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Day 4: Tuesday, April 14th 2020

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

My brain today in one word: focused (finally!)

Today I am: Hey! I said I was focused so of course I’m still sitting at my dining table

Current CNN news headline:Trump halts World Health Organization funding over handling of coronavirus outbreak

My day started with great insight from a very unlikely place. I was well into my daily routine of morning coffee with a side of Today Show* which is typically just background noise but today something caught my ear. Drew Barrymore was on and she offered up insight that literally stopped me mid-sip and had me pop open my laptop so I could jot down the precious words she said so I didn’t forget them (…my memory is total crap these days). She was ‘fighting for optimism’ (meaning she was working hard to find it in any way she could) and offered the quote ‘insecurities are loud and confidence is silent’. Drew went on to talk about how she started a blog to work through her ‘loud insecurities’ right now and fight towards her ‘silent confidence’ and I thought her words articulated exactly what I am feeling. I am definitely over here with my battle gloves (in my mind they are the vintage red boxing ones) fighting for my optimism everyday and I am not willing to take them off, not even for a moment. My optimism is the only thing I can fight for right now.

My husband says I should have written this book before I started illustrating it but to me the story begins to tell me what it wants to be while I’m illustrating it. I can tell you how the story begins and ends but the stress of knowing what every page will be or say is just too much to handle right now on top of the recommended only once-per-day dose of bad news (I take mine in a quick pill form with my morning coffee *see Today Show above). Today I have been permanently fixed to my dining chair intermittently interrupted with moments of realizing I was sitting on my foot and then wondering ‘when did I involuntarily decide to sit on my foot?’. A focused Chelsea often follows with a slow build-up of shoulder and back pain that must be similar to how mothers forget the pain that comes with child birth - if we know the pain is coming, why do we keep doing it to ourselves?! (not to compare my pain to childbirth - I can’t even imagine!)

The view for me today has been nothing but this 20” x 18” piece of watercolor paper. This next illustration for ‘Can We Go Outside?’ reminds me of not-so-distant memories of walking through the groves during orange blossom season with a clear mind and just the normal daily stresses of life running in and out of focus in the back of my head rather than their now permanent and high-def residence of my brain’s frontal lobe. Well, back to outlining this whopper of an illustration!

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