Late Start On The New Year

February_OpenIntermediate_SusanROBrien_ByMyWindowIWrite

2014 is here and without all the fanfare, resolutions and promises made in years past. I wonder why that is? Could it be that I’ve been disappointed so many times that I didn’t want to set myself up for failure? Possibly. Or maybe I’m not sure what my ‘resolution’ should be. Whatever the reason, it is January 18, almost 3 weeks into a new year’s journey, and I’m floundering.

I could start by looking at all the wonderful things I do have; a beautiful family, three wonderful grandchildren, a good job, great friends and a nice home. That would be enough for most people, but I’m getting itchy, I want more…but I don’t know what. Which is probably the reason no resolutions were scratched into one of the many notebooks I have scattered about the apartment.

I love photography…but my photos sit in my camera until I need one. I love to write essays…but my ideas have taken a hiatus. I love poetry…but can’t seem to get inspired…I love working with my hands; sewing & crafting….but I’ve not stuck with one idea…I would love to learn painting, sketching, watercolor…but have not signed up for a class. I fear my creative edge will soon be lost….yet I do nothing. And as the sun sets on each day of this finite life, I wonder how long it will be before I get my moxie back.

Quiet

Sunday morning and its raining. There’s something comforting about a soft, gentle rain tapping on the window. An occasional car goes past on the street…but other than that, quiet. It’s a morning like this when all I want is to be by myself, look deep for inspiration. If none comes, the time was not wasted. Something good always comes from self-imposed seclusion. It gives your imagination a chance to explore new avenues, generate unique ideas, toss around the impossible and find a way to make it happen. Embrace the quiet.

Holidays Fast Approaching

When I sat down to write this morning, I had no idea what the topic would be. The title you see is the first thing that came into my head. And it is the truth; the holidays will be here in no time flat. Every year I say I’m going to do all these wonderful things; really decorate the house, bake cakes and cookies, make ornaments for the tree, ride around and see the lights, go to church, sing carols (well, okay, no singing. My voice would make the angels cringe!). Anyway, you get the picture. We can’t do it all, at least I can’t, so I need to find something to concentrate on. I want to spend time with the grandkids for certain, maybe Kam and I can make some tree ornaments together. I saw a cool pin on Pinterest I’d like to try with him. Of course there will be cookie making, that’s a given…even though my kitchen is very small. What I don’t want to do is stress myself out so much that I don’t enjoy some down time. I love the holidays…and they pass so quickly. So, by the end of this weekend, have a plan in place. Schedule time over the next 2 months for what you have to do, for what you want to do and what you’d like to do…then do your best to stick to it. You’ll be less stressed and that holiday glow will last all season!

 

Fall, Furloughs and Furnaces

I love Fall. Actually I say I love Spring, Summer and Winter also…but fall comes with its own special reward. Trees are wrapped in red and gold, humidity levels are tolerable and Dunkin’ Donuts is selling pumpkin muffins. The little ones are imagining a bag full of Skittles, Gummi Bears and the occasional Granola Bar collected while visiting their neighbors in princess dresses, Iron Man costumes and vampire teeth. The Christmas Tree Shops are merchandised with plastic light up pumpkins and the local nursery is selling corn stalks to tie to your mailbox or lamp post. Yes, fall is a fun time of year when people begin pulling sweaters out of the attic and bringing coats to the cleaners. I love Fall…but I don’t love furloughs.

Furloughs are the epitome of people not willing to compromise, government taking over too large a role in our lives and good, honest people being pushed closer to the edge. I have a friend that works for the government…and she will struggle through this action. She is not the person making the decisions, just one of those that does the work and supports the people making the decisions. A meeting of the minds has to take place but I fear it will come at a huge cost to our freedom to make personal decisions and to our pocketbook. Where will it end? I’m hoping it ends well before I need to kick start the old furnace.

I’m a bit chilly this morning as I write this post before heading off to work. Some of my friends are shaking their heads at this, they never get cold. I’m putting on sweatshirts while they are in t-shirts. What is that saying; ‘cold hands, warm heart’? 🙂  I think it will soon be time to turn on the heat, pull the air conditioners out of the windows and go buy some sweaters. (I gave most of mine away over the summer because I’d had them for three years…now its time to pay the piper!) I will hold off on moving the thermostat from its off position as long as I can. Once its on, it never seems to go off. I wonder if I can make it until November?

 

A Little Bit Closer

Tonight I spent some time working on my web site. Although I’ve worked on sites before this is the first time I’ve built one solely for my own work. It is an enjoyable experience not only because I’m learning something new (always a good thing) but I think I will get further inspired by having all my creative work in one place. It’s a good feeling of accomplishment to be able to keep adding work to a site, knowing it was all ‘you’ that created it…and knowing that you can do more! In addition, because I want to link into my Fine Art America galleries, I’ll need to get on top of my photos, most of which are currently covered with dust in my computer’s hard drive. Yes, I think building this site is a good thing…wish me luck.

Take The Time

I think I’m like most of the creative-types I know who hold down a nine to fiver; when I get in the mood to write, or take photos or work on a project I’ve had simmering for months (even years) I am not fully immersing myself in it. Instead I go at it half-heartedly because I may have just remembered I forgot to pay the cable bill, or I ran out of milk this morning and now no cereal for breakfast or maybe, heaven forbid, I have an 8:30 meeting at work and have to get up at 5:00am or else I’ll be sitting in commuter hell at 8:20am making excuses to my boss! Time after time, the wonderful poem I was inspired to write this afternoon or the creative montage that I envisioned at 2:15am is gone, in a puff and a huff, faster than the wolf blew down little piggy’s stick house! For any of us wanting to explore our creative side, in a world where putting pita bread and hummus on the table takes a priority, the objective is to seclude ourselves, physically and mentally. Wherever it is in your house that you do your best work, you need to go there. Close the door; shut off the cell phone;, if you need a computer, don’t read your email and shut off your IM; period. Then set a timer for 1/2 hour, an hour, two hours, however much time you have determined you can spend on your creative project…and don’t stop until that alarm sounds. At that point and only then, you can pay the bills, go shopping and worry about the millions of cars you’ll be playing chicken with the next morning.

Journey of Seven Meeting

Had a great JOS meeting at Margie’s today. It is so much fun to hang out with Peggie, Minnie, Margie, Dianne, Donna C, Donna H and Debbie…always laughter and great accomplishments. I wish we could meet up more often. (Heavy sigh).