9.5.2014 | Friday

Living, Learning, and Feeding the Soul

category: Craftastic Goodies, Family Stuff, Pondering Life, Pretty in Pictures
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reading time: 3 minutes

Living and Learning

I am a big believer in trying to find a silver lining or lesson in everything that happens in life.  That’s my way of trying to make something good of situations and experiences that are often anything but good.  Sometimes those lessons are positive; sometimes they aren’t.  But there is always something to be gained from every human experience.

The lessons from last year weren’t positive ones.  The biggest lesson I learned was about the human capacity for cruelty.  That shook my foundations in a lot of ways, making it even harder for me to trust much of anyone.  It also made healing a lot harder than it needed to be.  But it also made me reevaluate some of the relationships in my life and realize that there were those in my life that brought nothing but drama and negativity to my life.  I learned to let go and it was a good thing, even if not an easy thing.

And then I got sick again.  I have had a pretty rough flare-up of my mold allergies.  Most of the time, the suffering actually comes from secondary issues brought on by the invasive nature of the allergy.  This time it came in the form of a body-wide infection.  It’s caused massive pain in my neck and head, difficulty eating, issues with my skin and hair, nonstop nausea, and a raging case of insomnia.  It has not been fun, but I have soldiered through it as much as humanly possible.  There was another lesson to be learned with this, too.  The fact is, when it hit, I was not in the best place in my world.  I spent most of my time after losing Mia either trying to push my pain down and away and, when that didn’t work, having one mini meltdown after another.  Not a healthy way to live, physically or emotionally.  So I wasn’t exactly at peak condition when it brought me down.  It was a wake up call that I needed to get my sh&t together, emotionally AND physically.  So I started working out again and it has been AWESOME!  You can read about that journey here.  I’m still not doing so great health-wise, but working out has helped me lose some weight and I feel like I am taking some of my power back.

Recently, the lessons learned haven’t been so positive.  There are situations and experiences that come along in life for which staying positive is an active and conscious choice, a near impossibility, and often a matter of sheer willpower.  There are things going on within my extended family, things that are not my story to tell.  But they are things that deeply worry me, scare me, and make me feel utterly powerless to help in any tangible way.  It is frequently a struggle to keep it together, to remain positive for those who need it when, inside, I am falling apart.  It is so easy to be overwhelmed with the stress.

Better days have to come.

Food for the Soul

This summer has been about healing.  Working out and putting priority on my health has been a big part of it.  I have been losing weight and, more importantly, starting to feel better about myself.  I work out at least 6 days a week and I love it.  I have also spent a huge amount of my time just  chillin’.  Reading, reading, and more reading.  Movies and chillin’ with the man children.  Fun in the sun at the post pool with the kids.

And art journaling.  My new-found obsession.  I have never considered myself to be artistic.  Give me PSP and I am golden.  And I am hella good at stick figures.  There ends my artistic abilities.  I can sew, crochet, and bead, but if it involves anything like drawing?  The amazing artistic elephant has mad skills compared to me.  And then I discovered Aaron from Imperfect Impulses on YouTube.  He has a playlist series called ABC’s of Art Journaling and I was hooked.  He’s hilarious and weird and I love him.  Since then I have fallen in love with art journaling and it has been an awesome way to feed my soul.  I have a huge YouTube list of art journalers that have been crazy inspiring.

This morning has been productive.  The pics suck, but you get the idea.  They are all clickable for larger views.

A messy, happy hand! Who says finger painting is for kids?
A bunch of ICADs , just the backgrounds. A bunch of cheap acrylics, fingerpainted, and blotted and blended with paper towels.
A drying background in my journal. It is a blend of purples and blues, blended and distressed. The lines are from my sponge brush, pressed along its tip in randpm places in the still wet paint.
More ICADs, off-colored by the pink sheers in my Lady Lair over the desk. These are all Crayola watercolor pencils, blended with lots of water, and a Fiskars roller stamp.
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