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Framing Success

Acrylic artist Kelly Anne Powers


In 2015,  I made flossing my only goal each and every day. It didn’t matter if I had cooked anything or taken out the garage or jogged. If I flossed that night I told myself the day was a success.

My gums have never been healthier, and now, more or less, flossing is an entrenched habit.  

Did I accomplish other things that year? Yes. Did I show up to my day job and rock it? Yes. Was I a decent member of my family? Yes. It’s not that I didn’t do anything other than floss, it’s that that one thing, flossing, was how I gauged my day’s success.

Daily success is a fickle thing. I’ve realized that how I feel about my day while in it is very different than how I feel about my day looking back on it. I have a tendency to go negative when I’m transitioning or am tired so bedtime is always highly susceptible to negativity.

I don’t think I’m abnormal in that respect. I think this is why people do gratitude journals at night. To help themselves hone in on the positive.

I approach art in the same way I approached flossing. In my studio, it looks like a daily painting.

I slide in and out of daily painting but when I’m doing it consistently, it becomes a healthy heartbeat of my practice. It’s a low stakes way to start my day. It can take as long or as short of time as I have for it (although I do try and keep it on the shorter end, less than 2 hours). And even if the rest of the day goes up in flames afterwards, that night I will ask myself, “Did you do a daily painting?” And if the answer is yes, I call it a good day.

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