Driving my car today is a perfect metaphor for how I operate in the winter. First it is so cold, getting started always starts with a little prayer to the universe that we will get moving. Once started or in my case finally admitting the it is time to wake up, we both need time to warm up and clean off the snow or for me, shake off that desire to stay put. The first bit of movement is always slow and we both make moaning noises. Every intersection I stop at requires patience with the gas petal. Too much gas and I just spin; too little and we go nowhere.
It is a fine art to moving in the winter. This winter has been especially difficult and not just because of the weather. It have been a year of difficult news from friends, difficult conversations and difficult decisions. Having Seasonal Affective Disorder with my regular chronic depression means this time of year I am not at my best to deal with this information. Before treatment and counselling I quit all my jobs this time of year. Once I became familiar with the pattern I decided best to make these decisions when my head is clearer.
I know I need to be patient with myself; to find that sweet spot on the gas petal of my brain to get things started. I need to sweep off the dust and cold from around my heart so it can feel all the good things that are still happening and know this will pass. Spring with come and I will be overcome with growth. Until then I need to create my own growth. I am still working on my large button tree and it will meet the world this Spring. (I hope)
So I think I lost my voice for awhile. It has a been such an awesome and busy summer but in all the doing and celebrating, I stopped listening for my own voice. Not the outside voice that is working just fine. My inner voice that helps me to know what I really want and knows what is true. There is a stream of other voices distracting me from what I want, making me think instant gratification is going to bring meaning. Well that hasn’t worked and neither has comparing myself to other people.
When I coach, I am either mining for meaning or stepping up for growth. When I am like this I am just spinning in circles. Things are flat and one dimensional. How do I get myself back to living and thinking in directions, pulling from that gold mine of knowledge inside of me and grabbing those opportunities that the universe presents to me? I make art and I see it. If I sit in my one dimensional space I don’t give myself much space to grow or let things in. When I stretch that spiral, I have so much more space. It feels riskier but also so much more space to explore. I get more excited and more motivated to on that path.
It is time for a change of mind. Time to commit my time to reaching past the safe and familiar and stretch to see how big my world can be.
This year is a big one for my clan. The year started with the birth of Eleanor. This sweet little girl is a big part of our family. Hubby and I make time every week to visit with her. I sing and dance and Dave tells her epic stories.
Most of our family time is spent getting the yard ready for a wedding next month. Devon, our soon to be son has been a trooper helping haul gravel, patio stones and digging, raking, cleaning….. We haven’t scared him yet. He makes my daughter so happy which in turn makes me so happy.
Tomorrow is our 25th wedding anniversary! How did that happen? Like most couples it has not always been easy. There have been doubts, challenges and changes that we have had to face. We have come through them with scars but stronger because of them. The one word to describe our relationship is “home”. Like our house it is a creative busy comfortable mess. It works, not in the most efficient way but with tons of love, laughter and rolling of the eyes.
In this relationship we have created two incredible kids. Paige and Carter are so different in so many ways but they are both so bright, caring and funny.
Later this year I turn 50!!! I am really excited about it. Like the old commercial, I really feel I am not getting older, I am getting better. I am embracing these milestones and using these times to reflect and be grateful for this big beautiful mess of a life. I am so happy!
Thank you to my amazing clan of supportive souls who have got me to this place, especially Dave, with you I’m home.
This has been a busy early spring at home. We are trying to get the house ready for a summer wedding. This clean up is a challenge. My husband of almost 25 years is a pack rat with ADHD. As a life coach I have tried to help him find ways to get things sorted with limited results. We had some success with the idea of him thinking about having his imaginary friends work with him. MT (empty) and Phil (fill) have helped him keep his van workable but his workshop and basement needed bigger guns. He has two new muscly friends; Chuck and Burnie. Lots of stuff has left the property for the recycle and landfill and scrap wood has helped to heat the house.
So as the cleanup continues, I don’t think of it as yard work but preparing the wedding venue, we don’t think of it has home repairs but creating the infrastructure required, which we get to enjoy after the event.
So we are keeping our sense of humour as we work hard to make the day as beautiful as we can.
Much of my art has a natural theme. Trees and landscapes appear all of the time. I have been creating wire trees for about 4 years. I have tried to make all variations of trees and it didn’t hit me until someone sent me examples of bonsai types of wire trees that I noticed how much I use trees as metaphor for self. The bonsai type of tree although beautiful and I could respect the skill of the artist, seem sad to me. Their trunks are strong but crooked; their leaves leaning so far to the side or almost to the ground; their roots so contained in a shallow pot and their growth so controlled through pruning.
To make a wire tree I start with the leaves which I tend to group in threes (cause three is a magic number) and I work from the leaf, to twig, to branch, to limb, to trunk then the roots.
I like my trees to look like they are reaching out in all directions. I like them to have room for things to sit. People have used them to hang jewelery on and I have one that holds a hummingbird nest. There are levels of branches growing off the trunk because the branches signify the time when new growth happens; in intervals not all at once but all connected. My trunks are created by binding all of those wires from the branches and carrying them down to create the roots. The trunk is wrapped repeatedly to keep those connections strong. The roots are headed in all different directions to create balance and most of my trees are mounted on a rock so they have a firm foundation.
I have been asked what I have done to make my kids so great. Someone told me my 15-year-old boy was so wonderful he was “yummy”. My response is roots and wings. You give them security and the knowledge of home. Roots. But you have to know that those roots continue to grow beyond just the parents; they need to go beyond to find their community and home. They need to figure out what will ground them and what support they need to grow. Then as a parent you need to provide them with experiences to challenge them and help them find what will help them reach their personal goals. Once you have provided the experience you have to sit back and let them find the meaning from it for themselves. Wings.
My trees stand up straight, reach out and look for balanced growth… I think I will be my tree.
I believe I live my life in a spiral and that at times I circle back to something familiar but with a bigger space to see what is really happening. Old behaviours start to automatically kick in and at some point I go “AHA” I have been here and done this before. The difficulty with being on a spiral is there are no corners to peek around to see what is coming next.
There are some lessons that I just seem to have to learn again and again. Even though the spiral allows more space the next time I need to learn something, I still seem to have the same blind spots as before. Blind spots, those things I seem to always miss when I am in relationships or situations that I become so invested in that I am not seeing all the warning signs around them, that I am about to be used, hurt, disappointed or angry. I am always far angrier with myself in the long run because I have allowed myself to let down my healthy boundaries and made huge assumptions about the meaning of things. Then instead of spiraling out, I start to spiral down. I start second guessing, I become so self-critical and not able to stay present.
This time around though I have enough space and confidence ask for a life line so I am not crawling out by myself. I asked the person who knows me best to tell me what I am missing. Times before I would not be able to take that honest opinion and I would have resented that feed back. This time is different and I am able to see where to put that Scorpio passion and my trusted people have permission to call me out when I am there the next time. Something tells me I have not finished learning this lesson yet.
I think Mother Nature and I have a lot in common now. We are both prone to wild hot flashes and rapid/rabid mood swings. I have Season Affective Disorder and I am hitting “the time of life”. My usual ways of coping like sitting by sunny windows looking at the white snow and shoveling aren’t working when we experience wet snow, freezing rain then rain.
What is a girl to do to keep her spirits up? Thank goodness for bright green and blue paint. My art this week definitely has had a spring theme. I have inspirational words around the studio and HOPE is the one I focus on now. Hope that spring will come, hope that we all will help our planet heal and we will have real winters, hope that this too shall pass. In the meantime, I will keep up my Vitamin D intake, work with warm colours, laugh with friends and enjoy the heat when it comes.