WHAT I NEED – days 200-202 in a year of…

Days 200-202, February 14, 2017 @ 6:10 pm

I am such a clutter bug. My desk and dining table keep filling up with paper piles. What I need is a secretary to look after all my paper needs. It would help greatly to keep my head clear if someone would:

  • To answer the mail, file and/or delete, discard
  • Pay the bills and file them
  • Make my necessary appointments and take me there
  • Clear off my desk and diningroom table daily

You would think I have a business to run. I don’t. I don’t even have a job to go to. What I need is to give myself a shake and snap out of it. Having put down those 4 items for my secretary, it doesn’t look so much or difficult. So why don’t I just do them myself? Am I tripping myself up constantly, doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Probably.

I have to keep trying clearing those paper piles every day. It’s a tough one today especially when the weather is so warm. I feel guilty feeling like mush, no energy. I’m like that cake with the icing melting in the rain. I feel like hell.

MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain

img_9209But I still have control over my mind. With some effort I push my thinking to I can. The beauty of little projects is that it can propel me forward. The success of creating a bit of beauty in my study of palm trees and letting go gave me a burst of energy. It gave me enough oomph to gather all my art stuff off the dining table and move them and all my supplies downstairs. If they were all downstairs, I would be more apt to work there. I have a very nice space there. It’s just habit that I don’t. I’m doing something different, setting myself up for success instead of failure.

I am feeling better, having snapped out a bit. I paid a bill and sent some mail. I decided I will take another interest class for spring. I even printed out the application form. I showed up here. Yay!

TRYING – day 199 in a year of…

Day 199, February 11, 2017 @3:56 pm

I love trying, making efforts to have a better day, to be kinder and more compassionate, to talk less and listen more, to be more active and less sedentary. I love trying to be just a little better at everything than before. So easy to maintain status quo, dust my hands off and say good enough. I feel a bit of a hipocrate because that’s what I often say. But I am trying in this year of doing different.

There’s so many lessons in our everyday little things, little nuggets of wisdom. I see and hear them when I stop my chattering and fretting. I can hear the voice talking to me. Then I know what it is that I need to do – divine guidance. I take a moment to register it. It makes me feel good. It makes me smile.

img_0075-4That was the way it was this morning. It really is not easy to head out in the dark for a morning swim. The thought is nauseating but I also remember how good it feels after. So I head out. The fitness centre parking lot is pretty empty. The receptionist is just opening her desk. We give each other good mornings. I enter the empty locker room.

I was greeted by the life guard. The water was so still and blue, 3 ropes marking the empty lanes. I was elated as I waded into the warm water. A lane all to myself. No dodging another body. Nobody to grab my toes for going too slow. My solitary swim lasted 20 minutes but I had the lane to myself for 40 minutes. It was good enough. My back stroke is improving. Another Saturday morning swim. Will try again next week.

Swimming is fun. Life is good.



PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES – day 198 in a year of…

Day 198, February 9, 2017 @6:49 pm

End of the day. I am tired. It’s a full day. I am on track trying not to derail myself. Letting go of worries and anxieties. Trying not to pick up other people’s energies. Setting up boundaries. Being a little playful and experimenting with new mediums in my art. I call it a study of letting go. I make little postcards out of my head, letting go of real and correct. I started with palm trees. Today I added flowers.

When you are busy creating and playing, there is no room for bothersome thoughts and fears. At the end of it, you have something unique and beautiful. So pack up your troubles in an old kit bag and paint, paint, paint! It works for me. A postcard a day in a year of doing different.

WASTED DAYS, WASTED NIGHTS -DAY 195-197 in a year of…

Day 195 – 197, February 8, 2017 @2:15 pm

photo-on-2017-02-08-at-2-07-pmI’m sitting in glorious sunshine in the warmth of my sunroom. An almost perfect afternoon. I’m loathe to move, to think – to do anything. But I must. Time will fly and soon the sun will be gone. I will be left with a feeling of wasted days and nights. You know how that melody goes. You must know that feeling, too.

That sun behind me is so inviting. I must go and make another cup of tea, sip it and enjoy the sun a little more. This pile of paper can wait for another few minutes. I can tap out a few thoughts waiting for the kettle to boil. How is the new year for you? I’m working out a few nettles. January was tough. But I’m a little stronger, having more reserve for February.

It’s easy to fall back into my old ruts. It’s comfortable to traverse the same old streets even though they are full of potholes. They are comfortable to fall into, knowing their darkness and depth. I’ve climbed out for this month, taking note again not to fall in. I’m trying out new thoughts and new feelings. I’ve been quite deliberate. Maybe I should make written instead of just mental notes of thought changes.

img_9155I’m back. Had my hit of sunshine. The sun is gone. I’m still sipping my tea. Now I better get down to business, pay bills and clear a few papers. I feel daunted but when haven’t I? There are so many other things I rather do but I’m learning discipline. A few pieces a day and I might surprise myself.

DETAILS, DETAILS – Day 194 in a year of…

Day 194, February 5, 2017 @7:01 pm

Wish I could be more focused! I came here to write but have wasted time meandering off with Google, checking out the  art works of the Perehudoff girls. They are the daughters of my drawing teacher in my first year of university. We all do that, don’t we – getting lost in cyberspace with Google? The thing with that is we get to come back and refocus. That is the magic moment of recognition – an opportunity to make a change. That is what I learned this morning in meditation with Sharon Salzberg.

I’m back now. Let’s see if I can focus. I’m trying to pay more attention to details and finishing projects. I often abandon my efforts, saying it’s good enough. Today I went back to my sketch for my online art class, Paint Your Heart and Soul 2017 and worked those details. I corrected the not so correct nose, added some shading and high lights. I blended with some new tools. Finally I sprayed the sketch with a fixative. I think she is looking better, don’t you?

I’m pretty happy with my efforts and results. Very gratifying to hold a finished product and say, I did this! It applies not only to my art but other things as well –

  • getting the dishes done and put away
  • doing the laundry and putting it away
  • opening and dealing with (e)mail
  • putting things away when I’m done with them
  • writing and finishing a blog post, proofread for smooth reading
  • the list can go on and on…

I am sure this is not the end of my meandering. It will happen again and again. And I will come back and refocus again and again. It is what is call life.

NOTHING IS EASY – Day 189-193 in a year of…

Day 189 – 193, February 4 @1:42 pm

img_9114Nothing is easy – even drawing simple palm trees. I’m working with pastels and charcoal, trying to bring out the natural and free flowing stuff in me. It’s not working. Nothing comes ‘naturally’ – for me. I will have to practice and practice some more. Isn’t there a rule stating it takes 10,000 deliberate efforts to perfect something? I still have 9,999 tries.

I gave up art after my 2nd year of university because it didn’t come at all like I though it would. I didn’t get as far as throwing any paint on a canvas. I loved my drawing class and my teacher, Dorothy Knowles. I loved the feel of charcoal on paper, trying to capture the human form. We had live nude models, male and female. It was quite something for a small town girl like myself. Not having confidence in myself, that was the only art class I took the first year. It was wonderful. Dorothy invited us to her home for wine and cheese after the last class. We met her artist husband, William Perehudoff and their young daughter, Catherine. Many years later I took an introductory watercolour class from her. I had a great introduction, telling her that I met her when she was just a toddler.

I never realized and appreciated the gifted teachers I had. Bill Epp taught my summer session sculpture class. I never understood nor made great scuplture that summer. But Bill was memorable to me as a very kind and personable teacher. He invited us to his farm after the end of the class. It was socializing and eating. I don’t remember him showing us his work. Of course, it’s been quite a few years.

I dropped out after my second year of university. The years since then have been mostly talking about my dream of being an artist but no mark on canvas or paper. What I have accumulated over the years was art supplies for some day. That some day started last spring. It’s handy that I have material at hand when I finally saw the light. I am practicing and practicing. It isn’t easy but I’m doing it anyways – one day at a time.