What Now?

No writing the last few days…just a lot of thinking and a bit of keeping my mouth shut and some reevaluating my life.

This flu bug just keeps hanging on.  No fever, not really sick, but not feeling well either.  Lots and lots of coughing that’s threatening to become bronchitis.  I’m sure some allergens are responsible also.  I’ve been trying to take it easy and just do the really important stuff, but mainly thinking….

Thinking about the other night when I went into my studio and realized that my work table was once again so cluttered that I couldn’t actually use it.

One of the things on it was an old visual journal from 7 or so years ago.  It’s part of a box that I packed away about a year ago because I couldn’t make a decision about what to do with them.  And then I brought the box back out because there was an empty shelf in my new studio. Sigh.

I started paging through it.  There wasn’t actually much in it as far as original art went. There were a lot of articles about creativity and quotes.  There were some collaged pages using images and words from magazines.

I decided it wasn’t great stuff.  I reread the creativity articles and decided that they weren’t all that important.  You can find millions of articles in that vein on the internet.  I started copying some of the better quotes into a new journal and then realized that these can also be accessed anywhere anytime I might suddenly need a quote.

Then I came across a page that featured the words, “I need a pause button”.  I wrote about that just the other day right here in this blog.

The next page dealt with the issue of clutter…

And the next, dealt with finding time for creativity in the midst of life.

I burst into tears.

This journal is over 7 years old.

I’m still stuck in the same spot.

Sure, I’ll grant that I’ve made some progress.  There have been steps forward and steps backwards.  That’s how life works.

But…I have not changed my life significantly.  I am essentially still working on the same issues.

Insanity, right?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

I took the journal and went to the center of my labyrinth that I am constructing in my yard (it’s technically just a couple of circular rock piles, but let’s not judge…work in progress) and set the damn thing on fire.

We could be generous and say it was a ceremonial gesture ritually symbolizing significant change and hope for the future.

Let me be brutally honest.  That’s not what happened.  I was just a pissed off and enormously frustrated woman destroying something that I had previously found significant.

In reality, that journal was just another one of the hundreds of things that are in the way of what I claim to want.

So, it turns out that this year’s motto…Re-thing, Re-imagine, and Reflect…are the correct words for change.

I haven’t come up with any grand solution or any new plan.

It’s just very clear that the old ways aren’t working well enough.  I don’t have time to piddle around with these changes.  I’m not going to live forever!

For now, I’m sticking with sorting through things.  Hopefully, more ruthlessly and with a clearer understanding of what needs to go.

This thinking can’t just apply to belongings.  In fact, “things” are the least of my worries. Old habits, relationships, emotional baggage, and choices all need to be brought under the microscope.

What is beneficial?

What brings joy?

What is worthy?

What brings me closer to the life I envision?

Ugh.

Reality checks can be brutal…

and painful…

and enormously helpful.

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Be Careful What You Wish For…

Yesterday in the midst of my Monday, we got a phone call.

My daughter answered (because it was her phone), got a weird expression on her face and said, “I don’t know.  Why don’t you ask my Mom.”  She then preceded to hand the phone to me.

I didn’t take it.  You know why?  Because when the conversation starts like that, I get concerned.  Her phone, her friend, and she wants me to handle it.  What could go wrong?  Remember, this is the Monday I wrote about yesterday where everything seemed to go awry.

Be careful what you wish for…

If you recall, I’ve shared on this blog about my desire to live a simpler, more intentional life.  I’m getting rid of stuff.  Living with less. We’re attempting to leave less of a “footprint” on the planet.  We’re recycling again.  We are transitioning to a more whole food diet that includes less chemicals, additives, processing and packaging.  Getting healthier, losing weight, exercising more.

The whole lifestyle reboot.  Sounds good, right?

Back to the phone call…

“We have a hog.  Do you want it?”

I reply, “Ummmmmm, a hog?”

There is silence.

“A friend of mine shot a wild hog on his property and doesn’t want the meat.  Do you want it?  It weighs about 60 lbs.”

I should note at this point that wild hogs are a big problem in these parts.  They are destructive, dangerous and have no natural predators.  They are overpopulating and just not nice creatures at all.

I ask tentatively, “Has he cleaned it?”

“Oh yea, he skinned it and gutted it.”

Now, I’ll add that my oldest daughter has been to culinary school and studies Food Service Mangement at College.  My husband majored and degreed in Animal Science.  I like pork.  Therefore, our family has the skills it needs to deal with this.

So now, we are off with our giant ice chest to go get a hog.  A whole, uncut, unprocessed hog.

I don’t know about simple, but you can’t get much more natural than that.  From land to table in I don’t even know how many steps…but I’m about to learn.

Addendum:  I’m not really into hunting myself.  I don’t have a problem with it for others as long as you aren’t doing it just for sport.  If you kill it, you better eat it or find someone who will.  We’re not vegetarians, but as a family we don’t eat much meat at all.  It’s too expensive and we have problems with the way animals are treated in today’s food cycle.  I guess this is our next step.