Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What Do I Want?

Yesterday morning, I went to Costco, Save-On (the grocery store), Wal-Mart, and Michaels all before noon... with a stuffy head... and a drippy nose... and a total lack of initiative. At Costco, we had to wait for a parking spot. There were so many people and the crowds were... interesting - LOL. It was not my best people watching day since along with a cold, I have a sty forming on the upper lid of my left eye, the second this year. Instead of writing a posting, when I got home I curled up on the couch and took a nap and rested for the remainder of the day.





A few weeks ago, Michaels had art canvasses marked down 60%. After my experience with the XOX painting, I've decided to experiment with painting paintings so I bought several canvasses and yesterday, I bought an easel that was also marked down 60%. Trying painting is something I want to do and at the same time, it's something I've never thought about doing until now. It's so interesting how things can shift and change.

In my last coaching session with Diane, we talked about my need to focus on what I want - both out of life in general and specifically in my areas of interest. What do I want? is actually a hard question. It tantalizes and yet it's difficult to put my thoughts into words probably because much of what we - I - want is more feeling than fact, more live in peace than build a bridge.

What do I want?
is not only my question, it's the question that we've been spending a lot of time talking about at our house in the past week especially. After many years and many specialists and an extraordinary amount of tests and hypothesis that didn't pan out, Howard has been given a diagnosis and it's ugly and invasive and ultimately deadly and yet it's no different from most of us in that he could have ten minutes or ten years. We don't know. What we do know is that it's unlikely we'll be retiring together so we - and especially he - need to do what we want to do which is why....





... we're in the process of booking a Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest that includes fifteen days, five countries, three rivers, thirteen guided tours, and an additional three nights in Prague. Visiting Europe and taking a cruise are activities that Howard has wanted to do for a while. We've put it off in part because I dislike flying long distances and because I am definitely not a cruise person... at least not an ocean cruise person. Now that we're talking about it, I'm excited about a river cruise. I've heard the longships are so gentle you don't even know that the boat is moving and we'll be able to watch the shoreline from our private balcony, stop often, touch land daily, and have lots to see and do.



 


In September, I started creativity coaching with Diane and in October, I started working on challenge projects with my friend Sheri. I'm grateful for both. Creativity coaching is exactly what I need right now and the challenges are fabulous for keeping me energized and somewhat focused in the studio. This is good. I love when just what you need appears at just the right moment. That's such a gift.



 


While I can't answer some of the big what do you want? questions, I can answer some of the smaller ones about learning, sewcations, and connecting with other creative women. I am going to Sew Expo at the end of February and to the Design Outside the Lines retreat in Ashland in early June. Both let me shop, learn, and connect. This too is good.

The focus of the retreat this year is The Perfect Summer Dress. There won't be enough time between the workshop and the cruise to do much sewing but I will be sewing beforehand and dresses will definitely feature. My next challenge is contrast and asymmetry. I'm thinking about a black and white dress using the knits I stenciled at the painting workshop in September.

One of the questions Diane and I talked about this past session was should I be taking all the product ideas that are floating around in my head and pushing myself forward with a business or should I be letting them sit and gestate... as in... would pushing be better for me or would resting be better for me?  When I ask the yes and no question - do I want to start a business right now? - the answer is no. Diane advised me to think of these "baby" products as starts and to allow them to sit and wait until the time is right. I think that's good advice. Meanwhile, I'm focusing on growing my skill set and playing with projects that engage me.





My next coaching assignment is to write about and send pictures of 3-5 starts - things that have a beginning but no defined end. I tend to work on one project at a time so that will be hard but it will also be stretching and stretching is good. I have one start already - this female form that I created ten years ago by heating Fosshape over a plastic half mannequin. I'd really love to take it forward and I know what the next step is and that's enough. That's a start. Perhaps this is cheating - VBG - oh well. I have a few other ideas tickling that I'll need to get to quickly since my next session is on the 5th and there are all the holiday celebrations in-between.

It doesn't look like my daughter and her family are going to make it for Christmas. They were planning to leave today from Calgary only the road will be closed for avalanche control for five hours and then "they" say to expect a two hour delay plus Environment Canada issued a weather warning for a major snowstorm. I'd love to see them however, safe and warm in their own home is much better than stuck in a snow pile. We'll hopefully get together in January.

I plan to sleep in and move slow for most of the holidays. I've decided not to post again until January 5th since I'm having such a hard time getting anything done in the studio BUT... I will be thinking about some questions - like Diane's coaching questions - that came up in my current spiritual study, Wide Awake by Erwin Raphael McManus. The book is about not sleeping through our lives, about not settling for good instead of fighting for great, and about living passionately. If you're like me, the questions will have you thinking for quite a while. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you want to share.

What am I curious about?
What do I want?
What am I to become?
What will I embrace?
What must I face?
Am I ready to live?

I wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. I love the way that we can connect through our creativity and inspire, support and encourage each other. That too is a gift.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a diagnosis we can make decisions around

You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don't know it, all of that doesn't even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It's not like you have forever, so don't waste any of your seconds, don't throw even one of your moments away. 
- C. JoyBell C. 

16 comments:

  1. Myrna I am thinking of you today. Sad about such a diagnosis but relieved that one has come. A Grand Tour and river cruise sound excellent. Mostly though I'm taking in your questions. They are the Big Ones for me. Stay warm and cozy for the chilly season and let your mind cogitate! I am so happy I got to know you in person in 2014! Best to you!

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    1. It is a relief to have a diagnosis and a reminder to not put things off. We're both really looking forward to the cruise. I'm already thinking about my "cruise wardrobe". It'll have to be my DOL wardrobe too but luckily the weather will be similar in both places. I'd be really interested in your answers to the questions. If you want to share, we could book a phone date after Christmas. I am SO GLAD to have met you in person this year as well. Such a gift. I hope we get more visits in 2015.

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  2. So sorry for your bad news but we can only live one day at a time anyway. Who knows exactly when our time is up? Enjoy the cruise!

    Wishing you and yours all the best of the Season and a very creative New Year!

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    1. Exactly - we all have no idea. With Howard, we have some information and a likely outcome but not facts so who knows what will really happen but it's certainly a good push to look at what you really want. I'm sure we're going to enjoy the cruise. We debated June or October but neither of us wanted to wait ten months. It's too exciting.

      Thanks for your well wishes. All the best to you too. I'm looking forward to new creative adventures in 2015. I'm learning so much with the coaching and with trying new concepts and mediums. It's exciting to be growing.

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  3. I haven't commented in a good long while, but rest assured, I always read your posts!

    I'm sorry that the news isn't good. You knew in your bones that it might be so; still, it had to have been a shock to the system. I'm glad you're planning the Grand Tour--you'll have a wonderful time.

    And those big questions are the heart of our lives. Good for you for asking and pondering, and all the best to you as you move forward.

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    1. The medical news wasn't good but - as you said - it also wasn't unexpected and it'll be a lot easier now that we know what we're dealing with. I'm surprised by how much I'm looking forward to the cruise. I've been thinking "cruise wardrobe" all day and I love a sewing project like that. It'll be great for me. Yes - big questions but good ones to think about. Thanks for commenting. I've been missing you.

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  4. I'm sorry to hear about Howard's diagnosis, but I'm glad you finally have a definitive one. Your plans for the coming year sound wonderful. I hope your Christmas is joyful and meaningful, despite your inability to spend it with your daughter and her family. I'm sure it will somehow be a special celebration. See you in the New Year, and happy studio time!

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    1. Thanks. It's probably for the best that my daughter and her family couldn't come. I'd have hated to make them sick and this is the worst cold I've had in a long time - good for delegating today's chores - VBG. I do have a lot of fun things planned for next year although right now they are all in the first half so I'm debating what to add to the last half. Knowing is definitely better than not knowing with Howard's health. At least now we can stop the exhausting looking and instead make as best of decisions as we can based on what we know. That's a gift. .

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  5. I am a regular reader, and, an almost never commenter (with all blogs, not just yours:-) ). Today, I felt it was high time that I thank you for all of the sharing you do.

    I pop in to read your blog because it prompts me to reflect and move forward in areas of my life that could use a little shaking up. I also read your blog because your aesthetic, while quite different from mine is truly wonderful and very inspiring to me. Lastly, I read your blog because your ups and downs are real and true and very helpful in allowing me to find a positive perspective during those times when I can't manage the task on my own. I also find your reading suggestions interesting and I love to read about your driving adventures!

    With warmest wishes to you this Christmas and high hopes that all members of your family rally and make the most of the holidays and of 2015.

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    1. Thanks for commenting. It's always lovely to hear that what I'm sharing is appreciated. I'm definitely living a real life. I'm glad that journey is appreciated. We had a lovely day together yesterday and I'm looking forward to some exciting new adventures in 2015.

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  6. Merry Christmas Myrna,

    I am sorry to hear about Howard's diagnosis but glad that this is moving you to seize the time you have. I hope the cruise is wonderful and that you will continue to grow creatively through coaching and meeting with other artists. Very best wishes for the New Year.

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    1. The benefit of this diagnosis is its warning bell - pay attention, don't put things off, live now. This is good for all of us. We're both really looking forward to the cruise. I just printed off the itinerary so I can research it a bit more, especially the places where we wander on our own. I need to find out if there are fabric or dress or yarn shops in those places I'll want to visit - LOL - and where the post office is so I can mail things home if they get too much for my suitcase.

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  7. Merry Christmas, Myrna. I hope you've had a good day. I'm sorry to read about a not-so-good diagnosis for Howard and know that this will mean lots of adjustments in your thinking and plans.
    I think you'll find lots of inspiration for creativity on your European river cruise. When I've visited Europe I've been inspired by the architecture, the different building materials and textures in the landscape as well as the food and the people I observed. Soak it all in!

    Our Christmas Day has been very different. Just the two of us except for a couple of hours joining our son and his in-laws for dinner. Tomorrow is the big deal here at our place so part of the day has been involved in preparation. Tim and I took a lovely walk up to a hill overlooking the city so that was a nice break.

    Praying for peace as you move forward in the midst of uncertainty in many areas of your life.
    Lorrie

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    1. We had a lovely Christmas day. We missed our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson but safe is better. The rest of us played games and my son's girlfriend and I started a puzzle. Dinner was yummy and overall, it was a slow, easy day... even though I've got the worst cold ever. It was tapering off by the evening thankfully. Today will be just the two of us.

      The pictures of the cruise show a lot of amazing architecture and gorgeous scenery. To me, that's the good thing about a river cruise versus an ocean one. All that openness would drive me crazy. I need to know where the edges are. With the river, I can watch things along the shore all the time and focus on the area around me. That feels more settled especially as pool and party entertainments aren't really me.

      I imagine there are more roller coasters in our future but life is feeling more settled right now than it has in a really long time. There's some panic and concern but mostly I'm feeling confident and capable. That has got to be a God thing. Thanks for your prayers. They are much appreciated.

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    2. I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in June and had two surgeries in quick succession. In September I had my bladder removed and a neobladder created from my small intestine. While initially shocking I am now grateful for the experience. I am cancer-free for the time being and intend to make the most of life. I will be riding my bike in Ireland in Juky and am riding from Berlin to Copenhagen in September.

      All the best to you and Howard as you come to grips with the changes that await you.

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    3. Sounds like you found the silver lining. Good. Thanks for your well wishes.

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