GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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My Mind is Numb

I want to be consistent with this writing thing, but when I sit down with my laptop, I don’t have any ideas.  A lot has happened in the last 3 days.  Worried mama type things. Spontaneous crying.  My son had an incident at work. A fall causing a seizure, or a seizure causing a fall.  No one saw what happened. A phone call from the paramedics asking what hospital I wanted him to go to will haunt me.  I arrived at the ER expecting to see him unconscious, hooked up to machinery. He was standing, putting his shirt back on. One side of his face was covered in dried blood.   A cut on the side of his head. I know head wounds bleed a lot. A fractured vertebra we found out about later.  They took him for a scan.  I heard on the intercom “Code Blue in CT Room 1”  I knew it was him.   He doesn’t remember much from the hospital, and virtually nothing after the second seizure and was medicated.

Luckily, he’s back to himself now, despite random bouts of nausea and vomiting. (I honestly don’t need to hear your explanation of concussion symptoms. I’ve been given more advice on concussions (which he was NOT diagnosed with) than a pregnant woman gets on childrearing.)

The coming week will be busy.  The next few months my routine will be disrupted.  I don’t care about any of that, as long as he’s okay.  I’m trying to not hover like a mama hawk. Technically, he IS an adult.  I’ve hugged him more the last 3 days than I have in the past 3 months.  He knows I’m worried.  Luckily, he tolerates me.   I hated when my mom treated me like a child even when I was in my 30s and 40s.  I honestly don’t think she ever saw me as a functioning adult.  I’m working on giving him space but being available if needed.

I know moms who have lost children. I can’t even begin to imagine what they have gone through.  I feel like my worry is, insignificant? compared to their experiences.  And I feel guilty.

I’m focusing on catching up housework, and laundry.  I went out for a while and sketched.  I’ve mowed.   I decided to write although I feel this is more of a rambling stream of consciousness.   Maybe getting it all out of my head will help.  Or I’ll just go clean out the fridge.

 


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Facing Fear

I turned 50 recently, and with that, thinking about what I miss out on because I’m afraid.

  • Afraid of what people may think
  • Afraid it will be too difficult
  • Afraid of being uncomfortable

I’ve seen 2 rabbits in less than 24 hours.  One last night in a yard as I was riding my bike (facing a fear) and one this morning while driving to work.  The one this morning was laying in the grass easement next to a busy divided highway.

A quick search on the metaphysical meaning of Rabbit mentioned facing & flushing out fear.  Wow… that’s exactly what I’ve been contemplating lately.

I had taken some Soulodge courses with Pixie Lighthorse 6 years ago or so, and I’m certain Rabbit was one of them.  I’m sure I have the lessons saved on my external hard drive at home.

This past weekend, I put my fear aside.  I went alone to a knitting group for the 1st time.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured if worse came to worst, I can sit in a corner and focus on my knitting.   I really had a great time. It was a small group and everyone was friendly.  I managed to get a good chunk done on a sock (now finished).  I’m planning on what I want to start for the meeting next month.

Then in the afternoon, I went to a writing group.  I know I’m a sporadic blogger and would like to change that.  This group was very inspirational and I had a lot of ideas brewing for upcoming topics.  Maybe I’ll adventure more and try my hand at poetry.

In the evening – still the same day – I went to a wine tasting for cyclists.  I’m not actually a cyclist, but I do plan on getting there.  The women I met were very encouraging, which instigated my 1st ride last evening, where I saw Rabbit.  Facing my fears after stories of falls and crashes.

Everything comes back full circle.


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There and Back Again

I am back home after my trip to South Carolina.  It was a whirlwind of activity and now I’m playing catch up at home and work.

The flight out of Oklahoma was delayed slightly but there were no problems making the connection in Houston.  I had come to accept the fact that there’s nothing I can do to control flights, lay overs, delays or cancellations so there wasn’t any point in getting worked up about it.   I resolved to go with the flow, and fortunately everything went smoothly.

I had forgotten how much I love the sensation of take off in a plane.   Taxing to speed and then that little lurch in your stomach as the plane achieves lift.   The turns where you’re looking straight down out the window…. I may be claustrophobic but I’m not afraid of heights!20190304_095514_002

Then I had a “Headspace” moment (Headspace is a meditation app) where it’s often commented that regardless of the weather and clouds we experience in our minds, the sun is still shining above the clouds.    Flying above the clouds with the sun shining off the wing although I had just 15 mins earlier had been on an icy, cold, grey ground was very poignant.

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I don’t usually have a problem sketching in public but I wasn’t comfortable sketching in such close conditions as on a plane. I forced myself to get my sketchbook though, because I knew this was a rare opportunity.

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Monday evening I had a chance to meet up with an Art Friend I had met online a few years back.  I participated in her Travel Art Journal round robin and it was great to finally meet IRL.  Danni showed me the waterfalls in the downtown Greenville area and we stopped at Spill The Beans for coffee and chatted for quite a while.

 

Tuesday was all day training, and dinner with the training group but I did get to meet a local geocacher, The Scout Master and his wife for an hour of geocaching.  It was late when the dinner group got back to the hotel and I’m not a night owl anyway. I did get my South Carolina state souvenir and signed 3 puzzle caches I had solved.

Wednesday was another day of training, and then we left straight for the airport.  No delays this time, although when I checked in my kiosk printed ticket read “SEE AGENT” for my seat from Houston to OKC.  I started to get anxious I was going to be bumped but my seat was assigned at the gate.

It was great being back home and kind of weird to drive again after being shuttled around for 3 days.  I had 2 days back in the office to play catch up before next week and this weekend is time to play catch up at home.

I’m not sure I would want to travel regularly for work.  It is completely exhausting but once in a while would be okay.

 

 


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Learning a New Language

A few years ago I discovered the app Duolingo, and thought it would be fun to learn Spanish.   It’s something I could use daily in the job I had then, and the one I have now, and I’ve always wanted to learn a 2nd language.

I’ve gotten pretty far in the course, but with the old Duolingo system of having to practice to keep your circles gold, I was spending more time reviewing past lessons than learning new ones.  So I eventually stopped.   I’ve seen with returning that once your lesson is gold, it stays that way!  You’re constantly adding on what you learn so you’re always reviewing. I’m enjoying the new system a lot more.   So much so that I decided I’d learn Dutch.

Dutch is a fun language.  “Ze zijn zijn zons” has been my favorite sentence so far and my favorite word is constantly changing, most recent from slagroom (whipped cream) to handschoenen (gloves or “hand shoes”).  It’s helped reading some posts online from Dutch friends, but don’t know any Dutch speaking people personally or IRL.

Friday night I went to my cousin’s birthday get together. He has learned Spanish and a lot of friends are native Spanish speakers.  I noticed at the party half the room was speaking Spanish, the other half English.  Everyone was friendly and I had a great time but it was just so obvious that Spanish is more useful in my life right now than Dutch.  So for 2019 my goal is to finish the Spanish tree in Duolingo, become conversational (forget fluency!)  I have a GoComics page set up for Spanish comics to follow, I know there’s the Duolingo podcast and I’ll look for more when I have time today, plus I know we have a few Spanish radio stations I could set up.

I’m sad to leave Dutch behind for the moment.  I thought I could learn both languages simultaneously but that didn’t work out for me.

I’m not giving up my Nijntje videos though!

Namaste.


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Catching Up – June 2018 Edition

I’m glad today is the last day of June.  June isn’t my favorite month and this year proved to be extra difficult.

Jet died on June 17th between 6:18 – 7:40pm.  I checked on him and then went to mow the easement and back yard.  I came back in and David was up, and told me Jet was gone.   I was glad he wasn’t suffering anymore but I really had a hope he would recover.   When talking with coworkers about pets, I’ve caught myself still saying “I have 4 cats”.   I bought a small Bast statue for him, as I did with our kitten Kali ,who died about 20 years ago.  I didn’t realize it was so tiny when I bought it, but it’s now sitting up with Kali’s Bastet.20180630_0634531

I’ve been sketching more this month. There’s been 2 outings to a nearby park, one demo at a friend’s coffee shop and today I’ll be driving to a farm about an hour away to sketch live chickens for World Sketch a Chicken Day.   I don’t draw from live animals much.  It’s such a challenge because they refuse to stay still.  I’ve done gesture drawings of the corgis as they’re sleeping or chewing on their toys but they still move constantly.  I may pack a bit more than my simple purse travel kit.

Oh, that reminds me…  I simplified my travel kit a bit.  Instead of a 12 half-pan Windsor & Newton travel palette, I used some blue poster tack and stuck 6 half pans (yellow, red, blue, burnt sienna, titan buff and yellow ocher) into a small tin, and cut down a make up sponge to fill up the rest of the tin.  It’s been challenging since I have to mix my greens but I love that it’s so lightweight and takes up no room in my purse.

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This was before I decided to add the ocher

I’m also geocaching more and will be in the next 3 weeks with the Hidden Creatures souvenirs going on currently.  I’ve only managed to find Bigfoot but will sign some puzzle caches I have solved as I drive back into town from the farm chicken sketching outing.   I have 65 puzzles solved (I honestly never thought I’d ever work puzzle caches!) and I made a list of all the 1/1 skirt lifters so I hope to hit my 100 mark quickly.

That’s my catch up for the rest of the month.  There are a few other things, but I’m saving those for another post.   Now I’ll decide what art supplies to pack today.   Chicken Sketch Posts forthcoming!

Namaste.


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Marketing IN YOUR FACE!

I’m a sucker for a freebie.  I don’t think I’m alone in this.  When a creative person offers a “free” workshop with various teachers, I tend to jump on board.  Of course, each teacher is going to offer a free gift with their course.  A PDF file tutorial or discount for their next workshop, just sign up with your email and you’ll get the free gift.  Along with all of their marketing newsletters, updates, offers.

The GDPR emails have me thinking, what do I really need in my life, email wise.  Some of the newsletters I’ve stayed on.  They’re unobtrusive, maybe one or two a  month or every few months.  Artists and creatives that I really love.   Others, holy crap, it’s like the pushy used car salesman that won’t leave you alone no matter how many times you say you’re just looking.

  • 1st email: Workshop offer
  • 2nd email: I wanted to make sure you saw my workshop offer
  • 3rd email: I really think you’ll love this AMAZING workshop offer
  • 4th email:  Here’s what others have said about my INCREDIBLE workshop offer
  • 5th email: Don’t let this ONCE IN A LIFETIME workshop offer pass you by.
  • 6th mail:  This is your LAST CHANCE to sign up for my workshop offer (until I run it again in 6 months month).

It’s frustratingly crazy and a little bit sad.  I get you have to put yourself out there.  It’s something I don’t do well, and I’m working on it.  But the IN YOUR FACE emails and notifications are wearing me out.  Like physically.  I’m exhausted deleting, unsubscribing and turning off app notifications because they’re a constant bombardment.

I’ll say No Thank You to the many free workshops that offer a variety of teachers, each offering free gifts and their own workshops, with multiple teachers offering free gifts.  (I’m getting an Amway vibe just writing that!)

Within the last year, I get to deal with a box truck with digital billboards driving down the road when I’m going to work.  It drives the speed limit, during rush hour traffic easily flowing 5-10 miles over the speed limit.  You get stuck behind this thing, forget about getting around because everyone is flying past you.

And algorithms.  These do kind of make me laugh because I’m on the computer a lot at work, looking up spec sheets for products we offer.  Now on my Facebook sidebar I’m being shown products I have no personal interest in, but had to look up information on it for project at work.

I don’t think my  little rant will have any effect on the amount of marketing shoved in our faces but I am being aware of it, and how I respond to it. It won’t go away but I don’t have to join the zombie mob slowly ambling towards the latest gadget, or workshop.

Namaste.

I have to chuckle that the spell check function doesn’t recognize the word “unsubscribing”


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Back to Steady

Oh, I feel like myself again.

After 3 days of socializing, I spent yesterday afternoon at home.  I made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen some, and was in bed by 8:30pm.  Sometimes I chide myself for going to bed so early but I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

I’ll be travelling for work today, and have a social event on my calendar this evening.  I may run into the person who upset me Saturday.  I won’t initiate a conversation, but I will probably say HI in passing.  It’s not in my nature to be rude intentionally.

I’m behind again on A Course in Miracles, but I have been consistently writing each evening in my Gratitude Journal.  Just a few things throughout the day that I’m thankful for.   It puts me in a good mind place before falling asleep.    As I build habits, I’ll add something when I first wake up instead expressing my irritation at the puppies for waking up so early.

Time to get ready for my day!

Namaste.