Monday, January 13, 2014

The Hand Painted Twirl

When my husband traveled extensively for work and I was at home with three young children, I read books on single parenting because married or not, when there's only one parent present, you are single parenting. It's always good to gather advice.

Currently, I'm semi-retired and the majority of my friends work full time. I could rephrase that as I'm single and they're "married" because there are commonalities. That made me wonder what advice is available for single women in terms of living life to the fullest. With a few obvious exceptions, much of it is advice we all should read.

In her book Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled, and Independent author Judy Ford points out that we are all single. Sometimes we are single in a relationship and other times we are single and not in a relationship but we are born single and as we pass through life our most constant companion is our singular self. That does highlight the importance of knowing who you are and what you want and where you're going because only you is going to get you there.

Your value and your worth are never going to be wrapped up in another human being. The only person you have to live with every day for the rest of your life is yourself, so start with making her happy and the rest will fall into place. - The Single Woman: Live, Love, and a Dash of Sass by Mandy Hale

And before you have to ask, I'm not suddenly single nor anticipating being single at any point in the near future, however, odds being what they are, I am likely to be single at some point. And I'm the proactive type. And curious. And I like to explore answers to difficult questions before I'm in those difficult situations. What I read in Judy's book was encouraging, comforting, and completely applicable to the currently un-single now.

I've already mentioned it a few times, but another book I'm enjoying greatly is Imagine Big: Unlock the Secret to Living Out Your Dreams by Terri Savelle Foy. It has opened my eyes to an entirely different way of moving through life that is more positive and more proactive. I love carrying my dream book with me each morning to journal. It's hugely encouraging... and a little awkward. With my creativity and spiritual study guides, my journal, and now my dream book it's quite a stack of books. Yesterday, I thought about doing some surface design on a book bag. What fun ! ! !

Although they are on different subjects, the two books have overlapping themes such as what you think about and how you speak. If it's true that we get more of what we think about, then I am all for thinking more positively. Do you approach life positively or do you approach life negatively? I grew up in a negative environment and had to learn how to be positive. I've made tremendous progress and there is room for improvement.

Another theme is who you spend your time with. Is it with people who support, encourage and build you up or is it with people who squash your dreams? Considering that question from the perspective that I spend the majority of my time with me, how critical that I support, encourage, and build up my dreams. I love the way my dream book is helping with that goal. Equally influential are the others I spend time with because I love to go out for coffee and a good conversation.

I had a HUGE epiphany this weekend. Some of you will think duh, of course, how come she didn't know that but... growing up in a negative environment has a negative impact on how you think and behave. No matter what you accomplish, there is still a niggling background that natters away at you which means I've spent large portions of my life working to improve my self esteem.

This weekend I realized that the question is not do you (the other person) want to be my friend? as in am good enough or worthy enough for you to identify me as your friend. The question is do I want you (the other person) as a friend? as in is this a good match, is it healthy for me, do we have a connection that works and one where we can add to each other's lives. It's a vastly different question and looked at that way, some long-term friendships may be past their best before date and some newer ones are best left unexplored. It's an amazing perspective.

One of the things Terri teaches in Imagine Big is to recite affirmations in the positive such as I am creative. I am kind. I am generous. I am a good friend. I am wanted. I am included. And so on... Start talking those out loud to yourself everyday, all day, especially the minute you feel grumpy, and you'll be amazed at how your thinking and your approach to life changes. Even if it's already good, it gets massively better. I highly - HIGHLY - recommend the book.

If you want your life to be a five star reality, you have to stop settling for a fast food mentality. No matter how much you stress or obsess about the past or future, you can't change either one. The present is where our power lies. The Single Woman: Live, Love, and a Dash of Sass by Mandy Hale

As you can see, I finished the hand painted twirl. I have some more details to share but I didn't want to make you wait any longer to see the finished garment so I'll write about them tomorrow. As I noted on Friday, I'm already starting to think in paint and it's fabulous to be developing a new skill. I have ideas for several more twirls, for the book bag, and for some men's shirts. I picked up four at the second hand store yesterday with a skirt in mind. FUN FUN ! ! ! !

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - epiphanies

Joshua 1:9 - Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.


  1. Your epiphany about asking "Do I want you to be my friend?" was one I had while doing online dating. I would fret and worry and ask myself, "Does he like me?" Then, like you, it occurred to me to ask myself, "Do I like him?" What an eye-opener. I did not learn this until my mid-forties (I'm your age now), so maybe it's part of growing older. I also agree that we are single no matter our status. Very thought-provoking today!

    1. YES YES - exactly that. It was really feeling that difference, not just paying lip service to it. You could be right that this is part of growing up. I know I prefer life at this age - even with it's difficulties - rather than all that angst of younger years.

  2. I'm glad you're reading these books and very happy for you re: your epiphany. It's essential to be aware of your own worth. Then other people's negativity can just roll right off your back. You're amazing, Myrna, in so many ways. (And I only know you from your blog. I bet there's much more in real life.) Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    1. They've been great books - a fabulous start to what I am determined is going to be a fabulous year. Not sure what took me so long to see it that way but yes, yes, yes - great to have a better sense of worth. Thank you for the lovely compliment. It's much appreciated.

  3. Hello Myrna,

    I have been following your writing for a few months now and while I am not familiar with your back story which you reference periodically, I find your recent thought process and creative projects to be eye opening for me and deeply inspirational. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own happiness and knowing that it is up to us to chase it can be quite frightening particularly if you are used to pleasing others. I am looking forward to buying my own copy of Imagine Big because you have really intrigued me with this topic.

    At the same time, I find your fabric art to be beautiful, thought provoking and very lyrical. I loved your recent answer to someone who thought they were not creative. Certainly, our individual creativity may express itself differently, but half of the battle to unleashing the genie is believing there is a genie in the bottle and that what we create has value and is part of a necessary continuum of development, whatever stage we find ourselves at.

    I am very happy to have stumbled upon your blog and look forward to continuing my own inner conversation while allowing my outer expressions of creation to un-bottle themselves.
    Thank you,


    1. I think one of the choices we make when we're taking charge of our own happiness is to stop talking about our back story unless it's to encourage others with empathy - or maybe that's the stage I'm at now because I've gone through all the other ones.

      Let me know what you think of the book. I am enjoying it so much I may read it again immediately. There's so much food for thought and I'm noticing an impact as I incorporate what I'm learning and that's fabulous.

      What a lovely compliment about my work. Thank you. I do believe that we are all creative and that it's a matter of learning to do the work by doing the work and by following our own directions as they emerge.

      Happy un-bottling. Way to go.

  4. You have given me some food for thought. Thanks

    By the way, that dress is awesome.

  5. The fabrics, buttons and thread colors came together's adorable!!!
    I've started Imagine Big. I've made my list...didn't think I could come up with 10...ended up with 21. I'm making my dream book...using light weight card stock and a 3 ring binder. A Martha Stewart binder...wanted something pretty to look at. :)

    1. Thank you. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

      YES - enjoy the book. You're going to love what you learn/experience. It's fabulous.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.