Friday, October 27, 2017

Happen To The Day

Live your dream.
Show compassion.

Create your own happiness
Follow your heart.
Enjoy the little things.
Laugh out loud.
Be your best self.
Cherish every moment
Dream big.
Embrace every possibility.

Discover your passion.
Believe in miracles.

Create peace.
Make a wish.
Be spontaneous.
Remember to breathe.
Fall in love.

Today is the day.

As a reader, a writer, and a keen conversationalist, words are important to me. The phrases above were on a framed piece that I saw at a local store several weeks ago and even though I like the encouragement, I'm not one for displaying a lot of plaques. Except it stayed on my mind. And was gone when I went back. And then was back in stock. So I bought it intending to put it in the bathroom over the toilet only who can read it there - VBG - so I'm debating two different places in the hallway.

This magnet on my fridge is of one of my favourite quotes and as you can see, there's a commonality of theme. In my journal study yesterday was the phrase - I happen to the day instead of the day happening to me. It's from Julia Cameron's new book It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond. The book focuses on discovering - or rediscovering - creativity during the shift from working full time to retirement, from having a dictated schedule to dictating your own, from being told what to do to deciding for yourself what you want to do each day.

When I was teaching on-line, I spent four or five hours a day, seven days a week, forty-nine weeks a year, answering student's emails and on weekdays, I also spent four or five hours developing new products and creating class samples. When I stopped teaching, the shift was so drastic that even though there were all kinds of possibilities for me to discover in my studio, I spent a lot of time walking around in circles trying to find my feet. It took years. I wish I'd had this book then.

There are two phrases I hear often when people are comparing the time they spend creating with the time I spend creating - which we should never do - because comparisons are never good. The phrases are you're not working like I am and you live alone and I don't. As I told one friend the other day when she tried these on me, I don't buy that. When I was teaching full time, when my kids were at home, when I worked outside the home, when my husband was on the road working and I was basically a single mother, before and after children when it was just the two of us, and basically ever day of my adult life, I've made time for creativity and I got a whole heck of a lot more done when I was busier than I do now with five full days to myself. Too much time can be just as difficult as not enough time.

One thing I'm working on is getting back to my regular routine and to planning the day in a way that work for me. I spent yesterday morning finishing knitted things. I wove in some ends, blocked some projects, unraveled a scarf, organized two children's cardigans to sew together at today's knitting group, added thumbs to two fingerless gloves, started the collar on a child's cardigan, again for tomorrow, and finished the back of the sweater that I'm working on. Once the cardigans are sewn together, I'll have finished all of the current projects and will be ready for new ones. My oldest grandson would like to please have some not itchy purple socks. Of course!

I thought I knew how this fall was going to go and we're not even halfway through the season and several things have shifted significantly. My tenant disappeared in the night and I'm now looking for a new one. After decades of treating this condition, Howard's doctor's are re-considering his diagnosis, running and re-running tests, and may or may not know something by the end of January. Everything we thought we knew is not valid until they confirm that it is or they change their minds and that would most likely mean more unknowing and more tests. I'm not good with unknowing. And Diane - my creativity coach - has decided to take a break right when I'd hoped to spend more time with her and be more focused in the studio. Life's like that.

I am learning to be flexible although sometimes it takes a whole lot more effort than at other times. I am far and beyond where I used to be in that I recognize that there's nothing I can do about the tenant or the tests but choose how I will search and how I will wait. And, while I'm going to miss talking to Diane, I'm thrilled that she is working on some projects of her own and I understand that - ultimately - my creativity is my responsibility. If it's meant to be, it's up to me. I have an assignment to finish, notes to review and endless possibilities in my studio just waiting for me to explore them. Including the purse.

If I'm honest - which I typically am - I have been procrastinating sewing my daughter's purse. Since April. I'm feeling intimidated. I want it to be exactly what she's hoping for and well worth the wait. At first, I had valid reasons to procrastinate like having her approve a different choice of fabric, ordering the hardware, and finishing the house renovations. But now, I'm simply procrastinating and by Monday, I will have finished most of the creative procrastination projects I can dig up. It's really rather silly. I've been sewing for over forty years. I'm good at it. I've already sewn the prototype and it turned out well. I need to JUST DO IT.

I've been "just doing" photography, a little bit each day. Next week, probably on Monday, I'll post some more of the photographs I took yesterday while walking along the lake. I've been working on composition and I think that's coming quite well. With these couch and knitting interior images, the light from the window was too bright so although I like the composition, they appear overexposed. When I get to "just doing" editing and learning the software program, I'll work on those.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - recognizing that I'm procrastinating


  1. As a champion procrastinator, I get it. Although that is how my kitchen gets cleaned. I am finding that I am getting more done since going back to work part time, than I ever did when I wasn’t working. Weird, huh? Love the weirdness!

    1. LOL - I'll just book more appointments, invite more guests. That works great too.

  2. I'm a lifelong procrastinator -- and I recently retired from a 30+ year corporate career, so I am familiar with the getting-less-done-when-you-have-more-time-to-do-it thing. All I can say is I'm workin' on it...

    1. I'd highly recommend Julia's book. I wish I'd read it a lot sooner.

  3. Yes, I retired 9 years ago and had to relearn the word NO to family and friends, after all I had all that free time. I learned to pick and choose what I wanted to do and what was necessary. I still find time to procrastinate, but I do less of it because I do more of what I want to do and I make a list of what needs to get done each day and do it.

    1. No is such a good word. I'm glad you've learned it. I had a friend who taught me several ways to say no politely and effectively and I'm so appreciative. I think the ability to move slow should be a part of retirement and I try to be aware of the fine line between slow and too slow in my own life. Lists work great.

  4. Yes been procrastinating for last year but need to bite the bullet and learn how to use my embroidery machine

    1. With the photography, I'm aiming to do a little bit every day either watching one of the videos or taking some photos. When I get to editing I know that'll be different but hopefully I'll have the good habit by then. Good luck with the embroidery machine. Start small. Do a hanky or something - a patch - a name. Starting is the most important part.

  5. Enjyed your post. Haven't checked in recently. I feel the same, still trying to figure out stuff.

    1. Thanks for checking in. I think about you often. There is a lady that comes into Starbucks that looks so much like you it's rather disconcerting. And she's Irish. Very fun. I hope you're doing well and figuring stuff out. Doing something is always helpful.

  6. I have a similar issue with not getting as much done as I plan to, except it's with vacation time off work. When I have 2 days to work on projects, it seems more urgent to get to working on them. When I have a week or two off, it seems like my brain says "we have plenty of time, what's the rush?". I suspect that should I ever make it to retirement (seem so far off!) I'll need to make myself a schedule.

    1. But then again, vacations are for resting. If being creative is a great rest for you, then what helped me was to have everything out and on my work surface and ready to go, perhaps even cut out. For retirement, the book is great. In fact, it might be great for vacations.


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