Life is full of hurltal and pits and pendulums. Sometimes you can see all the bad things that happen you forget to look at the good much less stay focused on the things that you have to do. That is what I am going through now. I have always been a bit scattered. You know, having to take the time and look, I mean really look. Now that a health crisis has been thrown into the mix with my life partner it is really a living hell. Take this morning, I totally forgot to renew my website. My bread and butter. My business. I got so engulfed with my life of being there for him that I forgot to do that simple task. I forgot a clients file at the studio. (That is something I never do) It has been like carry an arm load of things and stumbling and spilling all but a few.
What to do
Obviously I can’t change the health crisis. No amount of preparing for those things will ever make the burden any less. It consumes your mind and weighs heavily on it. Now obviously you have to prepare. Now when I say health crisis, I mean a life or death crisis. What we did:
We have a Family Trust. In short if he were to die things go on uninterrupted. There is no probate the trust kicks in and dictates the course of action on everything. Ask your attorney he can guide you.
We have a folder on all the Family Trust documents, life insurance etc. In order and easily found so that its available.
We have our hospital directive in place. What happens if….. A living will. Etc.
We have a message system that alerts family members what is going on with medical procedures so that we don’t have to explain all the time what is going on.
My Benovelent Dictator has even started writing his memoirs. As an attorney believe me he has had some real adventures. It keeps him busy and engaged.
Why Am I Writing About This
Well its simple. Everyone will go through this. Death is something that people avoid. I know I have. The fear of loss is real. But that is it, the “fear”. Fear should not be guiding you through anything. It should be there to let you know when you are close to the edge but then you decide how to move. Fear is necessary but not in a leader position. The more things go unspoken about or unplanned for then the more fear will take over.
How Do I Incorporate This Darkenss Into Art
I draw life. I draw whimsy. I look into the light that I have collected as an artist and as a human, and I put it down on paper. I do it everyday. That is the reason that some things have fallen through the cracks. I am dipping into my reserve. But….. and here is a big but. The more I dip into the reserve of light I have stored up, the more that it creates light and love and hope. The more the universe blesses me and inspires me to move forward. The more I am able to smile and hold his hand and walk with him through this valley. And hopefully he will heal. If not I will be able to be strong in the end. For it is his time to be in the spot light. It is his stage. And he should be able to take his final bow with the strength of his family applauding him for his life.
I love you all, Thank you for reading, Thank you for allowing me in your mind and harts for a while.
Featured image is for sale and will be posted later. If interested in reserving it then just comment below. Thank you.
Don’t we all have times like this? Haven’t we all said this or heard someone say these very words, haven’t we all looked at someone and thought “glad it’s not me”? Well, what happens when it is? What happens when those dark times come to you or someone you love?
My Diagnosis and Journey
I had breast cancer, stage 3, a year ago. I opted for a double mastectomy with no reconstructive surgery. When I got home a couple of days after, I thought now I could either live my life going “why me” and being scared that I would succumb to cancer, or I could submit to the process and be as happy as I could be and live life. I thought of my kids and my friends, and how this choice would effect them. I’m not talking about being a martyr; I’m talking about being truly happy, embracing the things that make me happy, and/or changing my life to provide a larger avenue for the happy to flow to me. So, that’s it in a nut shell. But the other side of the coin was that at the same time I was going through this, my Benevolent Dictator (my best friend and husband) was also diagnosed with defuse B-cell lymphoma. We were diagnosed within a matter of weeks apart. So that was an adventure within its self, and it brings me to this road that I am going to now tell you about.
My Benevolent Dictator, just 2 months ago, went in for his scan and they said all clear, except for a bit of a swollen lymph node. Just 3 weeks ago, he went into our oncologist, he had a lump in the same spot as the previous cancer. We quickly moved up the appointment at M.D. Anderson 2 months. In for a biopsy we go and, 4 days later, it confirmed our concerns. It is now a Double Hit Defuse B-cell lymphoma. This happens in about 5% to 10% of patients with this disease. Their prognosis is poor. But with that said, there are some that recover it’s about a 50 – 50 chance. But isn’t that the same chance with any of these issues?
Living with Intention
This brings me back to yesterdays post: living with intention. Just taking things day by day, choosing what is my main objective today, what my focus is. Life doesn’t stop. It doesn’t slow down. If I keep my eye on his death, then I live in grief. He lives in grief. If I keep my eye on hope, then he lives in hope and things are hopeful. Don’t think for a moment that I am hardened or that I don’t care. I care; I am empathic. I feel and see things on people. It is a constant struggle, but it can be done. It can be accomplished. Perhaps not everyday, but the majority of the days.
So today my intention is to work, to paint, to sketch and prepare for my trip to Germany. You see, that is my happy place, that gives me strength to deal with these issues. My time is limited as well, but I don’t dwell there. I dwell in the time right now, and right now my husband is on a conference call and I am in my studio. We are alive and well. I can tell him I love him; I can show him my art; we can share a cup of tea; we can laugh or see a movie together. Those things I have just mentioned don’t need to have grief or sorrow mixed in. I can’t remember these wonderful moments with the erosion of sorrow or pain. I want to remember them and draw strength from them. Sorrow and pain drains.
A Season for Everything
When the time comes for sorrow and pain, and believe me it will, then I will embrace it and be in that moment, but I will not call it forward to me now. When the time comes for anger, then I will be angry. I have made note that when you allow seasons for emotions and feelings then they don’t take over your life. When you try to mask them and burry them, then they rot whatever you plant on top of them.
So Until Next Time
I am going to paint now, to be in that moment. I hope that I have given you some inspiration. I also wanted people to know that I am talking from a place that I must keep lit with light, and I am responsible for that light. No one else. So until next time, all my love.
Finding that one thing that you love is fulfilling, but what if you don’t know what that is?How can you find it with all the things that life throws at you? Between kids, food prep, errands, jobs, friends, family, health, how can you dig through all the chaos and find the things that make you happy? Believe me if I can, you can too.
I used to go through life with blinders on; you know what I am talking about. You get so intrenched in a rut that you can’t see anything but the despair, or the chaos of the day. Time gets away and soon years have past and life is just something I was getting through. Just like when I was waiting to “get through” my children’s potty training stage or “get through” the holidays.
How can time slow down and we just start enjoying life? How can we just get a break from all the upheaval? You just have to start a little at a time.
I guess it was pretty late in life when I did wake up. When I stopped playing by the rules of others. I took a long look in the mirror and at the world around me, and decided not to play that game anymore. I only have one life and I am the one living it, and I wanted to be happy doing it. I wanted to look back at my life and say that I did make myself happy. You see, I figured out that people change the rules of what is acceptable to them, and that if you aren’t liked then chances are that is just how that is going to be. So how to start doing what I want and not what others think I should be doing? It all starts with me in the morning. I started waking up with one question. What do I want to do today? The want turned into intention and intention turned into action. I didn’t want to let myself down so I was constantly moving forward each day.
Writing it down.
Writing or blogging or making a list, journaling, whatever your niche is, do it. Just do it. Start to let those ideas flow. Get that minutia out of your head and on to the paper. Start removing that which doesn’t serve you, that which clogs your brain. Do it each and every day. After a while, you will see patterns and trails. You will start to form something that will eventually take shape.
Celebrate the small things.
I celebrate the small things, things like a bath. I cater to the child in me; I serve her treats. I take time to listen to that inner-voice and make it stronger each day with meditation. I practice lucid dreaming before I even get out of the bed. I crave that time to hear my own thoughts and let them lead me to another adventure.
Don’t let fear be in the driver seat.
Don’t ever let fear be the dictator of you. Fear makes you do things you would NEVER, as a creative person, do. And yes, we are ALL creative. If you have ever decorated a house or bought a favorite shirt, you are creating. Fear steals your breath, your thoughts, and eventually your life. Worry is the mate of fear and regret follows. These are major obstacles. They should be in your writings, you should examine these like you would examine a rock when your panning for gold. That is what you’re doing, isn’t it? Looking for the value inside yourself. And if you expect to find that, you have to look INSIDE.
When you find your value…
When you find your value, then what you’re going to do is celebrate and bring it to the outside, to a place that you can see it daily, that you can enjoy. What is that you ask? Well, it can be objects or photos, a journal or paintings. It can be clothing placed on your body a certain way, make up applied or hair fixed. It’s anything.
Don’t belittle yourself.
One of the major things that I hear from others is the tearing down of one’s self. The constant “I’m sorry”; the “I have no formal education”, “people would laugh”, etc. [Insert excuse here]. Build yourself up instead. Look in the mirror and pay yourself a compliment a day, tell yourself that you love yourself, say something positive or grateful over your food, pour yourself an herbal tea and tell yourself that this is for a job well done. Thank your body for another day. Thank your memory for that joke or that remembered love.
I hope that you will think on yourself this week and that something may inspire you. Brew yourself some creative magic and share your light with the world. Until next time, stay awake and creative.
It’s been so busy this year! No excuse I know for not keeping in touch. Sometimes its a choice between Blogging or creating art. The life of an artist. What to do.
Let me break into my newest news. Earlier this year I asked the universe to open my life up. To let my mind be open to all possibilities. I didn’t know what I was asking for, or where it all would lead to, but the universe delivered. It delivered more then I ever expected. With that let me introduce to you Woolhouse’s power house Nicola. We have partnered up to deliver art and wool. Yep. Two of my favorite things in the WORLD. Okay focus, focus…
I have been in Germany for the last week helping my friend and partner open up her distribution warehouse. This will be the distribution center for West York Shire Spinners, King Cole and Wendy and Peter Pan wool. (Just click on the Woolhouse link to view some of the fantastic wools) This partnership not only provides wool to the world (world wide shipping) but also all the art, that those who love anything to do with the love of wool, yarn, felt, would need. My art work will be sold world wide. For example, calendars, journals, post cards, prints, you name it. So if you’re a died in the wool hard core customer or wool vendor then this one shop power house,is the place to stock up your store or your stash.
We are having a “give-a-way” to celebrate. We are giving away one of my origional images to one lucky winner along with a surprise box filled with postcards and other related prizes to the Wooolhouse Wool Distribution center located in Germany. For a peek at the prize image go to Woolhouse and click on like and comment to be entered. For an extra entry sign up for my news letter here and click on like at my Facebook page.
Look for more giveaways with wool and art. Also if you knit, crochet, or even quilt, and want something unique to that artisan field just keep in touch. Subscribe to my news letter and follow my blog.
Signed a VERY HAPPY ARTIST.
What Is Going On?
I have not blogged since I upgraded to my new website. That is the way it goes sometimes. I have to make choices as to what to put my energy towards. Doing that makes me rusty when it comes to blogging. Also I struggle with this, “how is what I do interesting”. I just can’t wrap my head around that people can and are genuinely interested in what my process is. How can me coming up here to my studio and painting and sketching every day be of interest to any one. I am open to sharing. I am open to hearing what you, as my audience, would be interested in. So do please feel free to interact and start a conversation. Ask me a question.
I want to be perfectly honest here and just let you guys know my ups and downs. My highs and lows. Not everything is sunshine and skittles in an artist world. There are wonderful things that do happen and then there are days when nothing happens. I think you have to be responsible in making your own sunshine when you can. That will carry you through those dark days when you can’t. Like the little “Ant and Grasshopper” in the “Mother West Wind” stories. For your downloadable free copy you can click on the link and enjoy it as well. I find that children stories can be fantastic for adults as well as children. It’s a simple way to just chill, enjoy fantastic art, and gain a little wisdom as well. Next time you’re in the book store take your coffee or tea over to the children’s section and just chill. Perhaps find that inner child and nourish them.
Lets jump right into the sunshine that I am currently working on right now. I don’t want to give too much away because I am working for a client that turned into a friend that turned into a partner. You know those types of people who when you meet them, anything is possible. They see the world as you do and inspire you. Well that is Nicola. It’s like we grew up together. Went on adventures together. So without giving too much away, we are bringing that world to others. In other words we are sharing our sunshine to inspire and create happiness in the world with this project. What to expect? There will be places to visit, recipes, trips to plan, places to create……. Oh and color!! That is just to name a few of the creative outlets that we will offer.
I want to invite you to join me here on my blog for news about this project and other projects. I will also keep you up on appearances and daily workings in my studio. You can also sign up for my news letter as well, and be told of pre-orders of projects and new book illustrations, greeting cards, signed originals, etc.
My first appearance will be in Bad Oeyhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany So sign up and keep in the look as to dates and times. Did I mention some signed prints? Yes! Did I mention a signed original? Yes, a drawing will be held.