When I’m trying to compose messages for the cards and art I’m envisioning for the Etsy site, I think of the people I know and what is so amazing about them. They’re smart, generous, helpful, funny, loving and supportive. I’m filling a notebook with all the things I can think of that I’d like to say to acknowledge how special they are. I’m amazed by the people I know, and how unaware they sometimes seem of the gift they are to the people around them.
Start making a list of the people you love, and the unique things they give without even thinking. Aren’t you the lucky one?
One of my favorite things I’ve read recently was called Do the Work! Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield. The thing he said that really jumped out at me was: “Don’t prepare. Begin. Remember, our enemy is not lack of preparation: it’s not the difficulty of the project or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account. The enemy is resistance. The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we need to do. Start before you’re ready.”
So, as I’m trying to stop reading the instruction books and blogs, cleaning the studio, and just generally procrastinating, I’m also noticing how my brain says, “There’s not enough time, that’s too much work, I should just get a real job, no one wants to read what I write, I have nothing to say, what I write sounds silly, I can’t make art…” I’m doing my best to ignore those thoughts, move past the resistance and keep posting. Next up, get out the supplies and MAKE SOMETHING!
I love this recent thought from Kate McKinnon’s blog: “I’m so deeply fulfilled by the rhythm of living. I love to wake up in the morning and see what happened while I slept. I like watering the plants and feeding the birds, and watching the sun and the stars move across the sky. It’s enough for me. I don’t even need anyone to talk to about it. I am surrounded by life on all sides.”
Today, this is my goal-to notice, admire, be grateful. The way the sun catches a drop of water on a flower petal, the smell of the grass while I’m mowing, the warmth of the summer day, and the luxury of having the time to see it all.
I love a wedding! Last weekend we attended a wedding at a local theater, a gorgeous building constructed in a time when attention to detail and fine workmanship was the order of the day. Such an interesting place for a wedding-and I had no camera. Not even my cell phone. I still enjoyed every velvet curtain, gold swirl, and bit of polished wood.
No matter what the setting, my favorite thing about a wedding is always how much in love the couple seems to be. Every wedding I’ve ever been to has featured a couple with stars in their eyes, surrounded by lots of people who love and support them. Even though everyone knows there will be days where their love doesn’t feel quite as sparkly as this it does at this point, everyone hopes it will be more smooth than rough, and they’ll be able to remember how much in love they were on this day.
I just have to say that I realize how silly my worries about searching for meaning sound. When I was in the classroom, stressed out and working as hard as I could, scurrying around to try to stay on top of things, the thought of retirement seemed like an absolute dream. Days and days with nothing to do? Who wouldn’t be wild about that? And in the overall scheme of things, it seems like such a self indulgent thing to think about. I know that this kind of thinking and wondering is an absolute luxury, because it means that all my other basic needs have been met. I have a wonderful, healthy family, a nice house to live in, a car to drive, money for the things we need and lots of the things we want, great friends, and the list goes on. Because I have all those things, I have the time to ponder what it all means. So, I just wanted to make it clear that I very often say to myself, “Boy, how great is my life, that I have the time and energy to worry about this?”
Last night, sitting outside in the perfect weather, over a lovely glass of wine,
I asked my husband his thoughts on my search for meaning. I should have just asked him months ago, his response was so loving, supportive and encouraging. It was amazing, and helped me to feel so much better. Sometimes I try to soldier though on my own, forgetting that I’m surrounded by the best people on the planet. I’m so glad I asked.