Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oh the joy

2009 was a tough year. I've heard it from everyone. 2009 was terrible. People suffered financially, which trickled down into depression, acts of desperation... We all know 2009 was difficult. But we made it. What if it was all necessary, so we could rise like a phoenix out of the ashes?

Potentially, so many good things came out of 2009. If we all learned from our problems, then we are all wiser. We are tougher. But not all people seem to want to be able to better themselves through adversity, so I'll just speak about myself.

I learned how to hold my head up and protect myself when someone is trying to beat me down. I learned that my basic life skills of having systems in place (for shopping, problem solving, cooking, etc.) are good, and they are intact. I learned how to talk to those who are down and out so they know something besides despair... I couldn't change circumstances, I could just change their outlook.

2009 was a year of connecting with friends and family that I had lost touch with. Yesterday, my heart overflowed with joy as the birthday wishes kept pouring in. I've talked with people that I had not talked to in 20 years. The internet helps to make the world a little smaller.

I am thankful for 2009 for being the raging b*tch that she was. I am thankful for all the lessons I learned. I am thankful for human resiliency, and the ability to rise from the ashes after a trial. 2010 is going to be amazing. But 2009, I will remember your tough love fondly.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow Day?

I don't watch the news, and I don't follow the weather report. I figure I hear what I need to hear from everyone at work. Perhaps that's why it was such a shock when it started snowing yesterday! I left work after it had snowed for about an hour. My boss kept saying it was stopping, but it was white out there and I saw no signs of an end. I was slightly afraid. Not of the snow... but because people here do not seem to be able to drive in the snow! It's astounding... the Pacific NW. But it is true. Whenever it snows, there's a large number of vehicles pulled to the side of any given road or freeway and abandoned. I've never seen that anywhere before!

It had just stopped snowing before I went to bed last night. So, I tossed and turned, wondering what my work schedule would be like today. I work in a sand and gravel pit. Very few dump trucks will work in the snow.

I get a late start. Then I basically get to decide. I don't like that. Of course, I do live on a hill, surrounded by people who can't drive in the snow. Ugh. I'll go out and assess it when the sun comes up.

Today is my birthday. And it's almost 2010. The future is looking so amazingly bright! At one point yesterday, I told someone (about my blog) "I looked forward, then I looked back. Tomorrow I will write about the joys". And now, for the life of me, I can't remember what I meant to write about. However, if it comes to me, there might be a special post today for that. I can bend my rules on my birthday, right?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking back

Yesterday I blogged about looking forward... forward to the new year and new plans. Today I will write about looking back. 2009 was an extremely challenging year in so many ways. It was an uphill struggle much of the time. But, on the eve of my birthday (seems, always an inventory time for me), I know that while I'm still trudging up that hill, I am almost at the top, and the view is going to be the most glorious that I've seen.

I don't remember a time when I wasn't thankful for adversity. I have always known that the difficulties that I have to fight and claw my way out of have molded me to be the person I am. I simply wouldn't be ME without having gone through all of it.

I was talking to my dad a few months ago, and he made a comment about how he doesn't know how I survived being raised by my grandparents. That I had to tolerate things no-one should. His statement shocked me. I knew they were harsh, and very hard on us kids, but they provided for us. We never went without food, clothes, shelter. They were violent at times, but I was always thankful for all they did. My 2 brothers and I were basically dropped off there when I was 5. Not dropped off in the sense you are thinking. My mom was dropped off there too (her friend had driven us across country), and she had MS. Prior to our arrival, my grandparents were getting ready to retire and start traveling-- their lifelong dream. However, mom was soon bedridden and they had to get us through school. I'm sorry to say they never traveled. So I saw their great sacrifice. I didn't consider them to be as bad as everyone else did. I am thankful for them.

So, as I look back on 2009, the largest thing I see is the end of my marriage. The official end will be in early 2010, but the end came in 2009. I have to be thankful for that as well. I have learned so many things about myself through this marriage. I won't expand on this, as I am still in it. But I am thankful for adversity.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Looking forward

I took this photo on Christmas day. I was on a picture taking trip with my oldest son (he had gotten the camera in the photo). I love this photo! I was playing around on flickr and saw a self-portrait-a-day for a year challenge. Not sure I'm ready for that, but I am going to be taking one a week in 2010. I think it will help me with some photography skills.

I am so looking forward to the new year. I know that one difficult stretch of my journey is almost over. I should be able to look back on this leg of my trip by the end of February.

I do know that some challenges will remain. The lightswitch won't just turn on goodness and light by March. No... work will still be work. Bills will still be bills. The day to day will remain sort of unchanged. But I do know that a huge stressor will be gone, and the future will seem much brighter.

2010 is looking like it will be quite amazing, in so many ways! So many people that I've talked to online and in person have expressed the same thing to me. What is it about this upcoming year that has us all so excited?

What does 2010 mean to you?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Taking Inventory

I think many people take inventory towards the end of the year. Businesses take inventory at the end of their fiscal year. Perhaps married couples take inventory towards their anniversary. Bosses do reviews at the anniversary of the hiring date...

So, as this year is drawing to a close, I have been taking inventory. It has been a difficult year, in so many ways. But those difficulties have brought me closer to finding my true North than I've ever been.

And it's been an amazing year for connecting with people. I've reconnected with so many friends and family members, thanks largely to facebook. I've met the most amazing souls on Etsy. Even twitter has connected me to the right people at the right time.

I'm ready to see 2009 go on it's merry little way. But without the tears and the joy of this year, I would not be on the path that I'm now on. Those close to me, those who enrich my life, will be carried with me into the amazing year that 2010 will be. Those who do not add positive to my life, I will be saying goodbye to.

I hope that your inventory process goes well. Mine has taught me how amazingly blessed I am.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hidden paths, Locked doors

I find so often in life that there are hidden passages. Little doors, that as soon as I figure out a code, or find a key, I can unlock it and what I find beyond is amazing. Marketing is like that. I love those 'a-ha' moments when I have a thought and think 'oh yeah, I should do this'! I have become much better at thinking outside the box and looking for the hidden doors.

Of course, it doesn't only happen with marketing. I go out to take photos, and I take that path less traveled, and get the most awesome photos! In any kind of creativity, you have to strive to think outside that box. Because, really, it's all been done before. You just have to find a way to make it YOURS.

I'm still looking for those unknown passages, and digging into my soul for the keys. And while I do so, guess what? I am making the most awesome discoveries about myself. For instance, I didn't really know how much stick-to-it-iveness I really contained. I'm learning that I'm not a quitter. I am also learning that the more I discover, the more I want to share.

I know I've been beating this drum a lot, but 2010 will be amazing. I have a feeling that I'm just barely brushing the surface of my soul so far...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Positive attracts positive

There are amazing things happening in my life! I have been making local connections to show my photography, and it's looking promising! I will keep you posted as I know more.

I have done a lot of reading over the past few years. I have done The Artist's Way several times, I have read The Secret. I have been following positive thinkers on facebook and twitter. And I have noticed (more lately than say, a few months ago) that my mindset has completely shifted. A year ago, or more, I would've said "yes, things are going well for me now, but that will change, and all will go to crap soon. It all balances out." And I fully believed it.

I don't think I believe that any more. Yes, some days won't be as great as others. But I work hard, I am a positive force. And positive attracts positive. Those are the things I now know. That's not to say that there won't be things out of my control in life. What matters though is how I handle it.

A wonderful friend of mine shared a story the other day. She had dealings with an ex. Things didn't go as they had both worked out, and she began fuming. She started thinking about who to call. Her husband. His mom. Friends. She wanted to vent, because things were not right and she had been wronged! However, that didn't feel right to her, and she calmed herself, not calling anyone. Long story short, he soon called her, apologized for the mistake and fixed it. (I did not get permission to share that... that's why it's so vague). She chose not to be a crazy maker. And I believe due to her recent positivity, it all turned around. The best thing? She was able to recognize the positivity. She was completely blessed by it.

I am so lucky to know the people I know at this part of my journey... their energies uplift me and keep me going.

Monday, December 21, 2009

One Day at a Time

I'm realizing more and more what an exhausting time of year this is for people. So much pressure. So little time. And the pressure doesn't necessarily stop with the new year.

One year, many years ago, I showed my friend, Eric, my list of New Year's resolutions. He laughed at me because I listed some outrageous number of them... 13 I think. He told me that was ridiculous to have so many goals, and that I'd never accomplish them because I don't have just one or 2 to focus on and get done. I believe he had 1, maybe 2, New Year's resolutions.

He was right. I had too many, I became overwhelmed, and I'm sure I didn't realize many of them. However, life had other things in store for me. Eric was killed by a drunk driver the day after Valentine's. My life changed forever, and growth occurred throughout the rest of the year in ways I could never had imagined. He still touches my life today, and I no longer make long, lofty lists of goals. I take life one day at a time, moving forward, and always looking forward. Life is too short. I try to squeeze everything I can out of every day.

Eric and I shared a birthday. It's coming up very soon. Right before the new year. Each year, I think of him, and of how fleeting life is. And I honor his memory by being the best I can each day.

I *do* believe that 2010 will be amazing. I do have goals. But not New Year's resolutions. I have goals that I've been working on, that I will continue to work on.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Working towards Simplification

I am at the end of a very long work week. But in this economy, more than ever, I am thankful to have a job. I could complain about many aspects of it, but that would just be ingrateful. So, today, I am thankful. Thankful for every moment of my job.

I'm also thankful for the energy I have to pursue my dreams. Life is hectic, life is crazy and stressful. Yet, I am moving forward. I am glad that I have the ability to do that.

The things I'm not so thankful for? Well, they are being dealt with, and being packed up to move out of my life. I've said before that I have a move coming up in a couple months. I have been packing stuff for awhile now, but mostly I have been boxing stuff up to donate. I am working on simplifying. Simplifying my decor, my wardrobe, my collections. Simplifying my life.

Christmas seems to be an odd time to be thinking about simplifying... with all the gifts under the tree. But, I have been very specific in my requests and each thing I asked for has a specific place and purpose in my new life. I tried to be very mindful of 'necessity' when gifting to others as well. I think I will have a grand plan for it all by next Christmas.

How is your world?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Let it go

Despite everything, I had a very stressful day yesterday. I had an inner turmoil going on. I had lectured myself in my blog yesterday morning. I know this is the storm before the calm. But it didn't help. I stressed beyond reason.

But towards the end of the day, I let it go. I did what I should have initially done. I made a list, prioritized. Looked at it. And realized that it's not bigger than I am. Then I was fine.

As the days go by and we get closer to Christmas, I'll get everything done. Family gatherings will somehow fall into place (having a hard time arranging this year due to everyone's work schedules), and a good time will ultimately be had by all.

Sometimes I am a control freak. I want everything to be just right. I want this to be this way, and that to go that way. I am learning to let go. And just as food is better when cooked by someone else, things are done in wonderful new ways (that I wouldn't have thought of) when I allow others to help.

So, today... I am practicing again. breathe... let it go... breathe... let it go...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tis the season

Christmas is only 9 days away. I can hardly believe that it is upon us so quickly. I still have to mail stuff to my family and finalize my shopping. But I won't freak out! I'll list what I have to do and check it off.

Grocery shopping. Present shopping. Cooking. Baking. Cleaning. Wrapping. Wow. Is this really what this season means anymore?

It will all get done. And I will have a wonderful Christmas, together with my family. All of the chores will be done soon and I will be able to spend time with them. That's more like it... that's what the season is about.

It is so easy in this day and age to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. That's why I *attempt* to be mindful in all things (sometimes I don't quite succeed) so that I can breathe through it and fully appreciate the joy before me.

This is the storm before the calm, as it were. Like the craft show a few weeks ago, all of the prep and the craziness ahead of time. I know that as soon as it begins, I am fine. Nothing that I can do at that point but be present and do what I am there to do. I know this about me, that's how I am.

So, even in the busy-ness, I will be calm, knowing that time is coming.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


"To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act." --Anatole France

I have dreams and plans for the coming year. I have spent the last few months searching my soul and deciding exactly where I need to go. My first big plan is to move, and that will happen in February. When I do, I will create a peaceful, inspiring home to exist in.

But 2010 will bring lots more to me than a change of address. I will be exploring photography much more, and putting myself out there more. I've already started this and have a place to hang my work for May. Working on several other months as well. Becoming involved in my local art community is important to me.

I am working on my book, and hope to complete it by the end of the year.

I am rethinking my etsy shop and trying to come to some decisions about it. I am sure that it will evolve as my photography does. I also want to try my hand at leatherbound journals. Kicking it up a notch as Emeril would say :-).

2010 will bring some experimentation with both abstract photography and photography of people, as well as learning new editing techniques.

It is going to be an amazing year! What plans do you have?

Monday, December 14, 2009


As you know, I've been on the journey of a lifetime in recent months. I am becoming more positive, more self confident, more self-aware, more uplifting. All of that has been a wonderful thing. However, those crazy-makers in my life are now going absolutely NUTS!

They want me to stay: depressed, needy, they want me to rely on them to make choices in my life. They want to drive! The crazy makers are finally aware (it takes them awhile because they are so self-absorbed) that I no longer need them. Not only that, that I no longer will tolerate their crazy-making ways. And they are pissed!

I feel like I'm at war right now. And I have to engage to an extent. I will participate in this war enough to defend myself and fight the takeover off. I will try to do as little damage as possible, but as I saw yesterday, the crazymakers are not too ashamed to try to rip my positivity and self-awareness apart.

War is against my core. But it has begun. I will do all that I can to protect ME.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Busy Month

December is always an amazingly busy month. All the last minute shopping, wrapping, putting up the tree, cleaning for company, work parties, family get-togethers. It's no wonder so many adults I know dislike Christmas. It's very hard to remember to breathe.

My plan for the weekend is to go through all the gifts I've bought throughout the year, sort them, and wrap them. That will be a huge task, but perfect for a weekend when freezing rain is in the forecast. I will also be mailing 2 custom orders. Those being on their way for gift-giving will be a huge load off of my mind.

The new year will bring much change for me. I may put my shop on vacation for a period of time in February. I will be moving, and even though it's a local move, I don't think I want to stress over other things while I'm doing it.

Speaking of change in the new year. I am phasing out my handbound journals. They are currently all in my clearance section. They will most likely be replaced with something exciting and new... at some point.

I know that you are all feeling the time crunch. Try to make some special time for yourself. And try to remember to breathe. Make lists, prioritize, delegate, whatever it is that works for you. The holidays are *supposed* to be joyous.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Some days, I really don't have a lot to say. I woke up to a friend's email about heartbreak. And it's nothing I can fix. I can console her. I can offer to tell off the offender. I can offer a band-aid. But I can't fix it.

That used to not be enough for me. I'd go crazy trying to fix all the problems around me. It would send me off into a depression because so many things can't be fixed, and I feel so deeply. But I have learned over time how to isolate those feelings. How to not let them become personal, and not let them affect me physically.

That took me almost 38 years. I'm that kind of stubborn. I can compare myself now to the me of 5 years ago. The change is amazing. And the farther back I go, the more remarkable the change is. Friends that I have now, would not have befriended the Robyn of before. I don't think I would have either. I have come so far.

However, the me of today probably won't be recognized by the me 5 years from now either. Personal growth is changing me and shaping me every single day. And that's a good thing. I hope that change never ceases in my life...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I will be 38 years old this month. I have had my share of disappointment. I've lived, I've loved... I have never shut myself off from feeling, and I have felt the agony and the pain of being disappointed. And I must admit, I have wallowed in it. I have used it as an excuse to build up walls, I've used it to explain to people (quite dramatically) why I have built up walls and have a hardened outer shell.

However, yesterday, I faced some disappointment. And I did none of those things. Initially, it saddened me, but without even thinking, I moved on. Moved into understanding. People can disappoint. But I thought about the why's of it all. And I understand that when people are involved, they are all on their own journey. Perhaps it's simply not time for their paths to cross.

I know I'm being cryptic... but the lesson is what's important. Not the details. Life is good. Sometimes its necessary just to roll with it. And when you can do that... when you are no longer controlled by those negative emotions... then growth has come.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A lightbulb moment

Someone told me one time that if I were looking to buy a Volkswagen Beetle, that's what I would notice everywhere. That particular car would be on my mind, so everywhere I would go, I would see one. Not because I was making them appear, but because I would NOTICE. They were there all along... I was just aware now.

One of the comments on my blog yesterday said something about how positive attracts positive. I have actively tried to move positive into my life, and am working on moving negative out. And now, everywhere I look, I notice positive. I do wonder if it's like the Beetle, though. And I think it is. I think it was most likely there all along. And only now, while I focus on it, do I fully become aware of it's presence.

A lightbulb moment, indeed. What lightbulb moments have you recently had?

Monday, December 7, 2009


The craft show didn't have a lot of traffic. It was very well-advertised, but perhaps the location was not the best. I made enough to cover my table, plus a little. Most of the vendors there also had etsy sites, so it was awesome to get to know them! The craft show gave me a lot of confidence about my work, though, so it was a wonderful thing to have done!

I found out last night that I'm booked for a one month show in a restaurant in downtown Portland starting May 1! I will post more details as it gets closer. This coming week I will be checking out the space and deciding on sizes of prints to hang. It will be a pretty large undertaking for me.

I also woke up to find that my shop is included in a gift site listing on this blog today! I'd love if you could check it out!

Life is pretty amazing. I'm enjoying the forward movement. My plan is to keep the momentum going. Life is good, and I am thankful... gratitude is a constant with me, and I am grateful for so many things. Thankful for readers of my blog and their amazing support. Thankful for a wonderful etsy community, thankful for friends around the world thanks to the internet. Amazingly thankful for my loving, supportive family! Those who are related, and those who aren't.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The future is bright

Last night I did more craft show prep. Double checking everything and finalizing after a half day of work today. The First part of the craft show is this evening from 6 to 9:30. I am excited, nervous, worried, apprehensive... I will be fine once it starts though.

I have been doing a lot of research. Research for freelance work, stock photography, travel photography, and research for my book. In addition to the craft show prep. I always seem to be looking several steps ahead. That used to not work so well for me, because my focus would never be on what's right NOW. But I'm getting to that point where I can give now my attention, and still have plans and thoughts for the future.

Know what I can tell you from all that? The future is bright! There are so many doors open to me, and the ones that aren't open, I most likely already have the key, I just need to use it. Life is absolutely amazing. I do realize we're in a depression. Our economy sucks. If you have not read my post about the economy, I urge you to do so.

Look for those open doors. And the ones that are locked? Search yourself for the key! It's in there!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Take a chance

Man, it's cold outside! Not as cold as in this snow picture from last year, but it seems like it's getting there. I'm ready for the snow. So ready.

Yesterday at work, I listed out all the things I needed to do last night, prioritized them, and estimated how much time each task would take. I went home with over 3 hours of work ahead of me. Somehow that energized me, and I got each item done way faster than I had anticipated. I ran into one snag, but rolled with it and moved on. Tonight will be more of the same.

My craft show is Friday night and Saturday. I will rest on Sunday. I am about 90% ready for the show. And I'm about 95% ready for it to be over! I have had a lot of anxiety about this show. Wondering how my photography will be received in my local area. Wondering if I will make any sales. Wondering if my table display will be adequate. So many questions. And I will find my answers within the next couple of days.

When asked to do this show, my initial response was Yes! Then, however, I freaked out. All of my insecurities bubbled to the surface. I wanted to run, screaming into the hills. Dramatic much? Perhaps. But it's easier to NOT follow our dreams. It's so much easier to pull back into the corner and watch life pass by. I made a choice with this show. Put myself out there. Become an active participant in attaining my dreams.

Setting myself up for disappointment? No, because I'm already involved in this. I am doing the work, and putting myself out there. Rejection is a possibility, I assume. But it's not about that anymore. It's about ME believing in myself enough to dive right in.

Baby steps. This will be one of millions....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Time is something I fight with frequently. I judge myself according to productivity, according to how much I can get done. Last night, I was not very productive. Instead, I did a few things that I've put off forever, and I played with Pandora radio, discovering tons of new music. I danced around the kitchen as I emptied the dishwasher. I looked into Ben Harper's soul. I rediscovered Floater, one of my favorite bands of all time.

I will not judge last night as a failure. I enjoyed it. I breathed. Life is good.

However, with the craft show just a few days away, tonight I will work by a list and get many things accomplished. And I am sure that I will enjoy that as well, because of the breather I got yesterday.

Balance. That's another thing I'm trying to apply. An easy, smooth balance in my life. Between discovering all the joys, and working hard. Relaxation, play... they do not come easy for me. But I am working on that. Ha! Working on relaxing. Seems like an oxymoron. But I'm driven to a fault. I need to learn to relax. I need to rediscover me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Time Grew

Last night, I had an amazingly productive evening. I finished many little steps in prep for the craft show. One thing I've noticed about myself (for awhile now) is that I am energetic and very gung-ho... right up until the last couple steps of something. I am productive, more productive than ever, until the end. Then I drop it off... I get bored, I get excited about something else, and I move on.

So, last night, I didn't make a list. I just looked around, at my house in total disarray with pieces for the show everywhere. And I started a box. I packed everything that was ready for the show in that box. I looked at piles. Saw photos that were already bagged that I just needed to seal. Ok. I sealed those and put them in the box. Saw other photos waiting to be matted and bagged. So I did that, and placed them in the box. I had some journals that only need end papers put in. So they are stacked, and ready for me to tackle them today.

An interesting thing happened while I was doing my show prep. I started cleaning up some areas in my house. Not as a distraction, and not taking me away from my productivity... it's like time grew and I had more and more. It was very odd. I feel the main shift comes from all the soul-searching and re-prioritizing that I've been doing.

I know where my focus is, and time is growing for me to do it. Pretty amazing! I hope you discover wonderful, exciting, and surprising things today...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Treading Water

I've often said that I'm addicted to busy-ness. I had a lightbulb moment yesterday. I definitely am addicted to being busy, but many times, I'm simply busy treading water. Very busy keeping my head above water, but no forward motion whatsoever.

So, in the next few weeks, I'll be working on moving forward. I'll be prioritizing, and charting my path. One of my favorite songs by a band called Floater, has the following lyrics:

And what will they say when you're gone?
That you conquered?
That you burned like a rocket from the womb to the world...
and you ran with the colors and your flags unfurled...
and you ignited everything like a gasoline rain?

The song is called Endless I, and I encourage you to find it and listen to it. Beautiful stuff. But, as part of my lightbulb moment, that verse played in my head. I've always identified as an author, but I've not been working towards that.

So this coming year, I will be re-prioritizing and refocusing. The book will be in the forefront of my mind, as will my dreams of being a travel photographer.

Busy is good. Treading water is exhausting. If you are not moving forward, take a moment to breathe and rest, then get moving forward...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Prep for a show

I dreamed last night about all the things I need to get done for the craft show. It's still a long list, but they are little things. So I'll list them out and start checking them off. Today I'm ordering the last of my photos. The 5X7's to mat, I'm having them printed locally. I am nervous about this show. My first show as a photographer. And my first show in the Portland area. I hope that it's the first of many.

I will be starting a newsletter up soon, and will have a signup at the show, amongst other places. It seems that so many of my actions these days are propelling me forward. My mindset is one that each action not only is for the moment I'm executing it, but also laying the groundwork for the future. In work, my personal life, and my photography business.

I need that. I need plans, and I need to be actively working towards moving forward. Without that plan, that movement, I lose will. Good thing I know that!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


So... I had totally planned a cop out post on here, using my photos and Dad's photos, to show some things I'm grateful for. But blogger had other plans. No cop outs for me today, no photos will upload.

I don't plan my blog posts ahead of time. I meditate, I sit, and I type. Today, I woke up in a bad mood. It's one of those days where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it seems so far away. However, in the grand scheme of things, it's right around the corner.

I am grateful for my relationship with my dad, more than anything else. I am grateful for friends and family, I am grateful for a job, a roof over my head, a reliable vehicle to drive. I am thankful for my cameras and the love for photography that Dad and I share.

I am grateful for the special people in my life who get me through the daily grind. You know who you are.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Be your Own Anchor

I am finding more and more, that I have to be my own anchor. Yes, there are supports around me, but if I have self doubt, I will crumble regardless of who else is holding me up. I am also discovering that the more sure I am of my path, the more headstrong certain people in my life are about throwing obstacles in my way.

In The Artist's Way, the author, Julia Cameron, refers to these people as crazy-makers. And I'm finding that the stronger I become, the stronger they try to be. No problem. I am ready.

We are embarking on Thanksgiving... and for the first year of my life, I'm not having a Thanksgiving meal. I'm doing nothing really to mark the day. Partially because I'm wiping the slate clean to start new traditions next year, but more because it is always a LOT of hard work. When I was a child, I helped the women prepare the meal. I helped them put food away, and clean up. Hours and hours of prep. Less than an hour of everyone eating. Then more hours of cleaning. I'm sure the men were thankful. But I was not.

I also don't really understand ONE day to be thankful. I'm thankful almost every day. I have MUCH to be thankful for, and I can see it all clearly. So, that being said, Happy Thanksgiving from me. I am thankful for each and every one of you who reads my blog... who comments, who touches my life in some way.

I will be blogging through the week, on my usual schedule. Dad... take it easy tomorrow... don't overdo!

If any of you are confronting crazy-makers, do you have any fool-proof tactics that work for you?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Farming and Life.

I took this photo last weekend at a local farm. Luscher Farms is an amazing farm in my area that is also a CSA... CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. You can buy "shares", plus sign up for a few work shifts, and each time they harvest, you come pick up your part of it. It's an amazing concept, and one that I think helps to tie a community together.

I've been thinking alot about farming this morning. I think just about every aspect of it applies to life. You plant what you'd like to sow. You fertilize and water, you weed out the bad, and you harvest the wonderful, amazing gifts.

Same with relationships. Same with children. Same with artistic endeavors, work, and goals. Nothing amazing to harvest? Think back to what you planted. Didn't plant? Nothing to harvest. Didn't fertilize or water? Nothing again. Forgot to weed? Guess what choked out your crop.

Unfortunately, I haven't literally planted any crops to harvest since I was a child, perhaps I will have a window or balcony garden next year. But I'm fully realizing how all the steps apply to life. It all ties in to being mindful. Mindful of the results and reasoning for each and every step.

I've been planting seeds towards a goal for quite awhile. My "crop" (as it were), started growing last week. And the work doesn't stop there...

just something to ponder....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Week

It's Monday again. And I am tired. But luckily, it will be a short work week, and I can sleep in for several days! I went to a friend's house last night and took lots of farm photos. I also had a good time visiting and getting out of my house.

This week, I will be making more progress towards the craft show, placing my final photo order. I made all of my greeting card sets for it on Saturday, and I'll be handing out fliers from now til the day of the show!

I have done some more thinking about my true north... talked a bit with Dad about it. Oh, Dad went home from the hospital on Saturday! He will be on some strong antibiotics for a couple more weeks, but he sounded great. Anyway, Dad was very encouraging when I told him what I'm being led to do. Now... to move forward with that.

The Thanksgiving break will be about relaxing and working towards goals. No traditional meal for me, no traditional cleanup either. Just working towards stuff I want to do. I am very thankful for that!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Notes from my Journey

I have a friend who is going through a very tough time, in so many areas of his life. He's been leaning on me for a bit of support. It's a new thing with him... but then, he wasn't having tough times before. I am listening, and talking with him... offering whatever advice I may have, and I am not owning his issues! I have not taken any of it on. THAT also is a first! I have always gotten bogged down by the pains in other's lives. I've owned their problems, causing me great stress, and often physical issues.

I have experienced so many turning points in my life recently. Not getting sucked into family drama, not owning friends' pain, moving forward with my life both physically and emotionally. Life is amazing.

I feel closer than I have ever been before on realizing my True North. I am almost there... I can see it. And soon, I will be sharing all that glorious-ness with you!

By the way... we have about 35 shopping days til Christmas! And only a week until Thanksgiving. I have much to be thankful for! Please share with me some things you are thankful for on your journey...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Energy Banks

I took this photo in Utah with my dad. He is doing much better, but will most likely remain in the hospital for several more days.

Life seems to be calming down emotionally for me. I seem to have had a lot of drama to deal with recently, and it's all washing away, like at the beach when the tide starts going out. I'm thankful for the reprieve! The break means I will have more energy to focus on the craft show, and my etsy shop!

I used to be one of those crazy makers... someone who would create drama if there was none. I fed off of it, and spun it around like a whirlwind to suck everyone in. Now, I have no idea how I had any energy whatsoever for such things. Though, my theory is we have X amount of energy, and we spend it where we may. I'd rather now spend my allotment at seeking happiness and creating.

When I feel personal peace, I feel led to share it with others. I'm getting closer to my true calling... sometimes so close that I can taste it. When I get there, I will let you know.

How do you spend your energy? Have you discovered what it is you want to be when you grow up?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Through My Father's Eyes

These are just a few of Dad's photos that I have stored. He loves sunrises and sunsets. He is in the hospital again, I've been very worried about him and am not sleeping well. So instead of my words today, you get these beautiful images. Enjoy seeing the world through my Father's eyes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lessons Learned

This is a photo of my prayer flags hanging on my porch. They are one of the first things to go up each time I move.

Yesterday, an amazing thing happened in my life. There was drama (not that unusual, really), and someone who I love very much lashed out at me and called me some names. I have not been the target of an attack like this for a very long time. My initial reaction was tears, and anger. But I was at work, so no tears.

Then, a calmness washed over me and I knew there would be no retalliation, no talk with this person about it. I knew what this person said was out of being hurt, and upset. It had nothing to do with me, I was just a convenient target.

This calmness was new to me. Like I said, something like this had not happened for a very long time, and an old, emotional me would have milked this for all it was worth. I would have attacked back, and I would have gone for blood. Things would have been blown way out of proportion. And everything would have gotten quite ugly.

I am no longer that person. I don't go for blood. I issue bandaids when I can, or look away from a tantrum to not fuel the fire.

There was, however, one sliver of what this person said that got under my skin. It festered and pained me like a sliver. I could feel it, and I needed to deal with it. I talked with my best friend online, and she helped me extract it. It no longer pains me and I see it for what it is.

Words can hurt... 2 things I learned yesterday: you don't have to let them hurt you, and you don't have to participate in the games people play.

Life is pretty amazing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Moving Forward

I made a lot of progress towards being ready for the craft show this weekend. I ordered most of the packaging needed, I edited more photos, started a list of photos and sizes to have printed out, and I even found time to work on some custom ordered journals and take some new photos.

I am at my best when I am busy. Idle time does not suit me well at all. I told someone the other day that I'm addicted to busy-ness. It's true. Sometimes though, I wish I knew how to just chill, and not worry about the next task that needs to be accomplished.

However, for the next couple of weeks, this busy-ness will serve me well. If any of you are in the Portland area, please contact me and I will send you an evite to the craft show.

I am moving forward in many areas of my life. And I have noticed in the past couple of days that I'm totally unwilling to keep the status quo on things that don't make sense. If something is wrong with a scenario, I'm changing it! If I've been going along with stuff just to appease someone, well, no more! I'm going to be true to myself, and I refuse to play the games any more.

I have spent a lifetime trying not to rock the boat. And now, I realize... sometimes you just have to be true to yourself. I talk all the time on here about being true to yourself. It's time I paid attention to that. It is, after all, what I fully believe in. It is time that I honored my *self*. In the recent path, I had not done so because I thought I'd hurt others around me. And it's not that I now want to hurt them. I need to be true to me, and I've finally realized that others around me can handle it.

Sometimes life, and relationships, are a struggle. Be true to you and the path meant for you will be clear... sometimes you just have to be able to see it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

So Thankful that it's Friday

I am so thankful that the weekend is almost here. I am committed this weekend to take some photos on Sunday. Saturday will be a busy family day, but that does include a road trip, so possibly some photos there as well. I am getting to the point where I want to photo everything... if it were up to me, an hour long road trip would be extended to an entire day just to stop and grab photos along the way.

I'll also be ordering all my supplies for the craft show this weekend. Making my list and checking it twice. And making sure my inventory is ready. I have a lot to focus on. And goals are one of the things in life that keeps me sane.

Without goals I wander aimlessly. I plummet into darkness. Truthfully, I very easily slide down into depression if I don't keep myself busy and focused. Luckily for me, this I know about myself and can keep it at bay.

My hope for all of you... all of my friends and family is that you know what to do to keep yourself raised up above that. The holidays are upon us soon. It's very common for depression to surface... and with the economy (I will be re-posting my blog about the economy soon), you absolutely must do all you can to hold your head above water. If you need some support, reach out. Talk with your friends, your family, even a professional. You are in control. Don't let it control you.

If you would like to talk to me, I am here. I'd love to help.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Giving Thanks

Life is really good these days. I feel like so much is falling into place. Not haphazardly, but after a whole lot of working towards it. It is an awesome feeling when hard work is rewarded. And I feel that it's so important to be thankful when that does happen.

I have an extensive support network. Many don't even realize they are in that web that helps me through. But many do. Family, close friends. They lean on me and I lean on them... together, we are a strong pillar emerging in the world. I am so thankful for each and every one of them.

Their strength adds to my own, and I'm able to be supportive of more people as a result. It's a constantly turning wheel.

I witnessed a friend's art evolving yesterday and saw her sense of self absolutely soar. That is amazing! A couple of days ago, that same friend felt me reach out to her when I needed to be reassured about my decision to do a craft show. She helped me brain storm all the things I'd need to do to prepare and soothed my soul.

My pledge today is that I will not only continue to raise up those around me, but I will also continue to lean on my network for support.

Who are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Watch life pass by

I took this photo from the car window. I was experimenting, and having fun. I love how it turned out. I call it "Watching Life Pass By".

Today, my goal is to relax a bit... and watch life. I need to breathe. I've calmed down about the craft show, though I'm still making mental notes. I'm not so freaked out now. I will just focus on making steps forward, no matter how small.

Do you ever sit on a bench and watch people? I like to imagine where they are rushing off to, I create amazing, elaborate stories in my head about their lives, their hopes, their desires. I believe there's a certain amount of empathy that comes with this ability. My stories explain WHY they have that stain on their blouse, or why they put on a bit too much perfume today. The stories explain it away... You should try it. Seriously. It's fun.

Try to do something today that takes you *out* of the hustle and bustle of life. People watch. Meditate. Soak in a bubble bath. Create a world aside from the one out there... and make it your own.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fasten Your Seatbelts!

As a general rule, there are two speeds in my life... crawling along and fasten your seatbelts! I'm embarking on one of those crazy times when I need to be buckled in. Today I'm signing up for a craft show Dec. 4th and 5th. It's local, it's with some good friends. And so far, I'll be the only photographer there.

I am thrilled beyond words... and majorly overwhelmed. But I know me. Today I will start making lists of all the preparations that need to be done, and I will start doing them. I started researching packaging yeserday, and have some sources bookmarked to order from. I also received some metallic prints in the mail that I will sell in the show.

That in itself was a funny bit of synchronicity. I never order prints until they are ordered. Then (depending on specifics of the order) I order them locally and mail them, or have them shipped directly from my lab. But the other day, I ordered 11 8X10 prints, to see how they look. 5 regular, 6 metallic. So I feel like I am a little ahead of the game.

More research today. And if you have any suggestions for items I need to have there, please do mention it! Or... for photos I must include...

Pay attention... listen to the signs of the universe. When you are ready, it will start throwing stuff your way.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Signs I can't ignore

I think when you are present in your life, there are times where it's like being yanked around by a great dane. Times when you are being pulled so strongly in a direction that you have absolutely no choice but to follow.

I had a weekend like that... a weekend of being shown where it is I'm supposed to be going. What it is I'm supposed to be working towards. Like most things in life, it's not instant. But I have a definite direction.

I know people who will never listen to the clues. They will never allow the right direction to be shown to them. And they will always be searching blindly. I'm sure that was me for a number of years.

But no more. I am on this path... I am working towards the end goal. I wish the same for you... if you don't know where it is you are headed, start listening. It will be shown to you, I promise.

Friday, November 6, 2009


The magic I spoke of earlier in the week has returned. Today is a beautiful day, and the weekend looming before me looks wonderful. Like I said before, I love fall. I love naked trees. I love leaf covered streets and paths. I love wearing my crochet/knitted hats. I love layering. :-)

And I love trying to capture the magic with my camera. Not sure if the weekend will allow time for that, but I certainly am going to try.

The other day, I came across the following quote.

"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it." -- Goethe

It was a great reminder to me... like I had said about a week ago, about showing up at the page. In the name of being pointed in the right direction, I keep happening across these signs. And that is a very good thing. I need all the reminders that I can get.

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend. And if you need that reminder, write it out on a post it. Put it on your mirror or in your car... perhaps on your computer monitor. Enjoy!

Real blog post to come later today...

I wanted to leave you with this photo this morning... check back later for my Friday blog post. Have a wonderful morning!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The contemplation continues

I am having a very hard time getting motivated this morning. Just as I typed that I realized I had forgotten my coffee this morning. Now, with my coffee in hand, I hope to find my motivation.

I had a wonderful talk with my dad yesterday. He sounded absolutely great. I was telling him some exciting news and he was fully rejoicing with me. He so gets me, and that makes me so happy.

I have a busy weekend planned, and got an email about an upcoming craft show in the area... the lady found me on etsy :-). My initial reaction was "noooo.... not enough time". But... I will email her back, asking for more information. After all, I do have over 50 journals made, and I'd like to move them from my shop... new directions coming soon with that. The craft show is about an hour away, but I will weigh all the pros and cons throughout the day to decide.

In so many ways, business-wise, I feel as though I've arrived. I have found my photographic voice. I am following my heart. Life is pretty amazing.

The deep contemplation that's been within me for days is continuing today. I'm getting there... slowly. For a person with 0 patience, this is going well.

I wish each of you a completely present, mindful day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A little Magic

I love the colors of fall. Spring is an amazing time of rebirth, but in the fall, that's when the behind the scenes magic happens... that's when the groundwork is done for the coming season. Seeds drop to the ground, waiting... leaves fall to protect and fertilize. It's all absolute magic.

I have some magic of my own going on in my life right now. I'm not going to tell exactly what it is because I'm so afraid to jinx it. But something amazing is happening. Yep, right along with all the unsettled-ness in my world. And the struggles I've been going through... right in the middle of that, a glimmer of magic.

Life's pretty amazing. Just when you think you are going down in the water for the last time, a small flotation device floats by. You're still in the water. You still have to figure out how the hell to deal with the predicament you are in. But now you have hope. So that's where I am. Still floating around. But still in the same water. I'm taking lots of extra meditation time lately. And I'm so thankful for my morning pages I'm doing as part of The Artist's Way.

If you're in the water... look around... there might be something coming to provide you with a little magic...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. About priorities, about life in general. I wish it were, but my thinking's not done. It's a time of unrest for me, and of being mentally/emotionally unsettled. Answers are being fed to me slowly as I meditate, and as I try to go through my day mindfully. I will get there. It's quite a journey, though.

Throughout all of this, my head is held high. I know that I will come out exactly where I need to be. I just need to apply patience (that's quite a lesson in itself).

This all seems very cryptic, doesn't it? I apologize for that. Sometimes struggles are like that. You can let others know you are struggling, but the details are left for self to work out.

I will continue to move forward, no matter how slowly. And I will continue to share all that I am able with you. That is my pledge. Life is amazing, and wonderful things are discovered daily. I hope that you all find that to be true!

Be well, my friends... be well.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday, Monday...

These are some of my recent photos. I got in some camera time over the weekend... not as much as I would have liked, but some. Most of these were just for fun. I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hooray for the weekend!

This has been a really long week. Tomorrow, rain or shine, I am going out with my cameras and getting some good shots. I just know that... remember my earlier post about 'showing up at the page'? If I go, I will get them. With the fall colors, the falling leaves, and the amazing barns and trees in my area, I'm all set. Or perhaps I'll go out by the wineries... the possibilities are endless.

I am also going to do some extra work on The Artist's Way, and possibly plan something special for the girls who are doing it with me... they are working so hard! It's the first time I've facilitated this, and it's really an amazing experience for me. It's leading me... new directions are around the bend. Lots of thoughts about what I want to be when I grow up.

I honestly feel like I'm kinda doing some groundwork now.... getting things in place. Like the pre-packing you do before you move. And the odd thing is... this time, as I'm doing the groundwork, I recognize it as such and I feel how important it is. I know I must do it mindfully and carefully, so I have a good base.

Thoughts are heavy today. Have a safe weekend... try to focus on being present.

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