Monday, January 23, 2017

The Light's Gone Out

Via National Geographic.
Via Road Trippers
Via Steve Garrington's Flickr stream.
Via Marina Reservation.
Via Rbrn.
Via Live Journal.
Via Peanut Chuck.
Via Weather Channel.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017, I'm Not Ready.

This extremely unflattering
picture shows I would like
to have humor about my
imperfections. And maybe
punch someone.
I'm just not. 

I'm turning older in March. Not ready for that, though I'm not freaking out about it.

I haven't done what I wanted to do with my life, quite yet. (I'm still deciding what that is by the way, so please, don't judge me!) 

I still say the wrong things and get in trouble because of my mouth. (Still. Damn it!) I mean well, I really do, but there are still those horrifying moments where I just try to see what my mouth is saying at the same time it's saying what it's saying and thinking, "No! Don't! You can't---! Oh, shit. You did. You really did." *face palm*

And man, there are so many things I want to do, I'm dizzy with it! But this is the time I need to settle myself and breathe, and focus on what is really important to me.

Don't get me wrong. 2016 was a really rough year, personally, but it wasn't all bad.

I had the great opportunity to go to the Stanley Hotel, which was a major bucket list item!

I also got to go to Cancun and Kauai, which was a blast. I got to see old friends in Portland, Oregon. I had the opportunity to go to a great ceramic art show and speak with some very talented artists. I got to see family and friends. I had a whole doggone year without a surgery! YES!!!

And I did make some personal strides forward, but -- and many of you will recognize this about yourselves -- somehow I feel like I fell short of my expectations of myself.

I'm pretty sure everyone feels this way from time to time, especially this time of year. Maybe you (like me) didn't lose the weight you wanted to, or you didn't commit to your plan for world domination, or something like that. I keep telling myself that it's o.k. I'm not dead, yet (escaping the 2016 Death Race was an accomplishment all on its own, so I count it as a win!), so I can keep on working on myself and my other goals. It's not too late.

 A friend mentioned to write down my goals and then figure out where they stand on my priority list. I'm still working on it, and I feel cautiously positive about it. The cautious part of me is the part who's afraid of failure. I'm reminding myself that I overthink things, and to just keep going. To have some courage, because really, I'm not going to be executed for not achieving my goals or desires. (Why are we always so damn dramatic about this?)
And I'm reminding myself that in spite of all of my failures -- real and imagined -- I'm still falling forwards more than backwards. Inch by inch, things improve. I am on an adventure, and it is, overall, pretty amazing.

Yes, I really do have to remember when to just shut my mouth, but sometimes, what comes out is kind and helpful. I know that will get better with practice.

One of the things I noticed I could improve was my charitable giving. I noticed that I was, quite frankly, stingy with giving money to causes I supported. And I decided to change that, right away.

I believe in them, sure. I sign petitions which don't seem like they're just a crazy waste of time. But giving? Not as good as I wanted. Because I don't make loads of take-home cash after I donate to my retirement, it was easy to excuse not giving to what mattered to me.

So I went back to my last post and chose three separate charities I wanted to give to, and for two of them, I set up a monthly schedule of support. It's not loads of cash, but I know that every little bit helps, and that they need it, regardless of how large or small the donation is. And really, it's not going to break me. Will I need more time to save for things I want for myself? Sure. But, honestly, aside from improving my studio, I really don't need a whole bunch more "stuff." I can live without a wind spinner or another wind chime, honestly.

I'll continue to make changes, as incremental as they may be. The New Year gives us all an excuse to stop and take inventory, so we can see what changes are important to us.

Happy New Year, Gang! Here's to some positive change!