When it comes to dealing with stress, we all have our own little solutions. Mine tends to be some sort of sweet treat for myself, so when I saw a prompt of “rough,” all that popped into my head was dessert. Actually, that idea pops into head quite frequently for a myriad of reasons, but that was the reason today. As for the kind, although they’re not my favorite, I am always fascinated by the beauty and symmetry of macarons. That is, until you take that first bite and they crater and disintegrate. If they were slightly smaller, or I were a bear, I could probably down them in one bite and avoid this horrible multilation of such a gorgeous treat. This is probably why nobody ever paints the “middle” state of a macaron, but that’s exactly what I chose to doodlewash for today. After a busy Monday, the one on the left is quite similar to the rather blue way I look and feel at the end of the day, until I’ve had a chance to paint, unwind, and find a little sweet treat. Sometimes, it’s just a glass of wine, but that counts as well for my touch of sweet fix. After that, things get much better, and I look a bit more uniform again like the one on the right, only not quite as pink, assuming I don’t drink too much wine.
Most of my life, I haven’t had much of problem when it comes to stress. Truthfully, I have the opposite problem of not feeling stressed even when I probably should. My short attention span often gets me into trouble and I find myself bouncing from thing to thing without quite completing any of them. When the deadline is looming, I switch into gear and always deliver, and have always found the rush to be kind of exhilarating. I think that’s why when I have a long lead time to complete something I feel a bit paralyzed. There just doesn’t seem to be enough fire to motivate me. I’ve watched as people I’ve worked with dutifully begin each task the second they receive it and I’m always amazed. I can’t do that. I have to spin and ponder and watch funny cat videos in order to get my mind burning with ideas and my heart ready to commit to actually doing them. But something always happens, just as the clock strikes that fateful hour as the deadline approaches, and I deliver.
It occurred to me that although my process, or complete lack of one, is rather loose, the end result is all that really counts. It doesn’t really matter how we do something, it really just matters that we actually get on with actualy doing it at some point. Of course, I realize that giving myself a sweet treat after I’ve dawdled and procrastinated is simply rewarding my own bad behavior. But I don’t see it that way. Instead, I see it as giving myself an early reward for the amazing thing I’m about to do next. I’ve never understood withholding rewards as they’re the best motivator in the world, once you’ve enjoyed them. Before that, they’re just a promise you make to yourself, which is pretty much what I’ve already done by thinking,”I should really get started on that.” Going the other way around, and holding the treat back from myself, feels like I’m treating myself like a dog. No, I’m always happy in the knowledge that everything will sort of work itself out, and a sweet treat is just a little way that helps that happen. Even when things get rough.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Opera Rose, Turquoise Green and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!