Friday, January 29, 2016

All the best things...

… in life are not things. 

A refreshing change of topic

For those who know her story, you know this is the sweet face of a fierce fighter. She just donated twelve inches of hair to locks of love. Here she is, looking so grown up. She’ll be 12 in April, possessing not only a strong heart, but a sweet soul, and a fierce sense of humor…

My niece, my inspiration… Avery


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stress relief

How do you let off steam? Sometimes swearing works for me, and I am frighteningly good at it. Exercise is good, and more socially acceptable. I love just walking outside. Nature is a balm for just about everything, I think (well except when there’s a minus ten-degree wind chill, but generally).

But one of my favorite and less conventional methods of stress reduction is to rearrange my furniture. I rearranged my entire living room last night. I find giving a room a free face lift is so much fun, and in my tiny house, a bit of a creative challenge. It also helps me to bear living with my 1990s yucko furniture for a bit longer.

I used to drive my ex crazy when I’d do this, but my current roommate is pretty cool with it. Dogs are like that.

I forgot to take a “before” picture, but this is the “after.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

What is your worth?

So here is one that I am struggling with. Self worth. 

No worries. Right now, I think I’m great.

But here’s the thing. I think I’m great because I am proud of the path that I’ve been on lately. Because I am making art and staying sober and being attentive to my family and friends and keeping my house moderately kinda clean. Because I judge myself constantly, (and others, by the way – even though this is a big no-no), and when I am not doing the things that make me proud, I feel pretty crappy about myself. And when I am following my true path and meeting my own expectations, I feel good. To me, that makes sense. It’s how I was raised. 

I still remember when I would come home with my report card as a kid. I was a decent student, but I have some willful and lazy tendencies toward doing things I don’t love, so my grades in math and science would inevitably dip by the third quarter, when I was just tired of showing up. And my dad would never get angry. He would just say, “if you did your best, and all you could get is a C,” then I am proud of you.” Yeah, I know. My dad is a very clever guy. Instead of feeling good about getting off without punishment for bringing home a “C,” I’d feel terrible because I knew that I hadn’t done my best. 

But I keep reading in all of the feel-goody, new-agey articles out there that we have worth simply because we are. Not because of what we do. That our value isn’t tied to our deeds. 

And while I may be able to forgive others their trespasses, and I have, many times (to a point), I have a very difficult time accepting my own worth when I am behaving in a way that goes against my own truth. 

I also have a difficult time with the concept of worth as intrinsic as it relates to people who commit heinous crimes, such as murder or molestation. They have worth because they are human, and by their very existence, just like me, they are not defined by what they do? I could list much lesser offenses here, and still I would feel like this concept is not quite right. I don’t get this one, people. I just don’t.

So as long as I am trying to do my best, I am great. A bit judgmental, but otherwise, great. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

One of those days

Did you ever just have one of those days? Well, for me, yesterday was one of those days.

After spending several long and tedious hours cataloging and reorganizing all of my original, digital artwork – a necessary task that I have put off for a very long time – I lost it. All. In one accidental slip of a finger. One accidental tap of a DE-fucking-LETE key. Not in the trash, where it could be retrieved. Just gone. Adios, muchachos.

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.

I was truly stunned when I realized what had happened. And how quickly and completely 300 files had just disappeared. I just sat there for a few seconds and mentally assessed the damage.

But I didn’t panic. In spite of how much work it was going to take to fix it; in spite of the fact that my day was going less than perfectly in a half dozen other ways prior to this disaster. You know you’re having a bad day when you tell yourself that at least you’re not a Syrian refugee, in order to feel better. But for real, that works every time. These are “first world problems,” as they say.

I did an inventory of the damage. I had lost about 300 files, and all of the organizing, numbering, and clean up work on them, but I was fairly sure that I had all of the original sketches and that most of the digital versions of my artwork were elsewhere on my pc. 

So I settled in on the sofa with Max, turned on the State of the Union address, turned OFF the State of the Union address, and watched a DVR’d episode of Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna always make me feel better. 

And today, I catalogued and organized them all over again. -- So stay tuned. All of this work is for my website, which has been "under construction" for two and a half years. I think this happened just to test me into proving how much I want it. 

Thursday, January 07, 2016

She says...

  Occasionally, I am going to feature some favorite quotes by women throughout history...