Tag Archives: new beginnings

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.



Creative zoning


It’s the wee hours of morning.  Many of my friends are just rising.  This is my favorite time of day.  I guess because it’s very quiet, I’m seldom if ever interrupted by the phone, and my creativity screams from 10pm-4am.   So many have expressed their concerns, that I’m isolating, which may be true, but truly, this is a peaceful time for me.

The cat is asleep, I hear her little snore in between the lulls of music.  My studio is in the usual disarray that happens with winds of creativity.  I’ve got two stacks of messy bun hats that are holding up the rooster and turtle paintings, and my large painting table is covered, every inch.  It’s awesome.  When I go into the kitchen to fill my glass with drink, I look at the pile of dishes and smile.   It will end.  Eventually this streak will come to close, or slow anyway, and the dishes will eventually get done!

So many of my friends are struggling, or have been with health issues.   I offer prayers for them whenever I think of them, or see their posts.  I slept and rested today, watching some old television programs on Netflix.  But at 10pm, my mind was thinking of color, texture, and ways to paint certain pieces, effects.

Earlier today when I fell asleep on the couch, I had a dream that recurs.  It’s a painful dream, and I always wake up feeling breathless, and sad.  So I did what I have learned to do, and that is, not run from it, but honor it, and not dissect every bit of it, but lightly think about why now?  Sometimes the answer comes, sometimes it doesn’t.  I’m grateful this dream is not nearly as frequent as it used to be.  And I’ve come to accept I’ll probably have it for life, unless somehow I find resolution.  But there is no resolution.  The best way I knew how to shake it off was with a brush in hand.

I must admit when I rose today I wasn’t thrilled to see it snowing.  As I walk in my yard it’s hard to believe that I will ever see ground again, but I will.   And in Spring when new life grows, and I see the beginning of plants and perennials that survived the winter, I forget all about the tons of white shit that right now fill my yard and block off about 1/3 of my normal driveway.

So, this is where my thoughts are.   On painting, on new beginnings, and sadly, some endings.   It is what it is.

I’m seriously considering taking some classes, art related, maybe even a writing class to get me seriously actively pursuing a lifelong dream.

Plans to stay up all day today, and try to curve myself back into the schedule of the majority of the world.   We shall see how that goes.

Peace to you,


Who am I if not a teaching artist?


Here I sit on a Saturday night with my animals and a dictionary I bought in 1984 as companions. 30 years ago? Where the hell has 30 years gone?

I am amongst change, and for the most part, choosing to make these changes. There is truly much excitement, happiness, a new challenge is exciting and I will grow from this, become a better person. But I have realized that my identity, my self worth is tied up in what I have done for the past 15 years of my life. Who am I if I’m not a teaching artist? A publishing artist? A self employed artist?

I remind myself that no matter where I go or what I do, I will always be an artist. It is up to me to keep my hands engaged with creativity, which I am pretty good at doing so. I design jewelry, I write, I bead, I paint, I draw, yada yada yada. Am I poo pooing my own talents? I know I have in past. In my teens and twenties I thought everyone could do what I do, that there was nothing special about my abilities. In my 30’s I realized, I was different. I realized that the years that I spent feeling “different” than my siblings, than my friends, than school mates, thinking different, coming alive at night and sleepy in the mornings, a lifetime of being called “overly sensitive or emotional”…. well, that is all part of who I am and who I was designed to be. And perhaps my feeling different than others was all a self centered narcissistic thought process?

Here’s the thing. I’m confident that I can be successful at that which I am choosing to participate in, that which I am shifting my focus and committing to. I KNOW I can… I already am! I see the opportunity, I have the vision, I was guided here, I WANT this! So why am I questioning my identity? Why is it (if it really is) wrapped up in what I have done in my past.

I guess it’s normal to feel this way, or to be thinking this way. I guess it’s because in some way I’m walking away from what I once believed was my “purpose”. Why can’t I have more than one purpose in my life? Why do I question that my purpose will not reveal itself to me just as it has done in past? And then again, will my future endeavor be much different than my past? Perhaps not with brush in hand, but with my heart, my outreaching arms?

In past I have habitually given more of myself than I had to give. In relationships, in work, in all. My passion provided me with the endurance to do this. Perhaps it is aging? Perhaps it is being guided (which I do believe is true) that I am shifting away from that which I know to that which I do not know. But then again, as a person with a sixth (and a sick) sense, I truly believe this is the natural evolution for me. This is what I’m supposed to do.

I remember in my 20s I was constantly seeking purpose. It was ridiculous. As I aligned with that which I was being guided to, I didn’t question it. I just “knew” and all that was laid out in front of me provided the path to purpose.

I am grateful I no longer see myself only being worthy in a relationship. I have, and what I hope will be the rest of my life, realized that being in a relationship, a committed relationship is certainly nice, and would fill lonely times, but it does no longer defines me. I am not who I am because of who I am with. My sense of self, my identity is not as someone’s girlfriend, wife, fiancé. I guess that is why I’m feeling tripped up about my identity being tied up in my accomplishments as an artist, as a teaching artist. The truth is, I will hold dear to me all the years, every student (well, minus a couple) that I had the privilege to teach, to introduce them to their creative side that many never knew they had. What a beautiful thing! So many wonderful memories, so many wonderful friends. And I’m not planning on leaving this industry totally, but certainly stepping away from it on a much larger scale than I have in past.

I’ve known for several years that I want to teach art, painting, drawing, whatever it may be, to cancer patients. I want to provide them with something fun, something healing as they go through the many challenges of treatment. This is how I want to teach now. I have not the means to do so yet, but I will. If it’s Gods will, I will. Am I feeling guilty that I’ve chosen to now seek financial stability in my life? I want to live out my days with no worries of disconnects, overdrafts. Do I feel like I am selling myself out? Hell, who knows. I don’t think so. Just as I have always known there was something else out there for me, and I am having a lot of fun in doing so. I have a reunion with old friends, meeting new ones… I AM happy with what I am doing…. so why am I feeling this conflict within myself?

I have been particularly bad at giving due credit to difficult days. When sick, or tired I rarely would attribute these things to my foul mood, or my lack of ambition. It was because I was lazy, or because I was bad, wrong, yada yada yada. You cannot see this, but I am sitting here nodding. Perhaps this is just a difficult day? Perhaps I am tired? Perhaps I am getting ill? It doesn’t have to be something monumental, nor do I need to be critical of myself. It just IS how I am feeling today!

I love it when people who hardly know me will “diagnose” my feelings. Seriously, like really? The thing is, I can be this way with others! I think I know what is best for them and I’m sure in some cases, I do! It’s much easier to see another person’s problems and solutions to those problems than to brave my own.

I have been thinking today that what if my purpose is to just be? What if I take all the pressures of perfection, of production out of my life and just wake up each day, take it as it comes, and do my best and feel that my best IS good enough?

Now, see, aren’t you glad you stopped by to read this sorted tale of confusion? I was asked the other day how I was….. My reply was “Well, given that my biggest problem today is deciding whether to keep my hair long or cut it short again, I think I’m doing VERY WELL!” Tis true. If that is the only thing on my mind, then I have a pretty good life, don’t I? So am I CREATING this internal conflict to sabotage my happiness? Oh yeah, I’m fairly adept at that. I think we all can be.

Because I am changing directions of my sails doesn’t take from me who I am. My god given talents as an artist will remain and I will still delve into them, perhaps enjoy them more without deadlines! Another thing I have done in my past is taken whatever enjoyable thing I was doing and turned it into a business. Seriously! I loved to crochet, so I took it the next level and published with Leisure Arts, McCall’s… I loved floral arranging so I became a department head and full time designer doing such! I saw decorative painting and said “OMG, I can do this!” So I did! I love beading, designing jewelry, so let’s start selling it! I love to write, so I am working on a book and going to write articles for women’s magazines. Now, there isn’t anything wrong with doing these things. For one, it kept me well stocked in supplies thus assuring my “fix”. Good God, even flea marketing with girlfriends became a business. They will tell you how well I did at turning over furniture and making a profit on it…. even after using it for a couple of years!

But the constant shifting of furniture, my three season porch constantly filled with my next “treasure”… it grew old. I now want to simplify my life, quit the hustle and bustle of producing and accepting each day as a gift, and as a person worthy of that gift without accomplishing, or conquering the world?

Many times I have heard “I wish I were an artist, I wish I were you, I wish I had your life”… Well, you know, I do have a good life. When all is said and done, I do have a good life. But being a creative soul comes with it’s pitfalls too. When I am not able to create, I become restless, irritable. I think of Ernest Hemingway, and how deadly his writer’s block became. Well that and a whole lot of booze. I’m not implying that I would think about slicing my wrist if I had artists block (again), but let’s just say you wouldn’t want to live with me then! OMG…. Oh my God! What if I am feeling this way today because I fear that I will become that bitchy artist who does not produce? And more? What if I am feeling this way today because I have only ever based my self worth on what I accomplish? Well, holy shit Sherlock! Perhaps I’m onto something!

Now, as Scarlet O’Hara said…. “Tomorrow is another day”…. let’s see what it brings! I do know one thing. I am planning to take back my maiden name and ditch the name that came with the ex husband. He’s not around now, so why should his name be? I think I’m coming home. I think the changing sails will bring new adventures, memories, and a return to myself. I only kept his name because it was my “published” name. That sucker is on it’s way out!

A new door opens….


As he was removing my old front door I couldn’t bear to look.  This door which was believed to have been 60+ years old had not locked in over 15 years, was not able to be fully shut in 6, had broken glass and on two occasions had been clamped and glued together.  It had certainly seen better days.  But I, like the majority of others, am a creature of habit… I resist change.     I was told I would also be losing the relatively new storm door that I had put on…  Think positive Donna, think positive… “I’m positive that I don’t like this!” lol

For the first time in the 22 years of my living here the front of the house was wide open for hours.   It was actually quite amazing.   It was as if stagnant or old energy left and new healing air filled my humble abode.  I could feel it as it was happening!   If there were a visual description it would be the departing of ghosts, debris, things no longer useful or healthy.  This lasted for almost 4 hours.

The new door was temporarily set into place,  plastic was stapled around the wide openings, the workers left for the night.  I stood alone looking at the door.    It had two holes, one for the doorknob and one for a deadbolt.. Imagine TWO locks!   I chuckled.

Yesterday they completed the installation, locks were placed and they handed me the keys.  I honestly felt like I had just been handed the keys to a brand new home.   Flashbacks to 22+ years ago when we signed the papers and were handed the key, the one old key that was soon lost to the old front door.   So much has transpired since then.  That was so long ago, what seems to be another lifetime ago.   I am now sole owner of this property, this is now my home.  The day I bought out my ex husband and bought this house was one of the proudest days of my life. 

It has been a long winding road to get to where I am today, and ironically I am not really clear where I am!    What I do know is, when that old front door came off my house, new healthy energy entered.   This new door, the locks, being handed those shiny new keys…. metaphorically speaking, it is a change of life for me.  This is a new beginning. 

I ask myself, “What color will I paint my new door?”   I will have to ponder that.   Now as I am painting in the room where this door is situated, I look over my shoulder at it and smile…  “Thank you for being the protector of my space, my possessions,of me… for locking the good energy in, and for the stately manner that you just ‘fit’.  Welcome to my world!”

A New Day….Never Never Never give up!


As this day dawned, I was astounded at the difference in how I feel not only physically but spiritually, emotionally.   A pleasant and powerful reminder that “it is always darkest before the dawn”.  When I feel I have reached maximum capacity, when I feel hopeless, or wanting to give up… Hold on… just hold on… A new day is coming…and we never know what is in store for us.   Each day is unique.  Some begin in a calm peaceful manner, others may begin and end with drama, colorful and powerful storms… But each day has a life of its own.   Each day is another page in the story ofour lives.  Sometimes the only thing we have control over is how we handle what is in front of us…   and that is enough!  The difference from yesterday to today for me graph out at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Each day is a new beginning, an adventure.  Our fate is in the hands of a power greater than ourselves.  This i BELIEVE… 

Some days willbe wild rollercoaster trips, complete with the noises and added asthetics of the wooden ricketty tracks… others will be a quiet canoe ride floating in still waters.  But each day is important.  Each day has a life of its own.  As my friend tells me… these are just film clips baby… together they make up the movie…. 

Today is full of sunshine for me both inside and out.  Today I am joyful, relieved, my discomfort and pain is at rest…I am grateful for this… and I will remind myself on stormy days of the difference just a day can make…not just in perspective, but in every aspect of our lives.  Changes that can impact how we feel and think.  Changes that can bring us to a point of clarity, of resolution, of new beginnings, and sometimes endings.  Today I am blessed with a calm and peaceful existance… I need not think about tomorrow, for it has not yet arrived, and yesterday has passed.    So if your today is filled with stormy skies , if you are at your wits end… Hold on, hold on strong.   My friend Maddy introduced me to this wonderful quote by Winston Churchill.It serves as a reminder for me of the promise of a new day.  Some begin in a calm peaceful manner, others may begin and end with drama, colorful and powerful storms… But each day has a life of its own.  Each day is another page in the story of our lives.  

May your today be filled with sunshine, inside and out.  May you share your good fortune of HOPE and PEACE with someone who is in stormy weather.  May you always be reminded of the promise of a new day!