Sunday, June 23, 2013

Confronting Happiness

I guess what's going on with me is about confronting happiness.  Even saying it that way — "confronting" — speaks to the battle going on inside.  In my experience, whenever something good was happening, something bad came along to take it away.  It was a lengthy, sad road of now-it's-here-now-it's-gone — for as long as I can remember.  It happened to my cousin Linda, it happened to my sister, Donna, and it happened to my sister-in-law, Robin.  So my instinct is not to let me be happy cause, soon after, something's gonna take it away. AWAY.

The thing is — shit's gonna happen.  No matter what I do or don't do — bad stuff will happen and I can't stop it or control it. So I have a choice.  I can choose to be happy — or not.

This is a foreign concept for me.

It seemed like the time to take stock.

I have a pretty-damn-good-27-year marriage and a husband who still loves and wants to be with me despite all the flaws and bones of contention.  

We have a son and a daughter who are compassionate, smart, funny, attractive, loving people that we like being around and being with.  

The roof over our heads houses some great contents — we have all that we NEED and loads more that we want.  

I am a really good cook (though NO baker) so the meals are wonderfully satisfying and express my love to those I feed.  

I left my job to embark on the next phase of my career as a consultant doing more of what I am terrific at and enjoy.  

With the time off I'm getting to clean out the attic (well, we're a third of the way) and slowly de-clutter all that is around me.  I'm finding letters from 30+ years ago which allow me to remember the good from the past and reconnect with those who knew me when.

My friend Maria says, I can choose to let my anxieties ruin this day or not.

My friend Maureen says, Finding happiness is about following the signs the universe sends you.

The universe is telling me loud and clear: 

You have done a lot.  You have always tried.  YOU can be HAPPY.

I'm gonna try real hard to listen.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

Parents, for the most, do the absolute best they can for their children. That is what I believe.  But, often one parent or the other (or God forbid, both) is unable to give what the child needs.  I'm not talking about food, clothing, or shelter.  I'm speaking of love, support, emotional caring.  The loss of this love from a father has far-reaching effects and can create an emotional deficit that is hard to overcome.

One can fill this void with a loving partner or husband and luckily I have the love of a husband who has given me so much to balance out that deficit and, fortunately for our children, IS a loving and giving father…not what my father was able to be to me.

On this day I say, to my husband and all you emotionally giving dads out there…
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY and THANK YOU for making the most important difference in your children's lives!
Here's a look back at my dad (and maybe yours too?) If you haven't read these already, I hope you will and you'll have some sense of why I started writing this blog...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Missing (and Finding) Motivation

Haven't had the focus lately to do what I "should" be doing.  Been having trouble finding the energy to do much of anything and worse — at least to me — I fell off the writing bandwagon.  This blog.  The one thing I'd been doing completely for myself, the commitment I made to myself and kept, the thing that gave me such comfort and catharsis — I felt frozen and unable to write.  It didn't make sense, it still doesn't make sense.  

                                                   I have the time.  
                                                   I have the freedom.  
                                                   I have the stories.  
                                                   Why has it become so difficult to write?

Part of me believes that I'm still hiding, wanting (and not wanting) to share with my readers what's buried inside — what's hard, what's sad, what's shameful.  My publishing friend Susan tells me that unless it's a misery-memoir, it just doesn't sell. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, to give you insight, here are the titles of some misery-memoirs:

Damaged      Hidden     The Saddest Girl in the World     Mummy Told Me Not To Tell

That isn't my story.  My story is ordinary and my story is extraordinary — just like so many others.

So while I try to find my missing motivation, the one thing I have been able to get out there to do, the activity that I never lack motivation for is thrift-store shopping. And what always speaks to me when I'm hunting for thrift-store treasures?   Art. I just have an urge, a calling to ferret out the great, hidden, discarded art that is waiting for a new home.

Art makes me happy and always fills me. Does it do that for you?

Last week while browsing I came across something that I didn't need and wasn't even tree art (which I collect) but it seemed old and finely done and I just couldn't leave it behind.  I picked it up, asked the price, put it down, and a millisecond later picked it back up.  It needed a home.  It was coming with me.

This is the image up close
The framed size is 13" x 18"

came home — art in hand — feeling very guilty.  Did I need this piece of art?  Did I have a personal attachment to it?  Was it fabulous?  Well, I certainly did not need yet another piece of art.  And while I'd been to the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, I didn't have an emotional connection to it in any way and to be truthful while it was haunting and beautifully done, it wasn't drop-dead fabulous.  I was feeling I shouldn't have gotten it. I should be networking — not buying art!  But there it was.

Enough — I told myself, no more art!  Not until you've gotten some work!

NO flash
But then, when I was barely looking, in fact I was on my way out of the store and wasn't even going to look at the artwork, I just started a quick flip through the piled-up,on its side, stack of discarded art, ignoring the really ugly stuff, by-passing the junk, pushing aside the commercial, mass-produced art that's sold in every big box store and just as I about to escape empty-handed, there it was.  A piece so surprising it screamed out to me with its red metal frame and its gorgeous shocking emerald green lily pads crowded with sleek black-necked Canadian geese with their graceful and stream-lined bodies darting to and fro beneath these gorgeous two-toned green lily pads. 

I could not (repeat) could not leave without this stunning piece.  Income or no income, guilty or not, frivolous, undisciplined — call it what you will — art motivates me.

Matches the wall rather nicely but I think I need to
move it into the kitchen.  It measures 21" x 31"!
OKAY, now all you readers out there... guess what I paid for each...

If anyone can read this signature, let me know...
is it Chinese? Japanese?