Friday, January 24, 2014

Under the Big Top of Facebook

Step right up! Come one…Come all to the media circus known as Facebook! I tend to have a love/hate relationship with social media. As with most things, there is the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel that the only good aspect of Facebook is that I have the ability to keep in touch with folks from all aspects of my life in one format. With family living all over the world, this is a wonderful thing. That being said, there are countless bad aspects of Facebook that come along with the positive. From the constant notifications, invites to play games and/or “like” pages and friend requests it becomes a full-time job just to manage your Facebook page. Then there is the presumption that your Facebook friends are real friends. Sorry, but if we only communicate on Facebook, you are an acquaintance that I know from my life. A real friend maintains a relationship outside of Facebook and when we need each other, we show up on each other’s doorstep. As far as the ugly side of Facebook, there are the people that use Facebook as a sounding board for arguments or as an emotional diary. You know the ones I mean. There is an angry post and then an argument ensues so by the 100th comment when everybody is posting their opinion on the situation, the person who originally posted it deletes the post. Mind you, like 200 people already saw it, but yes please delete the post. The audacity some people have in their posts or comments amazes me. They say things they would not dare say in public, but have no problem putting it on the internet. Let us not forget the “selfie” pics. Yes, I want to see your pics of you enjoying your life…but the pics of you in your car or in front of your bathroom mirror…not so much…ugh! There is always one person on your friend list that feels the need to “like” and comment on everything you post. Sigh! Lastly, there are those that are just voyeurs perusing the Facebook world. They send you a friend request and then they are never to be heard from at all. Facebook is truly a media circus. You can enjoy the show for the most part. However, there will always be clowns and freaks and if you follow elephants and monkeys, be careful where you step!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Art is more than a hobby to me

I heard an artist once say that her creations were how she processed what was happening in her life. I find this so incredibly true. Art has always been a part of my life and much more than a hobby. My art serves such a cathartic purpose in my life. It centers me. When I am stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, my art is like yoga for my brain. It challenges me, it allows me to express and it comforts me. I am not into repetitive art such as knitting or crocheting, although I can see where that type of repetitiveness can also be calming. For me it raises my anxiety levels to places I do not want them to be. I enjoy art with an edge or lack thereof. I enjoy art that allows a freedom of choice, not following the rules and seeing an end result that is better than you could have imagined. I love mixed media. The combination of different things combined to make a beautiful piece is so definitive of how I view my life. What would life be if I didn’t have the fantastic memories alongside the sort of icky ones. It is the combination of the perfect with the imperfect that makes it amazing. When I scrapbook, I don’t just journal about the good memories and the good photographs. I document all of it. I want to remember all of it. This is my story and I want my grandchildren to know who I am through my art. Poetry and creative writing are another form of art for me. It is something that literally pours out of me, figuratively speaking of course. I rarely edit and rewrite my writing because I feel that is not how life works. Life isn’t perfect. Moment to moment let it flow. And if it ends up on a canvas, a piece of paper, or a blog on the internet then so be it. Art colors every part of my existence and I cannot imagine my life without it!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hello January!

January, oh how I love January…well not for the below zero temperatures, but for what it represents to me which is “Organize Me month! The beginning of the year always means a fresh start. Surviving the rush of the holiday season, I like to start the year by going through the house and organizing what we keep and what will go. Call it pre-spring cleaning. I am sometimes amazed at the things in my house that I come across, like why do we have five garden shovels when we hate to garden in the first place? Other times I wonder what happened since the last time I saw that item since it seems like years! Sometimes it feels as though I am on an archeological dig, finding either treasure or yucky stuff…lol. Either way, it gives me the opportunity to keep moving forward. My husband is of the mindset of “we might need that one day” and I am more like “de-clutter and only keep what we need now”. Somewhere in the middle of both of our thought processes lies what remains in the house. I do feel less anxious when I know what I have, where it is located and if I need to get more. Also prepping ahead for the coming seasons, alleviates most of my stress and leaves me time to enjoy life. So as we prepare for tax season, the hopes of spring breezes replacing artic blasts and the thoughts of green landscapes instead of brown snow fill our minds. Hello January…glad you are here!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A gift to me, from me

As most of you know, I took some time during the holidays to be away from things that I was allowing to take too much of my time, my blog and Facebook. We all tend to get so caught up in the social media and documenting every step and feeling that we forget to just live our lives. I decided my gift to myself would be time, so I took that precious time and spent it with my husband and daughter but most importantly with myself. As every working mother knows all too well, we always seem to put ourselves at the bottom of the list. But the older I get, the more I realize that I am not good to those I love or the world if I don’t take time to take care of me. So, this is not a New Year’s resolution that will be forgotten about by the time February rolls around. I have decided that 2014 will be about taking care of me. Not to sound selfish, but more like making sure I am okay physically, emotionally and spiritually. In 2013, I lost the most important woman in my life-my dear sweet mother! In her final months, I soaked up every word she spoke and hold those words in my heart. One of the things she said was that health is the most important thing and she was concerned about all of us keeping healthy and losing weight. My top priority is not to lose weight in a fad diet or Master Cleanse…but to change my life choices that ultimately affect my health. In 2013, I lost a lot of people in my life, some by death and some by their choice and others because clearly I had to step away. I realized at the end of the year, that this had to happen so that I could continue on the path that God has in store for me. I am ready. Did I wait until after New Year’s Day to begin this new routine? No, I woke up on New Year’s Day ready to begin this brand new year with the mindset that this year is the year to improve my health and overall well being. I will make time to meditate, exercise, pray and live! I will pay attention to the details as I always have, but this time I will just smile and be thankful for this journey and the people and things that I meet along the way. I am reminded of a Christmas video we have of my mother at Christmastime opening a gift that had a tag on it that said “To: Ma From: Ma”! It made us laugh then, but I can see the relativity in it now. Sometimes, you are the person who knows yourself the best. I have been given a gift of 365 brand new days. I plan to use each one to its fullest and when I look back on 2014, I plan to smile and say to myself…”You did it girl…you took 2014 by the horns and you changed your life for the better!” What will you do with your gift?