Tag Archives: success

New beginnings

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The journey of grief astounds me.    How is it that you can bring your mother to dozens upon dozens of surgeries, appointments, chemotherapy over the course of 17 years, drs. appointments, xrays, emergency rooms, labs, and more and have been told on two (or three counting the last one) occasions to put her affairs in order, have done all that you humanly can do to make her plight through not 1, not 2, but FIVE cancers, and become her voice on her last day alive, be present when she takes her last breath, and STILL fall “privy” to the five stages of grief, including DENIAL?

I have mentioned on many occasions, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s work, a pioneer in the hospice movement, believing in and pushing for rights of a patients “right to know’ they were dying, and studying and talking with dying patients, coming up with the five stages of grieving, and being a woman doctor in a predominantly mans world.  No, that deserves an exclamation point!   So not only is that sentence way too lengthy, it also needs !!!!!!

This female doctor was labeled by fellow male doctors as “Dr. Death”.    Like research and development of cancers, all terminally or chronic illness, death is going to come to us all, at some point.  I remember a dream in which i woke up knowing i had been blessed with a visit beyond.    I was granted three questions.  The first one I asked was “Why are our pets lives so short?”   The answer was, in an average persons life they will have 4-9 pets, or their families had pets.   Their deaths teach us how to accept this hard fact of life, and prepare us for loved ones, and ultimately our own deaths.

I am not here to argue with anyone, I will just say that I KNOW there is more than this realm.  I have had amazing experiences that have developed my beliefs from questioning, to wondering, to KNOWING.  I am a fortunate woman.  And I seldom share these experiences because in a rare interview with 60 Minutes a couple decades ago and can be viewed on YouTube, Bob Dylan speaks of “knowing” your own greatness, your own destiny, and how vital it is to keep it to yourself because others can and will squelch not only your desires, dreams but also that inner voice, drive, purpose stripping you of all.   I’m nodding as I am typing this.    I KNOW my experiences are real, and I’m not going to allow anyone to take them from me.

I am also an empath.   What does that mean?    Well, quite frankly, I read and feel people’s energies, their emotions, at the age of 8 I had my “first” premonition that came to fruition just 12 hours later.    I don’t see dead people!  (The Sixth Sense movie) .   Recently when my mother was passing I knew it was happening long before the doctors did.  They wanted “biopsies, and more”, whether that was for expensive testing income, or if they really didn’t see it happening, I knew it was coming.     I told my siblings this before any doctor even told my mother.  I also texted my sister at the exact time they pulled into the parking lot of the hospital, arriving from an airport.  I smiled when she walked into the room moments later.  “Did you like that i knew you were here?”  I asked.    I suppose they thought I was looking out a window, I was on the opposite side of the hospital with my mother, there was a window but the curtains were closed.  In doing this, I allowed my family to “see” what I “know” on a very small basis.

There will be those who call this blog, and any other that i write or have written on death to be “morbid”, but death is as real as birth (and unfortunately,  taxes!).   Personally, I know there are worse things than death.    Obviously I have never experienced my own (which has been miraculous given the severe depressions I have survived), but I have been on the journey of grief several times.

I was just thinking about my girlfriend Janice.  Her dad was in the hospital, and her family was all there with him, he had cancer, and they were wonderfully, as a family, rallying by his side, telling him it was time to go, telling and showing him how much they loved him.  I had stopped by to bring some hot cocoas and coffee, as they had been there a long time.   Just before he passed I stepped out of his hospital room and stood outside by the door.  I knew it was coming and I felt like it was too intimate and personal for me to be in the room when it happened.,  2 minutes later my girlfriend walks out and says “he’s gone”.  I don’t believe I ever asked her if she had noticed, and I was glad I knew to step out.   For this family, who have always been welcoming to me, this was THEIR experience with their father, husband, grandfather, not mine.

My mother had a sixth sense, too.   She never explored it, because she loved Jesus Christ, and I believe was fearful of blasphemy.   My mother was a highly intelligent woman who led a life that was many times, most times, painful.    But her belief in Christ was strong, and we had many wonderful discussions on such. (again).   Regretfully I suppose, I didn’t share with her all of my many experiences, because I didn’t embrace this part of me until my early 30’s.  Let’s just say when people get close to me, and I allow them to be part of my inner workings, I have been asked on numerous occasions “Are you a witch?”     In which I always reply “A bitchy one, too!”     🙂

I have “known” since the age of 8 that I am supposed to write, write books? blogs?  letters?   I suppose.  And I have kept a blog for probably 7-10 years now, which has been primarily about me and my life experiences.   It has been a helpful healing tool through some mighty painful events and things.  I am about to (re)start my first book.    I have written on and off throughout my life, but I’ve stayed away from ever “finishing” whether it be choice, or being an “optimist” and never (before) backing up my work, and having computers die!  “Blessed are the pessimists, for they have made backups!”   One might think that it wasn’t meant to be, the timing wasn’t right, I tend to agree.  But i would be lying if I didn’t tell you I am somewhat afraid of it, I am afraid of the success, and I am afraid that it will be my final and last purpose here on this plain, so in a twisted, sorted way, I feel like when I am finished writing it, my existence here will end.  The longer I wait, the longer I will live…   LOL.    Intuition?  Premonition?  Or Fear?  Fantasy?   But I want you to notice how I put “my first book”, hoping that this will be the start of many.

I have been very fortunate in my life.   I have been guided, spiritually since a very young age, and have had amazing things happen to and for me.   I will give you a minuscule example.  Driving home one day from a painting class I had begrudgingly was taking with a friend, I “prayed” prayers of thanks for being dragged into this class by a brazen woman who “needed a ride” and in return she would pay for my class.   “I think I would like to start teaching!” I added.       The next morning I received a phone call from a school board member in my small, quaint town of 2000, asking me if I would be willing to teach painting, as part of adult continued education she was working on!     I laugh, because when these things happen, I KNOW I am right where I’m supposed to be.  I am aligned with source, god, whatever you want to call it.  Within three weeks I was teaching a painting class at our local elementary school, and that began a career that spanned 20 years, and which was some of THE best times of my and my mothers lives.  She was largely responsible for my success, she was my greatest supporter, in  MANY MANY ways.   My success was indeed hers, as well.

So now that I’ve allowed you “in” a bit, stay tuned for what may be a huge success or a major disappointment! ha!    I am writing this looking for friends who write, to join groups and blogs where other authors share their talent, hopes and dreams.   Because I believe those that the friendships that come from this are “MEANT TO BE!”

Calling all pens, pencils and keyboards!!!!  Love and peace to all who read this!

 

 

 

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The artist that WILL, the artist that IS!

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As I sat in the meeting today with a few hundred people listening to speakers who have and are sharing their success with this company, I thought about an interview that Bob Dylan did many moons ago with Morley Safer.     Always interested in his life, his thoughts, I remembered a line out of this interview that I’ve held close in thought.    He speaks of destiny.  Defines it as knowing something about yourself that others do not know.  The power to believe in yourself and the danger in sharing it, allowing others to squelch it.   He “knew” he was going to be a musician, a famous musician.

What do you see for yourself?  What did you dream about as a kid, as a young adult?  Do you still dare to dream?    Years of life kicking the crap out of me I had lost my dreams.   I’m not sure if I actually lost them, but I certainly buried them deep within the confines of my mind, locked, for safety.   It takes courage to dream.  It takes courage to love.  It takes courage to show up every day to life, to not only face the difficulties but also?   Also the good.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown author of “The power of Vulnerability” shared her beliefs about using vulnerability to transform our lives!   Vulnerability is at its highest with dreams, the things we love.   The fear of achieving, losing, the fear of allowing ourselves to succeed…  I got it.    I get it.  I agree!  Check her out..she rocks!

Last weekend I was scraping ground, feeling depleted, exhausted to all that I have done and have been through in my life.   With my head in my hands, tears falling onto my lap, I knew it was time for a change.  What’s the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results!    I am an artist.   I will always be an artist.   I can work in a nursery, or in a restaurant, this doesn’t take away who I am.  If anything, it teaches me, gives me lessons, knowledge to take with me on my journey, life’s journey.

I have worked for many years in a career that I loved.   I used my God given talents and was largely rewarded by teaching others to paint,   By painting a picture that came from my mind, through my heart, out my hand onto canvas.  Wow!   I remember the first time I was introduced to decorative painting I saw what was in front of me, what others were doing and I KNEW, I KNEW I could do this!  Well, I did!   I accomplished what it was I KNEW I could do and wanted to do.   This is about me, my own life, my own visions.   Although I do not measure success in dollars, I know what it’s like to have few, and the pressures and energy it takes to live life jumping from one bill to another.    I don’t want to live the rest of my life this way.  As a cancer survivor I’ve been blessed with another chance at life.   In some ways I think it would be beneficial to all to have a diagnosis of a potentially fatal disease…. why?  Because it gifts you, well I should say, it gifted me with perspective.   No, 20 years from now it’s not going to matter that my electricity was shut off, that my bank account was belly up.    What I truly believe is how we give to and help others.    I learned at a young age that to give without strings is to receive.  The feeling that encompasses your mind, body and soul is of peace, warmth, love.  There is no greater gift we can give another than ourselves, of our time.

I’ve lived a purposeful life teaching others to paint.   To help another person get in touch with their creativity, to see the looks on their face when they finish their painting with pride… well, it’s very powerful, rewarding.   I could be in the worst funk possible, go into a room and start teaching, by the end of the class I was whistling and singing.  Seriously!  Teaching has been an experience that I never want to lose, though the subject matter may change.

I have dusted off the cobwebs and busted out of confinement my dreams of past, and dared to dream for the future.  HOPE.   What more could you possibly give another than HOPE?   What are my dreams?  Well, there are materialistic desires, though I will always be careful to not live a materialistic life.  Hey, it would be great to have a car that runs, I hear they have seat warmers and fans now!  Who knew?   It would be great to have a house that I can open the windows to fresh air.   It would be great to not have the constant worry of how to survive, financially.   This has affected me physically and also spiritually.   I have not been at my best nor can I be at my best when my mind is preoccupied with such troubles.

So last week I did something that I only told one person.   I’m not sure it was a good idea (LOL) but this stood for hope, determination.   I dusted off the cobwebs and busted out of confinement, my dreams.   I care not to share them, for the very reason Bob Dylan shared in this interview, but I will share my favorite and most meaningful dream.  I would like to teach painting to cancer victims, to their families as they sit with their loved ones while going thru the long and scary road of treatment.   I would like to give forward, what was given to me when the disease knocked on my door – an ear, a hand, a hug.  Encouragement when I felt like I could go no further.   A smile, laughter through tears which is absolutely my favorite emotion.    I will one day soon, have the time and means to jump on and ride out this dream.   It’s funny, I was reading a decade old magazine in which I was interviewed.    I knew THEN, prior to my own journey through cancer, that this was what I wanted to do.   My own journey only reinforced this vision.    I CAN do this, and I WILL do this.

I have never seen anyone who only does for themselves truly happy.   How could you be?   Until we can grasp the gift of giving, I don’t think we can achieve longevity in happiness, peacefulness.   Selfish acts will pour out gold perhaps, but will that make us happy?  I believe in karma.  I believe that what we put out comes back ten fold.   I’ve been too bogged down with fear, uncertainty, discouragement to pick myself up and jump to a new track!   Sure, material things are nice.  I’m looking forward to driving my new Lexus, it IS going to happen, I’ve made the decision.   It’s about a decision, failure is not an option.  I will not stop until I accomplish what I want to accomplish, very much like what I did in the decorative painting industry.   I wanted to teach others, I have and do.  I wanted to have my artwork in magazines, I have.  I wanted my artwork on the cover of a magazine, I have.   I wanted a website.  I had one!  Decided it wasn’t worth the work!

So, how do I get there?  Where do I sign up?  How do I start?   It all begins with renewed if not the beginning of hope.  I have grabbed onto an opportunity that I KNOW will not only get me there, but have a LOT of fun doing so!   I’m meeting fun, positive, kind people.  I’m sharing seats with others who are realizing their visions, their dreams.   Next is to believe, to envision, to send it out to the Universe or whom or whatever you believe feeds, channels you.   Before I leave this earth, I will know what it feels like to teach cancer patients to paint, to find their creativity through the tubes, the uncertainties, the difficult and reach for and paint their way through the challenges of cancer.

I know this trek will be full of ups and downs.  So has my life been!  So I might as well go through those ups and downs with others who want me to succeed, who will and are helping me to get beyond the ghosts of yesterday and move onto today.  Powerful.  Powerful.  Powerful.

I am psyched, pumped and ready to roll.   I can do this, and if you so desire?  You CAN, too!    I, we can expose our hidden dreams, and come up with a few new.  It’s time!   What have you got to lose?   For me?  A few pounds, wrinkles, age spots AND the constant worry of survival.    Stay tuned!   ♥♥♥

 

 

Yep, it’s time!

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With my head throbbing from the multitude of tears I have cried today I am hereby declaring the commitment to myself.  I am happy, I am healthy, I am financially secure, and I celebrate this journey to chase and catch my dreams and change my life!!!!!!   Failure is not an option!

 

The “What if’s” ?

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Like any other behavioral change, the decision to make positive changes is much easier than the follow through.    I am working on, or some might suggest I say “I am” practicing positive thinking.

For years I lived with a death grip to the laces on the infamous impending “shoe to drop”.  I became accepting that this was how to live your life… cautiously.   But then again, there is a difference between being cautious and being negative.  This borders on both!

I’ve done enough behavioral therapy to understand the concept.    The last behavioral therapy I did was “ACT”  which stands for Acceptance Commitment Therapy.   I have found this to be the most effective, but there again there is never anything that’s cut and dry.  It depends on the space one is in, mentally, physically, “readiness”…    I learned this therapy 2 years ago.   In short, it is effective with me because of the visual I have.  On the left, what is the behavior?  On the right, my values, my morals, my dreams…   Is this behavior or choice walking me towards what I desire or opposite?    Cognitive changes are hard to do but possible.

I do not believe that anyone has only good days and consistently sees the good, the positive, the beautiful.   Even someone like Joel Olsteen, one of the most positive people in spotlight, has his bad days.    He’s human!  But I would bet his good days far outweigh the bad because of his attitude, the choices he has made to “be happy, be positive”.   I am seeing it today as a choice.

On my long ride home last night in 5pm Boston traffic I had plenty of time to think.  For some reason I didn’t want the radio on because I wanted quiet.   This is something fairly new to me.   It’s comical to hear my friends and family say “You are unusually quiet”.   It’s a good thing.   I’m internalizing, in a healthy way, my thoughts, making decisions based solely on what I feel is best.  Perhaps it is because I’m learning to trust myself?  Perhaps I am listening to my inner voice and sharing it only with God?  I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter.  Truth is, I’m in unfamiliar territory.   I’m paving new ground for me to walk on, and this will eventually become comfortable ground.  It’s not going to happen overnight, but I am determined and have made a decision to do so.  But I digress…

The thought that came to mind is “Failure is not an option”.    This is my new mantra.  I can do anything I want to do if I’m willing to be consistent.   Making my way a little everyday, not going hog wild left or right winged and petering out.   A little bit everyday.   This is how I will achieve success.  This is how I will learn to sit with things, to deal with things, to walk through things.  This is how I am and will feel good about myself.   The days of “Tomorrow is another day” need to cease, or at least the percentage of.   Today, just a little bit today.

But this thinking is perfectionism.  I have to do it ALL, NOW, & PERFECTLY!   I’m not perfect.  I will never BE perfect.  Get over it already!  I am capable of change, I am capable of changing behaviors however small or large this may be.  But I will not be successful doing it all at once.  Motivation?  Momentum?  Important… but this perfectionism I am identifying, this black or white thinking, and this instant gratification crap that I reach out to needs to stop.  One step, one day at a time.

So now I’m asking myself…. What if?   What IF I could be successful?  (that is a loaded statement there, how am I determining my success or failure?)  What IF I could get everything I want?   What IF I could realize my dreams?   Ultimately these questions should be spoken in terms of “I have all that I want.  I am successful, I am enough just as I am, I am, I am, I am…  I am a work in progress, and I am right where I am supposed to be.  Well, this is true if I’m doing my best, right?  If I’m not doing my best, is this statement true?  Hmmm, perhaps.  I know when I’m in a bad place I am the only one who can pull myself out of it.  No one can do this work for me, I have to do it myself and I WANT and AM committed to doing it.    I am becoming a vessel of positivity, peace, the glass half filled and power of now.  THANK GOD!

And now?  Within the scope of this beautiful day we are having, I am happy, I am hungry, so now I am going to eat a pb&j!   How am I going to eat the pb&j?   One bite at a time!!!!!!!!   ♥

 

Spring… I’m jumping on springs!

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It has been a very busy week for me, but a good week.   I have been “good tired” from all.  It’s a wonderful tired, unlike that of depression, pain.    I have been feeling so well I don’t want to change anything, or “rock the boat”.   Now past the fear of “losing it”, I am very much enjoying it.  It seems like a lifetime since I have felt this good.

A conglomeration of a perfected drug regime, two years of therapy, twice, sometimes 3 times a week, monthly appointments with my psychiatrist, what seemed to be a pouring of pain from my soul was and is met with compassion, suggestions, coping skills.   I am humbled, I am grateful for both my therapist and psychiatrist.  I am grateful for my desire and commitment to taking care of myself and learning, at the age of 52, how to love myself.    I’m not fooling myself into thinking this is “happily ever after”… I know better.  There will be times ahead where I will need to delve deep into all that I have and am learning, but today, right now, my life is exempt from further loss, pain of such, or depression.  Hallelujah!

I participated in a festival of arts in Massachusetts this past weekend.  It was the first time in years that I set up a booth with my artwork.   Having passed the torch and props to neighbors and friends who have started a new business, and who were so generously willing to lend me some of their antiques and displays to have the booth, I went well prepared.   At first I was a bit nervous, as I unpacked my wares, but in no time I got into it and enjoyed the process.  Every travel teaching gig, every show, no matter how well organized and prepared I am, I inevitably forget something.  This trip?  I forgot what I selling!  My packets!    It worked out fine.  I did not dwell, in fact, was able to laugh at the ridiculousness of it.

I spent a day and two nights with my girlfriend from Newfoundland, Canada whose normally 9 hour ferry trip turned into 3 days and 3 nights, they were “stuck on ice”.   As she was sharing the story I just kept shaking my head and laughing… only Anna Marie…only Anna Marie would experience something like this!  Well, that and the 799 other passengers whose plans were largely squelched in ice.

It was so nice to connect with others again.   Heck it was nice to SEE others again.  What seemed to be a very long endless winter, thus isolation from even neighbors, shelter from the storms, has ended.   Hope, new birth, warm temperatures and sunshine have returned.   It was evident on the faces of all who attended.   Winter’s in New England are not easy, and we survived another!   It was enjoyable sharing about art, life with friends and students of past, and some, the future.   It was also wonderful to hear compliments on my artwork, and feeling sincere concern from many who inquired as to how I was feeling, understanding the depth of darkness I have crawled out of.   It was nice seeing sincere happiness from others that I am doing so well.    Grateful…I am grateful. 

With my house once again turned upside down with what remains of my booth, I am sitting, looking at it with admiration.  I did it!   I did it!  I really did it!

As the train is passing by, only resting from whistling once every 6 seconds, I am very much aware of my surroundings, I am very much aware of how fortunate I am to have woken up this morning, to a new day…granted another day.

My psychiatrist told me that I get into trouble because I stop doing what I need to do to stay well.  Not intentional, not even consciously.   I have been vigilant of late in continuing and committing to doing things to help myself.  Grateful…I am grateful.

Grateful…I am grateful.

 

 

Reacquainting myself with my paint brush

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Today’s lesson:   Dump the negative connotations and insecurities that keep me from being who I am supposed to be!

Today’s gratitude:   That tomorrow I have therapy.   Missed all of last week and I feel it.

As I sat here this morning, looking over my shoulder at my paint desk I had a heavy feeling in my stomach.    I always go through this when I haven’t picked up my paint brush in a while, and every January I am so burned out from teaching the past year that I take a sabbatical from painting.    What goes through my head is…. “What if I can’t do this anymore?   What if I lost my ability?”   On and on I can go, but I’ll spare you from it.

So after much self coaching I sat down with the photo of what I wanted to paint.  Deep breaths, couldn’t get the chair positioned right, nor able to open my paints or find the right brush……MORE procrastination, more excuses to keep me from finding out if my fears have come to light.   Of course, I changed my mind a few times as to what I wanted to paint.  Hey, I reserve the right to change my mind, and because I have problems with commitment… I just HAVE to change my mind!

I reintroduced myself to my brushes, falsely told them how glad I was to see them.  Dread.  Fucking dread.    I hate this part of my psyche that I am working to change.    After I got painting, however, the brush flowed, my hands and fingers started to work and I then get excited.   You know, come to think of it, I often confuse excitement with dread….   but that’s a horse of a different color.

I think we are hardest on ourselves, I know I am.   I wish I were a fine artist… I wish, I wish, I wish.  As I tell my students, embrace your heavy or light handed painting… it is who you are.    Art is art.  Everyone’s interpretation is cool… okay with the exception of some of the contemporary stupid statues that take little if no thought… but then again, even that has it’s place in the folder of art.     We are all artists, whether we have found so or not.    When I’m asked what kind of artist I am I say… “Con”.     I wish I could draw a nude man…. hell, maybe I’m just wanting to SEE one! 🙂   Anyway, the talent that go into that drawing amazes me.  I love it.    Perhaps one day I will try it.

Phillip Phillips is playing in my background… “Don’t pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear!”    Ain’t that the truth!   I am insecure about many things including on some days, my artwork.   When I have seen fine art, I really want to go home and crawl under my bed… why?  Again, because it is something I want to be and I know I never will be… and you know what?????? That’s okay!   I am uncomfortable painting around others, comically I teach… but to design to paint a picture, I like my solitude.   For some reason I think if I’m painting alongside another artist, I’ll be doing it wrong… which is SO stupid, but sadly true.

I am working on a wildlife scene with Canada geese.   Already I see three things I would have changed, but time is of the essence, deadlines are fast approaching…   I need to produce!

Well, I guess it’s time for me to get back to work.   Still, the heaviness in my gut is there.   As a child I wanted to be two things… an artist and a writer…   I recall a couple artist friends who said they didn’t take this on as a living because they wanted a sound financial life… sighs…    Sometimes I wonder, what would or could I have accomplished if I had continued education in art.   But I can wonder all I want, it won’t change my reality.   My reality?  I love what I do, I hate the lack of financial security.    I guess that is “union dues” for being an artist… ya think?

Hope you have done something today that you enjoy doing…  For me, it certainly isn’t watching the Super Bowl.  Couldn’t care less.    Hockey?  Yes….     Have a Imagegreat day! ♥

Today’s artwork:  Hydrangeas painted on a rusty tin pocket…. probably painted a decade ago or more….

Feeling the need to run…… self sabotage

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I logged onto my computer this morning and found this huge update on bed bugs, and how they are calling OHIO the Bed bug Capital…. OMG I just got BACK from Ohio!  YUCK!  So while my last blog was meant in humor, I suppose it really isn’t humorous when you’ve experienced something like this.  So today I’m vacuuming, washing my sheets and clothes AGAIN in hot water.   yuck yuck yuck.

The past few years I have spent much effort on improving myself.  If you look at my collection of books it is mostly self help books.  I am very self aware, and have worked diligently on areas that keep me from succeeding… success defined by me as getting what I want, not what society thinks I should have.  One painful area of this has been identified as self sabotage.  There are many ways in which I do this.   This past week I found myself feeling the need to run away from something that was scaring me.    The urge was there, the desire was there to run…. Running would only complicate the issue and also confuse me further AND distance me further from what I desire.  These are old thinking and survival skills.  They do not work anymore, and honestly I’m not sure that they ever did!  Fortunately I identified what was going on, I spoke with two people who I love and trust fully and after a sleepless night of tossing and turning, made the choice to defy the old behavior and run BACK INTO MYSELF.  To stand firm with myself, to face my fear, to sit one in the same place with it…

I will not lie to you and say it feels great lol.  As the uncomfortable feelings that I wanted to run from are present, it has been and is cathartic.  I am not creating more confusion for myself, nor am I not diverting my attention to something else.  I am facing this, or not.  I am one with this, and just being.  This in itself is empowering.  This is claiming what is mine, albeit unpleasant at times, but it is in fact, mine, and in many ways it feels good.  I am being true to Donna.  I made a commitment to myself almost five years ago that I was going to be true to myself always.  This was after allowing things in my life, losing part of myself, and denying myself the life that I wanted… it IS important to be true to yourself, no matter how much you love someone else, you have to love yourself a bit more.

So, I’m being gentle on myself today, in fact its only 12:45pm and I’ve just crawled in bed for a nap.  I plan to take a hike with my dog, maybe go for a ride and crank the tunes, paint, tomorrow I hope to spend some time with girlfriends, and in general, I plan to be good to myself today because I know that walking in new territory although it will lead to solid ground…feels rocky and unsafe when we first start out.