Saturday, February 28, 2009

Temporary Despair



Remembering our youth! It's amazing how we took our health for granted when we were younger. Life held challenges, but we didn't realize how lucky we were at the time. I am currently dealing with a hopefully minor health scare and the waiting period can be paralyzing. I know myself though. My very first instinct (after calling my family and having a brief meltdown) was to journal and play with color. I sent my son on an emergency trip to the local Office Max to buy me a brand new set of colored Flair pens (along with the requisite emergency chocolate stash). I knew that I needed to immerse myself in the world of creative thought if I was going to get through this frightening period of my life. We'll be okay, and we'll be creative, and hopefully this "thing" will quickly pass into yet another addition to my box of memories.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!



Today is my birthday. I'm constantly surprised to have reached such a ripe old age so quickly! It really is true that time moves more quickly as we get older. I can hardly believe that my children are in their twenties and that most of the older generation of my family have passed away. It doesn't seem possible that I am rapidly becoming the older generation!
I feel great, and it's true that I don't quite feel like a grown-up inside yet. Oh, I have the aches and pains of someone my age, but I still seem to be waiting for that moment of clarity when I can say, "hey, I'm an adult now!" I came close when I watched my mother die. That sort of thing feels pretty grown-up.
But, I still wear jeans, I still love ice-cream, I still love to get out paints and glue and make a total mess with my collage materials, I cry at chick flicks, swear more than I should, let my feelings get hurt far too easily, get excited about Star Trek, refuse to wear high heels, and sneak chocolate at every opportunity. None of those things seem very grown-up.
I collect antique photos for my collage work. The folks in those photos always look so serious and stern. Their expressions scream, "I'm an adult and the world sucks!" Maybe what's happened is that our generation has changed the face of maturity. Smiling for a photo is standard and wearing jeans is something we intend to do till the day we die. Free and easy, or a refusal to grow up? Either way, I think I plan to fight old age all the way. After all, it's my birthday and I'll be delusional if I want to!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Remembering anticipation



I remember feeling as though the future held all kinds of possibilities. My favorite song at the time was "Anticipation" by Carly Simon. It seemed to sum up my feelings towards the future and becoming an independent adult. As a young student, I actually thought I would change the world, make life better for children.
Once I came to terms with the fact that I wouldn't be pursuing art for a living, I knew that working with kids would be my path. I've spent 31 years doing just that.
Sometimes it feels as though I'm making a difference. Sometimes it feels as though I have earned the respect of my peers. Then there are times like today when I feel as though I'm spinning my wheels and nobody hears a word I'm saying.
Life doesn't seem to hold as many possibilities these days. Anticipation has transformed into trepidation. Possibilities have become limitations. I do know this though, people can make a difference, maybe just not me.
Okay, time for me to find something to laugh about today! Actually, it's pretty funny that I am taking myself so seriously today.....................

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I hope you laugh

It seems that everywhere you turn these days, people are suffering. The economy is in trouble, many are losing their jobs, homes are being foreclosed, unions are being busted. The outlook for our immediate future seems grim. So, the general mood is anxious, frightened, and depressed.
Economists tell us that we need to ride things out. Aside from taking care of our own finances and keeping our kids safe, I'm not sure there really is anything that the average person can do to affect an immediate improvement in things.
Sooo...what path to take? Spend each day drowning in despair, allow yourself to become depressed to the point of no return, or try to find something in each day to laugh about?
I know it's tough, I experience all of the feelings mentioned above on a daily basis. None of those emotions make me feel any better nor do they change the current state of affairs; at home or in the community. But when I laugh, when I find a commercial amusing or my husband's shenanigans comical, or when the dogs do something endearing, for that moment in time, I feel better. So, while we worry about our families, let's try to carve out a little giggle time each day. I promise you won't regret it. After all, time keeps marching on!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What we leave behind...

They say you can't take it with you. I sometimes think it would be better if you could. Counselors often recommend writing things down in a journal. They encourage clients to purge their negative thoughts by putting them down on paper. I'm not against journaling, in fact I do quite a bit of it myself. I am cognizant, however, of what I write. If I really need to get something negative off of my chest by writing it down, then I write it and burn it.

The act of writing it can be cleansing. The act of leaving it behind for others to find can be vengeful and vindictive. Our thoughts and feelings are only a snapshot in time. If we typically write things down when we're upset, angry, or hurt we may not be writing our true feelings about a situation or a person. Of course, nobody would know that except the author. Snapshots out of context can be hurtful if there is no opportunity for further clarification.

Sooo, if (God forbid) your soul is about to take flight, please think about what you might have written down over the years and think about what it might mean to those left behind. Take it from me, a survivor.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Changes


What a difference a week makes. My husband lost his job last week and I haven't been able to blog about it before now. We are trying to look at this as an opportunity to move in a new direction. We trying to look at this as an exciting new beginning. We are trying to remember that there are many others in a similar position and that we are in a better position than some because I have a job. We are trying to do all of the things that people tell us to do and think when they first hear about our new situation.


Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Michael lost his previous job eight years ago. This isn't an unfamiliar experience for us. Things are different this time. This time we know that we can make it. This time we know what true loss is because we've experienced the loss of family members since that time. This time we have two very mature very responsible and loyal sons to help us work our way through this new path we're taking. We love our boys. We are proud of our boys and we know that we are strong as a family unit. We will be fine.


The good news is, that when one dabbles in art based on found objects and ephemera, the process is pretty cheap! Art will go on regardless of our finances!

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