2018: Gird your loins & Into the Fray We Go!

1 01 2018

Weather: Start of the year greets us with arctic temps (teens + subzero windchills), blowing snow & cloudy skies. Normal winter in Michigan in other words. ūüôā¬†

So, in following up on the post I made yesterday, time to look forward. A friend had posted on Ye Olde Facebook about picking a word to focus on for the new year. I had a hard time picking just one, so I fudged a bit and picked two: Minimalism and Compassion. I mentioned yesterday that I also added Evolution. 

Minimalism is something I’ve been working towards slowly for the past couple of years. I’ve seen the movie (Minimalism) and read some good articles about reducing your material belongings. It is appealing to me at my age to own less. The oft quoted line from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, – “The things you own end up owning you…”- really started resonating.¬† Husbeast and I have been trying to chisel down our belongings to a more manageable level. After moving into our house in 2015, we came to a rather swift realization that, even though we’d gone from a one-story house to a two-story house, we had actually reduced our square footage and lost a couple rooms. This meant we had additional decor and furniture with nowhere to put them. So we started parting with things. This year we’re gonna focus on accelerating the process.

This drive for minimalism is not just restricted to things, but also outdated routines and thought processes. I have a bad habit of complicating things, more than necessary, and that can ripple out and gum up the works exponentially. It has been a problem I’ve dealt with for far too long. So this morning, as I was putting together our morning coffee, I mulled over what was the source of this complication. Came to a rather easy conclusion that I spent a lot of time last year reacting out of worry or panic to things, and this lead to scrambling towards a sloppy, and usually half-assed, resolutions. So the change necessary here was to take a breath, be more patient and – instead of sending out scattershot, barely thought out solutions- start with patient determination, and take the time to actually resolve the problem. I am going to learn to accept that some things may not get addressed with my perceived (I.E. not real) urgency, but they will be taken care of completely, and hopefully, with the right amount of accuracy.¬† My anxiety attack last year could be easily sourced in this constant stress of taking care of ALL THE THINGS, RIGHT NOW.

The Compassion part of my focus is an ongoing process for me. I am not particularly judgmental. I try very hard to look at a person’s motivations rather than just respond to their immediate statement or actions. This does not mean any sort of¬† condoning or excuse is made for bad behavior or awful utterances.

I see far too many people who equate compassion with weakness or “letting people off the hook”. Neither of which is remotely true. You can condemn someone’s action yet still be compassionate. The lack of compassion I see most often is the “That person isn’t trying hard enough” to escape poverty, or unemployment, or disability. It’s enough to make me want to shake people. Compassion doesn’t excuse, but it does try to seek a better solution. It doesn’t blame, but it tries to understand the situation to help carve out a better path or make better choices. Sometimes compassion just requires you to listen, and not advise or suggest. Sometimes it requires you to observe and not get involved. Most times, it motivates you to do what you can to lessen the suffering of others. The latter part is what I intend to focus on. Whether by supplying support by my presence or my money or my knowledge, I will continue to do what I can to help where I can. Mind you, this does not mean I rush in unrequested. It means to be aware of situations and offer help where I can, if needed, or asked for.

On the last point of focus- Evolution- this is more an ongoing process for me that started a few years ago. This is the first year in a while where I have a clear idea of the person I want to become. (Not a mirror of someone else, or an emulation of them, but a better version of me.) I have a visual in my head, along with a skill set I need to acquire, and a set of personal goals that are much clearer than they have been in a while.

Resolutions are literally a re-framing of your fixes for your perceived problems. Some are new attempts to address long time issues. Some are new issues that require brand new solutions. They’ve come to be laundry lists of things people think they need to address and often, they end up erasing most of the list early in the year as their commitment fails or a new crop of priorities crop up to re-order their list.

That why I think the focus idea works better for me than the usual laundry list of vague categorical resolutions. I have an image of how I’d like myself and the world to be, and now I have some perspective changes and action steps I can put into place that will start a momentum towards both those goals: Reducing my physical burdens, providing some self-care, becoming more aware of those around me and their struggles, and scraping off the old image of myself for the new version that will aid in achieving my goals.

There are other details at work, but I’m not sharing them just yet. Some goals are not jelled in my mind enough to declare them.¬† We shall see how the year unfolds.

There are so many possibilities unfurling right now. And I don’t want to miss them because I’m bogged down in old assumptions, regrets and distractions. Too much new music, new stories and new art to experience and create. Here’s to 2018! Here’s to snatching back the reins in my life and MAKING things happen.

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End of Year Recap- 2017 “OMG WHY IS EVERYTHING ON FIRE?” Edition

31 12 2017

Weather: Winter has come, full-throated and persistent, and it’s been snowing on and off for a bloody week now. Sun’s out today, but there will be more¬† soon. Temps in the low teens, windchills in the “OMG WHY DO I LIVE WHERE MY FACE HURTS”degrees.

So, it’s that time of year again, to poke my head back into the blogosphere and see if I can manage to sum up the experiences of the past 12 months.

This year is gonna be a difficult one to sum up. I have only blogged a handful of times, and because I tanked NaNoWriMo this year- the brain on the 2017 News Cycle is a burnt-out, noncreative brain- there hasn’t been much to relate.

After my last blog post about my stupid 50 year old body starting to sabotage me, I had an entirely new health related setback. In late July I experienced an anxiety attack so severe, I honestly thought I was having cardiac issues and ended up with 2 weeks of medical tests and doctor visits and ultimately a run to the emergency room for EKGs and monitoring. I lost something like 8 lbs in as many days from not being able to eat. Here’s the rub- I’ve always had mild panic attacks now and then, but this was like a category 5 storm instead of the mild tempests I’d experienced before. The upside, if you can call it that, was that I got so many tests run, that I know that many of my organs are in good shape. The downside was getting the medical bills.

All in all the experience was a wake up call to start managing my stress better and start doing a lot more self-care.

The only other thing that happened of significance this year was we moved our studio home from the Box Factory. Although it was primarily a financial decision, there was a time management component too. We were spending less time at the studio, partially due to increased day job commitments, but also there was an admittedly big bit of laziness on our part. We have not abandoned our art making, but we have let petty inconveniences get in the way. And that just points to our wavering commitments to creative work.

Financially we are ending the year in a much better place. I’ll talk more about that in my New Year post. (And I have a lot more positive things to talk about there, naturally)

Why was this year so…un-notable? Well, mostly because the world, and our country in specific, made some fairly awful choices and some very ugly and stupid things crept out of the woodwork in the process. Things that we should have taken a stronger moral stance on a while ago were emboldened by thinly veiled encouragement from leadership. (I only use that term¬† loosely, since we don’t have leaders, we only seem to have opportunists and thin skinned narcissists at the helm these days. There are good people trying to keep the ship of state off the rocks, but there have been a lot of near misses and the vessel is damaged.)

My hope for our nation is that the people, good people¬†who are in the majority, regardless of political leaning, will shake off the apathy that we’ve all been wearing for far too long and push back against this gang of sycophantic morons & get things back on track.¬† As a people, we have always shown that we will stand up for our communities and for those who are in need when crises arise, and will fight against those who would seek to denigrate, harm or otherwise diminish the basic decency that is the core of this country. I would love to see more people stand up with zero tolerance of bigotry, sexism, abuse and selfish greed,¬† to re-establish our support for our neighbors and for equality for all our citizens, to help those who are hungry and give a hand up for those who have stumbled. I’d love to see compassion and empathy return, and for blame and excuses to make a swift and fiery exit.¬† Instead of complaining about who’s fault this mess is, how about we just try and fix it? Get people in power who are willing to try? Stop worrying about who’s the perfect candidate and start supporting people who want to work for the greater good.¬† If you’re disillusioned by the national groups, maybe send your support to the local groups or directly to candidates you support.

I guess I’m weary of all the petty fighting and finger pointing. We can easily find out what people have voted for, and we can easily see what kind of legislation is getting passed. Make your decisions based on actions, not rumors or aspersions.

I guess the big question to answer at the end of this garbage fire of a year is what are you going to do about it? If you’re answer¬† is just to sit on the sidelines and bitch about the state of things, or write long think pieces on re-litigating past grievances? I’m probably just going to ignore you. Too many dead horses have taken a beating this year. Let’s figure out a solution or at least try to encourage people to fix things.¬† Easiest way to punish people who do wrong? Vote them out.¬† Oh and and stop wasting time and energy trying to convince people who have zero interest in wanting to see things as they are. Some people are so invested in their view of the world, they would rather go down with the ship rather than grab at a life preserver. You can’t save everyone.

On a bit more positive note, I have discovered new teachers this year. Some have re-lit my artistic fire, some have renewed my spiritual path, some have made me look at things with a new perspective and others have humbled me by showing me that I am making excuses instead of working. The list is too long to relate here, but suffice it to say, I have a lot of things that will be pared away next year and my focus is becoming much more acute. It’s less about making goals and more about creating space and carving time out to make room for things to happen.

Two words have come to the forefront for 2018: Minimalism and  Evolution. I will flesh that out in my next post. But you can probably tell there is an equal amount of cutting back and building out that will be happening.

Also, in the past few months especially, I’ve realized that this year has put me in the passenger seat and I’m going to be reclaiming the steering wheel with a certain amount of determination and force, if necessary. Letting myself get overwhelmed led to health issues and a certain amount of apathy.¬† I despise myself a bit for allowing that to happen. The husbeast and I have had several long talks at the dinner table about what things need to change for both of us. I’m lucky I have a life partner who is both honest and who listens, because sometimes you need to hear some harsh truths and speak some tough love to fix your path. We are both committed to each other’s contentment, but we also know that sometimes, we can take some things for granted and bad behavior can follow. The good news is that we always end these discussions on a positive note and 2018 is looking better for that.

So to wrap up this rambling bit of looking back, I just want to state that I am thankful for the people in my life, for their courage, their anger and their compassion. My circles of family and friends always seem to intersect and overlap, but their input is always insightful and their humor is always well timed.

So I think it’s time to pack 2017 in a box and shoot it into the sun, giving it the fiery demise it deserves.

Here’s hoping we can make a change in 2018, for the better. Let’s be better citizens, better neighbors, better HUMANS. I’m going to do my best on all three counts, and so should you.





The Aging Artist

29 05 2017

Weather.: Oh it’s been a rollercoaster. Cooler spring than expected, with more rain than anticipated. May is heading for the door and June looks to be mild.¬†

So. Glances at the date and winces.  

I’d make excuses or give reasons for my lack of blog activity, but the truth is I just haven’t had the energy or coherency to write lately. The political garbage fire kind of sucked me in and I have been spending way too much time refreshing my Twitter feed rather than looking out the window or thinking about creating. The righteous anger I felt at the start of this year has turned into a low burning seething fire in my belly. I’ve been productive in the studio, but my new work hours have somewhat curtailed the time I’ve spent there.

Wildly random update: The husbeast and I took a financial planning class which has actually helped us get back on track with our economic situation. ¬†Which was good because my little beat up Punk Mobile of a car decided that it was time to self destruct– Rack and pinion broke along with the steering column and struts. In other words: $$$$ of repairs. There was a period of deciding whether it was worth it to put the money into the car, but ultimately we realized that we can’t be a one car ¬†family. (We tried for a month and it was getting very unfeasible.) ¬†So, made an adult decision to hold off on a new car until we could pay mostly cash for it, and got the Punk Mobile fixed.

Also, made another adult decision to get our health back in order and went to see a nutritionist who gave us much more clear and practical ways to eat better and get in healthy shape.

Add in some relatives passing away and having bad things happen…it’s been a rather busy and distracted period of time.

Now. The title is something I’ve been wanting to discuss, but been mulling over how to write it up. ¬†I’m not old, not by any reasonable definition. 50 years old is solid middle aged. But sometimes “aging” is less to do with a number and more to do with the deterioration and decline of certain faculties and body functions.

I have, over the past few years, had an acceleration in vision deterioration, the onset of arthritis in several of my joints and of course, the weight problems I’m ¬†working on as we ¬†speak.

I wear increasingly strong bi-focals to see, and as of recent, I have to wear them all the time because I can’t see shit with them off. ¬†They used to be just for reading. Now I can’t function without them.

The arthritis is hard, mostly because it’s setting into my hands, predominately in my thumb joints. The thumbs are starting to float towards my palm, making it almost impossible for me to flatten my hand out on a level surface. My grip is getting weaker, though I’m doing what I can with exercises and braces to counter it.

The weight issue is fixable, but with age comes more effort necessary to achieve your goals.

It’s obvious how it affects my day to day, but the frustrating part is how it’s affecting my art.

Being a mosaic artist, a lot is depending on my ability to cut tile, stone and glass. I use clippers, glass cutters and even saws to get pieces to the shape I need for whatever the piece requires. With my thumb joints deteriorating, using the clippers for extended periods of time is getting difficult. And trying to hold the tiles as I clip them is increasingly difficult as my thumb-to-index finger grip is getting weaker and has less dexterity. I’ve compensated where I can by using tiles that are smaller and need less customizing, but it’s definitely starting to limit the work I can do.

The way I’ve come to terms with this is accepting that I may have to alter my technique and re-define what kinds of art I want to make. I’m not one that takes these kind of limitations well, but practicality will always win out over my fragile little feelings.

Yes, I’ve spoken to my doctor about this, but the answers are usually to offer exercises to stave off the deterioration a bit longer, but no, there’s no reversing it.

The vision problem will just be relegated to better glasses, hopefully not ending in a point where I just have to accept that I can’t do smaller detailed work anymore.

There is some guilt flagellation going on, because I know that some of this bodily degradation rests solely on my sedentary shoulders. Had I done a better job of staying healthier, I might have not been dealing with these issues ¬†for a few more years. But this is what it is. We adapt to our environment, our new relationships with our surroundings, because we have to. ¬†I will have to adapt to my new reality, where my body may not be working the way it did, but I will find a way to work with the new limitations. Self-inflected wounds aside, I need to stop beating myself up over past lapses and make sure they don’t continue in the future.

I’m 50, not dead. And if watching others have blooming careers in their 60s, 70s and older has taught me anything, you can have the life you want, but you may have to accept that there are different parameters to work within.

So no whining. No lamenting. Just accepting the circumstances, doing what I can to adapt and still work on slowing the deterioration, and making the best of my new reality.

An aging artist is still an artist. ¬†Limitations are merely things to work around. ¬†I won’t be defined or limited by things as simple as sore joints and bad eyesight. I still have a destination, I just need to adjust the path.

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Anger is an energy…

31 01 2017

Weather: Dear gods, it’s been all over the bloody place, ¬†maxing out at the 60s a couple weeks ago, and now we’re back to grey, dour skies and the occasional bit of snow. Makes for ¬†a constant state of mushy brain.

Sorry for the lengthy absence. The current world situation , and particularly here in the States, has been a bit of a trash fire. 

The constant barrage of discomfiting news and the anger that comes with it can really put the dampers on your creativity, or just thought in general.

I finally started making myself go back to the studio, just so I could start venting some of that energy into art. I’m finishing up a pretty piece at the moment. Have a few darker, angrier pieces on deck. ¬†It happens.

I find it hard to create in a happy little bubble when things are burning outside the walls. My emotions tend to bleed into whatever I’m working on, whether art or writing. I can sometimes look back at something I wrote a while ago and usually can pinpoint when there was a spike in emotion about things.

The title on this post should not be unfamiliar to my fellow PiL Fans. Johnny Lydon does turn a hell of a phrase.

And yes. I’ve been very angry lately. Angry at the lack of compassion and lack of simple comprehension that people are taking with each other and the consequences of their actions.

I’ve joked about punching Nazis. (I’m not really joking.) I’ve made valiant attempts to not reply scathingly to posts and comments by people who should know better. (And given myself chest pains and headaches as a result). I’ve agreed with those who are putting their money and action where their mouth is. (wishing I could do more myself). It’s a fucking frustrating place to be, stuck between just supporting things I feel to be right, and not being able to turn into Galadriel with the ring and just remove the source of my ire, for the betterment of mankind. Mostly because I feel that the ends, while ultimately satisfying, would not be justified by the means.

My path has turned back to my Trad Witch roots. Yes, you read that right. Sometimes, when you have visceral energy that builds to point of hurting yourself, you will find a productive means to re-direct it. Sometimes it helps just to aim it at something. Like screaming out at the open water, knowing it is not literally fixing things, but hoping, with a little tendril of black hearted wistfulness that it just might leave a mark on those that hurt you or others.

So instead of finding light and joy to bring to my work, I have Kali and the Morrigan and the Norn whispering in my ear, nudging things towards righteous anger and achieving balance through less gentle paths. Because balance will always be reached, eventually, and through painful means if it is resisted. The flow of things tends to the middle, not the ends.

Let’s be honest, things can only be pushed in one direction for so long, till even the most sycophantic followers are given pause and decide to dig their heels in. We have become, by large, a loud chorus for our own comforts and conveniences. But there are deeper, more primal things that we all share that will not be compromised. By anyone. And what is a mere inconvenience for one, is devastating to another. We have lost sight of that connection, of that imbalance. Selfishness and fear are awful bed-mates, and they will be the ruination of all things good. The internet, for all its foibles, has managed to connect us on a larger level. And that connection does not stop at borders or with cultural differences. We are, whether you like it or not, a global society. We do not exist in a vacuum and our actions, for good or bad, make ripples both small and large.

This is a very chaotic time. I’m trying my best to keep a firm grip on the idea that we will get through this, and better angels will prevail.

But I will admit that the deeper urge to lash out and shake people until their pettiness, cruelty and stupid myopic view of this beautiful world dissipates, is very strong. I don’t want to give into that urge, but history has proven that if you push people or belittle them with ignorance and spite¬†for long enough, they will push back.
With more power than you are aware they have. Bullies are always surprised when their victim takes them out at the knees.

I’m betting on the angels, but the devil has his merits too right now. Pray for the kinder outcome. The other option will leave more scars.

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Half Century Birthday Postopalooza!

12 01 2017

Weather: Oh dear gods, it’s been icy and rainy and cold and weird for DAYS now!

Yup, it’s my birthday today. Fifty years old. My fingers actually creaked as I typed that. (I kid! Honestly I don’t feel remotely that age, so I suppose that’s a good thing.)¬†

Fifty years. I was born in 1967. It seems like so long ago and yet, not so much. What really puts weight on the years is that I remember events that current college students only read about in text books. I get that weary head shake thing that my parents used to do when I argued with them from books versus things they experienced first hand.

I get it. I really do. Not that the events were more or less awful or fantastic than the events that happen today. I don’t suffer from nostalgia in either direction. ¬†But it’s the subtle difference of watching events unfold in front of you with all the context of being alive at the time, and reading think pieces by people who filter events through current lenses.

We tend to look backwards with a cursory eye, castigating earlier times with a sniffy condescension or raising them well above their deserved level of wonderful. Neither is right. But the babies born now will do the same to our current era, and the cycle continues.

The things that strike me now are less “old person shouts angrily at sky” and more “I’ve seen some shit, man. This is just the same shit with different set dressing.”

Maybe it’s just the shortening of our collective attention span or the voluminous stream¬†of unexamined information that vomits all over us everyday. ¬†I just see a lot of people being very focused on current events – VERY FOCUSED – until something else pushes it aside as the new important thing. I’m not immune, but I’m finding my tolerance for wading into a constant stream of anger and outrage does little to elevate my understanding of things, mostly because emotions can come at the expense of facts. Not always. Not every time. Just often enough that I’ve started just walking away.

Maybe it’s just the weariness that comes from years of trying to dig that old silver lining out of the big black fart cloud that people just keep adding to in lieu of helping you look for the shiny. It’s not blind optimism or false hope I’m trying to excavate, but a way to find a kernel of useful information that might help cut the cloud down to a manageable size. Sometimes there’re more options than just yelling at strangers or going along to get along. Most people think either of those options accomplish¬†more than they actually do. Awareness is their purported goal, but it’s hard to be aware when four¬†different people are yelling at you that their cause is the most important.

SO — this is turning into a rather sobering birthday post, huh?

Well, here’s something for happier thoughts. My goals for this year seem to keep circling back to a few specific things- firstly, I want to focus hard on getting back in shape. At least a shape other than round and squishy. ¬†If I’m gonna last another half century, which I fully intend to, I’m gonna need to get this flesh suit into better shape.
Another thing I’m going to focus hard on is increasing my creative output. Last year there was a dearth of projects on my part, and the truth is I was in a weird distracted head space that comes from applied laziness and worry. There were other mitigating circumstances, but they would be excuses, and I’m kinda done with excuses.
I’m going to pick my battles this year. So I’m hoping people will not be offended if I sit out various stages of culture wars or trying to maintain a constant state of anger at every little thing that drifts across my timeline. Wasted a lot of time and energy I didn’t have to spare on that. There are plenty of people to fight other battles, so I’m not going to jump in on every single one of them.

One thing though -and this is something I wish more people would consider- A lot of people who you assume are ignoring important situations that are happening in this country, are in fact doing a lot of the warfare offline. Sometimes the most effective progress can be made where there are no eyes on you. Making phone calls to people. Showing up to talk to people. Sharing good info is always helpful, yes, but a thousand people unexpectedly making a phone call to an office will do more good than a thousand people signing an online petition.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, and it’s been a very harsh lesson to learn, has been to pause before saying or posting things. Verify that what you are sharing is actually true. Verify that what you are saying is necessary and not just noise. If 40 people have shared something, are you actually informing anyone or just mushing down the message in a deluge by sharing it as well? Ultimately intent matters across the board. Schadenfreude feels satisfying but is a hollow victory most times. I have no love for internet mobs, even if their cause seems righteous.

I’m going to try and make my next 50 years into something of a sharp campaign of being better. I want things to be better for everyone. I realize there are some people who are intent on working against their own best interests, and sometimes that is not something I can fix. I’m not interested in fighting people to change their minds if they are dead set against even listening. I’d rather try and set a good example, persuade people with good ideas, rather than bludgeon them into my way of thinking. I’m trying to be a better listener, and less of a talker. I am trying to be supportive ally and not a loud usurper. I have causes that I would defend to the ground, but I also am trying to let those who are better equipped or informed take the lead when it comes to discussion.

If this sounds like I’m defaulting to a passive state, you don’t know me very well. I’ve always found that sometimes working when eyes are not on you, gets more done. I might not get to claim any glory, headlines or trophies, but I get shit done when it needs getting done. I’ve always been a better shadow counsel than Queen. So maybe I’m not the loudest person in defense, but do not doubt my resolution or sincere investment in a cause.

So. Fifty years old seems to have stripped the thin veneer of placid courtesy off my personality. I learned a lot by watching Carrie Fisher. I’m no blunt instrument, but neither am I a coddler or enabler for bad behavior. I celebrate the endeavors of those who at least try to make the best of a shitty situation, but have no tolerance for those who would seek to better themselves on the backs of those less fortunate. I’ve got no patience for bullies or the histrionics of the over zealous, regardless of party, preference or fealty.

I know the next four years are going to be interesting (in the Chinese Curse interpretation of the word) but that in no way excuses anyone’s bad behavior. Mine included.

SO. Just to sum up my usual ramblings, I’m getting older, I’m less inclined to play nice if others insist on kicking the beehive and I’m striving to be the best person I can be, considering the circumstances. Hopefully that will be enough motivation and steel to get me through the rest of my life.

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Kicking my own ass because it’s necessary.

4 01 2017

Weather: Gray, with hefty winds, which help the air temp drop into single digits. Had to pin my face on as the cold was insisting on tugging it off. High was somewhere in the mid- 20s though you’d be hard pressed to know it.

Work went quickly today. Home for lunch then I had a few errands to run- meds for the kittie and performing my monthly gas tank refill (it’s so nice to live close to where I work- 5 minutes away!)¬†

When I got home, the urge to just curl up and get under a blanket was mighty strong. But I tempered it.  Got online and did get sucked in for the duration. Damn it. Managed to pry myself loose and do some exercise. We have stairs to the second floor and a full staircase into the basement. I was doing a circular lap from the second floor into the basement and back up pausing to  do pushups between laps. The number of laps was pitiful but I did get my heart rate up to something resembling cardio. May do another round this evening. Trying to at least force myself into some semblance of accountability.

The title is not literal as I don’t have that kind of flexibility at the moment. However, I am a grown goddamn woman with a brain that can talk me out of doing anything I really don’t want to do. Even if the thing is going to benefit me. Stupid brain. So I sometimes take to berating myself like a drill instructor with an axe to grind. It works. I hate having my laziness pointed out. Granted it’s worse coming from others, but it still gets me moving, albeit with grumbling annoyance. The results will be the reward. I just need to start seeing some.

One thing that has become rather evident since I blew a brain gasket a couple of years ago: I seem to have lost some mental capabilities I used to pride myself on having. One is the ability to visualize things that I’m creating. I have to work very hard at this now. I can’t “see” things the way I used to. Husbeast gave me a couple of tricks to work around it, but it’s vexing that ¬†I can’t do it on spec anymore. Another thing is my facility with words has taken a bit of hit. I can write, no problem, but speaking? I draw a blank a lot of the time and I have to pause and dig for the appropriate word. Do I think this is all due to the brain injury? Maybe. But I know some of it comes from the same short term attention span that a lot of the internet generation suffers from- too much information, all the time. I’ve been combating it with books, forcing myself to focus on the words. This was one thing I discovered last year. Where for years I was able to rip through a hardcover in a weekend and retain fairly good details from the book, suddenly I’m finding I have to re-read a page two or three times to get it. And my retention isn’t what it should be.

The good news (that silver lining that ¬†I always insist on finding) is that a lot of this is reversible with training. And working at it. I have no doubt that with effort I’ll be able to get my brain agile again. Kind of like I hope my physical shape will get back to being more functional and a shape other than “sack of mushy potatoes”.

So today I¬†managed to move, to write and after dinner I’m doing some sketches for new mosaic pieces, so there’s my creative output for the day. Still going strong.

And because you have stuck with this meandering musing, here’s some cat pictures for your troubles….(Left is Lord Snooty of Booty, Right is Lady Fern the Derisive.)

 

And here’s your Gif of Wise Wisdom type Stuff for the day:

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Off to sketch and maybe tackle the Stairs of Jointly Torture.





Putting my toes in the water, hoping to swim a marathon.

3 01 2017

Weather: Misty to the point of worrying that we’re in a Stephen King Story.¬†Luckily, nothing seems to be swimming past the windows. ¬†Colder as well. Snow on the near horizon.¬†

So the title of today’s blog is a bit over-dramatic hint at how I’m viewing the commitments I’ve signed on for this year.

Sunday was the first of the year. Walked almost 4 miles, blogged, and did sundry creatives stuffs.

Monday, walked 3 miles, and did some resurrections on blogging platforms I hadn’t touched in about 7 years. (I’m kind of wandering away from Social Media platforms. Kinda got a little turned off by the warglblargle last year. Too much politics and too much watching my friends and their friends start bumping each other off their timelines due to politics. Ugly is an understatement.)

So today, which is the focus of this short post, I went to work this morning. Weather, as mentioned above, was not making it easy. The temps are starting to plummet again. And add in some dense fog and later, a bit of mist tipping over into rain, and you have all the makings of a blanket fort day. Alas, I was not going to have that luxury.

I came home, had lunch with the husbeast then headed off to the studio. Worked on some leftover holiday projects (photos below) for about 3 hours. Getting the drive to go to the studio every day again. Its funny how I can come up with the dumbest, easy-to-shoot down excuses not to go some days, but honestly? Once I’m there and clipping tile or hammering out smalti & marble, it takes a crowbar to get me back out.

This is why laziness is my worst fault. I give in to it way too easily. This is why motivation isn’t the problem. I’m plenty motivated. And I flog myself with guilt like a champion. It’s flagging commitment that sinks me all the time. I’ll go along doing real well for weeks,then decide, “I need to take a break.” That break suddenly stretches into 2 days, then a week and then I’m right back at square one. There are a million interesting distracting things that I can concoct to derail myself. Call it research. Call it “catching up on things”. Call it “writer’s block”. Etc etc etc. I am the queen of FOMO and I really need to ditch that tiara pronto.

Haven’t done my workout for the day, but I’m going to start after posting this. Got some push-ups and stair climbing on my agenda. Will at least log in 30 minutes of movement.

I’ve started keeping a bullet journal of sorts, in a spiral bound datebook. I’m using the month view to keep appointments in one glance. I’m using the Day views to log my workouts, errands, keep notes on what I’m working on, supplies I need, reminders to take care of small things. (My short term memory has been heinous lately. I blame it on my short attention span.) The notes pages in the back are so I can log my books read for the year and music I’m wanting to purchase. So far it’s helping immensely.

As promised- here’s some of the small projects I’m working on. I have a few bigger pieces that are in planning or just started. They’ll be getting more focus in the upcoming weeks.

Off to do my workout before it gets too late and I talk myself out of it.

See ¬†you all tomorrow! ūüėÄ