Where Have All The Words Gone?

Creativity is something that needs to be nurtured. It needs coaxing. It has to be cajoled and convinced it to come out and play. This is the best and worst thing about being creative- it’s work.

My family is creative. At least we’re creative thinkers. We can turn a phrase and make up words, terminology and conceptualize like you wouldn’t believe. Though, if you read this blog you might already be hip to that info. What you don’t know is that words we’ve made up become real; at least to us. So ingrained that the whole family -even those who marry into it- know what they mean. When I spend time with my family, I am firing on all cylinders. With each joke I am aiming to one up the last. It’s a mental workout. Sadly though, this intellectual intensity isn’t readily available in my daily life.

Now, now, that’s not to say I am not mentally stimulated by my day to day routine, I am; it’s just not brain boot camp. Plus if I was always ‘on’ I might find myself spending even more time alone. I guess what I’m trying to say is being creative doesn’t just happen, it’s a decision that needs to be made. Maybe it’s writing in a journal when you wake. Or it could be baking a cookie mansion. How about designing and building a performance art piece every month? Then again it could be writing a blog, where you get to create anything you want. So, even though I haven’t been writing as much as I would like, I know that I am being creative elsewhere. And it seems to be paying off. But I do miss these words we share.

Where Have All The Words Gone?

TalkBack Tuesday Topics: Early Retirement

In the last few days I’ve been working my Joe-Job, which is great finance-wise, but not too awesome creative/love/emotion-wise. You know, so it got me thinking about working harder vs working smarter…And stuff like that. As always feel free to weigh in, in the comment space provided below.

Would you rather:
Work 5 days a week for 10 hours a day for the next 20 years and then retire comfortably
OR
Work 7 days a week for 20 hours a day for the next 5 years and retire a millionaire

As a fan of ‘let’s get this over with mentality’ my instinct is to say work solidly for the next 5 years, especially if I get to come out a millionaire. But I do love a lazy Sunday. Though being a retired millionaire before my 40th birthday is very tempting. So, lets go fast and hard. Then lazy Sunday everyday!

Would you rather:
Never walk again but have everything you’ve ever wanted
OR
Dance everyday until your death but always struggle to make ends meet

Um the problem with this is that if I can’t dance, I’d never have everything I wanted. Life will always be challenging but sometimes a little bit of dancing goes a long way.

Would you rather:
Have to carry around 100 more pounds but happy with your job
OR
Be almost weightless but hate every minute of your job

I don’t want to work that hard to be happy…can you imagine carrying around all that extra poundage? Yuck. By expending all that extra effort, it might actually make me sad. But the idea of hating work while floating through life, isn’t too shabby. I could do that, unless it’s a 9-5 job, 5 days a week. Then let me carry the weigh at my freelance 3 days on 4 days off job.

TalkBack Tuesday Topics: Early Retirement

The Starving Artist: Chapter 50: Kick, Stretch & Kick, I’m 50

Wowsa, can you believe I’ve written over 50 chapters of the Starving Artist? I mean, I can barely recall a Monday without serious cyber reflection. Now, not all of these entries have been deep or even meaningful, but they’ve all been a slice of me. And a benefit of sharing myself I have been about to shed unwanted weight, both physically and emotionally. This blog has become somewhat of a dumping ground for my overactive and cluttered brain. A healthy and hyperspace form of nearly free therapy. But the part I’m most surprised by is how much I’ve learned about myself and how much happier I’ve become.

In the past, I’ve found it hard to celebrate the little wins. I glean over them onto the next without pausing to think about how things have changed. Speaking of celebration, I am 20 days away from another milestone, my birthday. For some people getting older is tough. It’s as though they see life as a hallway with doors closing as they walk past. A journey with fewer and fewer detours. They treat life like the tedious daily grind it can be. As though each day is just another brick in the wall. The shuffle of tired feet and the shuffling of papers. A sad and sorry state of affairs if you ask me. I’ve always considered myself an optimism expert with a dark side. But in these last few months I’ve been feeling evermore that life is a tisket, a tasket, a little yellow basket. And this basket can hold as much life as I can carry; and with all the exercise I’ve been doing lately, I’m pretty strong.

Over the past 50 Mondays my life has changed and rearranged and continues to shape shift. As though my journey is aimed in the general direction of happiness, but the ocean of life keeps tossing me to and fro. Though if you know me, you know even stormy weather has a silver lining. The biggest secret I am busting to share though is: Even in a sea of trouble you can sail on a boat named Happiness. It’s all about how you read the maps. And today’s maps read like Thank you cards. There are so many things to be thankful for, and I am thankful for most of them. I am thankful that I’ve stuck to my guns. I am thankful that I am creating art again. I am thankful to be back in the work saddle again. I am thankful for dreary Sundays I can fill up with knick-knack nuggets that needed my attention. I am thankful for a Hubby who wears my gloves. I am thankful for my inspiring BFF. I am happy to feel at home. And I am happy to be 50, without looking a day over 32…for at least 20 more days.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 50: Kick, Stretch & Kick, I’m 50

The Starving Artist: Chapter 47: When Size Matters

In a recent conversation my GFF reminded me ever so emphatically that I hadn’t weighted in, in months. Consider me rectifying that situation with this post. Now, I know that you’re all just dying to know where I fall on the spectrum. Well, let me give you a little more info, that may or may not interest you.

Truths
1.I completed the 30 day squat challenge, to amazing results.

2. I have fallen off the gym wagon in my effort to climb aboard the Burlesque wagon. Slipping from 4 times a week to 1- And my body is telling me that I need to get back on the pole.

3. People seeing me in my all-togethers is an excellent motivator to be more comfortable in my birthday suit. And if I could afford a custom made birthday suit I would pay through the nose.

Wins
1. I now fit into all my jeans. Even the dreaded skinny jeans that just a few months ago cutoff circulation to anything below my waistband.

2. My summer shorts are way too big for me, but all my fall clothes seem to be perfect. So far.

3. I am happy. Tired and overwhelmed and nervous and broke but happy.

So, since I started this endeavour (almost a year ago) I have made a big difference in my own life. I have become the change I want to see in the world. Or at least in myself. By measuring my progress I’ve been able to quantifying my advancement. And not to be sappy, but I am happy. I mean I am starting to get happy again. It’s amazing that I didn’t realize I had such a capacity to love myself. Especially since I didn’t notice how much I liked myself, which, to be totally honest, wasn’t a whole heck of a lot. It’s weird how much my life has changed and the things I miss…but as my Momma says: It all comes out in the wash. And now, I can wash and wear those skinny jeans.

Height 5’8 1/2″ I gained a half-inch and Hubby thinks it’s all neck
Weight 166.4 (+2.2 lbs)
Bust 37.25 (-.75″) whoo hoo! Yowza!
Natural waist 31.25 (-/+)
Hips 41.75(-.75″)
Arm flex r:13(-.5″) l:13(-.5″)
Arm rest r: 13 (-/+) l:13 (-/+)
Thigh standing r: 24.25 (-.5o”) l:24.25 (-.25″)

The Starving Artist: Chapter 47: When Size Matters

The Starving Artist: Chapter 46: Home, Home Once Again

I was in dire need of a break. A few days I could spend thinking of nothing. Oh, sweet nothing. So, I spent this week at my mother in law’s boyfriend’s cottage. Not exactly my home turf. And I suffered from a disadvantage. I didn’t know the rules. The schedules. The plan. And it was hard to guesstimate the lay of the land. I spent most of this time tripping, slipping and snapping in every sense of the word. I learned about the humming bird’s grumblings. I witnessed bees bumbling. I slid and slipped down muddy slopes. And was munched upon by many an eager mosquito. I am a small town girl living in the big city, transplanted to the deep north. And being that alone can encourage your mind to play tricks on you.

While away, I was busy convincing myself that I had forgotten how to do what I do. That I’d been beaten and p’ownd by my big mouth. I began freakin’ at the thought of forgetting how to pontificate. Expel and explain. What if I’d forgotten how to blog? What if I was suffering from a shell-shock writer’s block? Who am I? Do I matter? You know, all those big questions. I second guessed myself, I was ill-at-ease and I dragged my heels. I hfrumfphed through the boat rides and hikes. I couldn’t stop starring at the uneven path before me, struggling to master it, or at least figure it out. But there were moment when I finally looked up. Or stopped to listen to the grumble of the hummingbirds; and would realize, I loved every second of it. For the record though: I hate being beaten at my own game, which happens to be UNO. UNO! (Autocorrect has me capitalizing the whole word and who am I to disagree?) and I have to follow the rules after I get caught cheating.

So, Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I announce, I am on an upswing. I had to be a few screws short before screwing my head back on straight. I had to grumble and battle and sigh before I felt better. And after spending a solid month working the Burly circuit; networking and chin wagging, I was tired. My body was worn out. The sound in my left ear muffled. Then there was the stretched and sore jaw muscle I had relied on for oh-so-much whooing. I was a broken showgirl, and for some reason, I needed a break and to be reminded that Sudbury is freezing. And that there are places north of Sudbury, that are even colder. But it was when I began breathing in the city air again, that I found comfort in a deserted city park with a clear view of the CN Tower and the hummingbird whiz of the Gardiner expressway. I was home. I needed to hula hoop in the sun running on just Glory Doughnuts and hope. Hope that’d we’d found a new place to live, with our stinky dog. And when I sat down at the computer screen again…my mind was calm and my path clear, and the blog was written and we began again.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 46: Home, Home Once Again

The Starving Artist: Chapter 45: Headed For A Breakdown

In theatre school the teachers refer to breaking down emotional walls. You know, the walls that grow taller as you grow older. The walls that protect our tender hearts from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Breaking down these walls is essential to the growth of the artistic spirit, which needs to be free to flourish. This kind of breakdown is good, at least that’s what I remember those art theory teachers saying in hushed tones during my extensive vocal warm ups and extensive roll-downs in classes. My current breakdown however is nothing of the sort.

I am in the throws of an artistic transformation. I am trying to thicken my skin. I am trying to stand on my own. I am trying to get my act together- literally. But Rod-damn, it’s overwhelming. It’s been a long time since I felt as inspired and challenged as I do. I feel ecstatic to have found something that I do so naturally. Natural is not something I am used to being. I mean, I’ve always had a certain something. People could see potential. Teachers wanted to mold me. My Folks supporting my ‘artistic tendencies’. But nobody could figure out just what that special something was.

In times of great change, one often finds themselves, well, changed. And I feel like a werewolf, transforming back into a human. A transformation that is often overlooked in the werewolf mythology, due to it’s seemingly boring nature. But imagine the painful reversal of paws becoming hands, forced to stand upright, that thick coat of fur, well I don’t know what happens to that, but I’m sure it sucks. The shrinking snout is the only relief to the beast. Becoming something new is hard. It can be painful and overwhelming. So, as I willingly and wonderfully suffer, I sit happy, satisfied, transforming myself and breaking down. But I guess it could be worse. I could actually be a werewolf.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 45: Headed For A Breakdown

The Starving Artist: Chapter 44:The Squat Challenge

When it comes to physical endeavors, I need to see results to continue. I know this about myself. I am impatient. The problem is that physical changes take more than one exer-session. I need something quick and dirty; hence- the Squat challenge. I saw it floating around Pinterest. A beautiful girl with a beautiful body, and a program. It was that simple. It’s 30 days of steadily increasing squat reps. And I am 19 days deep into a 30 day squat-fest.

After more than a thousand squats I am seeing results. I mean, GFF remarked that I may be looking svelte (also that the public was clamoring for a weigh in soon- which I acknowledge and will look into for next week). And I am feeling those fore mentioned results too. I feel those results going down stairs, peddling my bike and digging for pepper in the sand. I can feel those squats challenging me back. But feeling the burn must mean they’re working and I am working it. And it feels great! I mean great.

As I lie on the couch, showered, stretched and sore after a long and beautiful weekend, I am reminded that I am lucky to enjoy the challenge. That there are people who are satisfied without squatting. People who don’t like the strain of a challenge. But who likes those people anyways? I am only satisfied being challenged. I want the people around me to want a challenge too. I want to know that those I love aren’t willing to stop challenging themselves. It’s the journey, people. So, even though I am only choosing to squat an increasing amount of squats over 30 days, it’s a good place to start. At least it feels good and that ain’t squat.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 44:The Squat Challenge