Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Stone angel


Albany Rural Cemetery. Altered angel. April 2014.

I want to preface this post with the acknowledgment that I am a very fortunate woman. I have a good job and a comfortable home and good health. Most importantly, I am surrounded by the most supportive and amazing friends and family in the world. I am grateful each and every minute for all of my blessings.

That said, this has been a difficult six months two weeks, three days, and nine hours for me (but who's counting?). I am learning a lot about myself, and not all of it is good. For one, I have a very low tolerance for suffering. Like, practically non-existent. I really like it when the world goes my way. It reminds me of that saying,"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."

And not only do I like to get my way, like a petulant three-year-old, I am an incredible brat when I don't. And I hate brats -- I have no tolerance for them, even when they're ME.

Have you read about the theory that it takes 21 days to form a habit? Well this is another thing I have learned about myself. It takes me about 1 hour, give or take, to form a bad habit, but it takes me about six months to develop a good one. So I've spent a lot of the last six months drinking and swearing and sitting on the sofa wishing that I enjoyed kale and exercise.

All of that said, this incredibly depressing stone angel seemed to be rock bottom for me, no pun intended. All of a sudden after this post, I am getting the hang of my job and feeling competent. My morning routine is falling into place, and I don't feel like an exhausted, disheveled mess every day. My mind is spinning with creative ideas that I can't get onto paper quickly enough -- because I do have to capture them quickly, or they disappear -- this is another thing I have finally learned!!

I am hopeful that this little bit of discomfort that I've had to endure in my amazingly good life will improve my character just a tiny bit. And if not, who cares? The world is going my way again, and that makes me happy. (I know, I have not evolved at all.) ;o)



Thursday, March 27, 2014

When life gives you lemons...

sketchbook fun, with watercolor
(ps. totally thought of you when I drew this, Fran.)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Okay, my first day of spring post is late...



But then, so is the weather that goes with this season...
Excerpted  from the Farmer’s Almanac...
Ah, spring! This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna. 
The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west.
At the equinoxes, the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. (However, the tilt of Earth relative to its plane of orbit, called the ecliptic plane, is always about 23.5 degrees.)

--- in layman’s terms, it’s still f—ing dark when I walk Max in the morning, there’s still f—ing snow on the ground and it’s still f—ing cold when I go to bed each night. 

But, determined to look on the bright side, which on this day, is exactly equal to the dark side, (in spite of the cloud of gloom that eternally hovers over me lately,) here is a springy illustration to mark the day.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Self-discovery


I have been experimenting a bit --  combining my illustrations with my mixed media heart paintings, in a digital re-mix of sorts. I really like the results, and it is funny how I can find an illustration and then a heart painting that seem to just go together. 

I learned something about myself this week. It is at the heart of my struggles with finding my next life. I had dinner with friends on Sunday -- friends I have know for almost two decades -- friends with whom I worked for most of the last twenty years. I was telling them about my "adjustments" at my new job. And one of them asked me, "Well, would you prefer a job that was incredibly exciting and challenging, but didn't have the security of the job you had now?" My response was, "Well, I don't want to be working until 7 pm every night." Let's ignore the fact that this wasn't even an answer to her question. The most interesting part was that it is a lie. And I didn't even know it at the time...

Later in the week, I was talking to my sister, and I told her about this conversation, and she said "But the best week of work youv'e had so far, you were working until 7 pm. I called you one night when you were still at work, and you sounded awesome." And she's right, of course. I was challenged. I was engaged. I was problem-solving. 

But why did it take someone else to point out that obvious fact about ME?! If I am that unaware of what really brings me satisfaction, then it's no wonder I've been miserable lately.

And I also discovered another related truth during this conversation -- I don't mind working longer hours, but I also want flexibility. If I do work until 7 pm, when necessary, I'd like the option of coming in late, or leaving early another day. I have great difficulty with rigid time constraints.

Such valuable information about my next life ... challenging, engaging, flexible. That's a start.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Girl power…


Thank you to all my girls, who have given me love and laughter and motivation and encouragement and advice and support. Even on my most difficult days, my life is so rich and full of promise because of each of you. 

 This week has been a clear example of why my art is such a celebration of “girl-centric” themes, as I have recently described it. You are all at the core of everything good in the world, and certainly, everything good in my life. You are strong and funny and beautiful and wise. I hope my words and actions and art are able to reflect your awesomeness, always.

I am one lucky girl.



Friday, March 07, 2014

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Lower your expectations.



That’s right. Screw optimism.  
How’s that for a catchy blog title? Sorry folks. I am done with cheery and optimistic. I am cranky and pissed off, and cold and lethargic. My creativity is in the crapper, just beneath my positive attitude.
 I just read an article (In Praise of an Ordinary Life by Alain De Botton, in Flow Magazine), which informed me, in a nutshell, that…
“ …it’s nice when you can raise your expectations, but also very painful, because we can’t always get what we want.”
I think I learned this when I was around three. Up until then, I am pretty sure I got everything I wanted, since that was mostly chocolate milk and the undivided attention of all the adults in my life. At age three, my sister Cheryl was born, and that’s when it all went downhill for this chubby, only child. (Love you sisser!!!)
Still, I was three, a resilient daydreamer, and I managed.
Now I am 49. And grumpy.  I wasn’t supposed to get older, fatter, poorer. I really do want it all, and I’ve been pretending it was actually possible. Until I read this article, which reminded me of what I already knew. That it’s highly unlikely that I will get anywhere near all that I want.
(She says pouting; crossing arms; stomping feet.)
So now I am stuck with figuring out what I really, really want, within the parameters of my measly life, and that is supposed to make me happy.  This life shit is really hard sometimes.