The Legacy of a Lifetime

posted in: Art, Learning the Craft, My Story | 4

Last summer I stayed in the beautiful house of some dear friends in England. They are an elderly couple and their home bursts at the seams with drawings, paintings, sculpture, books, pottery… and much of the art is their own. One day as I was slowly drifting along the hallway, admiring each picture along my way to the living room where we were to take tea and cake (yes, I know, how enchanting!), I asked my friend how she managed to find the time to paint amidst the continuing busyness of her life. She paused, surprised. Then she said, ‘Oh, I don’t spend much time at all actually, just an evening class once a week…’ My eyes must have widened in disbelief, because she then continued; ‘but you see the thing is that I’ve attended that class for 40 years. One evening a week for 40 years adds up to quite a lot, you know!’

A few weeks later I was back in Turkey. Whilst chatting to a friend who is mum to two small children, I found myself asking a similar question. However did she find time to still her mind and get on track in the frantic pace and ‘constant now’ that young mums encounter? She laughed and shared how she had learnt to see even a five minute window as a moment to seize, a chance to invest. “After all,” she said, “just five minutes here and there adds up to more than you think…”

I so often calculate the sum total of my life as ‘what I accomplished this week’ rather than ‘what I will amass over my lifetime’. I visit the workshop one day a week and leave despairing that I never seem to do ‘enough’ to really get me to where I want to be. But how can I be so short-sighted? I’m setting my eyes on the long road to a home filled with beauty and a life given to something worthwhile. Perhaps I can’t work night and day on my art form just now, but 5 minutes snatched here and there is better than regretting that I never did anything because I longed to do everything…

So for right now in this season, instead of asking ‘Am I doing enough?’ I choose to ask, ‘Am I doing something?’ And for that, even five minutes count.

4 Responses

    Elizabeth Steven

    What excellent philosophy – I frequently regret my aged body and lack of ‘get up and go’ – your remarks remind me that even a very little each day really does add up to something worthwhile – thank you.


      Thank you for your comment and encouragement Elizabeth!


    That’s the thing. When I do something regularly it becomes my part. When I’m away from it I still think about it. I did tezhip for four years. Now I’m doing cini.I love making natural soap as well. I can’t engage all of them at the same time but I miss another one while I’m busy with one of them. While producing such things I just get into it, do my best and don’t realise how far I’ve gone.When I look at back one thing makes me very happy..the progress the change I have made. That’s amazing.. I’m mother of two too. It’s not easy to make time for sth while bringing kids up.. Beautiful page.. 🙂 🙂


      Thank you so much for your comments and for sharing some of your journey too. I’m glad that even though your artform might change, the heart and desire you have for a creative outlet continues. I am sure that even though you might not get to practically do much of the work you enjoyed before children, they will grow up with an appreciation of the beauty and importance of art because you are their mother. 🙂 🙂 Best wishes (if belatedly!) to you!

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