Genius Garden Journal # 1: Throwing Down the Gauntlet

It’s been eight months since I started painting the Genius Garden Tarot, and I am solidly and officially more than halfway through the painting process! I know that I’ve already announced this here, there, and everywhere, but I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve come this far so I can blow away any doubts I might still have about finishing. In many ways, I’ve already done what I’ve yet to do: I’ve painted 42 cards, and I have 36 cards left to go. I’ve already proven to myself that I can do it, so this next stretch should be a piece of cake, right?

As any creator knows, it’s much easier to start a project than it is to finish it. When you begin, you’re fresh and enthusiastic. Your energy is high, and you haven’t run into any demoralizing snags yet. Ideas that have been kicking around in your brain for months or years seamlessly translate themselves through your chosen medium, and your excitement knows no bounds. The momentum carrying you is swift and strong, and things are rosy and cheery and bright.

Halfway through a project, however, things shift. You begin to face the reality of what it will take to bring your creation into being, and it’s daunting. You crunch the numbers, contact vendors, get quotes, and plan your launch. You question your abilities, your talent, and the value of what you’re offering. You wonder whether anyone will invest in what you’ve lovingly crafted with every fiber of your being. You go on long walks to banish these doubts, because you know that they’re not going to get you where you need to go. And you keep working. You have to keep working, or you’ll stall at the most crucial and pivotal time.

If you’re a little crazy and you’ve promised yourself that you’ll do this no matter what (and because the reasonable time period you’ve set aside for this project is swiftly beginning to run out), you set a crazy goal: over the next two months, you’ll finish the deck. In other words, you’ll attempt to do what took you 32 weeks in eight weeks, because your life isn’t hectic enough.

Now, I’m really not sure if I can pull this off, Beauties. I planned out the next two months to the day, and I’m short about five. This means I’ll have to steal time–before my daughter goes to school, over the weekends, and in the evening hours when I’m already exhausted from a full day. I’ve already decided that I will not sacrifice my physical or mental health for this pursuit, and I will not jeopardize my most important relationships. If loved ones need me, I’ll put down my palette and brush. If I’m exhausted and beginning to lose my composure, I’ll take a break, even if it means pushing back my deadline. I’ve been burned out too many times before, and it’s not something I’m looking to experience again. However, I have every intention of challenging myself to rise to this goal, because I want to meet it and I believe I can meet it. I want to fully immerse myself in the second half of this project so it takes on a life of its own through me. I want it to become the vehicle that carries me forward, and I must nurture and nourish it for that to happen.

I’m going all in, and I’m excited and terrified at the same time. I can’t think of a better way to start the new year!

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