way to escape into my own little world for a moment so I could return refreshed and ready to enjoy friends and family.

Before I formed this little painting habit, I would often find myself not taking little breaks to recharge. I would get irritated and grumpy without realizing why. As it turns out, as much as I love social interaction, I get my actual energy from within. Sketching has become the perfect way to power up and makes me incredibly happy each time I complete a little doodlewash. This is the wonderful thing about art, no matter what form it takes. You can go to a place that’s all your own for a little break in the day, and then return and share that place with others. It’s how a shy introvert like myself has found a way to be extremely social! And, when it comes to holding my focus, creating something is still the only thing that seems to work. I was perfectly reminded today that household chores are not something that holds my interest at all. I was feeling a bit guilty seeing my suitcase still sitting on the floor, when I noticed Philippe’s suitcase sitting next to it still only half unpacked. It’s good to have differences in a relationship, but similarities can be quite comforting. That feeling of knowing I’m with exactly the right person. Someone who loves me just as I am, even if I tend to approach my life like a little hamster.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Yellow Ochre, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 27 - Syberian Golden Hamster Watercolor - Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Jodi 4 years ago


  2. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    Cute little hamster! Welcome home!

  3. Carol 4 years ago


  4. LoriCtoo 4 years ago

    Ahhhh! 😉 You know, that stuff will still be there tomorrow or the next.

  5. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    I hate that feeling of having so many things to do that it’s impossible to decide which one to do. I’m just like you – I half-ass everything and nothing gets accomplished. Hopefully, all three of you will slide back into your routine quickly — watch Phineas. He’ll show you how to do it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe… yeah Phineas is definitely showing us how routines work. And he came back from camp with tons of energy, which is unusual. He’s been wanting to play like a puppy! 😃💕

  6. Lisa Cihlar 4 years ago

    There was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where they came home from a trip and a suitcase was left in a landing halfway up stairs. They both refused to be the one who finished the job. Makes me laugh until it’s me being petty. But I can only stand it for a few hours. Then I have to fix the problem, or yell. Lol. Welcome home!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah… it will likely be me who finally breaks and insists the suitcases get unpacked and put away properly. But it might take a couple of days. lol

  7. Mari 4 years ago

    Your wisdom, stories, insights, art and open heartedness are always so appreciated. Loved ‘coming along’ on your trip, and welcome home! Phineas has got the re entry thing all figured out, indeed let him lead you onward!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mari! 😃💕 I’m so happy you joined me on the Paris trip! And yes, Phineas is totally ready for all things to return to normal, so he’s definitely guiding us through it! hehe

  8. Sharon Haschalk 4 years ago

    So glad you made it home safe and sound Charlie!! I’m sure it’ll take you a few days for your body to get back to its normal routine and rhythm. Just go slow – don’t rush things.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Taking it very slow… hehe… probably too slow, but re-entry is rough! We’ll be back to normal soon enough.

  9. jansiking 4 years ago

    You are so right about reentry being tough! My husband always unpacks immediately following a trip, a habit he developed when he traveled for work. I always feel compelled to unpack as well, so as not to feel like a lie-about!
    I had a hamster when I was 10-11 who looked just like your sketch. His name was Hamlet and I was crazy about him! Unfortunately he had the habit of making lots of racket at night so that his cage was moved outside one night and he managed to escape never to be seen by me again. 😢

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe! Yeah… unpacking is never fun. I think we delay it because it’s hard to leave the trip behind. And oh no!! I’m so sorry to hear about Hamlet (great name by the way). My little hamster escaped as well when I was young.

  10. smzang 4 years ago

    Charlie says, “the wonderful thing about art, no matter what form it takes. You can go to a place that’s all your own for a little break in the day, and then return and share that place with others.”

    a painting a day keeps the doctor away.

    Welcome home!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Love that art place… it’s wonderful. As is home… so happy to be back!

  11. Eve McHugh "Sqwiffy" 4 years ago

    Oh Charlie, I sometimes take a while to read your adventures but I always love them as well as your doodles. Travel is a strange thing. When you’re sad to leave but then you get home and that’s wonderful too. I’m inspired by you to try and doodle every day too.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Eve! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this! Yeah, daily blogging and sketching means I probably have way too much content! But it’s soooo fun, and daily practice is the best thing ever!

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