Saturday, September 26, 2015

Keeping an Eye on the Good

I am feeling better this week, my friends. Still having a few anxiety filled moments, but working very hard at keeping it all in control. I am trying to take more time, here and there, for my spirit. Even if only to close my eyes, take deep breaths in, and gain some quiet within my mind. It seems to be helping. Greatly. 

I am also taking more photos and recognizing the "GOOD" each day. The GOOD . . . that seems to be what has kept me focused. I have so much good in my life (I hope that we all do). But in recent months, I allowed myself to get away from it. These past two weeks, I have  tried to reflect on it more often. To capture those moments and hold them a little closer before letting them go to the universe.

The GOOD. Like . . . . 

My dear friend, Scott 
Scott and I have been friends for over 30 years (I think). He sent me a message after my last blog post (which means he must have actually read my blog post - that, alone, blew my mind), saying things only the truest of friends would say. I can't tell you how good it felt to hear from him - and to read his words. He saved me once before in this life (long story for another time), and continues to 'save' me. For that, I am eternally grateful. Scott . . . he was GOOD in my week. 

Lunch with Nicole and Emily 
Two amazing women from my Art Tribe, who I cherish. Nicole was our gracious hostess who prepared lunch in her home, and greeted us with this beautifully presented table of goodness . . .  
. . . so gorgeous!! I am so grateful we were able to spend a few hours laughing, crying (wait - we might have made it through a gathering without any tears!) celebrating, dreaming and planning. These ladies are so special to me. My only regret is that I didn't get a selfie of the 3 of us. But I did take plenty of photos of the salad Nicole made! Check it out!

You can just SEE that this was prepared by an artist, can't you? Next time, a photo of the three of us - I promise!! 

Nicole and Emily . . . yes . . . they are GOOD. 

Now, I know what you are going to say . . .  "Starbucks? Really Leanne? GOOD in your week?" But, seriously . . . Have you SEEN their Fall paper cups? 

Seriously!!! They are DOODLES . . . on a CUP!!! Were these not MADE for me? So yes, my friends. STARBUCKS . . . GOOD in my week. 

Our Rose Bushes
For years, we had the most gorgeous rose bushes in the front of our house. The winter was especially hard on them last year, and their beautiful presence had to be replaced this spring. It took a while for the new bushes to get used to their surroundings, but they are finally showing off some beautiful little flowers. I have missed them terribly - and LOVE to see them bloom. Here is a photo I snapped this week, as I walked into the house from a long day at work. 
Our Rose Bushes . . . GOOD. 

Going back to work last December was a big move for me. Taking three years away from healthcare, spreading my Artist Wings, and being able to focus (uninterruptedly) on raising our daughters was a wonderful gift. But I knew it was time to bring some steady and secure funds to our family - and the only way for me to do that was to return to a field I had said goodbye to - healthcare. 

But my friends, it has been a blessing that I never saw coming. I am so grateful to the GOOD in my job. 
I am so grateful for the new DEAR friends I have made - the women who welcomed me, accepted me, and gave me a chance to become a part of their family. Work WAS a 'GOOD' in my week (albeit hectic and sometimes making me a little cranky). These people have helped me find myself again, they embrace the wacky artsy side to me, and always make me smile. Truly. ALWAYS. 

Yes, WORK is a GOOD to me. And for that, I am so very grateful. 

What can I say about Peggy? She tells it like it is - when I need it most. So grateful for the PEGGY in my life. She is GOOD! 

Unexpected Awesomeness 
Some road construction on my route to and from work has found me traveling new roads this summer. While I am often met with red break lights waiting for traffic to move, I am trying to look around more often and see something new (while I have no scientific proof that bright red break lights glaring at you can increase your blood pressure - I feel very certain that they do!).

A few weeks ago, while at a halt in traffic, I looked to my right and saw this COOLEST fence made out of doors. 
It took my breath away and brought an instant smile to my face. I must have driven down this road 30 times before, and never noticed it.  I just LOVE IT!! 

One day, I would love to park the car and really take a closer look at it. I'd love to know the story behind it - and meet the person who did it. This unexpected awesomeness was so GOOD. 

My 3 Girls 
Ella, my sister Laura, and Katie. My three girls. We celebrated my sisters birthday last week. Katie opted to join the birthday party for her Auntie, instead of the birthday party of her friend Megan. When I told her that I was so happy she was with us that evening, she said, "I would rather be with my family than any place else, Mom." 
These three . . . GOOD!!!

Old Treasures 
A few weeks ago, I looked through a bin of old canvases back from 2011. In it was a little "Annalee" character canvas I did when I was just starting my creative life - an old treasure I had long forgotten. 
It was my dream back then, and carries such importance in my days today. THIS is what matters most to me. "A home filled with laughter and peace . . . moments filled with great inspiration." 

I pulled it out and have it sitting on my kitchen counter today - where I hope to keep it for a long time.

Because it is so easy to forget these little moments. The GOOD. 

And this sums it up kind of nicely for me.  

Hoping you take some time to find the "Good" in your days, dear friend. 

Until we meet again, wishing you Peace. 

P.S. A little reBUTTal (no pun intended!!!) . . . A GOOD I failed to mention (merely because it was 2:30 am when I wrote my original post, and my thoughts were a little scattered), last but surely not least on my GOOD list . . . 

My Man
PG. (aka Phil Guy. aka The husband. aka My Man.) a dear friend sent me a message this morning, worried that he didn't make the list. He is a constant 'Good' in my life. We are human - we grow, we have 'come to Jesus' talks, we work on US - we will be celebrating 17 years of marriage this November. And I wouldn't be any place else. 

Even last week, while trying to talk to my sister on the phone . . . My Man was providing the entertainment. 
always. Always. always. 

And HE is a GOOD. Even when he's BAD. 


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Processing the World of Me

My friends . . . where have you been?

      And where, you may ask, have I been?

Processing. Just . . . processing.

     Processing Life. The weeks. The days. The moments.

All of them.

It has been a particularly challenging year for me and my 44 year old self (whooaaaa - when did that happen? 44 years? I thought I was 30. 32 tops.) It has been a year of trying desperately to hold on to myself, while somehow letting myself go. A year of autopilot - trying to do what I needed to do when I needed to do it, but fighting with myself all the while. A year of quiet struggles within my own mind.

Yes, a challenging year, for sure.

I started to think of the areas in my life as separate neighborhoods within myself - little communities - each with their own needs and wants, and often requiring much at the most inopportune moments. Mommyhood. Wifehood. Laundryhood. Siblinghood. Workerhood. Daughterhood. Groceryhood. Friendhood. Artisthood. Brownie Coleaderhood. Art Teacherhood. Churchhood. 

Some of those "hoods" have been visited often and are well taken care of. Others have been neglected and left for nothing. Still there - just abandoned.

But that is life, isn't it? I decided just a short while ago that I do a LOT of thinking. Perhaps too much thinking. I can think the hell out of any situation or obstacle that I find in front of me - can think the hell out of any cranky mood or bad day. Can justify "this or that" reasoning to every single uncomfortable challenge. Can get myself plum STRESSED to the MAX over what is on my plate. But the reality is . . . I filled my own plate.

I did.

Here's the thing . . . THIS is MY life . . . and every single NEIGHBORHOOD is MINE.

I think it's time I OWN it.

Because bitching about it - doesn't get me anywhere.

So today, I want to reclaim it.

A lot of analogies, I know. A lot of hidden meanings and things that you are trying to figure out, I bet.

Here is all you truly need to know:

I've been in a rut. A bad one.

I've cried a lot of tears this summer. Most of my friends and family don't even know.

I've blamed every single person and every single thing around me for feeling so miserable.

I have missed My Art. My blog. Me.

     And I have no one to blame, but MYSELF.

I have a blessed life. A life BEYOND good.

     I am surrounded by love. Daily.

True blue Love.

And I need to stop being such a . . . BABY

I need to visit these neighborhoods in my life, because this IS my life. I need to find my happy places while there. And then I need to move on to the next one.

Because someday, in the blink of a moment, they could all be gone . . . these hoods. Gone. And every single hood, while here, is important.

That is what is so precious about life.

Sometimes, it just takes me a little bit longer to process and remember that.

Take care of your hoods, dear friend.

For it is each of these hoods that make up the Whole World of YOU.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Night


Taking a few minutes tonight outside . . . a few quiet minutes before the work begins. 

Trying to find some peace in the chaos that has been life this summer. 

Between the children, the job, and the husbands travel schedule, I haven't spent a lot of time out here. And tonight is perfect. The perfect temperature. The perfect sunset. The perfect bird sounds. Perfect. 

Last week was a rough one. Like, really rough. Like, I was ready to throw the towel in. All of them. Haven't felt that way in a long long time. But last week, I felt it. Every single day. 

Tonight, I am taking deep breaths. I am reminding myself of my blessings (of which there are many). I am forgiving myself. I am loving myself. I am telling myself that hard times will always come, and will always pass . . . I am reminding myself of my dreams, of my passions, of my abilities. One of my biggest fears in going back to healthcare, is losing sight of who I am inside. Lately, I feel so overwhelmed - pulled into so many directions. Under appreciated. All of it. 

Tonight, I am trying to find me again. 

And with that, the quiet is gone. Phil has joined me out here - playing videos and music on his iPad. The girls have brought bubbles outside and are starting to annoy each other already, the neighbors party is getting louder next door, and the sun is going down. 


Tomorrow is another day. 

Maybe I can find myself then. 


Wishing you peace, my friend. 
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