2020 started for me with a major surgery. But things started the year before.

All of 2019 I was trying to get in shape and joined a semi-private group training gym in Oct 2018. I was trying every diet and doing everything possible to lose weight, get healthy and get fit. Little did I know that a tumor was growing inside of me. So in Oct 2019 after a year of 3x a week with the trainer, I was heavier, with less cardio improvement, and was just at my wits ends. I really was like- Okay I am going to be those woman who I see after menopause let themselves go. But I knew something was not right. I started in the gym in Oct 2018- because in Dec 2018 I was going to finally get my double broken nose fixed. Just functional repair, not cosmetic- my nose is still a bit curved, but it works. Breathing is a good thing.

So I joined the gym so I would be in better shape for a faster recovery. But let me back track- in 2018, after my husband finally finished his cancer treatment (he is fine for now) I was like-“Okay, time for me to get back to me, so I am going to start with my nose to my toes”. So I got braces on my teeth and had my once great smile (not sure why my teeth shifted in my 50’s) fixed, then the nose, then I jumped to my toes for the fungus (I know gross, but it happens). I did the colon (okay) stress test (okay) and general all okay. Just high-blood pressure that is hereditary. So now I was working on the waistline, when in end of 2019- I could barely breathe in the gym and my weight just kept going up. Anyway- I will spare you all the details and doctors appointments. I had a 15lb fibroid as well as others that must have been growing in me for 2 years. So since it was end of 2019 and we had an insurance change and holidays are busy for my biz as “The Skin and Lash Lady” I decided to have my surgery in January 2020. I did not realize how sick I was till I came out of surgery and realized I could actually move and I could breathe- the tumor was not allowing my lungs to expand.

So January 20. 2020 I went in for my second surgery of my life. I got to my age with only 2 surgeries I think that is great. That morning I was watching the news about Coronavirus was hitting Seattle. Did I think it would come to Florida. Nope.

My surgery went well and 6 weeks later, I was back at work. Everyone told me when you have a radical hysterectomy you need 8-10 weeks. But I am self employed and I need to work. My only complaint after surgery was I just got tuckered out faster than usual. So I managed about 2-3 clients a day and everything looked as if things would be fine. All my pathology came back negative for cancer, business was coming back and life would go on. Well on March 13th, just 2 weeks back to work, my city did a shutdown for 2 weeks. At first I was glad, as I was really tired and figured 2 weeks more of recovery would be great. But 2 weeks became 2 months. When I reopened I was nervous. How can I perform a facial and social distance. What PPE did I need, how would this work. At first my lash clients (all had called during lockdown for me to come to their homes to put on eyelash extensions- yes, they are that crazy) but that is actually not allowed in my state. Anyway, I figured it all out for safety, but business did not come back. Most of my clients are now work at home. And home for them is not the same town as my business, as they commuted to the city for work. Many of my older clients felt it not safe for them to leave their homes. Understandable, as I am putting myself at risk as well. Even though my license requires me to follow sanitation and disinfection, all it takes is one person breathing on me during a 60 minute facial and I could get Covid. My stay at home moms, who came to me for that once a month facial for a treat while the kids are in school. Well there is no school to go to. So all in all, my client base just vanished. I just made enough to cover the rent. So basically my only income this year was my stimulus check. All my savings that I used for my surgery and shutdown was now gone.

I did manage to keep my art studio. So during shutdown. lockdown, quarantine – they are all the same. I decide that 2020 is a wash and time for me to focus on the studio and my art.

I re- started making some YouTube videos (I am a YT junky) on encaustic painting and now my focus- at least till the end of the year, is finally getting into the studio.

My business closes on Sept 17. Finally after all these years and writing on this blog that I am starting a new direction, I can finally say, I am starting a new direction and will focus on my art. And I can know say I am a full time artist.