I woke up again this morning with a headache.
My annual escape from the studio has extended well past the first four weeks of the year that I originally intended. Sure I needed a break after spending the majority of each day over a 3 month period working away, but it has become hard to descend down the steps back into my work space and the studio has been more quiet than not. The impression of sleepless nights and recalling all my aching parts of late last year make me question my return.
It has become obvious that the pains of work had mostly left my body over my little sabbatical. I visited the chiropractor less, and hadn’t had one massage. It appears as I age that the toll of being an artist is greater than it used to be. But as I ready for the spring season my body has quickly reminded me of what I am doing to it.
You see – being an artist can be hard on the body. I stand on my feet for at least 8 hours a day. During the busy season my day can easily extend to 12 and 16 hours. My head is tilted down, and my shoulders tend to slouch forward. I awkwardly pick up heavy objects that perhaps I shouldn’t. Hand painting, sanding and staining have created knots that even the best professionals have a hard time fixing. According to both my chiropractor and my massage therapist I put all my weight on one foot while I work. Even my dentist pointed out my tension in my jaw and my recently chipped tooth are from clenching and grinding my teeth – not while I sleep – but while I am working.
But it’s what I do. I am an artist and not to worry I will continue to be. Tomorrow will be a better day I am sure. But today this stinking headache, stiff neck and the uncomfortable pain that radiates from my shoulder down my arm is proving frustrating and tough to look past the mental fog it creates. I am not one to take pills but the lure of Advil or Aleve and what it promises is rather appealing.