Well, the children have returned to school, finally, after their Christmas/New Year break. The first thing I did, and I felt slightly guilty and extremely decadent, I got a cup of coffee, snuggled down into my bed and read a whole book, cover to cover. I didn’t have one interruption and the silence was heavenly. It was a great start to 2014.
I had an amazingly creative and inspiring year and I needed a few days alone to process all the amazing things that happened to me in 2013. I should begin by saying that my motto for 2013, was to say Yes, to new experiences and opportunities where and when they appeared. If a door opened, even if I wasn’t exactly sure where it would lead, I said, Yes. I began to have faith in my intuition and artistic instincts and each step of the way, someone offered me advice and support to help me grow further.
Creatively, in 2013, I started selling my photo cards, after some prodding, at my friend Beth’s Store, (simplysoapsmv.com). Beth has been a huge source of support for me as she endlessly encourages me to believe in myself as an artist, so I said Yes. She is also an amazing Artist, business woman, and best friend, saying Yes to her was easy.
A few months later, at my local gym, the owner Holly, asked I could help her fill up a blank wall in the gym with my photographs? Um, Yes! Then, Holly suggested that I put prices on them and see if people would buy them, so I said, yup you got it, Yes. I arrived the next day to hang six framed photographs and before my class was over, I had sold them all. I couldn’t believe it. I would repeat this process three more times and each time the photographs sold out. I was delighted, terrified, and a totally flabbergasted, but so thankful that I said Yes. I am so grateful that Holly gave me this wonderful chance to display and sell my work.
A few months ago, Beth began offering different Artists the chance to have an art show at her store during the Holiday season. I was hesitant, probably fearful is a better word but I said Yes. I was able to sell my photographs and cards and my confidence continued to blossom. I have attended many art shows but have never been the subject of one and I learned more than I can say from that one experience. Yes! Thanks Beth.
As if my cup hadn’t already runneth over, I received the opportunity of a lifetime, going to Italy with Beth. She called last February and asked me if I wanted to go with her to Venice, Florence, and Rome for 10 days? I didn’t just say Yes, I shouted, YES, YES!! The trip changed me as a person and raised my artistic perceptions to levels I haven’t even processed completely. I was awestruck, inspired, and astounded by the beauty and the culture of Italy,. The country, the people, the food, the wine, and the art work, sublime, a totally out-of-body experience. Everywhere I went I snapped pictures on the move, clicking away on my camera like a maniac. I was spinning and whirling, pausing and shooting at a breakneck pace. I stopped so many times to take pictures, Beth was afraid she would lose me somewhere in Rome just turning in circles cackling with delight. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of buildings, canals, churches, bridges, mountains, cathedrals, museums, art, architecture, Pope Francis, and food, lots and lots of pictures of food.
What I learned from 2013 is that my dreams can be bigger and more limitless than I could imagine. If I can let go of my need to orchestrate my life and follow the breadcrumbs to where I supposed to go, my destiny unfolds in technicolor and with great clarity. Besides battling upstream is so much harder than traveling with the current. I found that I could put my energies to better use and push myself to grow, develop and to create in ways I have not yet explored or as yet discovered.
The people I have met on WordPress were among the first people who gave me the confidence to believe in myself when I finally summoned the courage to post my art. Each blogger has opened themselves up and shared their talents with me and others, and for that I am eternally grateful. Just seeing all the amazing work that creative people are contributing all over the world, humbles me. With just a click of a button, the blogging community embraces other Artists who have the courage and can bear the vulnerability and fear necessary, to reach out and claim their dreams. To say that I have been influenced, inspired and amazed by these fellow Artists, is an understatement. Thank you hardly seems enough but I am grateful for your contributions and for your kind support.
For 2014, my aim is to continue to grow as an Artist and as a person. I will move with purpose and faith to further propel myself beyond my own perceived boundaries,expectations, and self imposed limits . I will continue saying Yes to new opportunities as they appear in my life. I will continue to value the experiences and the people who have helped shape the Artist that I am today and the Artist I hope to be one day. Once I stepped away from fear and the negative nay-sayers, I found a community of fellow Artists who have encouraged, supported and inspired me every step of my journey. Here’s hoping 2014 exceeds all of our wildest expectations.
I remember as a child thinking that a whole year, seemed like a lifetime of way too many tomorrows. Nowadays, the year seems to whizz by in a flash. Now my sons moan and groan that next week, next month or next year, will never get here fast enough. This year, I feel the exact opposite.
It seems like just yesterday I was running from one store to another searching for the perfect gift, at the last-minute, (don’t judge), and wrapping them in a marathon session while watching Scrooge, any drinking spiked eggnog. I am a procrastinator, and when it comes to Christmas, I don’t really get into a groove until the 25th or the 26th and by then everyone else is Christmas carolled out.
Maybe it’s the flailing panicked dash from store to store getting the “right” gifts, or the canned Christmas Muzak blasting through tin speakers with intermittent sale advertisements peppered with false cheer. Perhaps it’s the commercialism, the artful dance of dazed out consumer and ravenous proprietors that makes me oily and used. I’ve gotten to the point where I am just pushing through the holiday frenzy with barely time to enjoy the Holiday Spirit. Although I may indulge in a few spirits to get me through the throngs of holiday shoppers who couldn’t be bothered to carve out their shopping time, parsing it out in drips and drabs over the past year, instead of rushing last-minute into the stores waving lists overhead, shouting and sweating in their numerous Christmas layers. I know I already said I am one of these people, I thought it deserved another mention.
Although I haven’t reached “Humbug” status, the pressure is on to make this Christmas even better than last year. Frankly, I may be creating the problem myself; trying to top those spectacular “WoW” Christmas days when the boys were small and we got to play with the toys on Christmas day. Now it’s gift cards, video games, ipods, kindles, and worse yet, the dreaded, “just money,” requests. No more trucks, or puzzles or remote-controlled helicopters, (that we as parents had to play first, strictly for safety purposes), But we were included and involved in the Reindeer games, tracking Santa, and making Santa cookies. Instead I have been reduced to becoming my children’s Personal Shopper. Is that why I am so grumpy?
So, in an attempt to bring Holiday cheer to myself and everyone around me, even if it kills me, and should you also need Holiday cheer, I will post a photo designed to remind me that “Christmas Time is Here” and it’s not just about the gifts!!
And don’t forget, the end of 2013 is looming and the ushering of the 2014th year, is right around the corner. Then we will be bombarded with the 2013th end of the year highlight lists, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I remember when I thought 1999 seemed impossibly far off.