Bamboo in my soul

Dave has spent the last two weeks of our vacation valiantly battling bamboo. We have a miniature creeping version that started as one little piece 3 years ago and now has overrun our side garden at the farmhouse. It even started to inch its way under our foundation. So Dave has been at war ripping out the deep shoots and digging through layers or roots trying to eradicate the problem. It has not been easy and it has taken all of his energy and concentration.

I have been doing a battle of my own- between sewing my shower curtain and doing machine quilting until I am cross-eyed, I have been battling boredom  self doubt and malaise. And like my husband i am digging deep into myself to see what I can pull out.

1. Fear of turning 60. It just seems so old, and I have so much I want to do. Will there be enough time? I watch my mother aging, a person who was a lightening bolt of energy, who is now slowing down considerably. It is difficult to watch and harder to project what will be.
2. Fear of retiring- or actually not fear so much as wondering if I can sustain 8 hours of sewing a week. The last two weeks has shown that I am fairly disciplined about work, but it also shows that sustained machine quilting can be somewhat joyless.
3. Fear of going back to work on Monday after 2 weeks of having no schedule or responsibilities. Running a 30 person firm has its challenges and I have to stay engaged for the next 3 years. I hope I have the stamina to do that.
4. Fear of being irrelevant.  It's so funny how I can devote months and months of labor on a piece. Then, when I am done, it gets rolled up and put away. Something about that does not feel right.
5. Fear of alienation. I spend so much of my private time alone with my sewing machine. I have not kept up the contact with family and friends that I should have, preferring to focus on my art. Is this wise? Will I regret this choice in years to come?
6. Will my art make a difference? It is daunting to see how much stuff is out there. Am I just another artist among hundreds of thousands, making art that will not be seen or may not move people.
7. Do I have a choice? I am not sure if I do or not. I love making my art. At times I am euphoric and at times I am blue. Am I controlling my art or is it controlling me?

Bamboo in my soul- tangled, invasive, destructive. Self doubt is like a weed- and sometimes I wish the solution was as easy as yanking out a root or zapping it with an herbicide. And just when you think you are feeling confident, a new shoot reappears, and needs to be dealt with.