GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


Adventures in Painting (a shed)

Oh it was a busy weekend! First I road 30 miles, my longest distance so far, in training for a 33 mile ride in November. A ride I signed up for next month has been changed to a virtual only event, so I wonder if the November ride will follow suit. Get your vaccine people! So that afternoon I was pretty immobile. I did not get my normal post ride headache. I started to get a headache so I would grab some salt and put it under my tongue. I did that every time I felt a headache starting, which seemed like most of the afternoon, but it didn’t go into full blown migraine mode. Maybe I’ve solved the post ride headache mystery.

The next day my mother-in-law was in town and helped paint the shed that was built last month. I think we have about 90% done. I’ll work on the trim this week and my husband will paint the top sides that I wasn’t comfortable painting on the ladder. This was the 1st time in over 30 years that I painted that wasn’t an art canvas. My mom’s voice was in my head loud! “You’re dripping paint, watch what you’re doing”. “You’re getting paint everywhere” “You’re not doing that right, you’re just making a mess”. Every time time a drop of paint landed on me, or the ground, BOOM there’s my mom. I kept reminding myself paint was getting on the walls and we bought WAY too much paint so it’s not like it was being wasted if I dropped some.

I was on the edge of an emotional breakdown. Comments made were hitting a bit harder than they normally would. I tried to explain to my husband, but was told “Don’t be X, be Y instead”… and repeated questions about what color the doors would be, I had to get away and hid in my closet for a bit. No more than 5 minutes, I don’t think anyone noticed I was gone, or upset.

I’m glad to have a quiet day today, prep for the beginning of next month and have time to myself. If you’re struggling today, you’re not alone. Let’s take one moment, one task at a time, pause to rest when needed and if you’re able to have a self-care day enjoy you’re favorite activities.

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Busy weekend & thrown schedules

I realized yesterday evening I didn’t write a blog post. My weekend was busy and my schedule has been thrown off. Monday felt like Sunday, even though I was at work.

I’m still playing with finding a schedule for writing and making my podcast. I was going to skip this week’s podcast but I knew that would lead to pushing it off more and more. So I recorded some thoughts on initiating conversations with strangers as I drove to work. When I scheduled it for Wednesday, I noticed that the last podcast was still set in draft mode. I thought I had scheduled it. I tried scheduling it again, and it remained in my draft folder. Then I noticed I have to put a comment about the episode before the publish button become active. I did end up skipping a week, inadvertently, and I’m really ahead of the game with 2 podcasts scheduled.

In a spiritual discussion with friends about Week 10 of The Artists Rule one of my Stop Doing/To Be was Stop planning everything and be spontaneous. I don’t think spontaneity works in all aspects of life. I like the comfort of a schedule. Knowing I will write or record on certain days helps me stay consistent. Consistency is something I’ve also had problems with in the past.

This week’s Fairy Card is The Big Behind. I would have laughed if I had pulled this card the week after my colonoscopy. The gist of this card is knowing your options & changing perspective. Look behind you instead of always forward. In cycling I have a difficult time looking behind me for cars when I need to change lanes. I have installed mirrors on my drop bars which helps but I still need to gain the skill of being able to turn around to look while riding. Sometimes you need to reverse trek and go back to where you come from in order to advance. I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood and how different I am now. Am I really different though? Can I incorporate or return to that fearless chatterbox of a little girl?


Thankful Thursday August 12 2021

Technically today is Friday the 13th. I didn’t quite forget about writing yesterday. I just remembered when it was an inopportune time to write. It’s been a busy week!

  • I’m thankful for cycling with friends
  • I’m thankful for cold brew coffee on a hot afternoon
  • I’m thankful for pollinator flowers attracting butterflies to my yard
  • I’m thankful for going to bed early some nights
  • I’m thankful for brain puzzles like sudoku
  • I’m thankful for trying new things

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August already?

I guess it’s been August for a week but seeing school zone lights flashing this morning really reinforced that summer is coming to an end. We’re in a head advisory so it doesn’t feel like fall.

The weekend was busy. New adventures and paths ridden on my bike. I joined a friend on a 21 mile total. We stopped at a mural festival, met up with other friends that took a different (longer) route, enjoyed some ice coffee and donut from a local cafe. I pushed myself too hard as usual and ended up borderline overheated.

It’s so hard to not push myself on rides. If there is a specific destination in mind, I push myself to get there quickly. I push myself in groups as to not hold anyone else back. I want to relax into the adventure of travelling new roads and seeing new things.

Maybe it’s like a meditation practice, or yoga practice. A cycling practice.

I forgot to pull a faery card for the week. I meant to pull a Wild Offering card this morning but forgot that as well. I have a life coaching cards app on my phone. I’ll “pull” a card from it…. “Shooting Star” That’s appropriate since I have the Perseid meteor shower peaks on Wednesday.

I don’t have much on my calendar for the week so I won’t rush in to fill the empty squares. Being mindful and present is a goal but not something I need to put on a “to do” list.

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Thankful Thursday August 5 2021

I’m not sure I like the whole bullet list of gratitudes format.  It feels forced like I’m making a grocery list.  Something to check off without really thinking about it.

I am thankful for a lot of things this week. They all kind of flow together though.  The weather has been cool so I’ve been cycling more.  In cycling more, I’m riding farther and the group ride I do was a lot easier than it has been in the past.  I know the weather makes a huge difference but I hope that I’m getting fitter as well.  

Some of my cyclist friends are also artists. One is curating the Free Little Art Gallery in Edmond, and another artist friend (not a cyclist) visited a second Free Little Art Gallery in our city.  It’s rather close to my house, so I rode my bike to visit it with the intention of dropping off an Artist Trading Card. I forgot the card but discovered a Little Free Library nearby too. 

I wanted to add some miles to my ride so I stopped by a geocache, which was my 500th find. With that and my 21 mile ride on the weekend, I’ve been able to mark off 2 of my goals for 2021. I had forgotten I made goals when I got a paper planner for the year. It’s been interesting revisiting them.

Community has been a theme for the week and I’m thankful for my artist book club group.  One of our group will be moving to Italy so we had a small feast and discussed the chapter of The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp we’re on, enjoying her company before her grand adventure.   I was anxious that it would be a rather somber gathering, but we’re all excited about her move. “My friend in Italy” has a nice ring to it.

What are you thankful for this week?


Pause and reset

It’s been a busy weekend. Another longest ride (so far), yardwork, meeting and discussing art and the creative process with friends, laundry. Then it rolled right into the 1st of a new month. The first week of the month is my busiest time. Reports to go audit, files to upload, I always feel rush even when I’m not. The first day of the month is the worst because I put so much pressure on myself to power through it all. When the first day of the month falls on a Monday when I have a zoom book group discussion and need to leave work early to make a women’s bike ride triple that pressure.

I’ve noticed I’m sleeping less. I’m staying up later to get things done in the evenings that get pushed aside because other things need to be done as well. I’m relying more on coffee and caffeine.

I feel like I’ve accomplished more but at what price? I’m a bit light headed, I’m always wanting to take a nap, I’m slipping on healthy eating habits choosing junk food for quick energy and crashing.

Today I’m pausing and resetting my schedule.