The Modern Emily Post

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with distinct pleasure that I announce I am 1 final exam away from finally being qualified to tell you what to do;organization wise. Now, now, I know you’re not as excited as I am. But I want you to know, you’re on the ground floor of what could be a very good thing. In all the text books I’ve been consuming, one thing stuck out: There is no organizational expert for the modern maiden, or man. With chapters dedicated to video cassette organization and paper catalogues, I think I’ve struck upon my niche. Or perhaps, it’s struck upon me. I will be able to create streamlined systems for the tech we have and the clouds we depend on. I will also be capable of parring down your clutter and building new habits and routines. Which will save you time, energy and lead you toward living the life you want. So, as I sit down to take the test that will seal my organizational fate, I’m revved up and ready to become the Modern Emily Post. And I will Post, right here;)

The Modern Emily Post

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

Sending Out A 01010011 01001111 01010011

So, for the last few days I’ve watched the #TIFF13 media hub, I mean Facebook, and I was delighted to see how well my friends clean up. I mean, all in all I am surrounded by beautiful people. And most of them are doing beautiful things. The weirdest thing though, they keep appearing in each-other’s pics. Like the 7 degrees aren’t actually about Bacon anymore, they’re more like 3 degrees of poutine. I see friends shaking hands, saying “How do you do?”, but we all know what they’re really saying. I’m instalerted when they are on the move or lovin’ their life today. I spend all day thumbing through 4 second videos and thumbs upping the status quo and hitching a ride on the information highway. And now, I find myself at the computer, it’s late and I’m tired, and worn out from a day of letting my fingers do the walking, social trolling and sharing the best link. I mean trying not to share so much…but not really.

I have gluttonous obsession with the WWW, even though Hubby says I no longer have to say the double Ws. BFF calls me a Selfie Queen. I am the reigning ruler of a kingdom that didn’t exist 2 years ago. All Hail the camera phone! A fav quote that floats in and out of nearly every digital and analog convo with the BFF is “Privacy is non-negotiable”. But I gotta be honest, it appears that everything is negotiable. Every little private thing is available online. I mean everything. I mean heck, I have my own website, where I rant and rave and piss and moan. And nobody asked for that, but here it is. The interweb has changed my life in so many ways these last 11,434 days or 1633 weeks and 2 days or 274,392 hours or 16,463,520 minutes or 987,811,200 seconds… which all equal approximately how long the internet has been, you know, a thing. I also figured out that almost any question you will ever ask has already be answered on the Google. Like if it’s September 10th, how long ago was the internet invented? It’s a special kinda magic.

The point. The point? At this point, that’s something you may be looking for, so here she is. The point is, what’s web got to do, got to do with it? And I’m not entirely sure. I don’t have a frame of reference for a world where Facebook wasn’t used for most life things. I don’t remember a grown up time when I couldn’t watch all these other special little lives unfold around me. I feel closer with people who are far away. I feel more informed, though perhaps less effective. I surf and shop and stew and scan in widening social circles. I bombard, I bluster, occasionally, I brag. I invite and entice. I like and lol-sometimes, though mostly I just kill time looking at the never ending clever ideas like #catbearding. lol. But what I really want is to know that someone out there hears me. That someone on this crazy, beautiful journey is caught in this very same web. Hello? Can you hear me Rod, it’s me, Melicious? And no matter what I google, I’m always feeling lucky.

PS the title is Binary code for SOS;) for all those non-bots out there

Sending Out A 01010011 01001111 01010011

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 42: There Is No Try

There is a certain way I do things. I am a planner, schemer, dreamer, muddler, melder, a knit-picker. I spend an awful lot of time in my own head. In my mind I am a general in charge of a fleet of elite agents. I am the conductor, baton in hand. I am the captain of my own destiny. I am in command of my strategic plan. I pour over details. I am methodical. TA DAH! Important side note: I am not great at actually doing; taking action requires a whole new plan. And I have trouble planning that far ahead. That’s why I took off last week, I had to plan on letting myself work. Sometimes your brain needs a break so that your body can do what it needs to do.

I fear idle hands. I worry that being lazy will get me into trouble. Not deep-tossed in the clink trouble but -swallowing a mouthful of water and it scares you into thinking you’re drowning-kinda trouble…ya know? I don’t like being bored. I have always been a busy body. I like to putter. I like bustling. I like many projects on the go. Sadly, fish brain gets in the way. All those teeny life details seep in around the edges of my focus. Suddenly, I am full-blown distracted. Like, when I clean, the whole house is a mess. Everything gets piled up, pulled off shelves and out of closets, then waits to be separated and reallocated. The fallen soldiers of my projects strewn in corners and across tabletops for as far as the eye can see. I am not a stagnate person. But being busy and being productive are two different things.

I was stuck trying to do things. And we all know there is only do or do not. But I couldn’t stop my cycle of unfocused interruptions. There were so many things on my to do list, that I couldn’t figure out how to DO them. I would spend precious time arranging a plan of attack only to find myself in a completely different battle. I forgot how to plan for the time things would take. I hadn’t allotted any downtime. My brain was running full steam from alarm clock to begrudged bedtime. I was suffering from unfinished business, and I could not handle being a ghost. Don’t even get me started on that. Taking the week off from what Momma calls: Public therapy; well, it was weird at first. This blog unclogs my mind from the details that can hide the forest from the trees. I know, I know, that’s not right, but I like the way it sounds. And now that I am back on track with a few finished items checked off my list; I can get back to being a mental general. And I am happy to report that I will conducting a mental symphony aboard my destiny ship. Sit anywhere you’d like.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 42: There Is No Try

The Starving Artist: A Break From Regularly Scheduled Programming

I know, I know, I am usually so on it, with it, powning it…but I am a little over stimulated. I have too much on too many plates, and they’re all spinning. Typically, I would give myself heck for not reaching my full potential…It’s just with moving, working full-time and all my extra-curriculars I have fallen into mental disarray. Plus, if I want to present a great first pass at my in-class performance- TODAY!!!, I have to focus on it. Trust me, I love being a modern woman and doin’ it all, but there aren’t enough hours in the day…There are only 24, you know. So, it is with great lamentation that I politely decline to blog. I know you’ll get over it. But Gracie will be around all week, falling all over herself just to talk to someone. And everyone deserves a summer holiday, right?

The Starving Artist: A Break From Regularly Scheduled Programming

The Starving Artist: Chapter 40: Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty!

Chapter Forty! That’s the top of the hill that people always talk about it being all down hill from. Things are supposed to get easy now right? If it’s all downhill than I should be able to coast. Well, as with most hills, they aren’t measured in chapters. It remains the same height regardless of how you count. It’s just that those numbers seem to have lost their meaning. The journey I started with such a focus on my numbers has shifted. Measurements becoming about fitness and function. The work becoming worth more than the number of days hired. The Starving Artist has become hungry for something more than the numbers.

Upon realizing what a special anniversary this was I thought I should do something special to celebrate. So, I glitter painted a brazier and helped finalize the pink gemstones. While sitting surrounded by newspaper I altered my costume…again. I love that I can change my act by changing my clothes. Hubby, BFF and I sat inside this rainy Sunday and we laid the ground work for some serious crafternoons in the near future, and I found myself smiling. Giddy with the thought that I was finally feeling the support I’ve been looking for. That’s not to say there was unsupported before, but this feels like the act of supporting. An action, speaking volumes. We are quickly pouring the foundation that a good artist structure relies upon. It’s not a rush construction job either, this crew is all union. Quality control has become the focus of each task. Together we work until well after sunset, stopping for appropriate meals and unionized breaks, of course. Foreman Jilly makes sure of that. Her demands to play, snuggle and poo sprinkled evenly throughout the work. Plus you can’t argue with the littlest boss-lady. That’s just un-union-ly…right?

Alright, so I’ve reached a milestone. (I’ve been told to relish my wins) But it simply marks how far I have come, not how much further I have to go. (I’m still a sad sack. Except now I relish my wins) It can feel defeating, like you’ve already done some much to only get THIS! far. In these times of emotional turmoil I turn to the meme of an eagle and the black framed motivational plaques for help. Each journey begins with a single step. It’s not the destination it’s the journey. There’s always going to be another mountain. Take a deep breath and feel better. (Whatever that means) So, treasured readers (all 7 of you) here’s to Forty amazing…or at least completed chapters of The Starving Artist. And here’s to a Gazillion more *hopefully* entertaining blogs*cheers.**

**Melicious Manners does not support morning drinking

The Starving Artist: Chapter 40: Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty!