I clicked on the map on my site, to see where my visitors came from, and I have to say, I never dreamed that I would reach at least one person in each of 129 countries. Please, click on the map — each of you is part of a diverse international family of visitors, and I love you all for your support. Thank you.
I am way behind Abraham-Hicks’ daily quotes, (follow this link to learn about Abraham.) I went back a few days, and found this one:
We are not proponents of long life. We are proponents of joyful life, and when you find yourself in joy, the longevity usually follows. Although we do not count the success of a life by its length; we count it by its joy.
Excerpted from the workshop in West Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, March 6th, 2005 Continue reading
I don’t often forget this post, but I was so busy with painting, and bingo, and a hot dog supper, I forgot to write my Saturday Gratitude Post.
Of course, I am grateful for all of those activities — I really appreciated yesterday. I feel much more relaxed now, and I got this way by not sitting around the apartment. Somewhat counter-intuitive, that seems, but I listen now to my family, my friends, and my psychologist, instead of depending solely on my intuition. I don’t know if I will ever get over my sheer laziness, but I am doing better than I have in the past, and I am certainly grateful for that!
Painting class was interesting yesterday. Our instructor is a big man with a nasty temper, and though I really like him, I don’t cross him — easier for both of us. One of my classmates invited a man from another building to come to class, and this fellow turns out to be a non-stop talker as well as a reasonably good painter. The woman who invited him didn’t introduce him to B., the teacher; they simply sat down and started talking and painting. Suddenly, B. took his painting off the easel and walked out — without a word.
I waited for ten minutes, and then I excused myself and headed upstairs to see what was wrong. As I suspected, B. was stomping mad, both that his student hadn’t even introduced her friend, and because the other fellow talked so loudly for so long about his method of painting that B. felt he couldn’t get in a single word. He said he was going to stop the class, that he intended it for in-house residents only, and that he felt like going back downstairs and punching someone.
I knew better than to reason with him. This was his thing, and if he couldn’t calmly ask for quiet, I wasn’t about to do it for him. I headed back downstairs and went back to work on my figs.
I share this incident because, when I stopped to think a minute, I remembered that same behavior as my modus operandi for most of my life. I still catch myself reacting that way, but now I recognize the warning signs, and usually stop myself long before I put my foot through a door, like I did when I was in seventh grade. (I know I’ve written about this, but I can’t find the post. Must have been a chapter in my autobiography. I’ll try to track it down.) However, I am far from being free from my old passive-aggressive self, and I realized how ugly and immature I’d always been with those reactions. This reinforced my plan to avoid that tactic, and to face my life straight on, without dodging, triangulating, and dragging others into my drama.
For that reminder, and that renewed resolve, I am monumentally thankful.
All else is well — Mom’s hand surgery was a success, and we had a lovely dinner the night before with my sister M. And my nephew N., who turns 15 this week. The rest of my family is doing well, and once again, I can see that I am a very lucky woman. For that, and for all the blessings in my life, I am grateful, and offer up my thanks to the universe.
I spent more time on this painting than on others. I’m glad I did. Part of that time, I painted over and started the cut figs over. I’m glad I did that, too. I decided this afternoon to put my brush down. I’m very glad I did that. This painting represents a lesson in self-acceptance — funny, given my special history with a certain fig tree in Turkey, that I would reinforce that lesson with a bowl of figs.
My next painting was inspired by Margaret Smith’s
Green Figs in Enamel Bowl. Follow the link to read more about the painter, and to see other of her works.
I write about this today, in preface to telling what I did this morning. I have seen fresh figs; I have sat in a fig tree and picked the fruit off the tree, and immediately taken big bites of the freshest figs. I know figs. (Link here for a related post.)
One thing I didn’t know about figs was how to draw and paint them. Rather than wing it and take a chance at screwing up my painting, I installed an app called Infinite Studio on my tablet, and got to work practicing drawing figs. I fooled around with colors, brush types and sizes, and positioning of the figs in my drawing. I drew and erased over and over until I knew I could make figs look semi-real. Then I roughed them out in the bowl of my painting, and got to work adding all the nuances I discovered in my practice.
That was a new process for me — I never sketched before I painted, just like I never wrote outlines for school papers until after the paper itself was complete. But this time, I am glad I took the time, and I’m sure, when I complete the painting, that it will look like a bowl of figs. Not just like Smith’s bowl, for sure, but a bowl, nevertheless.
I am so grateful, today. I stopped this morning to think about the blessings I enjoy, and how I came to understand them so late in my life. I am surrounded by family and friends who love me, and who want to see me succeed. That is very gratifying. I used to believe the people I knew, who wished me well, also had expectations I would never be able to meet. Time and circumstance collaborate to teach me that love, friendship, encouragement, and even constructive criticism are all gifts, from others to me. I had best learn from them and appreciate their inherent value.
I am thankful for the many people who choose to receive and to read my writing. Each person reading this post can take some credit for my continuing blogging successes, and if I could, I would love to thank each of you personally for your gifts of support, argument, questioning and seeking deeper knowledge. I know the exchange between us, a function of this blogging relationship, strengthens me, and pushes me toward more in-depth writing, as well as deeper self-understanding. Thank you, each of you, for heaping these blessings on me.
I saw my diabetes nurse-practitioner this week, and I believe we are finally dialing in my insulin levels. This is the first time in decades that I am maintaining a solid <180 blood glucose. I am more than happy to admit that small adjustments to my insulin doses make huge differences in not only my physical health, but also in my sense of self-confidence and self-worth. I am very happy to be alive and interested and interacting with the world around me.
I could go on for days and still not list all the truly positive aspects of my life. And even though I don’t mention everything for which I am thankful, I dwell now in a more solid sense of appreciation for the world around me, and for my life. I know I say this every week, but truly, I am a lucky woman, and I live with sincere thanks for my every moment on our lovely world.