“I think I'm afraid to be happy because whenever I get too happy, something bad always happens.” - Charlie Brown
My validation... Nature requires balance, so for every good thing I get in life I have to accept something bad. Black and white, day and night, love and hate, etc. the proverbial two sided coin.
I was brought up to believe I had to work hard enough to kill myself to get to what or where I wanted to go. I still want to find out who coined that heart attack slogan, "No Pain, No Gain." So, upon reaching my goal, I found myself too sick and tired to care if I won or lost and often sorry I bothered to try at all. I, me, and myself set it up for the bad to arrive on the scene. Making me feel that Charlie hit it square on the head - is it really worth getting happy if you have to get sad again?
Logically, I know it does not have to be that way. I am still learning, to nibble life, not choke on it. Being vigilant to seek silence when I get over-stimulated. Knowing when to pause, when to say no to over extending myself, and not letting myself feel defeated no matter what the outcome. And if I do over extend myself; not beat myself up over it. Breathe, rest, and go again. Being aware and focusing on the moment. Feeling and doing good and not worrying about the outcome.
I am practicing not waiting for the other shoe to drop. I want to make absolutely sure I am far enough away, that if it does drop, it doesn't hit me.
Productivity Productivity Productivity... Hurry up, push it out, make more, and before “The Deadline”... Sounds like the title of a horror novel guaranteed to keep you up nights and that is exactly what it is.
The world is not spinning any faster than it did a century ago, scientifically it spinning microscopically slower. Really true! Check it out:
So before falling for any more high price courses on how to get organized, how to produce more in less time, how to lose 2 hours more sleep by getting up before the sun to get organized to do more each day, zzzzz.... Stop and just breath. It is time to look at the quality of life, not quantity of stuff in life.
So this is the second year I made myself a promise to walk a little slower and observe my surroundings. Notice the weather, how it feels when the wind blows, and the scents it dishes up. Take a nap without an alarm clock. Set time aside to do what I need to do to enjoy living, without feeling guilty.
When I say I have the piles, I am talking about clutter constipation. My house renovation (therefore my studio renovation, since they are in and on the same property) is at a standstill and finishing the trim work and building in the shelves is on hold. The place is more than livable, except for piles of boxes full of stuff waiting for a home stacked up in every room.
I keep emptying boxes looking for stuff that has a home (putting it up), don't need now, but will (goes back in a box), and get it out of here shit. Now that is two piles by itself, garbage (out the door) and salable (stacked in the closet that is finished). The good thing is that every time I go through the boxes, I get more honest with myself.
On the second and third round of un-boxing I find more garbage and salable. Garbage like broken bits and pieces I thought I could use in a mixed media project (never happened and honestly never going to happen). Salable items from the 2,000 passions I have pursued in my lifetime (which honetly will never do again or never did in the first place, just collected the resources). Last but not least, the stuff people have given me (they thought I could use it, would want it, needed it for some reason) and I have kept out of guilt.
Eleven moves in 18 years, starting with the peak of 5200 sq/ft dream home - down to 1620 sq/ft home + 288 sq/ft screened room/storage shed, has left a littered trail of discards. The end results of which I can honestly say, don't miss any of it. Just last night I saw the cutest little 580 sq/ft house in the woods...
Unless! You are reading this from the afterlife that is.
I remember my Grandmom at age 81, saying to me, “I don't feel any difference in the way I think or feel in my mind then when I was 18. That darn mirror is lying to me again.” She lived to be 94.
Her point that day was in response to my complaining about time passing me by and I seemed to be standing still or falling behind. Everything I saw in my life seemed like failure. Little did I know then that none of my failures were as I perceived them. They were training for the future, full of education that would make me successful down the road.
It took 49 years for me to stand up and take responsibility for myself because I had nothing else I could do; I was broken, broke, and homeless. I picked myself up and started moving forward and refused to look back.
I went back to college and graduated Cum Laude; BFA in Studio Art, at age 55. Started a new job, at age 63, as manager of a small restaurant/bookstore/B&B, and office manager of the small publishing company, all owned by a couple of over achievers like myself. I bought my first home at age 64, remodeling almost done, with studio space included. I come home and make whatever Art I feel like, and am taking marketing lessons on how to succeed as an artist, just for me.
Yes, there has been a lot of just plain shit that occurred during all this time, but also some incredible miracles. That is another much longer story.
If you want it, go get it. If you don't go get it, don't blame anyone but yourself. You may for unforeseen reasons such as health, family crisis, etc. have to amend how or when you build your dream. But let no one steal it.
I did not make up either of those words. Melissa Dinwiddie, of Creative Sandbox uses “pluralist”. Emilie Wapnick uses the term "multipotentialites". Either way, they mean about the same thing, that my brain is wired to be able to function equally well in more than one creative field and feels deprived when I can't free range my interests.
In the past, I spent a lot of time thinking I was a failure for not being able to stick to any one thing. I wasted so much time in indecision about what to focus on, that I did nothing for fear it would be wrong or my family would disapprove. I felt helpless, unable to make even the simplest decisions. Literally overnight, I suddenly was without a family and homeless. I had to take responsibility for me, I had to trust me and embrace all of me. I had to make my own decisions.
Painter, sculptor, woodworker, writer, website and graphic designer, arts and crafts teacher. I am an obsessive researcher, and love to share that knowledge, and I absolutely love to write research papers, for fun. Just to name a few of the things I have done over the years. My brain is forever running in circles and I am always seeking something new to become good at.
I refuse to believe I have to do only one thing for the rest of my life. I am aware of what I want and need and am not afraid to make decisions or change my mind. Most importantly, I do not need anyone's assurance or reassurance that I am strong enough to get what I want out of my life. I no longer apologize to anyone if I do not meet their expectations of me, nor do I need to apologize to myself if for a moment of time I fall short. I am just human.