January 15 2018

Coffee Chat Monday: My Word of the Year

B6 Leather Quill Shoppe TN with “be brave” charm

If we were having coffee I’d tell you about how this is my third year choosing a word for the year to focus on throughout the year. The first year I chose the word positive. Last year I chose the word thrive. But this year the word choose me. That first year I started out really strong. I added quotes about staying positive, the glass half full, being mindful, and anything that might be related to being positive. The more I used the word or a related word the more mindful I was. By the end of the year, I realized it was all about being more intentional. When I slacked off and didn’t write down the word, a quote, was mindful in my everyday life about being positive, staying positive, finding something positive in even the darkest of days/times/events/etc, then the negative things like self doubt, fear, anxiety, etc. would creep back in.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a few years since I chose the word positive and yet there are times when I still have moments of self doubt, fear, anxiety, but I’m a much more positive person now. I look at the glass as refillable–to me it’s not about whether or not it’s half full or half empty, but that it’s refillable that matters (especially when it comes to my cup of coffee or my glass of ice water on a hot summer day here in humid South Carolina).

That first year there were times when I forgot my word. Yep, that’s right. When I was so focused on manifesting positivism in my life that I forgot it was because it was my word of the year… being mindful of the positive things, changing my attitude and being intentional about the “refillable glass” became a habit. I’d never really been a “negative Nancy” but there were too many instances when I’d let my anxiety rule and I’d focused on the negative instead of the positive. Last year I thrived in some ways, but in other ways I slacked off. And the majority of the reasons I slacked off had to do with procrastination, fear, doubts, anxiety–not being brave enough to do things, to try things, to get out there and reach for the stars. Continue reading

January 10 2018

Confessions of a Journaler

I am, and always have been, a lover of all things stationery. I started writing in my first diary when I was in elementary school–my parents bought me a pink Barbie diary with a lock and key. I loved that diary but didn’t really use it consistently until after my daddy died when I was seven years old. I started writing letters to my daddy, instead of “dear diary,” my pages read “dear Daddy.” For well over a year I wrote to my daddy and told him about my day, school, home, Mom, my little brother J____ , and anything else that I thought was important. I didn’t want him to miss anything.

As the years passed, I used regular spiral bound notebooks, composition notebooks, diaries, journals, anything I could use to write in I wrote in. Like reading, I was avid about writing in my journal. I would sit at the table eating my breakfast and read the outside of the cereal box, then I’d start writing in my diary. To this day, I still read the outside of cereal boxes, but the types of notebooks I use for my journals has changed. I suppose it will continue to change as I find different journals I like and/or love, as I try out different sized notebooks. Depending on the purpose of the journal, I prefer my art journals to have either Tomoe River Paper or Mixed Media Paper, and I prefer plain for sketching and dot grid or grid for regular art journaling.  Are you and avid journaler? If so, What kinds of journals do you like?

 

November 13 2017

How to Get Back into your Creative Life After a Break

Life Happens

We all have things that happen to us that slow our creativity down, or that put a halt to our creativity. I fell behind in my journaling, planning, and overall creative “things,” back in July when my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 aggressive cancer (chemo wouldn’t help and surgery wasn’t an option–so it was just a matter of quality of life during the time he had left), and Mr. Rockstar was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I tried to stay creative. I tried to journal. To Plan. To finish out #onebookjuly2017 and #campnanowrimo. But my emotions, thoughts…my mental state was all over the place. Insert Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD, along with the roller coaster of emotions that come with finding out your Dad has inoperable and non-treatable stage 4 cancer, and your husband has a disease that isn’t curable either–I was a wreck!

Still, I tried to maintain some sort of routine, some sort of balance. I tried to be creative. And someday’s I managed to journal, plan, write, art… Other days–I barely seemed to function. The worse my Dad got the worse my emotional state became. My emotions were all over the place. I started grieving well before my Dad died on October 5th. But his death, and my Mom’s subsequent hospitalization (she was admitted into the very same ICU ward as my Dad–within an hour or so of his death she was up there a few rooms down from where he was (he was still in the room, they were kind enough to allow my Mom to say goodbye, for all of us to say goodbye). The doctor’s and nurses all knew who I was–first time they’d had that happen, and they were absolutely wonderful to us.

Fast forward a week, my Mom was in the hospital 8 nights and 9 days. So I was at the hospital for approximately 10 days, because I’d been there the night before when my Dad was helicoptered from their local hospital to the one in Charleston to ICU. By the time my Mom was released I’d already taken care of my Dad’s cremation, and a lot of paperwork for things like insurance, etc. I was on the ball in regards to taking care of my Mom. I was not, however, doing very well in the taking time to grieve for my Dad, taking care of myself (not really), much less housework, planning, journaling, filming videos for Patreon or YouTube, etc. I did manage to do a few loads of laundry somewhere in there so I had some clean clothes to wear when I went back to the hospital (my husband convinced me to go home with him to take a shower and get some sleep–I hadn’t slept but about 3 hours in about 3 days). (I’m sure I was in definite need of a shower by then.) Continue reading