Saturday, December 28, 2019

Middle Aged

While reading a book review, for "Why we can't sleep" that is set to come out soon, 
I was snacking on homemade cookies fresh outta the oven, 
during my:
"don't think too much about food; just eat what you want, 
visit friends, skip yoga and sleep in" 
holiday this week:

"In Why We Can’t Sleep, Calhoun opens up the cultural and political contexts of Gen X’s predicament and offers solutions for how to pull oneself out of the abyss—and keep the next generation of women from falling in. The result is reassuring, empowering, and essential reading for all middle-aged women, and anyone who hopes to understand them."

I looked up and said out loud....
MIDDLE AGED?!
I am not middle aged am I?!!

The words conjure up horrible visions of exhausted, 
frazzed people, 
crying and walking around in a sort of zombie state....
OH DEAR GOODNESS...am I?
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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Last moon cycle of the decade

I have had my final cycle in this decade...it was early and unremarkable.
 I am a full moon bleeder and thanks to my bestie for pointing it out, a gift from the Goddess!
I had a whole other perspective on it when she said that!
I like to mark time with connections and this December on the full moon I had my period for this last time this decade. that seemed magical or special in some way.
I had vivid dreams about lost loves and mazes...
I moved slowly through the air, and space.

I spent the beginning of November taking family photos for friends that wanted images in time for Christmas cards and kids graduation from school...four weekends of time...four different locations
two toddlers, two teenagers and four adults trying desperately to keep up appearances.
I had fun, but was exhausted
I in fact, was taking photos of the toddler with the name I had picked out for my never to be born baby...that was surreal to say their name so many times...but the more I said it, the less personal it felt. I could feel myself moving farther and farther away from the emotional connection to the name. For that I am thankful and proud 
that I am able to still grow in a healthy way around that hole of hope.

The Barren and I both got a violent stomach thing, that had us on what felt like deaths door...
but we stuck together and got better, 
and I really never want to make soup in the soup-pot I barfed into.
no matter how many times I bleach it.

I had a coffee date with my pelvic ultrasound tech; because although she has seen my vagina and we know each other in a vastly different way, we like each other and it seemed like a natural way to simply connect with another woman. I had a nice time and it was refreshing to have a coffee date and chat about trees and hobbies and giggle a little.

The final exhibition of the year has begun and the art was previewed online two days before the doors opened for the reception...one of my two pieces sold in the first two hours of the preview day! 
I am also the only person selected to have two pieces in the exhibition that is not represented by the gallery...and as thrilling as that is, it is also a lot of pressure to sell the two works and "earn my special place" in the show....so that is a little bit of a mixed bag....
I was invited by the curator, to join a group of fellow women artists ahead of reception for a cocktail and it was amazing! I had such a lovely time, once again hearing funny stories of past loves and wild times. I felt like a grown ass woman and not someone that was coddled or tiptoed around.

One of my longest art friends and painter who is loved locally, attended the cocktail party but not the reception because she did not want to answer the " how are you" question over and over again. She was recovering from major surgery to remove a tumor that was found in her lung. She was diagnosed with lung cancer. (crazy healthy person, non smoker, total surprise) ..and kept it all quiet (continues to) and was kind enough to share it with me before the cocktail hour. She was concerned about ruining my night...I thanked her for trusting me with this and I was thankful that she shared it with me. Her closest painting partner was a train-wreck, wanting to fix and help but being held at arms distance...so I gave her extra hugs and smiles and told her that I was strong enough to carry whatever she needed.

It has been quite a mixed bag as the year winds out, 
I am mostly thankful with moments of darkness...
I am aware of mortality more often than any other time in my life so far.
I am massively in love with my husband...
thankful for my bestie, and family (even though they drive me nuts)

It is my favorite time of year, 
as I rise before the sun and come home as it is setting...
so I get to enjoy the magic of those moments of life.

I was sent this photo the other day....

that brick wall is the wall, that will display three of my large artworks in the new (still to open) hotel
it gave me a little thrill...
and hope that I might be able to do that again!
*****
I hope that you all find a moment of hope, maybe even just for that day
or dream of a whole life with more hope and freedom from sadness
I wish cold nights lead to magical dreams and sweet slumber that soothes your soul
xo
The Barreness

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Maintenance


Body Maintenance
I finished all my yearly doctors appointments last week!
then finished the week with my period
Just in time for national period day.
(here in the US)

I am unconsciously themed it seems.

I get white-coat and so I try and make all my appointments at once to sort of
  "pull the band aid off in one fell swoop" 
It kind of works...I am a basket case for the times I have appointments and usually fall into a nap afterwards because it stresses me out so much. 
Eyes and teeth were in September.
Last week was the physical/pap, mammogram, pelvic ultrasound, breast ultrasound, 
flu shot and blood-work.
I found the doctors scale is 7 pounds heavier than the scale at home and so she told me to loose 5 pounds. She tells me every-time to loose five pounds.
"Keep up my healthy lifestyle choices and check in again."

Hormones tested for menopause and they came back normal as well, no signs of the change yet.
All in all good news and all reports point to a healthy body.

My loss anniversary is next week and I have found myself in a mood...
staring a lot, melancholy and simply kind of lost in thought and feelings.
I lack motivation, and drive.
I spend the days that should be productive days in the studio staring and napping.
I try to fill my days with activities; planning grand ideas of what I could do in the course of the day, but instead end up eating ramen and watching movies.
When I am in yoga class I think of all the things I should be doing in the studio and then when I am in the studio I think I should be in yoga class.
In reality I stare at the papers from past entries and print out other opportunities that I end up not submitting to.
Some BIG stuff happened recently,
I got a cover of a magazine
I got into an international art guild
I am having my artwork installed in a new hotel

All really good things...but I still seem blue and unfulfilled.
I am trying to figure that out.



Thursday, October 10, 2019

Duck and Cover

Hiding from the world


I work with a sibling, we've worked together for decades...
either at a family business or an outside business run by someone else.
Regardless, we are still siblings and so that dynamic is still very much in play.

Yesterday was a tough one....
we fall on different sides of the spectrum on many issues and we are both strong willed so conversations can get heated but always civil.
Yesterday they arrived and put their soap box down and stepped on about a half an hour after arriving. 
The difference is that I recently have been listening and not commenting back-

firearms was the first topic
then meat
then critiques about how I respond to situations.

When tensions are highest, is when the business is under stress from deadlines 
and family responsibilities outside the office.
Yesterday, I knew was going to be tough because we are understaffed and there are A LOT of orders due...so I usually brush it all off and most things don't stick.
yesterday was an entire 8 hour shift of things being flung at me.
Our parents visited during that time and even commented that the day seemed to be lobbing a lot at me verbally.
I smiled and did not engage still.

When it was time to go, I was TOTALLY spent from holding up my mask of calm.
I got into the car and drove the hour home in silence.
I came home and feed the cat and fell into bed (fully clothed) and burrowed myself under a blanket despite the 80 degree F weather.
I fell into a daze for an hour...mentally housecleaning.
letting things out...letting things go...pulling words and situations off and out of my skin.
I ate a comfort meal of miso and ramen noodles and went to bed.

This morning I was awakened by the cat throwing up 
(most animal companion caretakers can shoot out of bed from a deep sleep to these sounds) 
I decided that today I was going to skip yoga class and simply be kind to me.

My take away was how it made me feel.
I need to tell them that their words hurt me.
That those same words spoken at home would hurt
I adore my sibling...and often we are a great team 
but yesterday was wicked

Today my state (the whole damn state) is on power shutoff notice....
Autumn has arrived.
the poison oak is in bloom and the wind and fire watch is at extreme.
and apparently tempers as well.

If you have gotten this far...
thanks for listening to me
I think you are amazing and kind and good 

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Resurface your skin

Thankfully, my unplugging is helping.
Another massive tragedy has hit my town and everyone is reeling and tender.
This came after I was scrolling the local paper for events for the extended weekend and found a mugshot of a man that was often our waiter at a local restaurant. 
In our interactions with him; he was kind, remembered us every-time we visited and had the kind of polite manners I remember we all were suppose to have as kids.
He was arrested for stabbing to death two people he knew. 
I think I am still in total shock about that too.
Then, like a morbid cherry on a fucked sundae, 
 I read about a friend (peer) that I use to work with loosing her husband unexpectedly in his sleep.

I have been doing yoga, 
working in the studio and making meals.
The Barren and I have been spending quiet time together 
and talking about all the scary reality that is hitting us all at the same time.

Parents aging and acting older
What do we want with our lives as we head into older years
Watching kids/nephews/nieces/ godchildren grow
facing responsibilities and taking care of our bodies
it all really sucks
I long for those carefree days of naive bliss

I read somewhere that to help maintain your mental cracks
when you are feeling depressed
overwhelmed and under-prepared
start with thinking about how you want to feel.
It seems quite patronizing but in my mind...I make it into an image.

I imagine a beautiful sun filtered field, butterflies flickering above the tall grass
a soothing breeze and the calm that comes from stepping into that image.
It has been helping me direct the overwhelming feelings into a space I can breathe again in.

I hope that the world has not overtaken you dear warriors
We have been walked over by hopes way too many times already.
Please try and fight to seize the joy that is still yours.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Cracked

This week was the closest I've been to actually having a mental break.

Everything seemed to tumble into me
I was overwhelmed by the news
I was overwhelmed with my life
I was overwhelmed by driving
I was overwhelmed by having to choose what to eat
I was overwhelmed my responsibilities
I was overwhelmed and emotional
I was overwhelmed by the sense of loneliness

I made myself go to yoga on Friday thinking
this is your social moment,
this is what will keep you from floating away.
I had been sitting at home staring at submission screens thinking: why?!
I had gone into work that week
I had made dinner for us that whole week
I had paid bills and did laundry
and then the whole world seemed so big and sad and burning and angry
and upside down and wrong, so so wrong.
I could feel it all and it made me tip
I forced myself out of bed, even though I wanted to spend the day sleeping and under the covers
I functioned but felt empty.

After yoga class
I went home and cried some 
(I don't cry much these days so I thought that was a good sign)
then my mother called and I told her now was not a good time.
(conversations with my parents have shifted as of late and require a lot of emotional strength and effort to simply listen and not try and say much of anything, which seems to go unnoticed)
I showered and got dressed and sat.

The old man cat laid on me like a tiny weighted blanket, checking on me 
as I laid there and stared into nothing.
I slept a little
and then The Barren came home from work
I ate something
and we crawled into bed.
I promised him I'd not look at news anymore
I had attempted to empty my FB account of personal images
leaving my business one with only work

Yesterday I took the news off my phone, 
so no more notices of the next bad and horrible that has happened.
I called senators and congress people and asked them to support important issues
protect our planet and our under-represented people.
I unsubscribed from political emails that I get texts from every hour 

The Barren made me promise to protect myself
I feel sooo much sometimes it is dangerous to my mental health.
so I have been focusing on quieting my mind for a little while
I have been asking myself what else I can do to make a difference as one person.
buy less 
less packing

I have been focusing on the things I am doing
and how it means something.
I am trying


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Broken Lines

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I have been commenting on blogs, but they never seem to appear on the comments section.
So I read what you are writing and have been leaving comments, 
but for some reason they are falling into the ether.

Please know I am trying, 
I try via anonymous and with the website and google logins...
all voids

So sorry that you are not getting my messages of support and hope and sisterhood.

I needed to say that first and foremost.