Day 21: Celebrations, Creativity and Radiance

dandelionToday marks the last day of my 21-day adventure, and therefore I am choosing to honor me. I am celebrating making a plan and sticking with it, and truly committing to find my joy and radiance, even on the rough days. I am celebrating writing about this journey on my blog; sharing my ups and downs with my daughters and investing in me, so I can be the role model they deserve.

Most days it was easy to find multiple things to celebrate, and other days it was tougher. Some days, it was hard to write, not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because I was too tired to have perfect word-smithing. Although I didn’t want to, I wrote anyway, accepting that my writing would be subpar, and that is ok. Other days I found myself racing to the computer at the strangest times to jot everything down before the muse of creativity yet once again slipped away. As I mentioned before, I have learned to take full advantage of those moments. Bringing back creativity through this small piece of writing and even in my art classes has been the most amazing gift I have given to myself.

A lot of times I wait until the quite of night to gather my thoughts to write, which wasn’t always ideal when extreme tiredness set in. I started this post, however, yesterday after my drive to school with my daughter. I raced into the house to jot my initial ideas and thoughts down, and then sat down this evening to put it all together. I knew that no matter what happened today, celebrating me would be the top priority.

The official first day of spring is only a few days away, and although it is snowing right now, I still feel a level of freshness and light that I haven’t felt in a long time. My body is still far away from my comfort zone weight and I still don’t know how I am going to pay rent next month, but in looking at all that I have to celebrate, I have faith that I will figure it out- I always do.

A few nights ago I found out that my dad needs to have a biopsy of his prostrate and there is a 20%  that it could be cancer. I’m trying my best not to worry about it, until there is something to worry about, but I was slammed with the reality that my parents are getting to the age where things could potentially go downhill quickly, or they could be fine for another twenty years. They have both had the fortune of good health, but faced with this prospect has opened me up to the necessity of forgiveness; not just for my parents, not just for anyone who has wronged me, but for me.

winding road

To say life is precious, or any other appropriate cliché, has deep meaning when faced with the potential of the mortality of a loved one. I know my parents may never fully understand me or support me the that I want them to, but I also know I can no longer turn to them for validation (it only took me 40 years to get there, yay). My happiness can and will not be determined by an outside source. I am the author of my story.

My life has been in an incredibly stressful place for the last year, and although I have struggled with depression, I feel lifted and freer after these 21 days of celebrations. I know that if I can pull myself out of the proverbial muck in only three weeks by appreciating one tiny thing a day, I can only imagine where I will be by next year. Facing adversity in the midst of darkness is no easy task. I know I still have a ways to go, and there will be crappy days indeed. But I am ready to take on the next phase of my adventure and look forward to where the current takes me.

With love,

Anatheia

Day 16 & 17: Free Coffee, Daylight Savings and Old Couches

I guess my weekend trend has been missing the Saturday post, and that is ok. I amcoffee and the pooch celebrating that I chose to lay in bed last night, reading and finishing up an assigned book for my coaching class (only four more books to go!). I chose sleep over writing, and that is a good thing.  So, my weekend wins and celebrations are lumped together here, because they also fit nicely together.

Yesterday I spent the morning in pjs, lounging on my old beat-up couch, reading and relaxing. This couch is literally on its last thread, with a ripped back cushion that is centimeters away from dislocation, and ass-grooved pillows that sink inward, forming a deep valley in middle. For months I kept fantasizing about getting  a new couch, which is definitely not in the current budget. And yes, I find myself saying that a lot lately, and that too is ok. But yesterday I truly appreciated this marvelous over-loved couch. It was the first piece of furniture I purchased after my divorce, and has served many happy years since.

As I sprawled out and cuddled with the pooch, I began to feel a deep appreciation of all that I had. Yes, I have been struggling with money and stress and weight gain and depression, but here I was, in this beautiful house with comfortable furniture that wears as many battle scars as I do. I finally felt true gratitude for all that I had in this moment.

Today, I made the decision to get out of bed early, when I could have easily slept another hour. I did this for the mere reason to claim my free cup of daylight savings coffee and Caribou. It seems a little ridiculous on one hand, but last night when I realized I was out of cream, the magical free-coffee text came through, with the angelic chorus “ahhhhhhhhh!” All I had to do was show up at the drive thru by 9 am, which was technically 8 am with the time change. You can appreciate why this was indeed a Sunday morning triumph.

As I was reclined on my well-loved couch, with my pooch snoozing on her perch, I noticed the writing on the cup. I don’t usually pay attention to these cute notes as there is normally a sleeve covering them, but today they ran out and the words of wisdom remained exposed. And there is was…”Life is getting up an hour early to live an hour more.” I stared at my kismet cup of coffee, smiled, and made the decision that this would be my last cup for a week or so. My body told me it could use a little break from the caffeine and cream, and take a little time to reset.

I’m not going hard core and saying I’m giving up coffee forever, because I know how that story ends, but just for a little bit; a respite. I enjoyed my last sips, finishing yet another book for my class and knew that this was going to be a good day.

With love,

Anatheia

Day 14: Sunshine, Teen Angst and Daffodils

Today I felt the warm sunshine uplift my mood and spirit. Daffodils are making their first spring appearance and splashes of green are beginning to break throughdaffodils the brown dormant grass. Although these first inklings of spring could be covered in a blanket of snow at any moment, I still want to revel in the pure joy and serenity of almost-spring.

Although I have mentioned this celebration before, I also wanted to acknowledge how beautiful my relationship is in this very moment with my teenager. She is at an age where I could lose my street-credit at any moment, and she still chooses to open up to me and seek advice. She is struggling with one of the worst aspects of 7th grade- friendships, being nice to people who aren’t, and trying to fit it. I mean really, is there anyone out there who doesn’t have some sort of scaring experience from 7th grade?!? My heart bleeds for this sweet girl and her struggles.

As we took the pooch on a warm afternoon walk, we discussed how she was feeling and came up with strategies to feel better about herself and how to handle the most difficult of situations at lunchtime, when the middle-schoolers are at their worst. I quoted words of wisdom from Brené Brown and Liz Gilbert, my life coach, and other poignant reminders that I needed to hear for myself as well.  She told me how amazingly wise I was and that I should write a book. Ha! If only there wouldn’t be copyright issues from my powerful women-gurus. It was a sweet, tender and beautiful moment.

I thought about how I wanted to feel over the next week and beyond and decided to take a cue from the lovely daffodils. They are such simple flowers, yet full of life, color and joy. That is what I want for me. And after two weeks of writing every day and noticing celebrations and wins, I feel closer to settling into more ease in my day to day life. And I am grateful for this.

With love,

Anatheia

 

 

Day 13: Sunsets, Art and Perfectionism

I was trying to decide what to celebrate tonight, and at first could only think of the beautiful sunset tonight. It was a very typical Colorado spring sunset, filled with vast colors and clouds, ranging from fluffy white to dark and heavy, with the potential for rain. Just witnessing this symphony of colors put me into a serene mood. All of my issues seem completely minuscule compared to the vast sky.

As I sit here in bed, I also realize that I wanted to celebrate myself as an artist. I have been harshly critical for far too many years. Critical of my lack of skill, my lack of creativity, and even my lack of making space to attempt to create.

I am now halfway through my semester of three studio classes and am rediscovering my passion for art, not only as therapy but for creative expression. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone, created beautiful pieces that I love, and not so beautiful ones that I enjoy as well.  Most importantly I have been able to let go of the need for perfection.

One of my biggest challenges of painting and drawing is knowing when to quit. I have a tendency to overwork my pieces because something doesn’t seem quite finished. I have truly embraced the ability to walk away and be pleased with imperfection. Although I have plenty to learn and always room for growth, I am pleased with where I am in the moment.

Perhaps this is why the fiery sunset skies appeal to me so much. There is chaos and simplicity wrapped up in the awe of its beauty. Maybe if I can learn to breath into my art as I do when gazing into the sky, I can truly be free and just be content in the moment.

Day 12: Ceramics, Patrick Swayze, and Solar Eclipses

Today’s celebration has do with kicking some serious butt on the wheel in pottery class. I am taking a college level ceramics class as a prerequisite for my graduate program in art therapy, and have been fumbling along  for 7 weeks now. Today we transitioned from hand-building to throwing on the wheel, and I finally found my groove. It was very inspiring to be the one in class that other students were wowed by. All that was missing was Patrick Swayze behind me with Unchained Melody playing in the background.

On a completely unrelated note, there was a very powerful new moon/solar eclipse today. This is a very auspicious time to set new intentions or start something new. It is very serendipitous that I happened to pay the deposit to reserve my spot in grad school. I’m also continuing with my intention of finding joy and nursing my body and soul back to her former glory!

With Love,

Anatheia

Day 11: Meatloaf, Asparagus and a Case of the Mondays

Yes indeed, today I had a major case of the Mondays. It wasn’t too horrid- just enough to keep a general scowl on my face for the majority of the day. I’m guessing it started off with the fact that all three of us were a bit sleep deprived from the weekend soccer tournament. Both girls missed their buses and I had to drive them in, which in turn gave me about 10 minutes to get dressed and ready for my own class. I spent the day in a sort of daze, exacerbated by the dark skies which brought a bit of rain and hail by noon.

As I trudged on through the day, my lack of focus sent me into even more of a foul mood and left me wondering how I would turn this day around to find some beauty and joy. However, the sun slowly peaked through the clouds later in the afternoon,  warming up just enough to give me a power boost through the rest of the day.

Mondays afternoon/evenings are generally tricky between my night class and my teenager staying later after school for newspaper, usually leaving me about 30-45 minutes to get to get dinner cooked, on the table and ready for class.  As I dash out the door with my half-eaten dinner, I usually holler my long list of instructions, and pray that it will all magically get taken care of  in my absence.

Tonight, I was incredibly proud of my pre-planing and time management, which not only allowed me to get a decent meal on the table, but I was able to actually sit down with my girls and enjoy our meatloaf, mashed potatoes and asparagus. It’s a rarity when we actually get to sit down and eat as a family, where someone doesn’t have to rush off to practice. So although I was the one rushing out the door, I truly appreciated my few moments of recess gossip and lunchtime tales and fully eaten dinner.

And the best surprise…the girls had taken care of everything I asked them to do while I was gone. Now that is a celebration in itself!

Day 2: Workshops, Co-Parenting and Blue Toenails

Today I shocked myself as my fear of not having anything to celebrate was quickly replaced by having too much to celebrate, and only being able to pick one.  I found myself looking for the positive in everything that happened, just so I’d have something to write about. What a transition from yesterday and my somewhat depressing post! Maybe it was the fact that the sun was shining and it hit 70 degrees, or maybe it was the fact that it was the first Saturday that wasn’t jam-packed with events. Whatever it was, today was a great day.
I decided that all of my wins fall under that category of self-care. So here they are:
  • Had coffee in bed and listened to a coaching call that happened on Dec. 31, 2015. Yes, it was two months late, but it was actually perfect timing
  • Took the pooch on an early morning walk

    The Pooch

    This is the look I get everyday when I put shoes on

  • Had a great day co-parenting and collaborating with my ex. at my 10-year-old’s soccer game, and then a little more later in the day
  • Did all my Costco shopping on a Saturday (this is unheard of for me)
  • Listened to two more course calls/workshops that I have been putting off for the past two months (I am officially caught up)
  • Had a my first and very successful virtual feng shui/coaching call with a client and helped her in a tremendous way
  • Took an epsom salt bath at 3 PM
  • Went on another walk with the pooch
  • Lovingly emptied the dishwasher
  • Painted my toenails blue and shut out the inner mean girl when I struggled to reach my toes
  • Blogged today’s wins.
It is now 6:53 PM, and I haven’t turned the TV on once. I may in a little bit, but it will be to watch one or two of my guilty pleasure shows and that’s ok. I will get a good night’s sleep and enjoy tomorrow with more self-care and celebrations.
With Love,
Anatheia