Tag Archives: honesty

If you could do it over again…. what would you change?


If you were given one point in your life that you could return to, and could change the direction you were going, what would it be?   Do you see this as a regret?  As growth?  Or the ole “hindsight is 20/20”.      I’ve been asked on numerous occasions, if you had to go back and do it all over again would you want to?    My stock and honest answer is always “If I could go back with the knowledge that I have now!”

So let’s look at that.   At what age would you be again?  What decision would you make differently?  And more importantly, what changes, and what outcome would you be looking for?

When I was a teen “artex” was big.   And I did this wall hanging for my grandparents “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”.      Recollecting difficult times when a loved ones future was counted in “days”, what would you want to do for the “rest of your life?”

I have never been a materialistic person, except when it comes to my art supplies.  I have spent a lifetime trying to make a difference in someone else’s life.  And I’ve learned that this is one area that I cannot or will not “skimp”.   Why?  Because it grounds me, my creativity defines a large portion of me, but most importantly, it brings me peace, something that I strive for on a daily basis.    If granted one wish, what would it be?  Some would say “win the lottery”, others would say “one more day”, and my answer would say “peace”.   I would like whatever days I have remaining to be at peace with myself regardless of others and their actions.

I look around my studio and I see the multitude of mediums that bring me joy.   And there are days, like the last couple of days, where I cannot accomplish that which I want to, and I cannot find the peace I long and strive for.  Sleep becomes my best friend, and even then, when that which isn’t settled starts to rear its ugly head in dreams, then I know, it’s time to look at something, and probably something that I don’t want to.  Gulps.

“If this world makes you crazy and you’ve taken all you can bear”…    When you stop telling yourself, or allowing others to tell you what you should or shouldn’t feel, what you should or shouldn’t do, what you want or don’t want in your life;  When you quiet all outside feedback, and self defense, or the like, then you are sitting with your truth.    This can be a fairly lonely place to be, but getting back to peace, I’ve learned in my life that if I cannot find peace, then chances are very good that there is something in my life that I’m not accepting, that I’m not looking at, or allowing myself to look at, feel, then find acceptance in.     In short, acceptance for me equals peace, no matter the topic, the rights, the wrongs.

When was the last time you shut out the world, and all of it’s influences, including people, belongings, actions, and just sat quietly with yourself.  Have you ever done this?   What “truth” did you come to?  Was it good?  Was it bad?  Indifferent?  Colorful?  Black?  White?  Have you ever really been alone?  Have you allowed yourself the freedom or being alone?  Or do you see that as scary?  Unthinkable?  Frightening?  Lonely?

I’ve known loneliness in my life, and I’ve known and experienced great love.   I’ve also spent the majority of the last 12 or so years alone, and once getting over the initial shock, and realizing after many black and blues and heartache, that I don’t need someone beside me to “validate” me, or my worth, and likewise, someone whose selfish goals are to somehow gain from your reaps, (but worse?) tragedies.

I find much more peace now in solitude.   I am good company for myself, and my interests and desires to learn and create keep me chugging away along the road that is sometimes paved and other times, barely visible, but I set my sights on what I want, and when I do that, when I focus on that (again, without “static” from others), it becomes attainable and the finish line may be the focus, but it isn’t the prize.  The prize is the growth and experiences that happen while getting there.

These days solitude means peace for me.     My home is my haven, and I only invite those in who understand this, who want what is best for me, who come to visit me with all my bling or scars with desire to know where I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going, without judgement or hidden agendas.   And if I am only inviting these types of creatures, or people into my home, then why would I also allow my own behavior to squelch my day?   Self sabotage needs to go, yesterday.



Peeking in


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.



Gut instinct


Something short tonight.    I was reminded of how accurate our intuition is.   Make your intuition stronger than your doubt of it.  We all have been gifted with free will, intuition, denial…  The five stages of grieving identified by a female german doctor who was called “Dr. Death” by the many male doctors that she worked with, Dr. Kubler-Ross.

But I digress.

What I want to say is, don’t stay “stuck” on one thing.  Don’t deny what you are seeing and hearing with your own eyes and ears.   Learn to trust your judgement, learn to trust your gut instinct.  Many of us have been groomed differently, and many of us just brush off things because it may sound absurd, or ridiculous.   Your intuition will guide you, it will protect you and others.  We all have it, innately.   For whatever reason you are repressing it, ask yourself WHY.  What is it I’m afraid it’s going to tell me?

It’s healthy to question others words, motives.   I’m not talking about extremes.  I ‘m not suggesting you walk around like, cynical of all.  But what I am telling you is…  I believe the wisest man listens to his instincts.

Put that in your hat and smoke it!


To thine own self, be true


The warm temps and sunshine have melted much of the snow away.  There are now large patches of ground, dead grass, exposed.   I was so excited to walk on this.  Apparently the animals also were excited as Lilly Wonka rolled down the hill on her back not once, but twice.  The proof of her extravagance are the twigs and leaves that remain nestled in her furry curls.   She’s a goofball and doesn’t care.   Oh how nice it is to see evidence that Spring is coming, signs popping up here and there.  There is a large squirrel resting on my butternut tree.  He’s mighty chunky and happy to feel the sun, too.

I just looked over my shoulder at my painting area which I abandoned about three weeks ago.   I have been working on winter scenes, obviously inspired by my surroundings.  Well, it reached a point where I couldn’t even face the canvas!   Even a blank white canvas was discouraging to look at.   I focused, instead, on another medium, still exercising my love for color, texture, and the ability to make something out of nothing.   Ah yes, creating…

Today I want to talk about being true to myself.    I feel like I am being true to myself when I write, design (jewelry, needlecraft) and of course, paint.   I am being true to being right brain dominant.   For years I pushed that aside out of need, carrying a full time job with which I had to put all creativity aside to perform the tasks I was hired to do.   I never did find balance there, being an all or nothing thinker.

I am true to myself when I am taking care of myself.   This is an area that needs attention.   I am taking care of myself when twice a week I attend therapy, when I keep appointments with my health care providers.  I am being true to myself when I say “no” to others.  I am being true to myself when I set boundaries with others.   I am being true to myself when I am being honest with myself, first, then others.   These are all areas in which I have improved tremendously.

I am being true to myself by staying single instead of “settling”.       

I am being true to myself when I help another, am kind to another, practice random acts of kindness.  I am being true to myself when I give of myself, my time to others. 

We all have areas in which we could improve upon, hone.  I think I’m fairly adept at what these areas for me are.    I think the largest area right now is taking care of my body, this precious vessel I was given at birth.    When I had lost a significant amount of weight a couple years ago it was because I wanted to know what it feels like, before I die, to have balance in all areas;  Mental, physical and spiritual.  I have been thinking about this quite frequently lately.   I remember as I was going through my days, free of sugar, addiction, I was astounded as to how much time I had spent thinking about my imperfect self, my imperfect body.   “Am I the fattest in the room?  What do I want to eat today?  And a barrage of other negative connotations that distracted me from other areas of my life, happy, peaceful, serene thinking, and indeed loving and taking care of myself.

I am being true to myself when I admire nature.  The squirrels, chipmunks, watching out for fox, deer, coy dogs.  When I observe how beautiful my surroundings are, in any and all seasons.  When I study the branches on a tree, pull over from driving and take pictures of scenes that inspire me to paint, to create.     When my eyes follow a hawk, any bird, smile when I see them lifted by a thermal.  They just got a free ride, baby!   When I am walking through the woods, admiring the view, aware of my footing, exercising both myself and my dogs.   When I do not allow approval from others to rein.   Basically I am being true to myself when I participate in things that I love to do, within reason.  Is this behavior, this decision stepping me towards peace? harmony? serenity with myself?  

I am being true to myself (bet you are sick of those six words by now 😉 ) When I love myself and others without judgment.  When I “accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.  -The Serenity Prayer

As I set out on this day of errands, appointments, taking care of responsibilities I am going to, today, find the positive in all things, stay calm in the face of conflict and participate in things that I perhaps do not want to, or like to, but are good for me, are in the direction of where I want to go.   A drive by to Dunkin Donuts, phone calls to creditors, making doctors appointments with my ophthalmologist, my oncologist, my dentist, doing housework for the sole reason of how good I feel when my house is clean, organized, inserting pride in my stride.  When I sit down at my painting table and reacquaint myself with my brushes, free of self criticism or critiquing.  Just let the brush flow in the direction it is meant to.

You see, my fingers may be hitting the keyboard to write this blog, my hands may grip the paintbrushes and my eyes visualizing in what direction, what method they should go…but I believe this is a channeling from another.  I don’t know how to explain it.    Most times when I return to and read a blog I’ve written I think to myself…Where did that come from?  I wrote that?   Feelings, thoughts similar to those when I have reached my destination after driving there and not knowing how the hell I got there?  You have experienced this too.  It’s sort of scary and sort of cool, right?

I am always guided.  Sometimes I defy it, and typically that ends disastrously.  I am always given what I need.   I just need to show up, and be true to myself, no matter how it feels.   The old adage “No pain, no gain” rings true.  Taking care of myself, being true to myself isn’t always a walk through a park, nor a constant tunnel of darkness.  It is being brave enough, having courage enough to show up and walk the walk.

Off to put on my hiking boots…..!

Memory Lane


A particularly quiet therapy session early this afternoon had my therapist ask “Are you quiet because you are tired from not sleeping?”  Apparently I’m normally a chatter box!   Truth is, I have not been sleeping.   This is not unfamiliar territory for me, though it is distressing.    I am taking my meds, I am trying to get to bed at a reasonable time each night, but sleep doesn’t come knocking til 6, 7 or 8am.  A couple years ago when I was going through a particularly hard time mentally, nights filled with insomnia, a friend said to me “Fatigue makes cowards out of all of us”.    I am revisiting that statement today, nodding my head in agreement.   I made it to therapy today, did some important errands and now going to pay a few bills…  This is all I am expecting of myself today.  Hopefully I will be able to retire early tonight with heavy eyes and an ability to sleep.    I think insomnia is why I like being knocked out with anesthesia so much.   Count backwards from 100….by the time you hit 98, 97, GONEZO!

Contended with some unexpected traffic jams resulting in a longer trip home, through the small town, communities where I grew up.    Looking through the memories of a child, but eyes of an adult.   I shared my memories with Lilly, as she sat in the back of the jeep looking like she was listening.  The fields which once spanned my comprehension now seem small, quaint.  The names of childhood friends popped up without effort as we passed the homes where they once lived.  How can I remember these things, and forget what I had for breakfast, or if I had breakfast?

I attach feelings to music, to places, not particularly to things, and smells, smells are an immediate recognition of whatever it served to remind me of.    Feeling lately like I’m failing cognitively, it was just what I needed to give myself some reassurance that I have not lost it all …. completely!    Yep, this was a ride down memory lane.   I am a country girl, middle child of 5, who grew up in a small town in New Hampshire.   My world is not merely as small as it once was, larger from the observation of a youngster.  Life seemed so much simpler.  Good God, I’m sounding like “We walked 5 miles home, without shoes”….  The appreciation and gratitude encouragement speech which sadly, was true and more sad, that we needed reminding of our luxuries.

I cannot watch the commercials on television about starving children, or abused animals.   It keeps me up at night.  When they come on I mute the television and go in the other room.   Sarah McClaughlin offered a song years ago to the cause and to this day I still cannot listen to the song.    I cannot watch the news, and certainly not in the evening, if I am looking to get some shut eye.     I wonder what my grandparents would say if they were to hear the commercials now, or the programs, or see all the violence that the news dispels to us.   Yesterday, as I was shoveling, I was thinking about the one popular and repetitive ad for Viagra “If you have an errection for longer than 4 hours…”, yesterday I filled in the blanks with “Go to the emergency room immediately, and if you can shovel snow, come see me!”   Not sure the correlation there, but I found it comical.

How about the commercials that depict a perfect family, or happy couples who fill the Christmas tree with gold, diamonds and more?    Sorry, no one has the perfect family, and happy couples are a minority these days.   It is so nice to see happy people together, it is contagious and reminds me of times in my life when alone time was something that happened every few weeks.   Now, single, self employed, and struggling with isolation, the beginning of the three headed beast of depression, I do get lonely, I do long for touch, but I’m not willing to do anything to change my situation.

“A course in miracles”, Marianne Williamson “Return to Love”, so many self help, recovery books I have read simplify and identify the two directions (choices) we have that can change our entire life……. Either you are walking towards fear, or walking towards love.   When it comes to relationships, I defensively, once unconsciously clung tight to Fear Avenue.   I still do, today, but I am edging closer and closer to the embassy to love.   At 52 I realize, boring is good.   Boring means consistency, accountability, dependability.    There is much truth in women liking “bad boys”, at least for me.   I have nothing left in ambition, desire to travel this road anymore.   Fear of being hurt has me wear a cloak of armoire which is slowly being dismantled.    I want to be in a relationship, I want to feel safe, thus willing to trust another with my heart.   I know it will take one very patient special man.   I love the song by Train “Bruises”….. ‘we’ve all got bruises’.  

I guess I’ve rambled on enough for this one post.  I am grateful to have learned, through travesties, self preservation.    I share only what I want others to know, only those things that I am comfortable sharing.   A natural survivor mode that came late in life for me.    “You wear your heart on your sleeve”, something that I heard over and over in my life.  I guess I still do, but no where near the depth that I once did.   I am grateful for maturity, I am grateful for growth.  I am grateful for my ability to be alone, one with myself, I am good company.  I am also grateful for the desire, and inching towards Love.    Fear sucks.

In honesty, I have offered you this part of me….  in hopes that my sharing will help another….   xo!

I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!


My friend Patty summed it up in one sentence “You are a flake”….  there was no harmful intent, we were discussing doing business together and the challenges that we had.  Indeed!  I am a flake, but I’m not a fake! 🙂

My studio is piled high with papers, supplies, surfaces.  Brushes are scattered all over my painting desk and I still have a couple bags of supplies, samples that I have yet to unpack from last week.   OYYYYY

I love my small abode.  Only five rooms, in need of new windows, a paint job, and a lot of finishing inside, I am snuggling in this week, resting my tired body, spending time with my animals.

I told my therapist today “I think I am hardening”.  She said “No, Donna, I don’t think so.  I think you are learning to discriminate, you are learning self preservation, that is all”.  Okay, I’ll take it!    I would rather believe hers than mine, though honestly, I think there is truth in both statements.

When I turned 40 I got very lippy.  My then fiancée said to me “I’m not sure if I want to be around when you turn 50!”   Well, he wasn’t, and 50 was a good birthday for me.  What 50 brought me was the initial being lippy times 5, and also an attitude of not caring what others thought of me.  Well, those who were not close to me anyway.  Freeing, indeed.

My financial struggles continue, but I have learned that all I can do my best, and worry will not alter the reality, only my health.   Robbing from Peter to pay Paul, but hey, add in Mary at the end and you have a wonderful singing group! 🙂   I have been thinking about government employees, and the shutdown.  Fire all of frigan congress, I say!  I hope that those out of work will return soon, and those who have yet to be paid… get paid soon.  What a bunch of crap.  What about cutting all CONGRESS pay? benefits?  So many I know are in the “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” way of life, living week to week, and some weakly.  I sure hope things get better for all of us.

So there you have it, my scattered and mundane thoughts on this “Prince Spaghetti Day”.    Sure hope you are having a good day and smiling.   Thank God, today I am smiling.  Yes, it is a choice, but its much easier when things around you are going smoothly, status quo, and I am not a chaotic mess (like my studio).  Hugz!

A fire, a reading, and breathing…


Driving up in the hills of Vermont today to a friends house to get a psychic reading I found myself smiling and chillin with Dylan.  I LOVE the mountains, I LOVE driving on back dirt roads where you see large old farm houses and open land, as  for me my spirit within soars.

I haven’t had a reading in years, probably 4.  It’s something that I just do not do anymore.  Anytime I have had a reading the psychic has said to me “There isn’t much I can tell you that you do not already know yourself”… they pick up on my strong intuitive side or the sixth sense that I do not advertise nor hone.

Today I was the third person to get a reading and I was extremely nervous.  I have never been nervous at a reading.  I was anxious, extremely anxious to the point where I had thought, perhaps I should not do this.  Yet the minute I sat down and told her I was nervous, and recalled the last reading she did for me, I calmed down and thought, okay, this is going to be okay.   Perhaps I was afraid that she would tell me my cancer was going to come back?   Perhaps I was going to hear that someone else I love is going to die?  Nah…. this woman doesn’t do that, not really.  She reads from the cards that you shuffle and pull out of the deck, and interestingly enough, they always seem to be so on target.  I do not go there to find out about what tomorrow will bring, I go there to see if she’ll share the winning megabucks numbers! ha!  I go there because this woman has unbelievable healing energy, and I really liked that about her last time.  She shared with me some insight that really helped me with some decision making I had to make.  We aren’t talking Do this or Do that… it is her energy, it is that I feel like I have met her somewhere before, and I feel safe with her, as if she is a guide.  Now, if she told me to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge I would not do so… I am talking on a spiritual level.

She told me my cards were very interesting and she smiled at them.  The Empress, and another that were very feminine and prosperous.   She again and also shared with me how intuitive I am, and that I am spiritually wealthy, extremely wealthy.   I also had the luckiest card in the deck…. Does that mean I am going to get lucky??? hmmmm.   She pointed to three cards placed together and spoke of poverty and I laughed…. oh yah, that’s me… but isn’t that true for most artists?  But the key here being… “you have given into it Donna, you are not practicing or seeking abundance, only in spirituality”.    Well that explains why I am spiritually wealthy, eh? lol  Also within these three  cards were loneliness and isolation.  Not allowing other people into my heart, or my life, particularly men.  The tears started to fall.   I have known true and passionate love.  I miss that.   I have been very lonely, but I am not willing to settle for mediocre.  I dabbled in that for a few months last year and I also paid a severe price for it.   Sadly I thought that it was my “last chance” at love.  Now I shiver when I think of that.   Everything we do, all the choices we make come with consequences both good and bad… but I believe they all come with lessons if we choose to look at them.   I know loneliness and I also know what it feels like to be lonely in a relationship… my choice over the two would be the first. 

I was pleased with my reading which ended with some Reiki at the end.  We discussed areas of potential growth, ways in which I could start to draw abundance on more levels.  We discussed the importance of breathing lol!  When I am upset I forget to breathe, I hold my breath… this is NOT a good thing.   She told me the importance of loving my chest, my new breasts, of accepting myself as I am, as I had told her of my cancer.  I believe that was why she did Reiki on me, and I was grateful.   I walked away feeling validated with the work I am doing on myself, the direction in which I am headed and the areas in which I believed I needed work in.  Of most importance to me was to ask about those whom I have loved and have passed on, and I was not disappointed in what I heard there either.

It was a nice afternoon deep out in the woods of Vermont, reminiscent of a picnic I had a few weeks ago that really made me smile.  It’s nice to smile, it’s nice to open up and allow people in, it’s nice not to isolate so much from others and to have lunch with a group of women that I really adore.   After all, I did draw the Empress card! lol  I need to allow more laughter into my life, more silliness, comedy, and just stay in today…. it is when I am happiest!