Christmas 2021

I gave myself permission to break traditions. I don’t have to do everything. Or anything.

People kind of freak out about that. What? No tree? Am I okay? Is something wrong? Sad face, hugs and care emoticons.  Sheez. Can’t imagine being ME?

Okay, I will admit that slapping a wreath upon the door without decorating the interior of your home is ye equivalent to hiding depression behind a smile, but can we normalize being “alone” on holidays?

I’m tired of pretending life is a Hallmark movie fantasy, of silently letting others assume that I might have plans, that God forbid I wake up “alone” on Christmas morn just the same as I do on the 364 other days of the year.

Side note:  “alone” is in quotation marks because the word is defined differently by those who thrive in solitude than those who find being alone with their own self for any length of time to be unbearable misery.

Permission extends to all aspects of holiday prep. Do I need to bake cookies in all those varieties? No… one batch with grandchildren, sent home with the boys. That’s enough. I made Chex Mix with only my favorite ingredients, heavy on the peanuts.

My sweet treat for company this year will be a special pie baked in a rectangular dish, which I’ve yet to bake as I don’t know when my daughter plans to stop by, might not be until Boxing Day. She’s got her own traditions started… making memories with her children. They snuggle in for a family movie night on Christmas Eve. I suggested getting together on the 26th as their 25th is already a full day, better to enjoy a relaxed visit than a pop in and out, on to the next.

That’s part of it, letting go of old ways to make way for the new, the next generation takes the stage, does things their own way. It is a letting go of preconceived notions, of letting things just be, and being open to my own next. This is the space in-between.

Thanks for reading!

BTW, I decorated in Fishdom. It’s the only game I play, much to my grandson’s amazement. Grandma’s on level… what?

Screenshot of grandma’s game, lol.

Nooks & Crannies

Mildred Sugar Mills, a.k.a. Sugs

Be sure to leave plenty of nooks and crannies for the studio cats. This is Millie, Maybe Mabel’s sister. The girls are in training, exploring as we go. I’m setting up the horrid room as my studio space after months of decluttering, arranging odd bits of curb finds and old furniture. It all needs cleaned. I see more dust and dirt in photos than with my own eyes.

I regret painting everything shades of blue in 2018. I had to flip rooms, couldn’t sleep in the large bedroom after the Vet moved out. My mind was everywhere but neutral. Then the room slowly became a catch-all, clutter growing like an underbrush overtaking rements of semi-organized storage, making it harder to find things.

Familiar pattern? Yes. The same thing has happened in every place I’ve ever lived with a “spare” room. So much easier to hide a mess, quick clean… just haul or toss it in and shut the door. Occasionally wander into the forrest to gather supplies needed to make art elsewhere, so much time lost searching.

Patterns… if you want things to change, you got to make some changes.

It’s not easy. Joining a decluttering support group on Facebook has proven to be very beneficial. I also put myself back in therapy, set some goals to work on various aspects of my life, as everything is intertwined.

I’m going to come out of this stronger, better, and more sure of myself than ever. That’s a far cry from the “I’m old, I’m ye blind, it is what it is, so be it” mentality that has plaqued me for awhile. It was not really defeated, more of a quiet acceptance of being done, no time left for dreams, out of someday ideas… no desire or ambition. This new thing is like a stir between the two… old enough to be aware of my limitations, setting myself and my space up to enjoy my creativity without unnecessary frustrations.

Thanks for reading!

NOTE: This post launches “Beyond” as all posts before my blogging hiatus were written by me before what feels like a line drawn in the sands of time.

May Reality

If you can gleam one thing from a “self-help” book that alters your perspective enough to render a change in how you interact with your own self, you’re doing good.

I’m reading “Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis. In Chapter 2, The Lie: I’ll Start Tomorrow, she talks about blowing off stuff, not following through with your plans with yourself, breaking promises made to yourself, and how we wouldn’t put up with crap from other people.

It’s true.

If I had a friend who always blew me off, didn’t show up, failed to follow through or rarely keep their word, I would consider them to be unreliable, untrustworthy, irresponsible, etc.

At best, I would let it slide… tell myself that they had good intentions or that’s how they are, people come as is, so if you know how they are, you just know better than to count on them for anything. Once in awhile, they might surprise you by actually doing what they said they’d do.

At worse? Worst case scenario, I’d get tired of it, lose all respect for that person, and have nothing more to do with them.

Here’s what gets me… and it’s a thing many women do. I value being trustworthy and dependable FOR OTHER PEOPLE, not my own self. How many times have I blown off doing what I want to do for me just to be available to do stuff for other people? Postpone my own goals, activities, purchases, wants and desires, whatever because someone else needs something fill-in-the-blank more than I do? We are conditioned, as women, to be caretakers of OTHERS, not our own selves.

Sure, we know that we have to take care of ourselves in order to be able to take care of others, but somehow that gets boiled down to the bare necessity, to get enough rest or whatever. Anything more could be perceived as a self indulgence, which tends to open the can of guilt worms. Who wants to fall into the realm of selfishness?

Perhaps that, in itself, is a lie we tell ourselves.

It’s a harsh reality to realize that if I stepped outside myself and evaluated my friendship with my own self, I might not have anything to do with me. That has to change. I have to start valuing my friendship with myself just as much as I value my friendships with other people. I need to extend the same courtesy to myself that I show to others, give myself the same level of respect and follow through on the intentions I have with and for my own self, be it something I intend to do or whatever.

That change starts now.

Actually, it’s been brewing awhile. On April 24th, I laid everything on the line… told that man exactly how I feel, what I want, and what I need. His response? “Don’t let that woman get to you.” Totally ignored what I want, and absolutely no follow through on what I need to see happen.

That’s okay. I’m woke now.

A shift in perspective alters priorities. Change comes slow, in little ways. It’s pulling yourself off the back burner and lighting a little fire to heat things up. It’s getting out of bed in the morning and heading to the studio with your first cup of coffee. It’s opening the windows of your soul to let a little fresh air rejuvenate your spirit. It’s remembering who you are.

Thanks for reading!