Anyway, I thought I'd change things up a bit before I (most likely) write a few sad pieces on missing Spike during the holidays...and brag on myself.
After a month or so of Spike being gone, and thanks to the tough love of some friends, I decided that I shouldn't spend the entire deployment in personal limbo. If I have no choice but to spend the better part of a year geographically spouse-less, I might as well use the time constructively.
As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I'm learning to play the violin. Now that I am back in North Carolina post R&R, I have resumed my weekly lessons. Learning new songs and hearing how much I'm progressing (compliments from my teacher don't hurt either!) makes me feel so empowered...maybe because it's something I have complete control over? I'm three songs away from finishing my beginner's book, and I've even played some simple Bach!
At the end of August I sucked it up and had iLASIK surgery done. Worth every penny of the money that would have otherwise gone into savings. (Thanks, Spike!) I went from not being able to read a book that was held 6 inches away from my face to working, driving, and living totally correction-free. And if you're thinking of having iLASIK done, I can honestly say that I felt no pain during the procedure, which only took about 10 minutes. Seriously, I am SUCH a weenie when it comes to medical stuff, and this was a breeze.
My last brag for now is that I've re-connected with art over the deployment. I always enjoyed drawing, painting, etc. in high school and college, but I haven't done much of it since then. Having periodic art projects to work on has honestly been therapeutic, because art is one of those things that gets me into a state of "flow"--I stop feeling the passage of time and I'm totally focused on what's in front of me. Earlier this year I posted a pencil drawing I did of a friend's in-laws. Here are the other things I've worked on since Spike has been gone. Excuse the poor lighting and blurriness.
I did this for Spike as an anniversary present. It's mixed media: tissue paper and paint on canvas. He always calls me his Lobster--if you've ever seen the Friends episode in which Phoebe explains her Lobster Theory, you know what he's referring to. There are love song lyrics behind the claws and paint.
I suppose you could consider this one art, though it didn't involve drawing. I thought it was going to be a simple, quick project--it wasn't! Took hours and hours to cut out all the strips of cloth and roll them up. But I like how it turned out.
I did this painting as a wedding present for a dear friend. I tore up the save-the-date, invitation, and wedding program and incorporated them into the piece.
Next I'd like to do a small painting of my dog...or a large one of me and Spike, if I can find a picture I like well enough.
I had considered doing National Novel Writing Month again this year (the challenge is to write 50,000 words during the month of November--I did it in 2009), but I don't think that's going to happen. It ate up all of my free time the first time around, and while I had a lot of fun, I was also frazzled, reclusive, and had tunnel vision focused solely on meeting my daily word quota. Not sure that's the best idea since I'm trying to stay as balanced, social, and positive as possible while this deployment drags on. But we shall see. I DO have a story idea. Poor Spike--my first round of NaNoWriMo happened right after we'd been matched on e-Harmony. I ignored him for the better part of a month. He'd probably be scared the same thing would happen again! And in any case, that story idea will keep until 2013.