Of course, Five Things a la Liz Lamoreux is just another kind of list, but I love spending a few minutes at the end of the day finding five good things. Today had a lot of them, but I feel too tired to really write all about it, so a list seems like the perfect way to still capture the essence.
Had friends stop by for a short while to visit. Luna was thrilled--she's our little social butterfly cat and loves company and is sure everyone who comes over is here to see her.
Went to a small gathering with those same friends and two others in a park to hang out (masked) under a shelter and work on crafty projects, and it was lovely. Sunny and breezy and the park is very pretty with lots of trees, and it was so nice to be together making things.
After our crafty session, we went to dinner and had Lebanese food on the patio, and it was delicious, and there was more fun and good conversation, and it felt really close to normal
There were fireworks from the nearby sports stadium, and while it was very loud, it was really pretty, and I really do love to see fireworks. I just can't deal with the noise very well anymore.
My cats were so happy when we came home that they chased each other all over the house and did all their cutest things to let us know they were glad we were back, and they make me so happy I could just about melt!
You might just be getting a lot of lists from me this month. I'm good with that. I thought maybe I should use some different images, and I might later in the month, but this is my "listy" image, so for now I'm sticking with it. So here's today:
The school I'm working at is like a mini college campus rather than a high school. We have different buildings for different subjects, and there are some very pretty areas to walk through and even sit in because there are benches. I love walking through there to get to my classroom in the mornings.
Right outside my classroom window is a small landscaped space, and there are some absolutely gigantic crows who like to hang out nearby, and today one of them hopped closer and peeked through the window at me, and I was so happy to have a friend visiting!
The sudden shift to being back on a school schedule has exhausted me, and I just have to accept that my body reacts to change this way. I'm moving around a lot more. I'm not spending big chunks of time with my feet up. So I'm tired and achy, and that's probably pretty normal and not a sign of some moral deficiency. I want to stop feeling embarrassed by this.
I need a haircut, so once again I have to try to find a place to go and see if I find a good fit this time around.
I am ordering in food tonight because I am worn out and can't manage cooking, and I want to stop feeling guilty and embarrassed about this, too.
I got an adorable, perfectly fitting new jean jacket yesterday. I'm pretty sure this is why the temperatures are surging upward for the next bunch of days. The weather is thwarting me and keeping me from wearing the cuteness!
The past couple of years, suddenly I'm not as neutral about getting older as I had been until I hit 55. I keep feeling like it's too late to be and do the things I always wanted to. I think this attitude needs some work and some big changes so I can maybe get moving and do some cool things.
I am really behind on some things, and now I have an actual job that's going to take a lot of mental space and energy, and I hope I can get my art piece done for the November show. But I might have to switch to a less complicated piece, and I need to give myself the okay to do that and just move on.
I have a four day weekend now, and I really hope I can stir up some energy and get at least a couple of house things done, but I'm really worried that I won't manage it.
I'm pretty sure I'm babbling on the page now because I'm really tired, so I'm going to wrap this thing up.
Effy Wild is doing a blog along again this month (here's a link to the Facebook group if you want to join in), and I am jumping in against all reason. I may not be able to do it every day. I just started a new (sadly temporary) teaching job, and life just got hectic. But I was planning to do this, so I'm giving it a go. Today, here's a list of things I'm thinking about.
I want a clean and welcoming home that I love to look at. I want a group to talk about this with and encourage and support each other in creating the habitats we want (I'm working on the group). I really want to keep my motivation steady and make this happen.
I have a new job, and I love it and am sad that it's only temporary, and I'm only two days in so I'm still trying to adjust to sudden employment, and I can't believe how wiped out I am.
I'm redecorating myself and just got a completely perfect jean jacket that isn't too long on me, and I am so much more thrilled than I expected to be. But I look so cute in it!
I am ready for fall weather but not quite ready for the longer days and relaxed schedule of summer to be gone.
I'd love to write more, but I'm seriously exhausted. So how's your world?
Here's a little glimpse of the hodgepodge of projects I have going on right now. Is it possible to have too many good ideas? Nah...
First, the big new project that came on suddenly last night. We're doing a piano to desk conversion for my art table in my studio! It really did come together fast. My partner found a photo and showed it to me because he knew I would like it. I said, "I want it!" I didn't even realize at the time that it used to be a piano; I just thought it was a really cool desk. So he checked to see if anyone around had a piano. He found someone who had posted two minutes before about a piano they were giving away because it could no longer be tuned or repaired (apparently people give away a lot of pianos!). This morning he texted the person. They said come get it. He texted his father and brother who both happened to be available (a rarity because they're busy guys), and now a piano is at my house waiting to become a desk!
Next up we suddenly found ourselves in possession of two bases from old treadle sewing machines! One is going to become a patio table with a reclaimed wood top, and the other is going to be the base for a stand-sit desk in my partner's office. And the old machine that came with one of them is going to be garden decor, possibly where it is on my favorite big stone in the front of the house or possible on a few paving stones in our biggest plant bed. That part's to be decided. We also had been talking about using the metal from a park bench to make a patio chair from if we could find one, and then his father said they were getting rid of an old and damaged bench and asked if we wanted it! And of course the answer was yes!
Finally, a friend who knows I love old typewriters (I have a small collection) gifted me this fabulous mid-century Royal that I'm cleaning and tuning up to use in a cool bookbinding project I'm just starting (the paper in the second photo is for that).
Sometimes you tell the Universe you want a thing or two, and the Universe is very generous and sends it all your way. I feel like that's been happening the past week or so, and now I'm pretty sure I have plenty of projects to last me most of the summer. Stay tuned! I'm sure there will be plenty of photos as I go along.
Just a small selection of project scraps from the table next to me. Don't worry, I put the cap back on the marker!
Just a little wrap-up after my daily blogging with Effy Wild during April.
I love doing blog challenges! I had forgotten how much fun they are, and I'm so glad I did this and connected with a bunch of other creatives and stretched my blogging muscles.
Daily blogging is way too much for me, at least long term. But I like the push of "blogging must happen today," so I'm trying out a set schedule of blogging on Wednesdays and Sundays. We'll see how that goes.
Back on April 1 at the start of the blog-along I wrote about these cute habit trackers I found. I loved them! They were adorable! I completely forgot to use them after two days. It turns out having them glued into my planner does not remind me to fill them in. I did do some of the things on that list (blogging for the challenge which I did each day in April, story writing which I did very little of, and cleaning something which I also did very little of). I do great with my monthly exercise calendar which has my goals for the month and squares to put cute stickers in every time I exercise. And it also hangs on a board in my bedroom where I see it several times a day, and I'm wondering if that visibility is a much more crucial element than I realized. I'm going to rearrange a few things and make space for hanging up more trackers, and I will try again in June (or maybe a half-month thing starting mid-May).
I'm working through a 90-day novel writing book with a couple of writer friends. We started May 1, and so far it's different from what I imagined and seems pretty useful. More about that in another post, maybe on Sunday.
That's about it in my corner of the world. Looking at what's been working. Making plans for how to use that going forward. How are things in your corner?
I had a few different topics rolling around in my head for today's post. Then I opened Jon Acuff's Friday newsletter, and this sentence flung itself into my brain. I almost never read newsletters when they hit my inbox, so this was kind of an odd situation. I decided it must mean something, me reading it on the day I got it, and this sentence getting stuck in my head. And so here we are.
Feelings are an odd thing for me. I used to fight mine a lot. I used to try to never cry and not show too many of them. In my family, I was known for never crying at funerals. And at the same time I was actually incredibly emotional. I just saved the tears and the expression of it all for when I was alone or with a couple of close friends. It was like this all through high school and college and beyond.
I've been practicing more at expressing my feelings, examining them and doing what needs doing with them in a timely manner rather than burying them. And I've realized that my struggles with trying to control my emotions, keep them in check and invisible, has lead me to let them rule me and make all my decisions for me.
I've had that understanding but not quite these words for it until today when this phrase came along and lit everything up for me. Emotions are important. They need to be listened to, acknowledged, worked with. But letting them make the decisions in how I talk to myself and my actions--that doesn't need to be the way things go.
This is something I know, of course. I've known it for a long time. It's so much harder to practice than it seems like it should be. So this reminder today, when I've been having a lot of hard days, is good and needed.
I don't have a wrap-up. This is just a thing that swirled back into my attention today in a way that made it a little clearer and more solid, and now I am thinking of ways to work with it to help me move toward the life I want to be living. It's good stuff, but it's still open-ended. Like life is. Like so many things are.
I'm sluggish today. My allergies are trying to murder me, and I can't seem to get anything going. So here's a list of things I'm thinking about, in no particular order.
I need a different storage solution for my water soluble mark makers. I don't like having the art crayons in plastic tubes in with the watercolor crayons that are paper wrapped. And definitely I don't want the watercolor pencils mixed in there. So, something different needs to happen.
I want to take pictures. In high school and college I took photography classes and did a lot of shooting. I want to do it again, but I'm not entirely sure what to take pictures of. I think I might be overthinking it.
I absolutely love my art cart, and it doesn't fit in the space I have for it in my studio, and that's just not going to do. I need a new plan. Meanwhile it can stay next to the dining table where I've been doing all my art for the past year.
I have been aware for a while that part of why I don't go sit at my desk or art table to do things is that I am physically uncomfortable. Not really sure what to do with that. I've tried different chairs, but no luck so far. I am hoping the new physical therapy exercises I've found, along with the PT ball I got for them, will help with my hip and leg, and then maybe I will be more inclined to sit in my spaces and work. Meanwhile, I want to figure out all the other things that will make the space appealing to sit in so I can break my habit of sitting on the couch constantly. I don't get much of anything done here beyond writing blogs and newsletters and browsing the internet. And I want to do more.
I'm doing this 365 mile challenge (walk 365 miles in a year), and I'm afraid I'm not going to make the goal. I'm very slow and don't have the stamina to do more than a mile at a time. And now I injured my knee (recovering though!), so I've had to dial back a bit. By now, according to my plan at the beginning of the year, I should be walking 1.5 miles 5 times a week. Now I have to rework that plan, but I think I also need to rework how I'm thinking about this and start celebrating the walking I am doing and the progress I'm making. Because two years ago I could walk half a mile on a good day, and I had to use a cane. So this is really progress.
I kind of want to get a couple of friends together and form a writing critique and support group to give myself a push to get back to writing stories again.
I think I need to make myself a separate list of the things I need to get done over the next few days and get on them, because I've been procrastinating so now I'm behind, and I feel like I don't know where to start. When in doubt, start with a list.
That's about it. I mean, I could go on, but I'd just be babbling. I'll be back tomorrow, possibly with less babbling (but possibly not, so don't get too excited!).
I feel a little awkward and uncertain about putting this out there. I donâ€™t know if this is mine to write. But this is what Iâ€™ve been thinking about and working on for myself the past few days, and I feel like itâ€™s important, so Iâ€™m sharing.
Antiracism work must be folded into our everyday lives. It must become part of normal. We go about our days, work, cook, clean, do our art challenges, fitness challenges, read some antiracism and justice and equity articles or books or social media, share, donate on payday. Make this normal. Make it what you do. Make it sustainable for the long haul.
Things you can do to start making it part of daily life:
Join book clubs that read and talk about antiracism and equity
Join online groups that talk about antiracism and equity and actions
Follow BIPOC social media accounts that do the same
Regularly shop from Black-owned businesses
Follow BIPOC artists and creatives
Read BIPOC authors
There are others out there writing about this, about things we can do to do more and keep things going. Find them, read them, do the things. Keep the change happening!