I am luxuriating in the throws of a wonderful four day weekend. Oh dear goodness, how completely intoxicating and fabulous it has been. Revel in the glory with me, my darlings...
With very few interruptions, I have been arting like a maniac/addict, staying up till the wee hours of the morning and getting my fix. So yay for that, right!?! This morning I woke up and realized it was Saturday, with only one more day left till I have to go back to work, and immediately screamed a mental "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!" and then a less mental/hushed whisper version (due to sleeping dog and husband...because you should let both sleeping dogs and sleeping husbands lie...it's the only way to get ANY peace...).
I'm going to enjoy today and tomorrow, and then first thing Monday morning start my countdown to Christmas...because I have an entire week off work, thanks to strategic planning/day off using. I had actually worked out two weeks of vacation using only a few days of vacation time, but the unplanned hospital stay earlier this year blew those plans out of the water. Boo.Hiss.Hiss. However, I am COMPLETELY thrilled to have (including the weekends) 9 days off of work while still getting paid! I've only ever had one other job where I got paid vacation (when I was 19 and that was 11 years ago!) before this one, so I totally dance a jig every time I turn in for time off. It's true...seriously...my boss had to get used to that...I don't think she quite knew what to do the first time I asked for vacation...honestly she looked a little scared...because of my jig dancing...
I have been having a great time making art while watching "The Vicar of Dibley" on Netflix. It's a pretty good show...I finished it in two days. I love comedy + English people...hilarious. If you like stuff like that, you should also watch "Black Books" (also a series that you can find on Netflix)...SO FUNNY! Now that I've finished both of those shows, I've got to find a replacement show to watch while arting...I started watching "Kingdom", which is a series with my darling Stephen Fry (who I love beyond words...he's fantastic), but they lost me in the later season...without giving it away to blatantly: he should have stayed gone... I might have to revisit it and see if it was just a slow spot, because I do enjoy Stephen Fry very much...I will give him a second chance. But if that doesn't work out, I'll be on the lookout for a new funny show that features people with English accents...I will also take Irish, Scottish, Australian, and several other accents in lieu of English ones...as long as the show is funny...
So right, the art stuff...I have these two spiral bound journals...the first journals I ever bought for art...before I knew what I was doing. Paper-wise, I mean...I still don't know what I'm doing in a lot of other things... They've been with me for quite some time, and I've made it my goal to finish them completely. I work in an obscene amount of journals and various other surfaces too...I think I talked about that before. Anyway, despite the fact that I art it up everyday, I haven't finished a journal yet...not one single journal! Instead, I keep starting out in new ones if I want to work in a journal and don't have a current one that's not busy drying...we will not talk about the number of journals/paper that I have sitting there waiting on me. Let's just say I like to be prepared...and that if they ever stop making paper, I'll have enough for me, you and three other people...for the rest of our lives...and possibly the lives of any children you may have...CRAZY!
Anyway, I don't like the paper in these original art journals of mine, but I don't want to waste them, so I've made it my goal to use them up as quickly as I can while still maintaining my personal standards. ...which means covering over some of the pages (where I was practicing calligraphy...very badly...) with paper or gesso or whatever and making some kind of art on them that I can be content with. And since I'm running low on store bought gesso, it's also the perfect opportunity to try various homemade gesso recipes. I'm multi-tasking big time!
So I give you one of the pages I've been working on during the artfest that has been the past few days:
|"Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss." - F Scott Fitzgerald|
So dive on in.
Can you see the calligraphy practice peaking through at the bottom?
And, non-related to the art journal page...or related as an afterthought I guess I should say...here's an awesome song to listen to (Dive In - Quarashi ...no swear words in this song, so ignore the parental advisory...be a rebel...) :
F. Scott certainly gave me something to think about when I found that quote of his: "Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss." Ugh...shut up with your accuracy...
All my life, I've played it safe and I've done the 'right' thing. It hasn't worked out so well for me...aside from avoiding STDs and heroin...that's worked out well pretty well actually... But apart from that, there's been so many opportunities I've missed...and they've turned into gigantic regrets. And while I can't change the past, I can learn from it.
I've been thinking recently about how the technically 'right' thing...might not be the right thing for me. And how, if you always play it safe, there are very slim chances that something amazing will happen. You have to take a risk sometimes.
I'm a cautious person...an over-analyzer. I think I've heard my mom say "Don't do that, you'll get hurt" less than any other child in the history of ever. Something in me already knew not to do potentially dangerous things, so I never even attempted them. I've done the 'right' thing even when it was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. But (aside from the STD/heroin thing), there hasn't been a great deal of reward coming my way. I've played at happy for a long time without actually being happy.
I thought I was being content. Being content is not a bad thing...because you'll never have perfect anything in this life...or not for long... But I haven't been content. I've been settling. And that's somehow become very sad to me. I have had a lot of 'worse' in my life. You know, when you say "It could be worse"...well, I've had that 'worse'. So when I say I settle with my current life, it's because I know it really could be much worse. I've always thought about it that way.
But the truth is, it could be better. I don't mean I could win the lottery and buy all the things I've ever wanted and live happily ever after and blah, blah, blah. (Although that would be nice...just saying...) What I mean is that I could be happy. Truly happy. I could wake up in the morning, jump out of bed and be SO READY to start the day with a genuine smile on my face.
I don't want my life to be defined by missed opportunities ever again.
I feel a little like I am standing on the edge of a pool. I've been watching other people swimming and splashing and having fun. I've been dipping my toe in for a while...testing the water...being a little afraid that I might drown. But I know how to swim...I know how to keep my head above water. I'm tired of testing. I'm ready to dive in.