Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What Will You Accomplish In 2015?

Ah, there's nothing like a brand new, pristine year to start us thinking about what's next, what we want to accomplish. 

Below is a simple graphic that I hope you'll print out and post somewhere you can see it on a regular basis once you fill in the blank. 
In case you're having some difficulty coming up with an idea, let me make some suggestions: 

Print out the list and cut out the sentiment that resonates most strongly with you then paste it to the first graphic. If your dream is not on there, write it out. 

I'd like to thank each of you who read the blog, leave comments, friend me on Facebook, send emails or contact me via Pinterest. You are the reason I do what I do and will continue to do. It wouldn't be much fun if I didn't have "imaginary friends" who liked to play with me!

I wish each of you the very best for 2015 and hope to celebrate all the great things we accomplish along the way. 

Stay safe and we'll see you next year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Wish For You...

This is still on the table, but it's just in time to wish you the very best of the season however you make celebrate.

It has been a fun year, made more so by each of you. While we may not have all met in person, you each are near and dear to me and I sometimes wonder where I'd be without you.

Lucky for me, I don't have to know the answer to that.

Wishing you and yours plenty of merry, sparkly and bright!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What To Do When The Creativity Won't Flow

Here's a post I've never thought to write before...

I've heard a number of people say they were "blocked" and even though they wanted to create, they just weren't able to.

You may have heard folks who write say they are block or you might have experienced being blocked yourself.

I haven't.

I've never been blocked. I've gone through periods where I didn't want to sketch, paint, draw or do anything else that required paper and paint, but I've never been blocked.

I think recognizing the lack of desire or resistance to creating in a journal is key.

Occasionally, I've allowed myself to get caught up in the "well, I should do this" or "I ought to do that," but to me that's not being blocked—that's guilt. And who better to guilt us than ourselves? For me, guilt almost NEVER works.

Perhaps my definition of being blocked is different from everyone else's.

Currently, I'm going through a period where I don't have the energy or a strong desire to sketch. Every time I pick up my journal, I feel resistant towards putting anything on the page. So, I lay it back down and walk away.

Part of my reluctance to sketch is that both of my parents have the flu and my mother actually wound up in the hospital for a few days. My father, brothers and I had to stay with her around the clock to make sure she didn't fall and she still managed to do that anyway. (She's banged and bruised but otherwise alright.)

Lots of folks sketch hospital equipment, interiors of rooms and their loved ones lying in a hospital bed in these circumstances…so far, I've not been able to bring myself to do that. That's simply not a memory I want in my sketchbook. (Hello, my name is Pollyanna.)

Rather than get upset about not wanting to sketch or not having the energy to sketch, I divert my creative energies, or what's left of them, into another form.

Instead of drawing, I cook or bak. I may do some sewing or rearrange my living room. All of these endeavors take some form of creativity, it's just that the process is not so obvious. Nor is the end result.

The other thing I know is that my need/desire/addiction to sketch, paint and create will flair again. Just like the sun will come up in the east. When it does, I'll pick up my journal like I never left off.

I believe having an unshakeable conviction that my creativity will never go away is the second important key to not being blocked.

I'm not sure, but I don't think it's possible to lose the creative streak in us…but I know a good many folks seem to think that way and I can't help but wonder if it's part of the reason for their block.

I'd also go so far as to say that it's perfectly okay to set down the journal and go off in pursuit of another creative activity. A steady diet of nothing but the same old thing gets pretty boring after a while.

Using a different approach or using a different medium can often be enough to kick the fire back up. Sometimes not.

I expect to be back to my regular journaling self in a few more days, a week at the most, but if I'm not, I'll continue to give myself permission to get over this slump.

And there's the third key—giving myself permission to feel what I feel and to move through it.

Of course, I have to be careful not to wallow too long or overindulge in the negative feelings that can accompany these bouts of not wanting to journal.

I hope these thoughts will help you navigate the minefield of guilt that often part of the busy holiday season. I also share these thoughts in the hopes that it may help someone else avoid the pain of feeling blocked when life gets a little too busy or downright overwhelming.

Be kind to yourself and be kind to others as we often have no idea what others are going through.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Flyin' By, Baby!

Much like today, our weather 22 years ago was mostly cloudy with a hint of rain with the sun playing hide and seek most of the day. Finally, on that day many long years ago, just before seven o'clock, a fine mist began to fall…and that's the day I married my best friend!

Sounds cheesy, right? You bet, but it just happens to also be the truth. He's still my best friend today!
A rare photo of a smile on his face!
You may know him as a mild-mannered, laid back guy named Chris, but don't be fooled! I thought it might be fun to show you some of his other "sides:"
He's got a great sense of adventure as long as it doesn't involve planes or long car rides…
He's almost always calm and is seldom surprised though he does occasionally pretend to be outraged…
Every once in a while he gets very reflective and when he comes back from his thoughts, he asks something profound like, "Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to talk to animals?"
A good judge of character
He's not often fooled by people and the many facades they wear. When he focuses his attention on you, it's like you're the only one in the world. He may also have a touch of pirate blood in him...
He's seldom in a really bad mood, though occasionally he gets grumpy…but then who doesn't? He's also wildly amused by farts, burps and other body function noises…but then what guy isn't?
Hello, Mr. Serious
He can also be stern, intense, and he has a great "you're about to disappoint me" stare. But mostly, I know him by his smile and great sense of zany humor and love of animals:
The man and a canine bud from work
May the next 22 years be as fun and full as the first ones, I love you, Chris!! Thanks for being a good sport about me taking your pictures at lunch a few weeks ago. :)

(We'll be back to our normal programming next week.)