Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I know it has been awhile since I’ve written anything. Busy at work with the end of year and entering the new budget, I am trying to get caught up on new policies, contracts, and updates. Before I know it, the Adult Learning Program will have their fall classes ready to publish and the phones will be non-stop. I ordered new phones for the staff as we head into this new fiscal year of changes. And I admit, am WAY to excited to receive them in the mail!

I haven’t been sleeping as I am consumed with work and family concerns. Diving into both my art and the backyard, I have found my connection again.

Once lost, I realize my art completely relaxes me. Also, on the note of relaxation, we have a new volunteer in the office, a masseuse, who comes a couple times a month with her equipment to provide the staff with massages. Oh…..my……gosh. Much needed after 50 hour work weeks.

Anyway, I am taking all of my free time AND what little energy I have and thrusting it into my art. Since my preference is chalk pastels, it is too difficult to clean up a dusty mess in our home and my hubby says, “nope, not in the house” so I have been dappling in watercolor as you all may have seen.

Image by Robin Moreau

We have so many fawns around our work and this is the first attempt of watercolor, I have painted of any animal. Poor thing.

Loving baby animals, I have been painting all sorts of creatures. Some turn out okay, while others? Well….

Image by Robin Moreau
Image by Robin Moreau

Like I said, some are “eh” but I am not complaining because they are what they are.

Image by Robin Moreau

What I can say, is I am not sure how much longer I will keep this blog. It is not that I don’t enjoy writing, but honestly, I don’t enjoy writing as much as I thought I would. I love, love, LOVE painting and my newest, gardening. I think I will stick with that. My subscription is up here at the end of August. I started my blog for a couple different reasons.

The first was to grieve my father. He will be gone one full year August 8th, 2019. And I just cannot believe it has been a year. The second reason was my bucket list. I wanted a blog, to try it. And I did. So now what? My father is gone and I have tried the blog. Moving on? I simply do…not…know.

However, I do have a few weeks to write and this will give me the opportunity to re-hash my thoughts.

Until then…..

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Epiphany

Ok, I had an epiphany. My hubby and I are sitting in our backyard, he is having a beer, I, a martini. We had layed a couple more slate earlier and he had watered the plants.

There is a section of our yard that is 10 feet by maybe 30 feet. I haven’t been able to figure what I want to do with it. It gets the morning sun, afternoon shade. After two martinis it finally dawns on me.

“Oh my gosh! That’s it!!!” I said.

“What?”

“The side yard!”

“What?!?” Poor thing, he was confused. He takes a couple puffs of his cigar.

“What I’m going to do with the side yard!”

“What’s that?”

“A goth garden! With the Mondo Grass, Black Widow rhodies I showed you and black irises and all those other black plants I showed you!! I can have my gargoyle sculptures and when the dogs die it can be their cemetary!…..Wait is that legal?”

“I believe so, in your own yard. I love the Mondo grass.”

He liked the idea. Oh my gosh, another project! I cannot wait! Below is the before, and once I’m done, it will look awesome!

Image by Robin Moreau

My gargoyle bench will finally have a home!

Image by Robin Moreau

Oh the simple things make me so happy! I cannot wait to get started and we have all summer! The yard is slowly coming together.

Image by Robin Moreau

The patio is starting to take shape and my weeping curling tree is happier since we have transplanted it.

Image by Robin Moreau

I might actually be at peace by the end of summer!

Overthinker, Over-Achiever

Okay, okay….I admit, I am an over thinker sometimes and try to be an over achiever by doing EVERYTHING and honestly it’s a horrible habit!

You all know this past week hasn’t been the best and I really tried to put many things into perspective. For starters, having arguments with myself in justifying life. “Make the purchase, you only live once”….”NO, stop it, you be been saving your money!”….”DON’T listen to her”…and so on, you get the drift. But it’s not just purchasing things, it’s reevaluating where my life, my husband’s life is going. I have these fly-by-night, skin-of-your-pants thoughts and it SO gets me into deep doo-doo.

As I was driving to work on such a beautiful morning, things were going a little too smooth. No one cutting me off, traffic going the speed limit, it’s a gorgeous day, all lights are green…

Image by Robin Moreau

And my first thoughts? My gosh I’m going to die! See? Over-thinker!

No worries, all was put into perspective at my first meeting.

My day was a modge-podge of crazy unachievable projects, thoughts and I felt more like an under-achiever than anything.

But! Not to be a downer, I have an incredible work team and am blessed for all those in my life!

Snow Fall

It’s snowing for the first time this year. It’s not necessarily sticking, but I wish it would. When the snow piles up, the world gets eerily quiet and I enjoy it. It calms my mind, despite the cold.

As I’m looking out the kitchen window, the hummingbirds are fighting over drinks. When I gather with friends, I don’t ever recall fighting over drinks. Why would they? There is plenty to go around. When I step outside, I can hear them bickering.

The fireplace is humming, the flakes are growing in size. I wish I could stop time.

If only.

The Dying Heart

A tiny glimpse in the very beginning stages of a new piece of art I’m working on. The Dying Heart.

The Dying Heart – Image by Robin Moreau

I don’t believe following your heart is always best. I have heard this expression for many years and the older I get I am unsure of if it has meaning anymore. I think it can sometimes lead us to heartbreak, deception, and pain. Sometimes following our hearts is a long road that feels like a slow death.

The dying heart cannot tell you when its last beat will be. It can only tell you the pain and exhaustion it feels.

The heart tells us so much more than we realize. It tells us when we find love and with that love our heart swells. Swells for the one we cannot live without. Swells for the newborn we hold in our arms. A love thought never to be understood, until that moment.

Our heart breaks when we lose a loved one, or a friend. Losing someone doesnt necessarily mean death, loss has many variables at different levels. When loss occurs, the heart starts to slowly die. A loss we are never able to prepare for, whether it’s sudden, or over time. And the pain, so fierce it feels as though the depths of the ocean have grasped it tightly and squeezes until we surrender our last breath.

And surrendering means letting go.

And letting go is forgetting.

And forgetting is fear.

Our heart realizes it is only the beginning, until the end. And it patiently waits.

We lack the realization our heart needs rest. When we love our heart is content. When we cry, our heart is relieved, despite the pain. It rests.

As we age, our heart bursts with love and breaks with loss; enduring the most significant impact of waves that grows stronger, every year passing.

We fight the depths of its beats until the battle is mottled and we feel discolored. We grow weary, our heart fatigues. What battles, were once wars, are now nearly bickering until we froth no more.

No warning. No goodbye. It simply gives up. Flooded with love, it’s demise, broken hearted.

Toxic Innuendoes

Don’t Look at Me – Image by Robin Moreau

What defines you? Growing up we were always told to dress our best and smile. Dress our best, dress our best. Smile, smile, smile. I’ve learned over the years many things come to “dressing my best” and smiling too much. Throw a positive attitude in there and you have a toxic concoction of misconception.

I have learned that no matter how I dress, smile too little or too much, judgement is always passed. Here are a few experiences I’ve encountered over the years that have stuck out the most with dressing my best, smiling or not:

1. Intrigues sales people to hoard like paprazzi.

2. Causes dirty looks and snarky attitudes from women.

3. Ignored by sales men only to speak to my husband. Echo…echo..

4. It causes grotesque, demeaning looks by men. Ew.

5. Creates a spark of flustered, conversation by both men and women that in no way make any sense what so ever.

6. Children stare. I stare back, sometimes make faces.

7. Derogatory comments by both men and women.

8. Down talking me with childlike behavior as if I am stupid, don’t understand or cannot interpret. This one really ticks me off.

9. States comments as, “you’ve never experienced” or “you wouldn’t know”.

10. The over-repetitive commenters, that create uncomfortable lack-of conversations and space…”I like your hair”, “are you happily married?”, “you’re teeth sure are pretty”.

I could go on, but I think 10 is suffice.

What happened to a world where women empower each other and both men and women lift each other up to maximize our successes? What happened to intelligent, positive conversations?

It won’t bring me down. However, it does just the opposite. I strive to be a better person. I strive to stay positive and keep others smiling. I strive to be creative and assist others to be and do their best. I know this is my purpose. Yet amongst the strides I take to go beyond, there is and always will be I’m afraid, the handful of those with bitterness, hatred and envy. It is mentally exhausting.

But I am who I am. Take it or leave it. I’m not perfect and never will be. If you don’t like me, that’s your problem, not mine. I make great efforts to succeed in many things in life with clear conscience and of those things, those of which I have failed, I do not hang my head. I hold it high, I may laugh, I may cry and admit it did not work but take great pleasure in stating I tried. Moving on.

My heart weighs heavy for those who self doubt and never put in the effort for whatever reason or in fear of failure. As much as it hurts sometimes, failure is only an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and strive for something better.

So yes, I dress my best, I smile a lot. Because in the end, I never know what path I will cross, nor with whom. And it is during that very moment, it could be the one thing that could touch someone’s life and make a difference.

Never give up. NEVER.

Burden of Truth

I believe it is within nature as humans or animals, to instinctively show compassion for, or care for, loved ones, friends or those we characterize closest to us. But how do we define ourselves as caring individuals when we cannot embark upon an organic state, when we have the burden of truth looming over our heads?

In the 1992 movie, A Few Good Men, Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) was interrogating Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) and he yelled out “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

We ask for truth, we reach out for help, we ask for opinions, yet when the truth of these matters are provided, the receiver is either hurt, appalled, or in denial and suddenly the provider of truth is burdened and on a long road with a one way ticket straight to hell, while standing face to face with satan, and hot breath steaming up our hair causing it to frizz.

Road to Hell – Image by Robin Moreau

This burden of truth comes with just that….burden. How does one help when one doesn’t want help, doesn’t understand the help needed, is in denial or simply wants to continue a destructive path of negativity?

I have been there. I have felt so low at certain times in my life, I have made poor choices and brought nothing but negative energy amongst those I love and literally drained the life out of them. I have questioned my very own existence and self-worth and I knew for a fact that I was being punished for something I had done, and the the gates of hell would freely open upon my arrival. Despite the fact I had done nothing wrong.

One thing I can share though, never give up. In difficult times I have persevered, and would lose sleep trying to find ways to change current situations. When things fell apart, I admit I was angry and hated the world. But I kept going and tried again.

During those times all I wanted was someone to listen, and sometimes someone to provide me with insight of how I could have changed the situation. There is never a right answer and those bad moments felt like a lifetime; but not nearly as long as an eternity of hurting those we love the most and leaving them cowering at safe distances while waiting for some cue or surrender flag to come out and feel welcomed again.

Can I Come Out Now? – Image by Robin Moreau

I have found that when we are going through a hard time, both anger and sorrow can cloud judgement, and fog positive energy leaving nothing but a state of feeling sorry for ourselves and bringing those who surround us down.

Maybe I am different. I will do anything in my power to change a situation I don’t like. And with situations I cannot change, my attitude controls the dial of how much misery I will experience.

However, one thing I have learned for sure….

Misery loves company.