the view from here

Monday morning.

The start of a new week – ready to go after a restful weekend!

This is what my Monday looks like…

Not pictured are the soon to arrive 2 year old, the home-school planning I forgot to do for this week, the hungry chickens calling to me, or the myriad of unfinished (and not yet started) projects all around me.

It feels like total chaos.

There was a time when I would have been paralyzed with anxiety over the whole situation.

I’m still not happy about it.

But, I have been working on approaching the whole mess without judgement.

This is the reality of what it is.

I am responsible for it, but the mess is not who I am.

I need to get it cleaned up and dealt with it.

I am not a failure or worthless or incompetent or…

Those labels still bounce around in my head, but I am working on quieting them.

And I am making progress.

There is a lot going on in life right now and I’ll never get it all done.

Life is not a list to be completed.

I’ll put a load of laundry in.

I’ll pick up the trash that my Basset Hound dragged out again. I’ll also pause and rub her belly because she is who she is and going through trash is what she does. If the trash had been taken out, she wouldn’t have waited until I went to sleep to climb up on top of the counter to get to it. Mental note: take out the damn trash before I go to bed.

While my daughter puts up the clean dishes, I’ll schedule her school assignments.

Then I’ll load the dishwasher up again while being grateful that we have food and my husband is essential and employed.

Hopefully, before the kiddo gets here.

When he gets here, we’ll do our morning snuggles and breakfast…because the mess will wait.

We’ll go feed the bok-boks together and check out what’s growing in the new garden beds “we” built. We’ll come in and change his clothes because he is two and it rained recently.

We’ll throw his dirty clothes into the next wash load and he’ll “help” fold laundry.

I’ll do the best that I can and work through it…

while remembering that everyone is worthy of grace and love and kindness…myself included.

I don’t yet know what tomorrow will look like.

I am hopeful that the mess will be lessened somewhat, but I’m sure that there will still be something left to do.

good news

I wrote a post yesterday sharing “ten things about me”.

I have three things to share today: good news, a correction, and and a confirmation.

They are all wrapped up in one tiny bit of information…

My wonderful husband informed me last night that I will not be turning 60 on my birthday this week. I will be 59 and that proves that I am absolutely not good at math.

In any case, I am celebrating that I will be gaining another whole year of life due to my husband’s attention to detail (and practiced skill of keeping me on track).

Please do not feel the need to point out that I’ve not actually “gained” any time at all and that this is a wholly illogical point of view.

I’m at peace with my delusion.

Life is good.

Blessings on your Sunday!

10 things about me

Here are ten things you may or may not know about me…

  1. I am 59 years old and will be turning 60 later this month. I am a work in process and haven’t figured out much about how life works. I have gotten better about faking it though. I’m starting to worry that everybody is faking it and we should all be more honest about it.
  2. I have been married for 37 years (yesterday) to a very patient and understanding guy. Most days we are pretty happy. Some days, not so much. Overall, I consider getting married one of my best grown-up decisions. Our secret to a long marriage was deciding early on that that whoever left, took the kids. It’s kept us together so far.
  3. I have 4 kiddos ranging in age from 30 to 17 and one grandson who it 2 years old. He is going to become a big brother in a couple of months so I’ll soon be a “Nana” to two little boys.
  4. I am a mixed media artist who spent years becoming comfortable with saying “I am an artist” and am now trying to figure out what that means I am supposed to do. I’m working on just making stuff because it’s who I am and letting go of expectations.
  5. I raise earthworms. They live in a bin under my desk. Their favorite food is watermelon, but I’m just guessing because they are pretty quiet and don’t talk to me at all. They seem happy when I give them watermelon though. I don’t really know what an unhappy earthworm looks like so I’m really just making a lot of this up as I go.
  6. I studied Creative Writing and Fine Art at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. I have two Bachelor’s degrees and am 3 hours short of a third in history. I would have happily stayed in college forever. I was a natural student and can fake my way through almost any test or paper…except for math. I’m an idiot when it comes to math.
  7. I moved a lot when I was growing up. I’ve lived in Ohio, Alaska, Florida, Louisiana and every major city in Texas…also quite a few minor ones. I have no idea why we moved so much. My parents’ never chose to share that bit of wisdom with me. I’m sure I’ll forgive them some day. They had their own growing up to do and mistakes to make.
  8. As as result of moving so much as a kid, I’m not the most social creature on the planet. I can fake being an extrovert and have no trouble speaking in front of a group of people…familiar or strangers. One on one, I struggle and often have to “hibernate” to recover after a social event.
  9. I was working towards a calling as an ordained minister at one point in my life and have not been active in a church since that didn’t work out. I have some trouble with calling myself a “Christian” and prefer to consider myself a follower of Jesus. I’m quite spiritual, but don’t talk about it too much and am leery of organized religion.
  10. I have a lot of opinions…some of the quite strong, but overall consider myself to be pretty middle-of-the-road with slight deviations to the right and left depending on the topic. I try to think things through and examine both sides of an issue before making a decision and at this point in my life understand that very few things are clearly black and white…you have to wade through a lot of gray to figure out the truth. It is rare that I will ever embrace confrontation to make a point, but when it does happen it will involve a situation that affects me or my family personally.

I’m going to throw in one more – why I write this blog…

Honest answer; I’m not always sure.

I enjoy the process of stringing words together in an understandable and cohesive manner. It’s like a puzzle to find the right thoughts and words and assemble them to communicate with someone else. I enjoy it.

And sometimes, ideas write themselves in my head and I feel the need to type them out and share them. Every once in a while, someone responds back in a positive way and am glad that I took the time to share. More often, nobody seems to notice, but that’s okay. We don’t always get to know what we’ve accomplished or whether our life has deep meaning. Answering a spiritual calling or sharing what we are good at is the purpose of why we are here.

Affirmation is nice but never promised.

Nobody ever claimed we would get all the answers.

We find our own happiness within ourselves…and by sharing what we have with others.

Blessings on your day!

Big Can, Little Can

One of the things that happened during my time away from writing here was a step towards being a zero-waste home.

I’d always said that it wasn’t possible for us and then postponed working towards the goal because of that “perfection” thing again.  We’d recycle on and off, but never really committed to the ideal.

I guess you could say that my mantra for this year is:

Don’t let perfect get in the way of better, or good, or good enough.

Almost two months ago we got busy.  I researched recycling in our area and gathered information.  We don’t have curbside recycling, but do have a recycling center relatively close.  I typed up a detailed list of what can and can’t be recycled in our area. It’s attached to the top of our recycling can.

And speaking of our recycling can…

0214191608

The big can used to be our trash can and the little one our recycling.  They have now switched service.

Our big blue curbside trash can was always stuffed full on pick-up day with at least two more big black bags stacked alongside.

Since tackling our trash problem, we rarely have more than two small white trash bags of garbage each week.  And that’s for eight people living in the house (one in diapers).  I know, cloth diapers are a thing.  I’ve tried in the past and maybe we’ll try again.  Baby steps…

We’ve become more aware of what we are buying.  There have been times that we looked at a product and decided to find an alternative because there was too much packaging that needed to be dealt with.

Driving to the recycling center is kind of a pain, but we are working it into our schedule.  We store the recycling in big tubs (that we already had because of our decluttering efforts).  They stack in the hallways until they are full to cut down on trips.

Our compost pile is filling up and our chickens eat any food that isn’t suitable for the compost pile.  We have accomplished zero food waste.

We aren’t doing  it all perfectly, but we are doing better!

 

 

 

 

The Sky is Not Falling

Two days fraught with anxiety brought on by my own lack of mindfulness. No journal pages and no progress on the house.  Loss of sleep and busywork that has little to show for it.

Nobody to blame but myself, but mistakes happen and it’s okay when they do.  I just need to learn (or relearn) from it and move on in a more intentional way.

I need to remember that my anxiety is a living entity that can be controlled, but never eradicated.

And one of the symptoms of my anxiety is that I tend to take personal responsibility for everything.  Then the depression hits because I can’t do enough.

In a group situation where a problem is brought up, I think it must be me.

Someone says they need to talk to me about something, I wonder what I’ve done wrong.

Something needs to be fixed, I try to figure out what I should be doing.

Sound familiar to anyone else out there?

The specific situation that triggered my anxiety this time?

The border crisis, of course.

I have a lot of friends who are social activists. I have conservative friends and liberal friends.  I have friends who rant and rave, and friends who quietly go about making the world a better place (I have to say that I like them best).  I do believe that it takes all of us working together to get things done.  but it doesn’t seem like we are doing a very good job of that right now.

This post isn’t really about what’s happening in the world right now.  I’m aware of what’s going on in the world.

But the sky is not falling.

Bad stuff is happening.

And worse stuff than that.

That’s not new.

Good stuff is happening also.

That’s not news.  It doesn’t sell or raise ratings.

My anxiety prevents me from taking responsibility for the world.

I can live with that.

In fact, it’s the only way that I can live.

I’ll take my philanthropic advice from Mother Teresa…

numbers

So, I’ve blocked a lot of folks on facebook.  I’ll continue to use it to keep in touch with friends around the world, but not to be told that I don’t care about the poor children because I’m not hysterically posting hateful words (and yes, I was accused of not caring).

The news is off for now.

And I’m going to focus my attention on my actual neighbor that is in danger of losing her family’s home because life has been particularly challenging.

And I’m going to take care of myself and my family because I do care.

I care an awful lot.

 

 

Getting There

I’ve worked on the canvases.

They aren’t done yet, but I have gone and gotten a new phone, cooked part of Easter dinner, thought about cleaning house and bathed a dog.

I also played games with the family, took a nap, cleaned two offices and am writing this blog post.

So, this weekend was not a total loss.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about working on the canvases while doing other things I didn’t actually want to be doing.

But, to be honest, when I was doing the fun stuff, I didn’t think about them much at all.

They aren’t going in the in the declutter box as I’d previously threatened if I didn’t finish them this weekend.  I will get them done.

empty-boxBut, I also going to start filling up a box with stuff I don’t need anymore.  Not the above pictured box (that’s just a picture of one off of the internet).  I have an actual box that I’m going to fill up.  That just makes more sense to me…filling up a real box.

It appears that I’m really getting my life together. I have a plan and everything.

Life is good.

 

Good Night Moons

1112170214aCan’t sleep Saturday night and now it is Sunday morning.

Most of my world is sleeping and will awaken with the sun.

Pulling out a canvas…adding a bit of this and removing a bit of that.

Becoming frustrated and putting it to one side.

Pulling another one off of the top of the stack.

Determined to make something happen.

To actually finish something and not to walk away…giving in and giving up once again.

Then, I am staring at these two works in progress that were once two singular blank canvases…

Two canvases that, in turn, were painted and repainted, laid aside, placed back on the easel, a brush stroke here, a change there…

and now upon study and contemplation in these early morning hours have suddenly and quite obviously become one…

Destined without plan to go together.

A before and after perhaps?

The meaning is still unclear.

The symbolism still to evolve into something real or at least understood.

But it appears that tonight I am staring at two moons that are staring back at me…

waiting…

for the sun and light and enlightenment.

But further discernment will have wait.

Progress.

A small victory.

Light shining from an artwork worked on in the dark.

Perhaps that is enough to allow sleep.