I have been thinking about this post for a couple of weeks now without finding the time to write it. Until I logged in again, I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted. I've let myself become distracted by other things.
This month I started taking Jane Dunnewold's Creative Strength Training--a 10-month on-line series. The introductory activities have had me in a ruminating mood for the last couple of weeks. She strongly encourages us to write on a regular basis. One of her suggestions for getting us started was to write about what we like about our lives right now. That's what got me going - thinking first about retirement giving me plenty of time to do the things I really enjoy. Then I got thinking about how I am doing so many things that I NEVER thought I would be doing, things I had forsworn in the past or that were totally unexpected opportunities. It's made me realize that just because I can't imagine myself doing something or in a certain situation, doesn't mean it can't happen...unless I bind myself to my vows of "I'll NEVER..."
So, If you'd asked me even 18 months ago if I would move south in retirement, I'd have said NEVER. I couldn't imagine myself moving from Massachusetts. It was years after our move from the Midwest before I felt settled and happy there, and not until we moved to Lowell that felt really connected to the area. I thought I couldn't leave that. Thankfully, I allowed myself to imagine the possibility and come to the realization that it could be good for us, because it has been a real shot in the arm in many ways.
I won't go on about all the other examples of going back on my proclamations of I'll never--going back to the violin after a 30-year hiatus, learning to play by ear, signing up for outdoor craft fairs, for example. I'll just say that I'm learning that I need to say "I'll try" or at least "let me think about that."
So in the spirit of "i'll try and we'll see where it goes" I am trying out something artist Liz Kettle calls Stitch Meditations. Each day I am making a tiny (3"x 4") pieced and embroidered artworks. The idea is to do a quick little something without getting too bogged down in making a thing of perfection. It needs to be fun and relaxing, not work. So far I have been working almost exclusively with the little leftover bits from all the pillow covers I've been making for my first outdoor show down here. I've kept going for eight days so far and it's still fun. Who knows where it will take me.
Here are a few examples:
So I am grateful that Sonja suggested participating in Jane's Creative Strength Training. We're having fun sharing the experience with my sister Sue and it's already taking me in directions I never expected. I recommend it.
Mother & daughter, Ann Lee & Sonja Lee-Austin share their joys and struggles in their art and lives.