Tag Archives: happiness

Peeking in

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The moon lit up a path for my dog (Lilly) and I to walk tonight, our last walk before we retire from a challenging day, at best.

I stopped to peek in and look into my front windows.  What do I see?  What if I did not know me, what would I see?   Would I see the person I want to see?   Would I see a home that I would want to live in?  To welcome family and friends in?

Am I looking into the home of an honest person?  A kind person?  A caring person?   Or would I see an old, angered, manipulative soul?

Would I see the past scars of hardships?  Did the hardships shape or mold me in any way?  For the good?  Or the bad?   Would I see a person whose experiences brought her wisdom, does she share that with others?   Or would I see a woman whose outward and inward look feels beaten from life?    Or would I see the boldness and hardness or an embittered woman?    Would I see a happy, peaceful, gentle home filled with love, welcoming friends and family, or would I see a perfectly placed home, with name brands and picturesque shots from a magazine on Style?

Though the outside of this house is in need of scraping and love, is the inside, the core, the womb warm?  Does it hold true to the things and people I love?   Does it hold true to me?   To the people I have loved and lost?   Or am I living in a shrine to the departed?

Do I see artwork that is beautiful, and brings a smile to my face?  Or do I hear the poisoned tongue of self criticism, judgement, sadness?

Are there pets?  Are they happy?  Are they sad?   Are they fed?

Does it look like a home with a grateful soul?
Or want lists posted everywhere? Does it feel like the person who lives here has ‘enough’ or too much?

As I walked away, I smiled.     This home is far from perfect, and most of the belongings that fill it have been previously loved.   I see a warm glow that comes through the curtains, and a cat that’s probably purring while she lays sleeping on a chair cushion.  I see artwork that was painted with bright, beautiful, happy palettes, pictures of loved ones loved in their prime, smiling, happy, and just enough dog and cat hair on the floor to say, yup, those animals have a nice life, and so does the woman who lives here.   She has made a lovely home for herself, pleasing to the eye, and yet comfortable, welcoming.  Swags that were given to her by someone she loves, belongings that have little monetary value and much sentimental.    Colors that offer soothing feelings, and a studio that is occupied and utilized daily.

In short, I see my “true colors” shining through.   And that?  Makes me a happy woman tonight.    Happy and very grateful for who I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.

So now I’m closing the shades and shutting out the world, it’s time for my girls and I to cuddle and snuggle, and enjoy the plush comforter that will soon touching my skin, echoing my body.    I am a very fortunate woman, indeed.

 

 

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Negative space

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I’m getting some much needed alone time.     With music (therapy) in the background, windows open, I am painting today off an easel, a piece I had designed many years ago.  I’m not painting it the same way, nor with the same paint.   Today’s version is more realistic, and the palette much brighter than that of before.    I attribute that to high pigment paint AND my own growth as a woman, as an artist.

So I’m not using the old reference photos for anything but placement.  Basically trying to keep my life simple, because I recall the agony I had when first sitting down to design this piece.  It initially had a couple of watering cans in it, and it was too busy.   Back when I analyzed the shit out of everything, I would sometimes “fill” my paintings to the brim, instead of breathing, detaching, and appreciating or recognizing the need for negative space.  MUCH like the alone time I am having today.  I don’t mean to infer that I’m negative, not in the least today, but my alone time is crucial and vital to my peace of mind, creativity, and general health.  Therefore, I’m comparing negative space in a painting to alone time in my life because it’s needed and I’m usually pleased with the end result.

Such is true of food, as well.  I’ve been off sugar since April.   The first week was HELL.  I had headaches, quick trips to the bathroom, dizziness, and generally feeling like all I wanted to do was pick up a pop and drink it.    Anything to quiet the toxins that were being excreted from my body.    A week later I started feeling better, and stronger, and now some 14 weeks later I’m feeling SO much better, dropped a few pounds, and my goal is to remain happy and kind to myself.   The inner critic that resides in the darker parts of my mind is silenced at this moment.   When I catch it coming to forefront of my mind, I do what I was taught to do while learning to meditate.    Acknowledge it, and then go back to focus.   It helps.  And I’ve learned that it really is the smaller things that help me, not the large and drastic changes the critic sometimes pushes me to believe I need.

Music is a huge source of happiness for me.   Today, as my playlists echo throughout my studio, I acknowledge where the song takes me, the people that were in my life at that time, situations, circumstances.   And then when the song is done, I do it all over again with the next song.    I have several playlists that I’ve made, one all about my life, songs that come from the most significant times of my life.  And I’m here to tell you, “significant” wasn’t necessarily  big events like marriage, but reaching understanding, un-complicating my life from worry, finding peace, acceptance of things that LARGELY contributed to the bright side of, and improved quality of my life.

I’ve no answers for others, this in itself is a valuable piece of information.  I can’t live my life or make decisions for someone else, just myself.   And some days I have all I can do to do this for myself.    So the point I’m trying to make is, ridding myself of the clutter, both mentally and physically, in all aspects of my life have gifted me with this day of feeling happy.   I’m much looser with my painting, I’m focusing on the moment, and in the moment, and enjoying all this “negative space”.

Hope yours is going well, too!

 

“Signs”

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This past week I spent a few days in Maine, York to be exact.   Being around water is super wonderful for me, it helps ease the binds that chain me.   The ocean?  Makes me realize how small my problems are.  That is not to say that my problems aren’t important to me, they are, and I’m facing life with zest and experience, knowing a higher power has always had my back, and I highly doubt he’ll abandon me now.    But just as anytime something bad happens to you and you never really have to look real far for someone who has it not only worse than you, but much worse, and they handle it gracefully, the ocean reminds me that the reaches of self importance in extreme can be like a tital wave, gushing in here, there, everywhere until you are no longer focused on that which needs work.

I was thinking about what it’s like when you lose your identity.  For me, I was a art teacher.  I travel taught, and published in magazines, self published, even authoring a book many moons ago now.   So when that seized to exist, who am I?  What am I accomplishing?  Am I worthy of life?    So now, just these questions you probably are saying “Lighten the hell up, Donna!”.    This is where my brain goes.    I felt purpose when I taught.   I remember when I cut way back on travel teaching, a battle five years ago with depression and anxiety so high I don’t care to even think about it.    I couldn’t function.   I had all I could do to take care of myself, physically, mentally.    So teaching was cast aside and so were many “friends” who didn’t accept “the new me”.    Maybe it’s in my head, but maybe not.  When you are no longer supplying people with what they want, or need, does your existence go away?   Because if it does?   I’m here to tell you, these people are not your friends.   Friend’s stick with you through the challenges of life, and there are MANY challenges in life.  And those who don’t?   Doesn’t mean they weren’t your friend, or that they don’t care.  Perhaps they don’t.  But It’s okay.  It really is.   Because new, good, fun, meaningful things are new people are awaiting your arrival!

I’m about to embark on a “come back” if you will.   But not really a come back, but a new chapter in the life and times of Donna Scully.   Not really sure what will work for me, but I know I loved to teach, and if I went into a class in a bad mood, when I left it, I was singing and smiling.  (Insert Rocky Balboa theme song here).   KIDDING!  Have a lot of things going on, excited and happy about that.  Stay tuned!

I’ve been thinking about how painful and disappointing it can be when you are treated differently because for what ever reason, you are no longer offering what you once did.  Who is not to say that you aren’t better then you ever were?  Seriously?

I have a friend who was unfriended by many “friends” because of his political view.   A “star” to them at one time, now, forgotten.   It has to hurt.  It did when long time friends did that to me, but I’ve long since made peace with all that.    I really have.   I believe when doors close, windows open, and new adventures will reveal themselves.

I’m a creative soul, a good soul.  I am kind, honest, caring, and I love fiercely.   But age and experience has taught me that not everyone is worthy of time (and likewise, I’m sure).   So I’m rather excited about “new beginnings” that will define itself mid term.   I look for signs, pray for guidance, and am never disappointed with what comes to replace the old.    The problem I have is hanging onto what once was.    I white knuckle it until I’ve made the step of acceptance, and USUALLY when I can’t decide what is next for me, it is because it hasn’t yet been revealed.

I remember a day when I was on my way to a Michael’s, probably 30 miles from my home.  On my way there I was asking my higher power “Should I start designing in needlecraft again?”    Not five minutes later, upon entering Michael’s and heading back to the yarn department a woman I hadn’t known said my name.  “Donna Scully?”  Oh boy, how do they know me?   Anyway.  She introduced herself as a couple of my students mom.  Had recognized me from magazine pics, I guess.    (Miracle there).   Anyway, she said “Guess what I’m doing here?”  I look down at her basket which was full of this one beautiful colored yarn.   “Making a sweater?” I asked?   With that, she pulled out one of my Leisure Art booklets that has long since been retired, it was an instructional pamphlet with 5 of my sweater designs in it.  “Nice!” I said!    “Thanks for sharing!”

As I walked back to the department after our conversation I looked up, smiled and said “Thank you!”    The experience justified spending more money than I was planning on!  (I’m good at justifying when it comes to my creative efforts).

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago… alas, direction, I know what I’m doing, and the direction I’m supposed to head in.  But all eyes are not on the prize, but on what presents itself because things rarely ever turn out the way I think they are going to.   I have endless stories of this type of event happening with me.   Like one time thinking maybe I’d sell my house and move away.  To where?  Was in CT with a close friend, we were on a Craigslist adventure.     During our conversation I said I didn’t yet “feel it”.  I didn’t know where I should be, I just know I felt disheveled.   Just as I say that a sign (town sign) showed up on our right.  “Vernon” (which is also the Town in which I live in another state!”   We both laughed.  I guess I’m supposed to stay put!

Do you get these signs?  Are you listening and open to them?   I bet signs are all around you, are you open to seeing or hearing about them?

Things I’ve learned

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Have been painting, and listening to music.  “I’m holding on, I’m holding on, I’m holding on, I’m barely holding onto you”.   Lifehouse “Broken”.

Thinking about times of my life where I was broken, so much that it hurt to move.   And it is the pain from those times that keep me vigilant to never go there again.  But is that any way to live?   “Is there healing?  In your name, I feel healing”…

Mother Teresa “I have found a paradox in love, if you love until it hurts, then there is no more hurt, only more love”.   One of my favorite quotes.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned in this journey called life.

True Friends show up when you need them the most, and you don’t need to talk to them every day, you don’t need to hear from them to know, they are there, nothing has or will ever change.  It is also at the most needful times that we learn, sadly, who we can count on, and who is fair weathered.

I’ve also learned that love comes when you least expect it.  For if and when you search, that which you find is forced.  Nothing is more refreshing than falling in love when you aren’t looking, or thus doing anything to get the attention of another.  You’re just being yourself, and in my case, and I hope yours, seeking to be a better person for each day we are alive.

Two halves never make a whole.  But two wholes can be together and still, independent of each other.  I think this is the healthiest place to be, to fall in love.

I’ve also learned that falling in love isn’t just about human relationships, but about life, and things we stumble upon that thrust our passion into full speed.  Passion is an awesome thing, and one that I am very very grateful for.   I have met people, quite long in the tooth, that have never experienced passion.    The past couple weeks I’ve fallen in love again with painting, with new techniques, new visions.   I’ve fallen back in love with my very old, needy, ditzy cat, who is quite vocal about her needs and wishes!

Being alone done not mean loneliness.   At least not for me.   I have been single over a decade now.  I’ve dated, and really have no preference if I do or I don’t.  You can say that’s sad, some friends have, but honestly, I love my home, I work on that, I have my art, music, my animals, and family and friends that I do not spend enough time with.   When I feel like I don’t want to be alone, I call up a friend who is kindred here.  We both like our solitude.

“Desire” by Ryan Adams is now playing. I found this song off an old “House Episode”, love it.   I’ve also learned in life that there are more ways than being in a relationship to get that physical human touch.  My animals, and in past, my nephews, my niece.   A new born baby, animal, I think that’s why the world is watching and anticipating the birth of April the giraffes bambino!     Who isn’t watching?

So, in this day, reflective of my past, my past loves, I am sitting here in peace, with happiness in my heart as I play and work in this newfound love for art.  Each brush stroke I anticipate, and it’s hitting right where it’s supposed to.  Even accidentally dropped a brush on my painting and the color looked delightful in a place I never would’ve expected or tried.

“You know me.
You don’t mind waiting.
You just can’t show me, but God I’m praying,
That you’ll find me, and that you’ll see me,
That you run and never tire.
Desire
Desire
Desire
Desire”

Wishing you love, passion, and always, peace
rodney2

“50 things about me!”

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1.)   I get teary eyed and goose bumps when I see a big old Red, White & Blue flag flying

2.)  One of the proudest days of my life was when I bought out my ex-husband, and owned my own home!

3.) I am the middle of five siblings

4.) I have known love

5.) I hope to be half the person my dog thinks I am!

6.) My mentor is an 87 year old retired art teacher who I just adore.

7.) I have been in a room with someone I loved when they were told they had only a short time to live

8.) I have EXCELLENT taste in friends.

9.) I find great joy in making things…. Art for one

10.) I have had more surgeries than I can to share!

11.) My home is like my womb, and I hope it’s comfy and inviting to all my guests

12.) I do not like to cook

13.) I rarely lose anything

14.) I am not a morning person, have never been

15.) I was unable to have children, so I guess I married them

16.) I believe in God, and I’ve been blessed to see his work in my life

17.) I believe if you give to another it comes back to you, tenfold

18.) I do not feel my age mentally, but physically I do

19.) My most creative time has been 10pm – 2am

20.)  I despise phones, but I love what my Iphone offers me

21.) I have smoked one cigarette in my life (at age 15), and I had a headache for 2 days

22.) I love Bailey’s Irish Creme

23.) I believe when a door is closed, a window is opened, or visa versa

24.) Music is vital to my happiness

25.) I have had the following cars:  1976 Subaru (Turquoise), 1980 Subaru Coupe (New), Renault p.o.s., 1988 Honda Prelude (new),  Pontiac Fiero, 2003 Subaru Wagon, 86 Jetta, 91 Jetta, 2003 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Jeep Liberty, and I now drive a 2002 VW Passat with 270K!

26.) I am my own worst critic

27.)  I believe food tastes better, and possessions are more appreciated when earned or grown yourself

28.) Sometimes I think about growing old, and I wonder if I will

29.) I am very grateful for my parents and their love for me

30.) The best advice given to me (or that I heard) was “Step back, look at the situation before responding, hence reacting

31.) I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that life is like a 100 piece puzzle that we will only get 60-70 pieces to connect

32.) I know mental illness intimately

33.) I love being near or close to bodies of water, I find it tranquilizing

34.) I hate snakes

35.) Family comes first, always

36.) I know what lost love feels like

37.) I am a cancer survivor

38.) I have laughed so hard I’ve wet my pants

39.) The older I get, the smarter my parents are!

40.) I believe we are responsible for our own happiness

41.)  I don’t like the state of the World.  It saddens me

42.) I have been physically abused before

43.) If I had to do it over again, I would have become a graphic artist

44.) Nature grounds me

45.) I like who I am, I am honest, kind, caring, and I love to laugh

46.) I have lost two sisters to ovarian cancer

47.) I fear more loss

48.) I love animals

49.) Fall is my favorite time of year

50.) I am an extrovert who heals and recoops like an introvert

Whose next to share their list???????????  I dare you!

For the times, they are a changin…..-Dylan

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Last week my 12 (she keeps reminding me… soon to be 13) spent the week with me.   She starts school next week.  It is the longest time we’ve ever spent together, and THE BEST TIME I’ve ever had with her.   I feel so grateful for the week.     She is a very special girl.  Very smart, very talented (she loves to paint) and the music videos she creates has me in awe.  Creativity doesn’t lack in this soul!

I dropped her off at her dad’s Friday, and as I drove home Friday night, windows down, older music on the stereo, my thoughts were so filled with love, with desire to spend more time with her.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t have much time to myself.   That isn’t the way it is now, much to my own making.   I have spent, and do spend A LOT of time on my own.  I keep busy, I own a house which I’m renovating on my own (now that the major work has been done by contractors), and I have a business that I need to dive back into.

As the wind blew my hair around, and kissed my skin, I thought about the news of the week.  The flooding in Louisiana, the fires in California, and all the political bullshit that makes its way to my computer screen.   My mind drifted to the Zika virus, as I waited while a pregnant woman walked across the road to a restaurant.  ENOUGH, I said.  ENOUGH!    I can’t take anymore news right now, I don’t want to see anymore election crap, I don’t want to worry about tomorrow, I just want to feel this beautiful place I’ve been over the past week.  A purpose beyond survival.

I feel change coming within me.  I have felt it for a while now.   I no longer want to spend all my time to myself.  I want to look into someone’s eyes and celebrate them, us.  I want to share my life with someone who appreciates and respects mine.

Thoughts drifted to relationships of past.   Each one had their own beauty, a couple when they ended!  🙂   I’ve been single for over a decade.  I’ve dated, but the guys I’ve dated were not even close to who I would spend my life with.  I think today, overweight, covered in painting clothes, I’m the best person I’ve ever been.  A very dear friend of mine, whom I trust with my soul said to me from Australia “Do you know how long I’ve been hearing you say, you aren’t ready?”   She wasn’t criticizing, she was sharing her feelings and it reminded me of the time another friend said to me twelve years ago “There will always be excuses to stay in a bad relationship”.    Both statements have moved me.

I’m not going to race out and join ANY online dating site.  I’m not ready.  But I’m BECOMING ready.     One thing I’ve always loved about twelve step programs is, you’re never asked to do anything without becoming willing, first.

I painted this weekend, and I finally finished a painting that I feared, I could not.   My hands are riddled with pain, but this weekend I had a break from that.  The brush didn’t exactly flow as I wanted it to, but what was different was the way I treated myself when this happened.   Easy does it.  Pick it up, try again.   I don’t know if any other artists struggle with fear of losing the ability to create.   This weekend my inhibitions took a hike, and my weekend was filled with love, memories of a great week spent with my niece, and a painting that assures me, I can still paint.  It feels nice to breathe, to not recirculate within myself negativity.

I’m taking a break from the news, while I don’t want to be ignorant of what is going on in the world, I need to breathe, to feel this happiness, this peace.   I will continue prayers for the world, and for so many friends and family members who need them.  But right now?  I’m going to stay where I am.    It’s a really nice place to be.

My busy time will soon be upon me.   This year I’m starting extra early for me.   I want to enjoy my life, not race through it going mach 80 with my hair on fire!  I am going to start an art blog, and probably, hopefully, start working on the book I have known I was supposed to write for three decades now.   Not sure what that means for this blog.   But that’s okay.  I don’t need to know!

Peace to you, and to world.

Like sand through the hourglass

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The past couple weeks I’ve had to take a hiatus from working on my house, given that I lifted my mantle off the gas fireplace and wrenched my back.   So I have found myself sorting, tossing, and thus, revisiting my life with notebooks of writing, poems, boxes of pics, and more.  Where the hell did the last 54 years of my life go?

Further depth came after the tragedies in Orlando.   I will not even go here.  I will say that I have been and am praying for all those affected by such monstrosities.   I am saddened beyond words, of what has and is transpiring in this country, in this world.   I pray for ALL of us.

But I will admit, there is something more going on with me.   I don’t fully understand it, nor am I questioning it, but I am at peace with so much, even in spite of all that is going bad in this world.   I FEEL something coming.   I have random thoughts of what it may be, but I’m not going to go here either.  What I want to share is, I’m accepting myself for who I am, where I’ve been, and finding peace with all that I wanted to be, do, but probably never will.

While looking at pictures from my past, I feel the moment, I recall the times, the feelings, the good, the bad, and the beautiful.   I am aligning with who I am.   And while I want to lose 75 lbs, and more, I am finding peace even with that.  What if I don’t?  Do I want to spend another minute of what’s left of my life worrying about or condemning myself for NOT  BEING PERFECT?

It’s interesting, the story of my life told in pictures.   I have known great love.  I have known great pain.  I have accomplished a lot on my own, without formal education, and I have met SOOO many wonderful people in my life.   Many friends have come and gone, and that’s okay, it is just the ebb and flow of life.  Today, tonight, as I write this blog, I am right with all that has transpired in my life.   I have found peace, and for that I AM TRULY THANKFUL.  If my life ends tomorrow, I am okay with it, because this place where I am is amazing.

I am grateful I was there with my sisters through the illnesses that stripped them of life.  I am grateful that I spent almost a decade of my life with a man who shortly thereafter, drank himself to death.  I am grateful for this “fat” that encompasses my body, because it helps me feel protected from an uncertain world.    Feeling safe anywhere today, is a big thing.   But most importantly to me, I am thankful that I am a good, honest, hard working person who finds pleasure in the simplest of things, in nature.   I don’t spend my time wishing I was in a relationship, or with anyone else, I am happy with my life.   I have learned the most through every tragedy and laughed immensely through much.

In many ways, where I am right now reminds me of surviving and completion of treatment for breast cancer.  It was freeing.   I had (and still have) no room in my life for luxury drama, or bull shit.   It’s actually a little frightening how vocal I can be now regarding this.   The tiny filter that I once had is almost entirely invisible now.   The older I get, the freer I feel about speaking my truth.

Long gone are the days when I worried about someone liking me, or what they thought of me.   I’m right with myself, with God.   I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and it feels good.

I hope that you are finding peace in your life.  I hope you are, too, realizing how precious life is.   How every second of every day is not promised to anyone, and in the blink of an eye your life, and those lives around you, can be altered drastically.  Anyone hearing of the massacre in Orlando, can you help but think this?

Sending you love, light, and as I mentioned earlier, prayers for the world we live in.

 

Not Yesterday’s tears

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It’s been a long time since I’ve written.   I’ve been holding things within, things that I don’t want tarnished by another person’s view, or comments.   I have had what some would call “wild” experiences, but they bring me tremendous comfort.   I am not ready to share them, and I may never be.    But I have so much gratitude for these signs, times.

I’ve had an eventful year so far, two days in San Juan, Puerto Rico, followed by a 7 day cruise with my best girlfriend.  It was amazing.   We visited St Croix, the place where someone very special to me took his last breath.   It was comforting to see such a beautiful place, I could easily visualize him there, and happy, and that is a gift, a true gift when someone dies too young.   It brought me peace.  We also visited St. Kitts (swam with dolphins), Barbados, Dominica (tubed down a river in a rain forest) and St. Maartan.

I returned home to my house in repair, and new windows.   I’ve been asked on numerous occasions if I hit the lottery, if I had a sugar daddy, or a new boyfriend who was footing the bills.  My answer is all the same.  No!    I have been blessed with good people in my life, good friends, family who look out for me.   For some reason, this year I scored, and big… I am again, very grateful.

The past few days have offered no restful sleep, and high pain levels.   I am tired, beyond tired.  I know I’m not alone here.    I’m reminded of a quote a friend told me many years ago “Fatigue makes cowards out of all of us”.   I wouldn’t quite describe myself as cowardly, but my body is clearly not cooperating with my desires or plans.  I don’t like it.  Today, after a couple of weeks with high pain levels, I want to raise the white flag and surrender.   I want to give up.    Today I called my dad, and during our conversation I unexpectedly starting to weep.

A couple of weeks ago I had a similar experience.  It was a sleepless night, I was scrolling through facebook and read a post that shared hundreds of ugly, vile comments on homosexuality.   At first I was in shock.   Then I got angry, and I wanted to respond, but I recalled a post by a friend who experienced something similar, and it helped me.  To my credit, I knew I was tired and could never hold a candle against people with such harsh views.  Instead, I cried.   The tears just flowed down my cheeks until the sheet I had tucked myself into needed to be replaced.    I am not gay.  My late sister called me “pathetically straight”.    I thought of her, and all my dear family and friends who are gay, and cried for them.  I cannot imagine being judged so harshly because of who I am.  I then cried for those I didn’t know who were being judged so harshly, so cruelly

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve also been witness to a friends “religious friends” judging her and her actions.    This instills so much anger in me.  Really?   When did God put you in charge of another person’s life?  Religious beliefs?  Spirituality?    I am not slamming ANY religion, but I am so dismayed by people who claim to be so holy, and yet they only portray to me and to many others, that this is NOT what I want in my life!  I have religious people in my life who treat me with respect, allow me the space for my own beliefs, and who are and will be there for me without judgement.  One cousin I am close to, who helps me more than he will ever know.  Who will, when asked, share his views and beliefs, and interpretation of the bible, but does not judge me or others.   Do I know which of these two examples is “right?”  No, but I sure the heck know which person I would like to hear more about his God from!  The paragraph is not about religion, but the lack of love, respect for others.   We are living in some pretty hard times, and frankly, I’ve run into some pretty cold people.

This afternoon I dug into my bureau that holds my most prized possessions.   Love letters, favorite toys of my aussie’s, pictures, emails, cards.   One of the items is packed neatly into a box with Bugs Bunny characters on the outside.  I opened it, and there was my sisters cap and gown, and the paperwork that we were handed when we went to see her graduate with a Criminal  Justice degree.   I pulled out the cap, the tassles that signified the year, and her graduating with honors.    I have had this neatly tucked away (and I have taken it out many times before) for almost 13 years.   She died April 8, 2003 at the age of 38.   Something fell out of her cap.  It was a pair of her sunglasses.   I wrapped everything back up, and then found an email from my older sister who gave us updates on how Darlene was doing.  This was 6 days before she died.   In the email she wrote “She seemed to have some unfinished business with Donna.  We had a hard time understanding her.  But it was a simple as ‘Tell Donna I love her and will miss her’.   I don’t think Darlene was able to say those things when Donna was here and it troubled her.”     Talk about tears.  I fell to my knees, sobbing.   Where was this email for the past 13 years?   Why had I not seen nor remembered it?    But you know what?    It was just what I needed, today, on this difficult day.  It was like having been penned and sent from heaven, itself.

And one last thing I’d like to share.  It was written in a card from the beautiful soul who I mentioned earlier who died in St. Croix.   “Dear Donna,  Being away from you has made my feelings for you and about us even stronger and clearer than before.  I know today that I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  I love you, Jim”    I love you too.

I am not living in yesterday’s pain, or dwelling on my past.   Today it helped to revisit these momentous beautiful times and people who were once very prominent in my life (understatement).  It has helped to remind me that in spite of all the pain and shit that happens, love never dies.  Even when someone has crossed over, love can continue to grow.  And that perhaps, I may experience this amazing journey of love again, with someone new.   And as I looked at the MANY pictures of my sister, there were only a handful without her smiling.   She lived life well.  She worked hard, played hard.   She was just an awesome person.  I miss her everyday of my life, and to think ill of her because her sexuality, well hey… guess what?   If you do?  It’s on you.   I’m so glad I didn’t miss a moment with her.  She taught me so much and one thing she taught me by example?   Live your life, be true to yourself, and pay no mind to those who judge you!  It was a nice “visit” down memory lane.   It helped me gain new perspective (now through my sisters sun glasses), and those who have brought me dismay of late, have no more power.  I am reminded of all good.  I am reminded of why sometimes it’s so hard to carry on, because life was indeed much easier with the presence of those who are no longer with me, but just to be back there mentally, gives me the strength and desire to fight on.  Today it was nice to revisit the warmth of yesterday.

Go have yourself a great day.  Sending you all love and light,

Donna (pronounced, DonNUH)

 

 

 

Gratitude is the Attitude

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With the hustle and bustle of Christmas Open House(s) and customs behind me, I sat quietly on my couch tonight watching Frasier, making myself a pair of mittens.

I am grateful for the success I have had the past month, priority being happy customers.   I delivered my last painting tonight, 2′ x 3′ daisies.  She was overtly blissful with her purchase, and the custom quote she wanted put on it.   I am smiling.   It’s really nice when others truly appreciate my art.

Yesterday my mom and I packed up what was left of mittens, and threw in a few other things, which will be given to underprivileged.    It’s my part of trying to make someone’s Christmas a bit better.

This has been a difficult year for me, but the holiday season has been delightful.   I seem to have risen up and beyond the ugly depression that sticks it’s talons into me, with the weight of the world.   It is nice to feel good.   It is nice to be peaceful, serene.  I am truly grateful.

As Christmas approaches (and my birthday just past), I always start reflecting on the year, and defining what it is I hope to achieve in the upcoming year.   This year has taught me much.   I don’t wish to repeat the difficult times, but what I do want to withhold, to keep, is the peace that I am feeling.

The older I get, the less I care about what someone thinks of me.   I have learned to only put forward what I feel I can, and I am choosing to spend my time wiser.    I haven’t the energy for another’s drama, that is, “luxury” drama.   Life dishes out enough hardship.  I will be there for those I love, and I will continue to pray for those in need.

I am particularly fortunate to have, still with me, both parents, and the two siblings remaining.  I am particularly fortunate to be writing this cancer free.   I know what it is like to make the best of difficult holidays, and I’m largely grateful that this one, for me, is quiet, without hardship.   I know that is not true for everyone.  So grateful to be spared thus far, of heartache.

I was told that Pope Francis declared “This is NOT a Merry Christmas”, speaking of course to the ills and state of the world.  But I’ve learned that in spite of all the deplorable things that are happening, it is up to me to find peace, happiness in my little corner of the world.   And this year, my little corner of the world comes with new sheets and pillows.   Sounds simple?   Indeed, it is.   And as I work to simplify my life, ridding myself of excess “things” I don’t need, letting go of pain of yesterday, I am finding myself in a much happier place.  It really is about the little things.

My life today is filled with little things.   I am grateful.

 

“All my life’s a circle” -Tom Chapin

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I love the ebb and flow of life, friendships.   Tonight I had an absolutely joyful conversation with my best friend from high school.   Filled with laughter, and being the sap I am, a few tears, I feel so good right now.     “Old friends, they mean much more to me than the new friends, because they know where you are, and they know where you’ve been!”.    If you’ve never heard this song I suggest you get your butt to Spotify!   Tom Chapin, the late Harry Chapin’s brother wrote it.   Great song.

There is a major, positive shift happening with me.   It’s exciting.   I’ve had to take double takes and rub my eyes to see if I were dreaming.   I’m very grateful for this new upswing.  Grateful and ready!

It’s been ridiculously humid here in VT.    I remind myself what Winter looks like, what it looked like this past winter, and I stay in the air conditioning and shut my lips!   As I drove to Town today there were neighbors out chopping, splitting wood, getting ready for Old Man Winter. image   I thought to myself, wow, the irony.  The hottest day of the year and they’re preparing for the coldest.  Such is life in New England.  Such is life.

I’m painting and designing well.  Very pleased with that.  Purchased a couple new brushes today (which I just don’t do) but mine were REALLY ratty.   It’s funny how a $25 purchase can make me feel like a queen!   It really is the little things in life.

My house is not dirty but an absolute clutter hole.    I laugh at how organized I feel, and am getting, amidst it all.   To someone coming in?  What the heck happened here?  But to me, I see organization, progress.    More gratitude!

I am very pleased with the direction my life is going.    Thank you, God.

And now I’m off to watch some tv before Lilly and I retire.    I have been up for 30 hrs.   This is not good, but what is good is that I SHOULD sleep really well tonight.

Hope you are having a great day!   🙂