Thursday, December 27, 2012

Week 42

"The angel watches over us gently as we sleep.  She guards our heart and blesses our soul for all eternity."

Monday morning (Christmas Eve) I learned that a friend of our family had been in a tragic car accident.  The entire family, including Grandpa were on the way back from dinner when a truck lost control, ran a red light and crashed into their family.  The father still lies in a hospital healing from the inside out.  They have no idea how long it will take for him to heal.  But I guarantee when he wakes, he'll never be the same.  Because their adorable middle child passed away that night.  It is a tragedy beyond words.  A mother should never have to bear this much sorrow.  My heart is beyond full for her right now.  They are going ahead and laying the sweet baby to rest on Friday since there is no way of knowing when the husband will wake.  This mother is an amazing woman...she is.  I imagine she is standing tall and remembering her sweet daughter's life with grace.  Being strong for the other 2 children.  Being strong for her husband.  I ask, if you are reading this to please....please lift her in your prayers.  Because no matter how strong we are at some point we break.  She needs all the love and support she can get right now and through the coming months.

So this week I've been in a bit of a fog.  Doesn't help that my body has decided to break down finally and get sick.  Oh I played it well Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.  But by Christmas Day around 8pm I was in bed.  And didn't wake until 10am the next day.  And began a sleep coma series the rest of that day.  My mind is full of thoughts though.  I've always said I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason.  That people come into our lives at just the right moment, time and place and with a purpose.  But maybe I am wrong.  Because I find it hard to believe that the truck lost its breaks right at the moment it did to hit their van that killed their sweet girl.  No way God allowed that to happen.  And then I remember that God gave us free will.  That man chose not to fix his breaks, he chose to drive knowing that they were weak, he chose to drive too fast...that it was a man, not God that chose the path that this family is now on.    I am very thankful that we were given the gift of free will.  I am.  But unfortunately not everyone makes good choices in life.  Heck, I make plenty of stupid choices that affect people in the end.  My free will has hurt people...not physically...but I have hurt spirits.  I am only human. 

I imagine that God is weeping right now.  I know we have.  So this week the canvas above is very symbolic....the baby bird on the cloud has wings.   Mommy and Daddy bird are on the branch,  because they will always be baby bird's parents...and she is now forever watching over them.  And sending puffy hearts their way. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week 41

Week 41.....Living.  That's a good state to be in, right? is super busy with the holidays here.  I hope to get plenty of studio time in during the week.  We'll see how that goes.  We are actually traveling more this year than usual.  But that's okay.  It's what the holidays are about.  And since we finally got everyone to agree to the when, where and how to go about the 4 Christmases I have definitely relaxed.  If you read my previous posts ya know how my heart really feels about this season.  Sigh. 

I guess the word living has been stuck in my brain after the tragedy that hit the small community in Connecticut.  As a teacher myself the what if's can't help but linger in my mind.   My over imaginative brain has worked out more than one scenario of where I would run with my children should this crisis ever arise in our school.  My mind is quite thankful for this short break to relax and refocus on truly living.  I ask my self this question all the time, "Are you living the life you intend?"  I guess it's my way of holding myself accountable.  Some days the answer is yes, some days no.  When a no creeps in I evaluate what and why and get myself back on track.  And start living again.  I find that when I am living an authentic life things seem to fall into place so nicely.  In fact, since letting the holiday crisis mode stuff has happened in every aspect of my life.  I suppose getting negative energy out allows the positive energy to flow.  Yep.  The ebbs and flows of life are not always easy to cope with, but when we cope with grace and dignity it often leads to a lovely river instead of a dinky stream.  So I'm planning to hop into the river and flow on into the new year.  Full of possibilities and full of joy.  Because I am indeed living.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 41...In Progress

Week 41 is starting off about like this:
Where are my awesome brown clogs resting themselves you ask?  At William's indoor baseball practice.  That's AstroTurf...on top of cold concrete.  Have you ever been to in an indoor baseball facility?  Well....let me just paint a picture for you.  It doesn't smell like a locker room.  Thank the good lawd for small favors like that.  But the noise.  Oh my holy cheesecracker folks!!!!  Every time the bat hits the ball (which is often) it's like teeth shattering loud.  So note to self...bring a sit-upon and head phones next time I stay.  Usually I drop off and Billy is able to get there in time for pick-up.  But not last night.  I thought it was silly to leave so instead I brought my salad and sketchbook.
I drew and drew and drew.  It was a flurry of ideas in the head jumping out onto the clean white pages.  Perhaps they wanted out to avoid the noise....whatever the case I've got some awesome new ideas to work through.  Including the type above.  I'm liking it.  So maybe this week I'll be painting words.  Hmmmm.....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Week 40

Ahhh. week 40.  12 weeks away from the end of my 40th year.  Whoa.  12 weeks away!!  Yes, the paintings will be ready.  That's a sigh of relief, but Vero always asks for other things to sell during solo shows.  Like pillows, frames, jewelry etc....I gotta get on that ball!  So this week I wanted to share the whole enchilada with you.  From start to finish.  Including the drama before the painting started.  Here goes.  (You might want to go pee first, this is a long post.  Or get a drink of choice.  Snack too while you are at it.)

Teaching is a blessing.  It truly is.  But on days when I teach all day, then teach 25 after school kids all under the age of 7 who do not like to shut up for one second long enough for me to give adequate instructions....well it makes for one stress ball of a Momma bear upon my arrival home.  Add a trip to the Publix in Tyrone that I've yet to figure out the lay out of.....well.  I was just spent.  So I did what I know to do.  Put on my running shoes.  Of course by the end of the run it was getting dark, so only a short 3 miles in, but better some than none no doubt!  After the run I quickly heated up the taco meat I'd prepared the night ahead (yes, I do stuff like that to make my life easier.  I'm smart that way.)  We ate a quick meal and Billy was off to bible study.  This was all by 6:15 BTW. 

In our den we have a giant green ball that no matter where we hide it, reappears in the den.  It's a yoga ball.  My children however like to use it as a gymnastics trick ball, a giant basketball, giant kick ball, giant dodge ball.  You see where this is going?  So Momma bear being up to her eyeballs by 6:15ish with school kid stress from the day does NOT need giant green ball stress.  Ironic no?  It's a freakin' YOGA ball.  Of course there is yelling on my part.  And kids yelling back, "Why are you yelling at us?"  And then Mailey gets hurt.  Of course.  So I get a glass of water and stomp to the basement studio.  Where the glitter mess is still lingering in the carpet because I used SPRAY glue to add glitter to my magical tree garden.  So the glitter is spray glued to the carpet (ok...I wasn't that stupid.  I did have a giant piece of paper down.  But Julie and Mailey joined my tree fun and made a giant mess which I do not want to discuss because it made me super mad.)  Urghhhh.....I get out the shop vac and get some of it up.  Mailey is still upstairs crying that her hand is broken.  It's not BTW.

So the world seemed to calm down upstairs.  I can hear everything in the basement that goes on upstairs.  Like coming through the ceiling gonna fall on my head and crush me hear.  So I settle in to paint week 40.  Because like running, it calms me down and makes me whole.  I already had the image in my head.  And the word.  Because this word has been on my mind this week alot:
Here's what I am wishing for these days:
1-  a calmer holiday season.....where instead of worrying about how everyone is reacting to what I am doing with who, I just enjoy the moment with who I am with.
2-  a wee more time to paint. because that makes me very happy.
3-  my anxiety to stay at bay for the next few weeks.  I had such a bad attack last week I thought my kids were going to have to learn to drive.
4-  unexpected joy
5-  my children find their joy for being with one another again.  I really miss that.  Like really.
6-  my husband will get home before 6:30 one night so we can have dinner as a family at the table
7-  my art students will just chillax a bit.  they are like monkeys in a cage right now.
8-  my decision to move booth spaces from one business to another will go smoothly and without gossip
9-  my heart will learn to just let go of some relationships
10-  lastly I wish for the correct door to be revealed in my creative path.  there are many in view right now.  just not sure which skeleton key to use.  it seems this past year I've opened one too many doors with the black holes.  I am really ready for a bubble gum pink painted room with crystal chandelier.  yep.
There's my dainty wishing star above.  I just love the way this painting turned out.  But it didn't start this way.  In fact, I painted over more in this painting than I ever do.  Not to sound braggy, but as a general rule I paint without hesitation and without thought.  It just flows.  But given the green ball issue, glitter situation, Publix shopping, short run, monkey teaching long day....I was a tad outta sorts.   
 It started as I envisioned.  Yeah!  Colors going down below:
 Ok...not liking the yellow as much as I thought.  Or gray.  Hmmmm....
 Holy cheesecracker....crap.  Looks like crap.  Oh, I should mention my sweet hubby wandered down to check on me at this point.  I guess the kids told them I lost my rocker and stomped off to the basement.  They always tattle tale on me.   Seriously those stars are awful!!  The bottom half is amazing.  The top half is ruining it.  urghhhhh.....Your eye just sits in the yellow.  Not good.
 So I start adding white.  White is my go-to when paintings start looking like crap.  White is a magical color.  Oh, and notice the shooting star is gone.  Too literal.  But this white just accentuates the yellow.  Like little targets in the right hand corner.  Not good.  Hmmm....
 Better...but too messy.  Oh, screw the stars.  More white paint on the palette.  Note to self.  Buy more white paint.
 Oh I like it.  But got to have a star.  Ooooo...Stabilo pencil star!
So that was it.  My night in the studio.  Which come to think of it I never get in the studio during the week.  I am pretty much a single Mom and taxi during the week.  I guess my little hissy fit worked.  Yeah, I didn't spend any quality time with the kids last night.  But sometimes you have to separate yourself from what's causing you stress in order to get back to your sane self.  I even got to take a Calgon bath last night and read!  And have a conversation with Billy.  Man.  Maybe wishes do come true?
Well.  Week 40 you are half-way over.  Tonight is our family TV night so I gotta go.  I hid the green ball real good BTW.  It's been a stress-free night come to think about it.  Plus I got a 5 mile run in before dark.  1.5 of it in sleet.  That was kinda cool I got to admit.  So the fire is ready.  My wine glass is full and the fresh guacamole is on the plate.  Life is good.  Tonight anyways.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week 39

This is a terribly blurry photo....I'll get another one up later in the week.  But I didn't want the week to go by without the post.  This one is called "It's Okay to be Alone"....I thought about painting these words onto the canvas, but then decided not to.  I've actually been writing some messages on the backs of canvases...this is one that I went that route on instead. 

On a very personal note....since this blog is all about my 40th year...this has not been an easy week.  And I've indeed left very alone.  It's hard to explain it since I seem to be a very happy, upbeat, glass half full person most of the time.  And I am, most of the time.  But everyone has a breaking point.  And this month of the year for many years is mine.  The holidays are beyond stressful for my heart and soul.  I take everything to heart.  And this time of year it feels like I am always wearing the "kick me" sign on my back. 

Growing up our holidays were always so full of joy and family.  My Dad is an only child so his mother always came to us.  My Mother's family was all in town except one sister who'd drive up the day after to all be with us.  We'd all get together for a giant LOUD meal.  I remember the day would last what seemed an eternity.  Loads of laughter, singing, joy, eating and of course lots of church.  Now I am 40 with my own family.  My parents are now divorced.  My brother-in-law is divorced.  I am the only daughter-in-law on my husband's side.  I am the oldest on my side.  I want to make everyone happy and allow for equal amount of time with our family.  But sometimes I feel I am compromising so much that my own happiness and time with my family gets lost in the shuffle of this monster of a holiday.  This week I was told the following:    "Well, you certainly are making an effort to all be with .....but not with me....."  "Well, no one seems to care about our Christmas together, so I am just not going to bother either.  Ya'll just come when you can."  "When can we get together before Christmas?"  "Why can't you just come here?"  etc...etc.....  Our Christmas will never ever be the same.  Ever.  We can't be just one happy family all together because these people can't be in the room with these and those can't be in the room with those. 

So I told Billy the other night to expect to see more wine bottles in the recycle bin than usual.  And that when I say, "I gotta take a run" know I need to do just that.  Clear my head.  Get it together.  And enjoy what precious few years I have left with Mailey and William at home.  I try not to vent in front of them, but inevitably they hear my stress.  And it upsets them.  This is not what Christmas is about.  It isn't.  It's really about a gift that was given to us that none of us even deserve.  And honestly the only thing Billy and I ever really want to do on Christmas is attend our own church, soak in the words of our kind preacher, let me sing my little heart out, take communion together as a family unit and leave the church by candlelight preparing our hearts for a new year.  That's all.  We won't be doing that this year BTW.  Long story.  Well, longer than the one I've already shared.  It's okay though.  In the end everyone will share more than one loud meal together.  There will be laughter, joy and church.  Most importantly, we'll all be together.  In bits and pieces mind you, and across two states.  But our time together is a gift I will never ever take for granted.  And I'd much rather be with all my crazy family than alone.