Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where to from here? Summary response to last 6 of 12 Secrets

I've not been openly keeping up with The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women group therefore I suspect appearing to be a drop out, but in fact the opposite is true. Overall the book and tactics, strategies and revelations have been deeper and more intensely pertinent than I ever expected or anticipated. It's peculiar that something so benign as reading a book chosen by someone else and of completely unanticipated relevance can at the right time have such impact.

I skipped writing in response to the chapter prompts by Jamie in the middle, thinking with each skip that the next chapter would be something I could comment on with some degree of optimism but so far my optimism has instead of rising been chinked away by ever growing masses.

Chapter 7 on Consulting Guides had me recognizing how isolated I've become from places and things and people who inspire my creativity.

Then Chapter 8, Selecting Empowering Partnerships & Alliances reminded me of the huge loss and sent me into refreshed grief over the sudden death late this past October of my dearest friend, biggest encourager & former partner in art/craft shows.

Chapter 9, Transcending Rejections and Roadblocks, only reminded me I had nothing to transcend if I wasn't putting anything out for potential rejection and my biggest roadblock is physically feeling disabled by the progression this past year of RA and accompanying fatigue and escalating frustration and hopelessness as I found myself increasingly challenged with even the most mundane and simple tasks such as getting dressed, personal grooming and simple housekeeping.

Then came Chapter 10, Living in Abundance with Positive Priorities. PSHAW! Would you believe the week of that chapter I was notified I was being layed off from my job? CRAP! So, now I'm home full-time, even more isolated, fearful of spending an unnecessary $ and facing everyday the accumulated deterioration of my home environment as so much has gone untended the past year I've been doing little else beyond coping with chronic pain & accepting being able to do less and less of what I expect of myself on a daily basis.

Chapter 11, Subtracting Serenity Stealers - HA! Geeze! Where to start? Clutter and disorganization abound from a full year of mere glossing over the small stuff I felt capable of. The economic future is overwhelming - both personally and in community as well as beyond. (businesses in my community are shutting down at an alarming rate) What can I effectively accomplish? I keep thinking of the AA adopted Serenity Prayer - God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Chapter 12, Planning to Achieve Your Goals - Again, HA! Ever since I came to live in this community it has been a desire of mine to participate as an exhibitor in the Sierra Art Trail tour of artist's home studios. Nearly every year there are a minimum of 100 exhibiting artists and twice in the past few years a couple I know well have exhibited as photographers. Each time they have indicated that should I apply and be accepted I could share their location in their beautiful garden on their horse farm not far from my home. The deadline to apply is 15 days away and I have nothing adequate prepared but do have 15 days. Well, almost - this weekend Dearest Darlin' is coming home and the agenda for his visit is stock up shopping and yard work and such, so effectively I have 12 days but do I have the stamina and dare I take the risk physically and financially? The worst that can happen is I fail to get in or having gotten in fail to produce or having produced, fail to sell anything. Do I dare? Am I crazy to think I can take these next few months without having to clock in somewhere and pursue a personal dream?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Way It Is

I started this blog for the purpose of participating in the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women book blogging group and though I have come to enjoy the fuller blogs of others from that group haven't posted much of my own outside of it and less than fully within that group of late. The following is today's post from my 'other' blogging place:

I want to be optimistic and hopeful and relish happiness but the last three weeks or so haven’t been as conducive as I would hope for. News continues to be discouraging on most fronts if not enraging so I’m mostly attempting to avoid it. A slip the other day had me wanting to physically assault and tongue lash Rush Limbaugh, and not for the first time. Gosh, if I WANTED to be exposed to THAT I’d listen to his show. How DARE general news sources run his sick, sick perspective? UGH! Newspapers all over the country are hanging by a thread so I hold my breath each time a ‘memo’ comes from higher up at work. The economic downslide has hit close to home with news that my older daughter’s company laid off nearly 50% of its work force – her job unfortunately being one cut last week. YIKES!

A week ago on my last mid-week day off, I attempted to reach both the state franchise tax board and DMV to get solid direction to resolve a couple vehicle ‘issues’ but automated phone systems had me going in circles - “If you don’t find what you need at this number, dial blah-blah-blah for other options.” At which number lack of an applicable answer instructed me to dial the number which I had originally dialed. Grrrrrrrrrr! I was seething with frustration and anger which of course left me in NO mood to even attempt contacting the IRS with issues that originate from when I was still with my ex and brought up feelings of resentment there. AARGH!

The week before last I had a literal pain in the rear from a toxic infection in a cyst that had me unable to sit and blocked intestines from allowing me to empty my bladder or bowel for days and therefore afraid to eat or drink and subsequently cranky from hunger and dehydrated. Talk about miserable! Dearest Darlin’ showed up intending to celebrate a week delayed Valentine’s Day at the height of that misery & wanted to take me to the hospital. I refused to consider that option until home remedies had been exhausted and failed. Then poor darlin’ ended up ‘patching’ the ugly wound when the cyst exploded like an over inflated balloon. Youngest daughter said that’s ‘true love’ when your sweetheart tends to wound drainage and bandaging your backside. SIGH – I don’t think it’s possible any lingerie made will ever overcome the memory of THAT vision in Darlin’s eyes! (BLESS HIS HEART!)

Been trying to keep up with my 12 Secrets of Creative Women group but falling behind the last two weeks in contributing. (Last week’s chapter was following guides and this is selecting empowering partnerships)

After finishing my book club’s last selection, ‘The Glass Castle’ a memoir by Jeannette Walls, I did read a book that had me captivated in a rather morbid way, Pullitzer Prize winning ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy – a moment by moment account of a father and son’s survival journey on the ravaged road through America post apocalypse. I found myself questioning throughout the entire book despite preparation for it with shelter and other necessities if/why anyone would even want to survive nuclear devastation. And of course, I ended up thinking about who possesses nuclear weapons and how fragile the world is with their existence and re-visited my thoughts and feelings when I was actively against the proliferation of nuclear power and felt guilty abandoning that activism, consumed by day to day work and child-rearing and all that accompanies it. About the only effective thing I still consistently DO is stay conservative as to energy consumption. Darlin’ and I figured out last year my total household energy use is something less than $2,000/yr excluding gasoline for the car and even with that and the vastly fluctuating prices the past year or so for gas I probably only spent about an additional $1,000. And I could probably tighten up some on electricity, propane and gas with a little more concentrated effort. Are you conscious of your fuel/energy consumption? Conservative or not? Do you put on a sweater or sweatshirt or turn up the thermostat when you feel a chill in the air? I LOVE my cozy, bulky, ugly sweaters!