Thursday, January 12, 2012


Before anything else: happy New Year! I hope 2012 brings you all that you need, and some of what you want, too ;) I'm going with wabi-sabi here. The beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. How much easier life would possibly be if we accepted these inherent aspects of, well, everything - given time. And saw the beauty in it all. So lofty, but heartfelt a wish :)

This drawing was meant to represent a lack of self-nurture. How pouring out tea and sympathy without taking time to recharge myself was wearing the kettle thin. But I decided I didn't want to go with that description. It's a choice. Self-pity or wabi-sabi. And while I don't feel the bottom of it all quite yet - and heck, I may never ;) - I feel that it's wise to be choosing acceptance and the beauty of imperfection over... well... self-pity. Or putting the intention out there, anyway ;)

Intent, intention, yes indeed. Operative words over here. As in: I need some... Having survived the busy months of November (several birthdays) and December (Sinterklaas and the rest of it), and some marital blisters, I'm struggling to find my feet. Proverbially, of course. I didn't eat that much ;)

It feels like I know where I'm trying to go, approximately, pretty much, the general direction, anyway, but I can't get it into words, into goals, into a workable plan! Like something on the tip of your tongue; you can almost taste it, but it keeps escaping your conscious mind! Hence, canned crap. As in, I've opened a can. Or several ;) While trying to get quiet enough to hear what's buried deep, I keep getting flushed by static, white noise!

I think I've somehow, subconsciously, told myself I need a Schedule towards a Plan to move forward. A Plan and a Schedule. And now that I've swallowed and become my need for a Schedule and a Plan, I'm stalling! In every bloody way! Everything daily life throws at me becomes an Obstacle. A friend being less than kind? It consumes me for 2 (TWO!) weeks, and then I let it fizzle out! My hairdresser moved? It's an Epic Drama that keeps me from writing my morning pages, though I went there only once! Writing a shopping list? It feels like I'm trying to gather courage to write a Great American Novel (and ends in ordering pizza for dinner)! And that's just the tip of the iceberg, but I'll spare you the long version ;)

I'm letting myself, making myself feel scattered! As Patti Digh puts it so neatly, this is my pattern of investing in the story of obstacle instead of the story of yearning. It's a variation on the age-old theme of 'I can't, not before everything else is perfectly arranged!', and it's wearing me out! I'm not reading the books I ordered, with their wisdom inside. I'm not reading my favourite blogs and I'm not writing blog posts either. Well, I didn't, for weeks, and I don't know when I'll be back here again ;) I'm not meditating. I'm not drinking more water. I haven't finished picking out my word(s) for this year. I'm making a mess of things, because I'm scattered. And I'm scattered, because apparantly, I want to be scattered of sorts. Not consciously, maybe, but the proof is in the pudding nonetheless.

The one thing I have been doing is draw. I might not be able to reason myself out of this pickle, but I'm drawing a fine picture of it ;) And there is something to be said for that. Maybe that is my story of yearning for right now. Don't think about it, don't schedule, just draw the pickle. Maybe the rest will come when I'm quiet, really quiet, drawing the mess I like to think I'm in.

I'm going to be running with that one, guys! It's actually the first thing coming out of my overwhelmed January mind that makes me feel easier in my skin! Like drawing my canned crap this morning. I knew it wouldn't solve it all, but it sure was fun ;) I think I'm going to be cutting myself some slack over the next few days, see where it leaves me :)

Does the New Year make you feel giddy with possibility, or are you a little overwhelmed as well? I'd really love to hear how you're coping with the widely proclaimed pristine-ness of it all, so far!


  1. Oh my, sweet soul. SO beautifully written. I'm nodding my head over here. Yes... We can try labeling life all we want...I need a "plan and schedule," I need to be "more focused," I need to "drink more water," (all things I repeat regularly!) But maybe all we really need to do simply "draw the pickle." I love that Yvonne. Can I mention this post in my next post? It's exactly what I experienced this morning when my "plans" changed and I got on the floor and played with my boys.

    AND THANK YOU for your card. I LOVE it and have it displayed on my inspiration wall. I so appreciate you and I'm very excited to share the next 5 weeks together. Be well...

  2. Yvonne, just one thing: go on and draw. Whatever. Draw. I send you a big big hug.

  3. Amazing how you can put your feelings into words. And how couragious you are to share this with us!
    I understand how you feel, about the planning and focussing and thinking of all the things you should be doing, and at the same time trying to do too many things at one time, ending up feeling empty and bad about yourself. Sounds like you're overwhelmed.
    I'd say: keep drawing that pickle over andover again and I think that can bring back your flow. You felt it while drawing these two beautiful illustrations, didn't you?

    I also have that overwelmed feeling, just because I have planned a bit too many things for his month and I can barely cope with it. And still I miss out on a lot of things too!
    I hope you'll find some peace of mind soon! Take care.

    Ps. Maybe your word should be 'pickle'... Then you can tick that one off alright ;)

  4. Maybe scattered is where you need to be right now before you find your path. So when you do find it you’ll be able to appreciate it more. (If it’s any help, I’ve been feeling very ‘at sixes and sevens’ as my mother used to say. Scattered.)
    LOVE the canned crap! Perfect! That says it all!
    I don’t like the whole “New Year, clean slate, starting over” premise. I think it sets us up for failure before we even start. Just my 2 cents.

  5. wow I am again amazed how well you can express your feelings, thank you so much for sharing and for being so brave to do it! And again I nod and say yeas to everything, I am feeling the same. I desperately want this schedule and plan to know that every little step I take gets me into this direction I want. But yet I am turning around in circles, overthinking and overanalyzing everything, so I am not moving on, I am stuck in the same place, spiritually, emotionally, geographically,´s overwhelming. So I am going on with all this confusion, being scattered as well..oh and me too I have a huge stack of books full of wisdom I don´t read, I didn´t make the decisions and conversations I had wanted to do over christmas/New Year, I don´t exercise, I am watching way too much TV, I even didn´t do a single drawing in weeks. The word of the year (it´s the first time I am choosing one, I didn´t know this habit before) I´ve chosen this weekend, it´s finally MOVE. to remind me of not being so passive but enter into action, to remind better go for a run or for a walk when I am feeling overwhelmed and need to get out of my brain.
    And me too I love your drawings here, just go on with this and suddenly you´ll have a significant amount of drawings - to show? for your portfolio? You see, every step counts! Big hugs, Barbara

  6. Love your illustrations and writing style :) More please!

  7. Hi Yvonne, i aggre with Koosje about puting your feelings into words. İ think few people can achieve it . i also have same feelings with you. İ have to do-think lots of things about our daily routine. These responsibilities dont let me do what i want to do.
    And also we have a possibility of living another country (again, you know) …. And we have to think more more things, esp. related to my son Bulut. Its really frustrating because we firstly think bad possibilities as typical mum & dad …. At last i have decided not to thinking about future for a long period and just consantre on “today” and try to do things which make me happy.
    Our lifes consist of “today”S, don’t they ?
    Best wishes from Ist 
    P.S: i also love your aLL drawings ( esp. My card !!) and your new theme of blog

  8. You are so good at articulating your feelings, Yvonne - it is always a pleasure to read your words. You really put your finger on so much of what so many of us are feeling. The have-tos LOVE to run amok, right on over the want-tos. Keep drawing - keep drawing! Your art is your path. It will make a path right through that mental room piled high with books and appointments and shopping lists. And you will find your way out.


Thanks for letting me in on your thoughts!