You can beat the Winter Blues

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I was just about to give into them, the Winter Blues. I was ready to  hunker down with as much chocolate, popcorn, wine and hobby projects and just wait out the rest of this winter in my little apartment. Then I started chatting online with a fairly new acquaintance and before I knew it we were exchanging some very intimate and personal stuff. It really struck me, THIS is what’s missing in my diet!

I was about to chock it up to menopause, which is already driving me mad because it’s starting to look like all the things I didn’t get as a teenager (pms, cravings, etc.) I am now getting. It’s Aunt Flo’s way of telling me, “You had it way too easy bitch, you can’t escape all of my wrath before you put me out to pasture!” But it was something more. I’ve been single for almost 15 years now. I’ve had a few flings here and there but nothing permanent. It’s been a fun ride but it can also be a very lonely. It’s been like sitting in a roller coaster car alone when you know you really want to squeeze someone’s hand next to you while you scream your fool heads off. It’s still a fun ride though but imagine how GREAT crushing someone’s hand could have been!

So now that menopause runs my life, I’m dealing with a little less sleep, a lot more sweat, and mood swings that make me feel schizo. One day I’m on top of the moon the next day I can’t find a dark enough hole to crawl into. It’s madness I tell ya! I really wish this would have hit me at puberty instead of now. Makes me wonder if women who did have pms don’t have any of this insanity during menopause. It’s too cruel to make women go through this twice in a lifetime….Mother Nature you’re a cold hard bitch at times. These times!

So I drank myself into a stupor Friday Night. I sat and chatted with a friend online, crocheted some doggie stuff, experimented with a new craft with mugs and watched the last season of The Wire. All in one night! I think I was bored? Maybe? Perhaps? So in my stupor I agreed to meet this new acquaintance for brunch before I realized that I just told the world that I am having a pity party all weekend and most everyone can go screw themselves. If that isn’t meno-bi-polarism smacking me in the face I don’t know what is. It’s definitely some messed up shit . And, being the woman I am, being my word and making the tongue in my mouth match the tongue in my shoe, I didn’t back out. I thought about it once or twice. I rumbled around with the idea of coming down with a migraine and ultimately chose to just be my word. It’s just much easier and more integral in my world.

So, I sat in the house on Saturday night as well. I ran to the studio to grab some gel medium and then back home again in that wonderful snow storm. It was actually quite pretty. I watched some comedies hoping to lift my spirits and made magnets for friends at work. They turned out like crap but I’m going to give them to my colleagues anyway. I could be judging myself too harshly but they are super elementary looking. Oh well, can’t always have a masterpiece happen. I chatted a little bit and before I realized it I made another date with a friend I haven’t seen in a long while. I was like, wtf is happening to me. I’m making dates in the same breath that I’m telling people I’m not feeling very sociable.

Yup, menopolarized! That’s my new word for this Jekyll and Hyde crap going on. I can’t blame it all on Winter Blues but the two are a wicked combo. I didn’t even get fries with it.

So my first galdate on Sunday turned out amazing and I know I’ve made a new trusted friend for life. She really just made me laugh and think and talk..yes she made me talk even if I didn’t want to. And she dragged me through her hood even though I just wanted to crawl back in my hole. And it’s a mighty fine hood.

I’m kind of catching onto myself. My mind and heart openly defying the desires of my astrological signs. All I want to do is crawl into my shell and have a little pity party with the twins. My soul is teaching my mind to ignore my heart. I’m being forced into social activities because deep deep deep inside me, its knows, I need people to feel alive, to stay alive, to feed my appetite for joy and I suspect, dare I say, hope, that whoever is running this show will be victorious!

I have another galdate on Friday and I know it’s going to turn out just fine too because she has aminals!!

Yes, I’m onto myself. I will probably still resist what is good for me from time to time but I’m going to go with the YES more often than the NO and see what happens. Perhaps the winter blahs will get shorter every year.

Many new insights into me

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..because it’s all about me…didn’t you know?

I’m having some AHA’s lately. I’ve realized that I love my job and am fighting for it tooth and nail. I’ve been here 15 years, that’s not a mistake . I had a conversation with someone trying to recall what we said we wanted to be when we grew up. I can remember always wanting to be an artist and when I hit typing class in high school (of course I was always pretty high for typing class)  I knew I wanted to be a receptionist. This was recently confirmed when I came across an old report card from grade 9 and my only A was in Typing class. The rest of the marks never made it past a B and were as low as D (math ickkk). I wanted to work in a highrise office building in a big city like the women on TV did from 9 to 5. Guess what? I’m doing both and I’m doing both very well I might add.  I just have to learn not to become the old dog that people need to teach new tricks to. I think I’m keeping up pretty well there too.

Often, in the back of my mind I worry that I might have wasted my time by not diving full-time into my art but if I’m not making enough money at it so far, it’s a no brainer that I stick with my day job as well, nes pas? There is an argument that I might be able to sell more of my art if I dedicated more time to it. It’s a very hard act to balance but I like a roof over my head and food in my belly. I sometimes feel less of an artist than professional artists are. The only difference between they and I are that they can live off what they produce and I have not been able to yet. What does it take to make that leap of faith and just trust that your art will sustain you? Do I wait until someone discovers my work and wisks me off into instant fame and fortune (every artist’s dream I guarantee) or do I have to die so that my son can become wealthy off my small collection?

I have made “some” money selling my art and I’m about to make another little chunk of change with my first ever commission. I love the idea of someone giving me a phrase and asking me to paint it for them. I think that my client has put a tremendous amount of faith in me and for that I am more grateful than I am for the cash in my bank account. Pictured above is the beginning of the commissioned piece…I love posting paintings at various stages of birth. The phrase is, ” We live on a blue planet that circles a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea and you don’t believe in miracles?” Brilliant!

The Zentangle is coming along quite nicely too. I’m loving that I can’t seem to tear myself away from the studio lately. I missed a great social event last Friday night (sorry Miss China Doll) because I got so caught up in the zone that I didn’t even leave the studio until midnight! Then on Saturday I rushed back to the studio but forced myself to leave by 6:30 pm so that I wouldn’t miss Bill Staubi’s 60th birthday party/fundraiser for some pretty incredible young dancers named the Dandelion Dance Company. It was kizmet because I got to hang out, chill and sing with my favorite Diva, Thank You Miss China Doll . What a great night. I have learned my lesson, all paint and no play can make Justy, well, forgettable. And we can’t have that. NO NO NO NO!

I’ve come to the conclusion that this art community will have me no matter what I try to do to sabotage it. I’m pretty good at that but this art community is even gooder, yes I said gooder, at surrounding, supporting and loving their local, quirky, kooky, fantastic artists no matter what level they are on. Wait, are there levels? Or did I just make that up? Can someone clear that up for me please? gigglesnorts

Oh, an aside for yall…I won another Martelock work of art. And so in sync with my owl obsession as of late. Shown off by the loverly, lucious and oh so classy, Miss China Doll

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2014 wrapped up and moving ahead full steam into 2015

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Shall we start off 2015 by saying…GOODBYE 2014! It was a good year, a busy year, yes a very busy year and now my body is saying, slow down, smell the roses, paint a few roses, love a few roses.
Time to start a new year and new ways.
I have my health at the top of the list. I really want to loose another 40 lbs and I’m on day 6 of another cleanse. I must say I pigged out big time over the holidays and gained 5 lbs but I’ve already lost that. I also want to focus on my painting. I was a little embarrassed last October during our studio open house because I had very little work to show. Well not embarrassed but, okay a little, but really it was an eye opener that even though I have a studio I really need to start taking my art more seriously.
A colleague at work has commissioned a painting from me. That excites me. I’ve started with some paint sketches (small paintings) but I don’t think I’ve come up with something that is worth showing her yet. I’ll keep plugging away at it.
I’m really obsessed with Zentangles at the moment and I’ve done many of them on acrylic paper but now I’m translating it to canvas. Here is a pic of the beginnings of a zentangle. You can google the word to learn more if it really interests you. That’s what I did and I was hooked immediately. It’s basically a form of art meditation where you start with one central line and then work one side of the line at one time,  then the other. This is the largest zentangle I have ever done but you know me, break all the rules lol. It’s about 30″ x 40″. I’ve done one in color too and that breaks the camel’s back I’m sure lol.

below is a completed zentangle that I gave to a friend

Oh I also completed some projects around the house during my holidays that I had put off all year because I was too fucking busy crocheting !!  Here is my favorite one. Took me an entire week to collect corks from people around the city but I godder done! Imagine how much wine I would have had to drink all year to accumulate those many corks? And corked wine is not cheap! The frame took 6 coats of paint and is about 14″ x 18″. I love my new jewelry box on the wall .

and last but not least…here is my new favorite animal. I’ve babysat him twice now and I’m in love. His name is Zeus and he’s only a year old but he’s strong, cute and a little puppy in a great big great dane body lol….yes he takes up half the bed but that’s okay cuz he’s a super duper cuddly boy and I wuvs him!

WEEK FIVE I’M STILL ALIVE

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week five

I’m so  happy for me. Not only have I lost a good chunk of fat,  I’ve gained a whole new respect for my body and what it’s capable of. It can HEAL,  quicker than most people think too. I do believe that my positive determination and “success is the ONLY option” attitude have much to do with it but it must be paired with sensible diet and exercise. I’m gaining a new respect for how much exercise my body needs to win the battle of the Adipose ( this is where you Google, What is an Adipose? Whovians know)

So here are the symptoms that have either disappeared or reduced significantly. I used to want to crawl out of my skin on a daily basis. The itchiness I had was so unbearable I had to take antihistamines. They worked but who wants to take those every day? Not this gal. I think I’ve taken 3 antihistamines since week 2. That’s a significant change. Most of the itching occurs at night while I’m trying to fall asleep or in the middle of the night. I’m still trying to figure out why but I can correlate almost all my symptoms to being obese and not taking care of my body.

The second thing that has changed is my insatiable appetite. I’m not hungry all day anymore. I can actually survive a whole 2 hours before I get hungry and can even push it to 4 if I haven’t brought a snack with me. Most times I just don’t feel hungry and I don’t miss the hunger pangs one little bit.

The other most significant change takes place in my eyes. I still don’t know how this is related to being obese but it’s not a problem anymore. My eyes would burn and itch every single day. That has not happened in well over a month now. I’m really happy about that because even though I’m not the most amazing artist in the world, I’d be hard pressed to even pick up a brush if I lost my eyesight or became visually impaired. But I don’t have to worry about that now.

I’m very happy with my progress and I’m even happier to be back on another 15 day cleanse. I actually kissed my juicer as I pulled it out of the cupboard where it has been for the past 10 days. I had a great time ending my fast at an incredible wedding, amawwwzing food (shameless plug for #Thyme and Again Catering) but I did not over indulge. I was very smart about it and ate small portions. I did manage to get a little tipsy on beer. I’ve learned that wine doesn’t sit well with me anymore (used to be my favorite drink) but beer goes down like water! Tastes good too. I did put on 2 pounds in 10 days but that is peanuts compared to the mega pounds I packed on in the last 4 years.

Another 13 days of no food, or so I thought. I have 6 more days to Thanksgiving with my family in Toronto so I guess I’m going to jump off the wagon for Thanksgiving and then jump right back on again. Hey, I am not following the reboot religiously and still getting great results. Imagine if I followed it to the letter? I’d be Twiggy by now !

Really looking forward to week six pics!