gaining sight

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

my favourite dog Oliver / daphne in bloom outside the kitchen window / on the crescent beach again / my geranium love / afternoon tea in a favourite mug / my constant companion, my constant comfort Oliver again on the pillow topped printer / Virgil has the best sleep poses / stems & roots in water (for Rachel) / daphne stems in a vase / oh my, that project 

Do Your Best

This was the phrase growing up in my house. It was the motto that started to stand for everything. As I've gotten older, I realize it sort of goes hand in hand with "you win some, you lose some." It's a reminder that things are not always going to work out. You're not always going to get that "A" or make the team or hit a homerun. And you cannot control that. But you can control how much effort you put in. You can "do your best." I love a simple message that holds a lot of weight and has the power to stick with you. Elise Blaha Cripe - from her Make29 April product launch

I've lost sight over the past year. Misplaced it, put my sight in that special place for safekeeping and then promptly forgot where I put it. Things have been so very busy here at the teak stopped desk really since the end of summer last year – a just when I feel like one big thing is winding down another big thing arrives, a kind of non stop, rushing, not enough hours in the week kind of busy – I've been meaning to find my sight again. My I've lost sight, I better try and find it again has been top of my to-do list day after day ... but it always seems to get bumped.

Lately Madam Universe (of course devil that she is) has been forcing the issue, upping the ante to such a staggering height that I've had no choice but to find my sight - to gain some perspective - my own perspective. Why am I doing this thing that I do ? How do I want to feel ? Am I feeling those feelings ? and if I'm not feeling them ? what's up with that ? and how can I make life different so I do feel them ? This paragraph from Elise's April Make 29 project's product "do your best" was another gentle bonk on the head from Madam Universe.

To try, to do my best and to not worry or care have my personal self worth wrapped up in or have expectations about the outcome. Just keep on doing my best

miss amygdala

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mr. Comfort & Love - Oliver hang in' with me at the TTD* - strategic planning, discipline & respite my secret ingredients

All freedom comes from discipline
Anne Lamott

This new big, thrilling, terrifying project will take up most of my time for the next 3.5 weeks. Due date/deadline is mid May. I've wasted needed nearly 2 weeks just to wrap my head around the enormity of the project, especially the technical issues, a coffee stained botanical collage piece that when in it's final state will be 12 feet x 5 feet - ya huh ! I did say feet. That and the fact that it's not only for a dream customer, a company on my top 10 in the world wish-to-work for list (maybe even my top 5) but the final piece will hang in a brand new prestigious & absolutely dreamy location has me freaking out on the hour ;-)

No pressure there here. I'm not sure what's up with Madam Universe lately but she been sending me opportunities for growth non-stop – those big kind of personal growth opportunities. The ones you immediately think (inner eye roll) Nooooooooooooo ! I can't take any more of this personal and/or spiritual growth shit - aaarrrgggghhhh ! stop ! please ! I can't take it Madam U. But of course that's not really how I feel, if I can get Miss Amygdala to shut up for 5 mins I have moments of pure, bliss, joy and excitement at the prospects on my plate. And about the lessons I will learn. I am thrilled by so much of this project yet I am wrestling the fear of it daily, hourly – the fear of failing and possibly failing miserably. Each time that fear bell rings I'm faced with a choice. I can choose to let Fear come at me like a charging bull, knock me over and paralyze me (which is like blowin' on a feather if you get my drift) or I can stop, have a deep breath or 2 or 5, give Fear my best talk to the hand look and practice using some of my new tools and coping skills to shrink and minimize the fear so that it's still there but it feels instead like mojo fuel, excitement & challenge.

The bad news is - you just have to do it. You sit down and you commit to having your butt in the chair for a certain amount of time
Anne Lamott

Though this project is a lot about creativity it's real lesson(s) is how I choose to deal with the pressures of the job. And there so many lessons embedded in this opportunity I've yet to really wrap my head around them. But I have come up with a few strategies & coping skills that have been helping me approach this project differently:

• writing out a strategic plan/schedule, working backward from the deadline -  work back schedule.
• scheduling in plus de breaks, R & R, changes of sceneries, rewards, even a shift in projects - that old adage a change is as good as a rest is true. Plus my goal each day is to never work more than 3 hours straight without getting up and leaving my desk and for a minimum of 15 mins.
• breaking a big project down into smaller bites. Only thinking about the bite in front of you, the current step - the small picture. Try not to think about the large & scary monster - the big picture, the end product.
• allowing a generous/padded amount of time for each task or smaller bite. In the recent past my expectations were often dashed (adding lots more stress) because I would estimate poorly and not give myself enough time - always feeling like you're falling behind is the kiss of death.
• scheduling in a few free days in a 21+ day project - use them to recharge & rejuvenate. Do something fun.
• stop working at 8/8:30 pm at the absolute latest. Read fiction or watch NetFlix to unwind - ahhhhhh !
• when Miss Amygdala comes a callin' - leave my desk immediately and do something pleasurable. Go make a pot of tea, go outside with the dogs, write in my journal in the chocolate brown nest bedroom.

Miss Amygdala's here right now, nattering away at me as I write this. So I'm leaving, I'm going outside (it's one of my scheduled FREE days - woo hoo !) to rake & clean my flower beds, organize my planters and pots, I've already been cooking' up a storm and I'm going to have a fabulous free day Sunday - wishing you the same ;-)

*teak topped desk

the beach is back 2

Friday, April 18, 2014

Just back from my morning power walk on the beach, the ice is now officially gone & sweet Bee leaves today & I'll miss her

Be steady and well-ordered in your life 
so that you can be fierce and original in your work.

Gustave Flaubert

Working non-stop a go-go, almost*, on the project, ya know the one I mentioned a week or so ago, the big (literally - it's 12' x 5'), very scary, extremely thrilling, dreamy, jagged steep mountain project.

*I am making sure I take the time every day to have R & R breaks (ritual and rejuvenation, rest and relaxation, recharging & reminders). Reminding myself - that I can do this, that I do deserve this amazing creative opportunity, that I will do my best, I always do ... & finally, reminding myself that there's a pretty darn good chance that I'm gonna kick ass ;-)

I couldn't resist - I was a mad, crazed teenaged Elton John fan, he was the soundtrack of my youth -  from fav album Caribou