It's Day 8 of the beautiful month of November, I realise that... I'm playing catch-up from the get-go, here. I knew this would happen, which is why I'm taking part in both Art Every Day Month and 30 Days of Giving Thanks on the QT.
As far as AEDM is concerned, doing the work isn't the challenge, so much. I seem to end up doing something creative every day, whether it's an intention (mostly), or not :) It makes me endlessly happy, that does! So AEDM is great, because it's making me aware of how much time I spend on creative projects! I tend to complain a lot about not having enough time to do all the things I want to do, and it's true: I have way more ideas than time, for sure. But I do get to my creative work. And that needs saying too :) I'm grateful for recognising what I get to do!
The challenge is in the posting about it all! Do the work, enjoy myself and blog about it, too? That's where it gets trickier!
And then there is Shannon's challenge. Giving thanks each day of November. Gratitude is beautiful. When you do it right, when you try and feel it to your toes and back, it's kind, it's soft and it's mindful. It creates space, too. Space in your heart, space in your mind and space to breathe. I know this. I've known it for a while. But I have to admit, I need practice.
It's sort of heartbreaking to be honest about this, but being grateful is really hard for me. I'm a recovering perfectionist. There are so many sides and sidelines to this that it probably warrants a whole blogpost of its own, but I'll keep it simple for now. It's hard, because as a recovering perfectionist, I'm still having a hard time letting things go. Realising that there is no shame in leaving things as they are. That there is beauty in imperfection. That I don't have to make everything better, and improve upon improvements, perpetually. That there is space to BE. And breathe. And enjoy.
To be truly grateful, you have to be able to be still. To take stock of what is; not of what's going to be better if you get to tweak just a little more. And that's hard. I'm getting better at it, but it's still hard. A challenge. One that I need. For my soul (thank you so much, Shannon, for making me aware of this!)...
This is part I of my art for November 6th. I cut myself some slack and used Photoshop Elements on the painting I made for my friend's card. After all, she wasn't happy about the design per se, but I was! I made this painting with my birthday boy in mind, and so it was always going to be for him. I had never coloured something in PSE, but always wanted to, so this made me happy :) And I'm pleased with how it turned out!
And this? This was an exercise in letting go of the inner critic :) I was going to order a birthday cake. What with all the stuff and stress on my mind, I was going to be kind to myself. And then, just like that, I decided to just go for it! I'm not a pastry chef, but I can bake a cake! It's a brownie cake with lots of real chocolate inside & on top, moist & yummy :) To be honest, maybe more in honour of me the mamma than of the birthday boy, but hey! I was celebrating being a mom just as much that day ;) And I made some coconut-banana muffins for the kids, so I'm not feeling guilty ;)
My gratitude for day 6 of thanking in November? It goes wholeheartedly to my baby boy... Who is as far from being a baby boy as any three-year-old can be :) He's awesome!! He's more and more becoming his own self, with likes and dislikes, hugs + kisses & a dead-cool sense of humour :D
He changed my life when my life needed changing most. I'd almost given up on myself and my place in this world when he came along. He made me want to be the best mamma I could be, and for that I had to become. Full stop. I had to re-invent myself, drag myself up out of the mud by the ears and start believing in myself. You have no idea where I was. Neither do I. But I do know that I'm here, like this - getting stronger, wiser and more true to myself every day - because this amazing little boy, this gift came into my life when he did, three years and 2 days ago...
That's gratitude from my toes...