Well, I'm hanging in over here, but I'm obviously not doing a very good job keeping up on my blog. I'm taking the liberty to post my Best Shot Monday on Thursday. We have three pots of daisies growing on our back deck, and we've been pretty good lately at cutting them and bringing them inside to put in vintage Coke bottles for a little flowery-ness around the house. Before I brought the latest batch upstairs, I decided to stick one in between the boards on the deck to catch a few shots, and lo and behold, in the middle of my shooting, Molly decided she needed to take a sniff. I caught this shot purely by accident, but I love it!
Taking time to smell the flowers...that's what I've really been needing to do lately. April truly was a whirlwind I don't care to repeat any time soon. I tend to overload myself on my own accord, I realize that, but when I add in an incredibly busy month at work, that overload goes into super-drive and usually ends in a crash. April started with the Springtime Tallahassee Arts Jubilee the 6th-7th, then our annual SGA Conference in Orlando the 11th-14th, then One Spark the 17th-21st, then Amber and Jarrod's wedding on the 20th, then my annual Student Awards Program the 24th, then our annual High Honors Luncheon May 1, and I'll wrap up the insanity this Sunday with Commencement. In between that, I've still had class every Tuesday night and I'm currently trying to wrap up grading to post final grades for the term. Then there's those two little red-heads and that husband of mine who have all been trying to help me keep it all together. There have been quite a few "stress relief bubble baths" set up by my girls in the past month, and they have been much appreciated!
So how do you slow down? This is the battle I've been fighting for quite a few years now. I think in working one full-time job, teaching at night, and running a creative business on the side along with raising a family, I get lost somewhere. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting by strictly on sweet tea and Bit 'O Honeys (side note, I posted a Facebook update recently that I had run out of Bit 'O Honeys, a minor crisis in my world, and my Lord, I now have nearly 10 pounds...no joke...10 pounds of Bit 'O Honeys that have appeared either in my mailbox or on my desk from friends and family....can you feel the love?....sorry, rambling...). I know I need to find a way to better manage the juggle, but I just haven't gotten there yet. I'm open to suggestions (which reminds me of this post)!
I've hestitated to say much about my One Spark experience, but I'm going to share a few things as I feel that's really what's fueled my exhaustion this past month, no pun intended. (Click here to read my initial One Spark post.) Have you ever put a lot of time, energy and money into an event, excited with high hopes that it's going to be truly awesome...only to be very disappointed? Well, that's what happened for me with One Spark. I'll say this. I think One Spark has the potential to be a great thing for the city of Jacksonville, but to do that, a lot of things that happened this first year need to be addressed. The creators in the outer venues, where I was, did not get near the traffic nor media publicity that the creators around the main hub of Hemming Plaza did. That's a feeling that's been shared by many creators in those outlying venues. The whole festival needs to be more centralized. Closing off the streets around the Hemming Plaza area and placing all the creators there could be much more effective. Second, I think the "projects" need to go through some sort of jury process, similar to a juried arts festival. While 95% of the projects were legitimate projects (though they did not all fit into One Spark's advertised "Art. Music. Science. Technology" if I am remembering those four correctly), some truly did not belong there, and when those are covered by the media, I feel they hurt the overall image of what One Spark advertised itself to be. I also asked that my funds be transferred to another creator I was very touched by (check out the J.T. Townsend Foundation), but One Spark would not allow that. That one completely baffled me. Why would they be against one creator wanting to give her funds to another creator? So nope, in order to do that, I have to submit my W-9, get the check and then write a check to J.T. I hope that's also something they'll reconsider should this event go forward next year.
So there's my take. Yes, One Spark can be a great thing for the city of Jacksonville, and I think that maybe it just became far bigger than they expected it to be this first year (466 creators), but in order to be a great thing for the city, changes need to be made. An honest survey of creator feedback would be a good start. That hasn't happened yet. It was definitely a learning experience for me, and a lesson I don't think I'll choose to repeat.
Onward! If this rain quits, I'll be back in the shelter photographing sweet furry faces in the morning. That makes me a very happy girl!