"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step."
- Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
It's been pretty darn busy around here since I returned from the Gulf of Mexico trip (remember, my nickname is Whirlwendee, after all)! First I had to write a feature, then I had to edit it some, then I had to work on another piece - which I have finished a draft of and am now letting it "gel." I like to have a week, or at least a few days, after writing my initial draft where I can set it aside, and not think about it. Then I come back to it, tweak it, and it always ends up the better for it. Sometimes I do not have that luxury, when I'm working right up to my deadline. So after stressing a bit over an approaching deadline, I was very happy that I finished a draft early so I can have the time to let it sit, and come back to it in a couple days. And meanwhile, I can catch up on my email that is ever-accumulating. I feel much more on top of things when I'm caught up on my email - don't you? I like to keep my inbox under 100. That means I sort and file a lot of emails, but still.
After almost 2 years, my boyfriend and I broke up. So... it's been a bit rough. We have gone back and forth, back and forth, gotten close, grown apart, spent time traveling (both for our respective work) and in the end, it just isn't working for either of us. Even though this is a cliche, it was sort of like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Really, we can't change our man. We can love someone, but after enough time you start to see that who they are, or how they behave towards you, can't be explained or justified by... unemployment, stress, etc etc. It's good to be able to see people we love at their "worst" because to make a long-term relationship move to a deeper level, we're eventually going to see that anyway. But when it's not pretty, and it drags you down too, that can't be a good sign of hope for a beautiful future.
I started reading The Artist's Way again, and this morning was sitting outside in my backyard and read about how we creatives are often attracted to "crazymakers" - sometimes relationship partners, sometimes friends, sometimes parents. I'm just sayin... sometimes we allow a relationship to steal away our creativity because we pour time, love, effort into that relationship instead of into nourishing our own spirit, soul, creativity. I love deeply and don't give up easily. I tried so hard. We even tried to break up before, but never could make it stick. I miss him. But I can't go back. Even though he's now doing things that are so wonderful for his life, making new friends, training for new jobs that contribute positively to the world. Not now. I wish him well, and will continue to be his friend.
So, I have made a commitment to nourish my creativity and to devote the next few years to making sure I have good relationships with my kids as they move into young adulthood. I only have 3 and 4 years left with the two of them, and it will fly by! I am going to look for workshops and such for things like parent-child communication, listening skills, and that kind of thing. So imagine my surprise and delight when just this very day I came across two very cool things that I am going to participate in online, and they're totally FREE! Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way talks about how when we step out in faith, serendipity intervenes and God puts these things in our path.
- The first thing is a 40-Day "Inner Mean Girl 40-Day Cleanse" - to get rid of the inner critic voice inside that drags us down. It's taught by 6 different relationship/life coaches, all online and all free! It begins on Wednesday, so sign up now if you're interested. There's also a free MP3 audio of the Mean Girl School Open House you can download here. I just did but haven't yet listened to it. The website says, "How to transform the critical voice in your head so you can stop being so hard on yourself, enjoy your life & feel truly successful!" I'll report back!
- The second is a teleclass "Get Close. Get Real" by Sharon Day - about connecting more deeply with your daughter. It's on Sep 7 at noon central time, and it's free. I think that she may be offering a longer teleworkshop after that which is not free, but I'm just doing the free one for now!
The cool thing is how this so closely ties into what I'm reading about in The Artist's Way. Ch. 1 actually talks about "blurts" which are things that our inner critic says when something positive happens. The goal is to replace them with positive affirmations.
On another note, finances have been really tough lately (over the past couple years, like many people) and another thing that was really stressing me was feeling like I was trapped in my home and would not be able to sell it if I needed to. I have a great little house and have kept it up well - other than the carpet which definitely needs some work due to my bulimic cat - but I had started and not finished some projects and knew I needed them done before I could even think about selling. I had always wanted Doug to come help me work on them, but since that's not going to happen now, I empowered myself by deciding that myself and the kids would do the work together. Basically I have to paint a wall, a bathroom, and a ceiling because I started to strip off wallpaper border I didn't like after I first moved in 5 years ago and quickly realized...this was not working. The border was stuck steadfast to the wall and my attempts to use DIF (the blue wallpaper glue loosener) only succeeded in turning my wall and ceiling blue. So...it had stayed that way for years! Sam spent last week taping up my wall, and then we got the rest of the border off, sanded down a couple parts of the wall, spackled in the holes, and am all ready to prime and paint. Yay us! Baby steps...
Today is a good day. I feel happy about my article, and about the two free online finds, and am about to go to Panera Bread and work catching up on emails. I finished a 12-day Master Cleanse and am truly enjoying the simple pleasures of drinking coffee, nibbling on ginger chocolate, eating homemade vegetable soup. I enjoy conversations with my friends, new and old, and am feeling spacious and open to what the universe holds for me in the next few years.