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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Here I am during my teenage years … I really thought I had life all figured out. The pieces seemed to fit together so very nicely back then:

Soul 4

This is me in my late 20’s, married to a great guy, starting a business, things were really coming together. There had been some bumps in the road, but I was pretty sure I finally had it all figured out.

soul 11

Here I am in my roles as wife, mother, business owner, and spiritual seeker. Life was feeling settled, like everything has fallen into place.

soul 7

During our son’s teen years, I felt so scattered! I was so confused, looking for answers in the four corners of the world. Maybe from the outside things looked ordered. Inside, I was definitely searching!

soul 10

When mid-life hit, it all fell apart! I was disconnected, uncertain, and lost. Not only had I lost the answers, I was losing my grip on the questions.

soul 5

Here I am as I began to look inward for the answers, and even though it seemed like there was a lot missing, I started to feel my inner world coming together for the first time.

soul 9

This is me during the Coach Training Program. Pieces I had never really gotten to know were beginning to line up. I was asking some good questions and starting to see new possibilities.

Soul 3

This is me starting my day in prayer and meditation at the cottage, feeling whole and connected to the universe.

Soul 13

And here I am on a typical day: connected, scattered, clueless, and yet certain. Certain that I can rearrange the pieces without losing myself. Certain that there is still so much to learn. And certain, finally, that I will NEVER have it all figured out. And that’s okay.

soul 6

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Watercolor painting by Barbie Dallmann

“Creation” a watercolor by Barbie Dallmann

November is Gratitude Month at Unity, and for the last several weeks, I have focused on things I appreciate about myself and my life. I surprised myself by how inspired I felt after making a list of things I was grateful for learning.

A couple of years ago, I found the courage to start art lessons. After half a century of believing I had no artistic talent whatsoever, I have learned to paint (see above).

I also learned to cook. Mom wasn’t very good at it. Dad was better, but he didn’t have the patience to teach me. So, over the years, I taught myself, watching friends, reading books, listening to TV shows. Heck, I even paid attention during seventh grade Home Ec. class! I like the fact that on most days I’d rather eat at home than go out. My home-cooked meals are better in every way (except for the cleaning-up part).

When I was in seventh grade, I learned to type on a manual typewriter with blank keys. I went to school an hour early most days to practice. After an entire year, my speed was barely 50 words per minute. I kept at it, though, thinking the skill would come in handy if I never made it to college. Come in handy, it did! Eventually averaging 120 wpm, I typed my own papers and made money typing for others. In 1984 I started my own secretarial service, which I’ve been successfully operating ever since. I’m so glad that my seventh grade self was willing to get up early to practice. What a great kid she was!

There’s another important skill I learned early in life, one I’ve taken for granted for a long, long time. As I was making this list, I remembered how much I struggled to learn to read, especially to read aloud. There were times I wanted to give up because I was bad at it, and I was embarrassed by my repeated failures. Thank you, six-year-old Barbie for sticking with it! My life is so incredibly rich because of all the billions of words I have read over the decades.

Of course, there are lots more things I’m grateful for learning, including how to take pictures, write blogs, and negotiate the Internet.

What about you? Are there things you’d like to thank yourself for right now? Where would you be without your own determination and tenacity? And where might you be tomorrow because today you took the time to be uplifted by your own, heartfelt acknowledgment and appreciation?

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A couple of months ago a friend of mine left her car in my care while she accepted an extended overseas work assignment. I promised to drive it at least once a week to keep it from doing whatever it is cars do when they sit for long periods of time without being driven.

As you can see from the slide show, this is no ordinary car. And driving it has been no ordinary experience. I’ve discovered that everyone has an opinion about it. Generally, the car finds favor with those who are young (everyone under 10 loves it), easy-going, and female, not that it doesn’t have plenty of male admirers. The most disapproving stares have come from middle-aged men and young rednecks, complete with exaggerated frowns and wagging heads.

At first, I thought it was me. While on the go, I would totally forget WHAT I was driving and just notice that people were pointing, laughing, waving, or frowning. Once, while waiting at a stop sign, a mature gentleman crouched down and stared a hole right through me. I said aloud (although not so he could hear), “What are you lookin’ at, Buddy!?” Even before I finished, I remembered, Oh, yea, you’re lookin’ at the car.

What I realize is that what people think about the car tells me a lot more about THEM than it does about the car. But isn’t that the way it is about everything? Some people like us; some people don’t. Some people smile; some people frown. Each person simply gives a hint about his or her preferences and true nature.

I would do well to remember: “It’s NOT about the car!”

And as much as my ego hates to admit it, it’s probably not about ME either!

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Clearance

What a Deal!

I love the Annual Loading Dock Clearance Sale at Wells Furniture. I can ALWAYS find a bargain there. This year I told my husband I wasn’t going. After all, there was nothing more I needed. It would be a waste of time.

But then I found myself driving right by Wells on the way to the grocery store. The sale had only been going for 15 minutes. Surely it wouldn’t hurt to stop and take a peek. And I wouldn’t want to miss entering the “$12,000 in prizes” giveaway, right? (I won a $250 gift certificate one year!)

When I saw this tag on a sweet little end table, my heart skipped a beat. What a Deal! I had to have it. Were they kidding? It was originally $498? Who would pay $498 for THAT? Obviously no one. But they found this bargain hunter’s price: $38. MINE!

The Table

What does it match?!?

I quickly grabbed a salesman and staked my claim. I could tell he didn’t like the table because the nicest thing he could find to say about it was, “Hey, that’s cheaper than a shipping crate at UPS!” Hmmm. I wondered what my husband would have to say about it.

New Design

A Table Frame

I texted him quickly and assured him that if he didn’t like it, I would not put it in the living room. I suppose you can guess from the picture that it didn’t match anything in the living room. Or anything in any other room of our house. Or anything I would ever consider owning (that wasn’t on sale, that is). BUT . . . it was such a GREAT DEAL!

Desperate for a happy ending, I allowed my imagination to begin working. The table is topped with glass. Surely I could find something more appealing than THAT pattern to gaze at. What about one of my pieces of art? Hey, that will work! I ran out and bought some colored poster board, cut it to size, then slipped it and the picture under the glass.

New Table

Look! Dual-Purpose Furniture

Voilà! An addition to the living room that meets the family’s approval. And it’s especially nice to have a multi-function frame for my art. I’m all about bargains AND multi-tasking. When I get tired of this piece, there’s plenty more. (I also bought poster board in blue, yellow, and green and cut them to size. They are conveniently stored under the glass.) I love a happy ending, don’t you?

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