Entries Tagged as: relationships

Holiday Craziness

December 21st, 2007, Comments (18)

Things are certainly ramping up towards the holidays! I've been running around all day doing last minute shopping which totally burned me out. I ended up coming home, eating dinner and then crashing into a nap for 3 hours. Oy! I don't usually shop so last minute, but having to combine Christmas shopping with the hubster (who is an absolute down to the wire, last minute shopper), I had to compromise and do some things way later than I would like which meant dealing with the crazy crowds, traffic, parking lots, and lines. Not my cup o' tea. But it's done and I'm relieved. I just need to wrap some gifts tomorrow and we're good to go.

There's a bit of added stress this year as I've always had to split the holidays between my parents (who are divorced and happily remarried.) But now I also have to celebrate with the hubster's family too. And this splitting of holidays always seems to leave someone disappointed about something which makes me feel so bad! My brother is newly married also and also in a brand new job as a lawyer in NYC with crazy long hours, so he too is having to run all over the place. Maybe one year when we have our own house we'll make everyone come to us. Except that some family is allergic to our kitties. Arg. What can you do. I just need to let go of the unnecessary guilt and enjoy the time with my family. Next year will my my first Christmas away from my family (we'll celebrate with the hubster's family in NY) and that will be especially odd for me. I know it's kinda strange and sad for the hubster this year since he'll be spending the holiday with my family. But still we'll be going to NY after the holiday to do a 3rd Christmas with his parents and brother. Oy. So, he can't feel that bad about it. Yadda, yadda, yadda. There are worse things in the world than holiday scheduling. It'll be o.k..

Anyways! I've got two posts up at Create a Connection. One is a random list of linkaroos of everything from cool products I've seen online to podcasts I enjoy. And the second is an updated version of what I posted about Creative Every Day 2008, which can also now be seen here.

I'll be away half of next week, so if I don't get around to posting tomorrow I hope you have a wonderful holiday if you celebrate Christmas or Solstice or something else! And if you don't celebrate, I hope your weekend is filled with love and laughter too!

Wellness Wednesday – Be Silly

October 24th, 2007, Comments (19)

Oooh, combo post. I get to show the whimsical drawings I mentioned earlier and do a post for Wellness Wednesday at the same time. Woohoo! I'm big on multi-tasking.

Artonthetable_2So, I'm a big proponent of silliness. I encourage it. I need it. Heck, I even inserted some silliness into my wedding. Our wedding vows were a perfect combination of sweet, heartfelt words and silliness that made us and our guests laugh out loud. Among the things we promised to each other were to love and support each other's dreams and  goals, to encourage and honor our unique beings, and to accept (among other things) an abundance of cat hair. :-) Those weren't the exact words, but you get the idea. Actually the part about the cat hair was word for word.

I think laughter and general goofiness is essential to wellness. And this post was inspired by standing up on my coffee table to take a picture of these lighthearted drawings.  So, the drawings already had a a sense of playfulness, but when I looked back at this picture, that I snapped quickly and randomly by standing on the coffee table, I was struck by the silliness of it and decided to post the picture with my feet in it instead of cropping them out. Sometimes you just need to stand on your coffee table, preferably while watching the Stephen Colbert Show. :-)

PaperbagartIt's important while being silly to not care what anyone else (including your critic...even for just a moment) thinks. This comes in particularly helpful when making art. I included a doodle on a paper bag (from tonight's sushi takeout) to illustrate this. I think sometimes it's easy to take art too seriously, like it all has to be a masterpiece or something incredible or why bother? Well, if we wait for this masterpiece to arrive, it's quite likely we'll make nothing at all. It's important to play, to let loose, to allow yourself to be silly even when making something so serious as art. Hehe. So many ideas will spill out while mindlessly doodling. Try it and see. It's a wonderful release and if you decide to draw in your sketchbook or on a paper bag or the back of your junk mail or wherever, you'll find the ideas start to flow. Sort of like stream of consciousness writing, doodling will show you where your mind is at. As you can see by the two ladies in flowing dresses, my head is still in wedding land.

  I was starting to feel a little sad earlier. I'm not exactly feeling that whole wedding let down that can happen after the event, but looking over the pictures I got this sense of reaching a certain life milestone and feeling that sense of my own mortality. And then the pictures of my parents, who looked wonderful, but also looked sort of like...grandparents. When my mom was my age, she had three kids under the age of 6.Bride Yikes. So, I talked about all this with the hubster tonight and talked about how we're going to do holidays now that we're married (how we'll split the holidays between our families) and we've been talking about starting our own family. O my. And once we talked about all that, that which was there in my brain, but I hadn't quite put words to it yet, I felt a release and I decided not to focus on sadness any longer, but on all the good, and then the hubster ate my toes and I laughed and we snuggled up until he fell asleep. Feeling better, I doodled, took the picture with my toes showing, watched some silly t.v., and laughed at my cats' antics.

So, in summary, my wellness tips for the week:

1. Be silly.
2. Make paper bag art.
3. Ignore your inner critic.
4. Stand on furniture to change your perspective. 
5.  Laugh loudly and often. 
6. Doodle.   

Whine, Whine, Whine

September 5th, 2007, Comments (14)

It doesn't do any good to get annoyed with myself, but every year when the days begin to darken, I feel a sadness creep in. I get annoyed with my depression (very helpful, I know.) I hold out hope each year that I've been "good enough", done enough exercise, taken enough vitamins, done enough self-care and art-making, so that this year I won't feel that heaviness. I don't want to accept it as just the way it is, just in case I'm fooling myself into thinking I have chronic depression.

I don't complain to the people in my life. Constant complaining annoys me in others, why would I want to do that to anyone else? Today the fiansor was encouraging me to whine. We both have a cold, stuffy noses and such and he's quite a whiner when he gets sick. He's told me often enough that if I don't complain, he doesn't know how badly I'm feeling. You know that thing about how the squeaky wheel gets the oil? It's so true! I've spent my life trying not to squeak. So, we literally practiced whining to each other with me resisting the whole time because I felt ridiculous doing it. He made me laugh though with his descriptions about the nuances of whining, what the different intonations meant and then he quizzed me on it. Heh. We snuggled and fell asleep on the couch before having dinner. Thank goodness for the fiansor.

Earlier today, I had a quick, but helpful chat with my best friend. I haven't had anyone, but the fiansor to talk to about all that's been going on recently with family crises and it's been really heavy stuff. The fiansor said he was surprised that I hadn't been more upset, but I was upset, I was just containing it, like you need to in a crisis when other people need you to be the calm voice of reason. But when the best friend called, I just started crying. I guess I was ready to release some of the crapola.

I want so much to vent about what's been going on, but I don't think this is the place to do it. In one of the situations, there is actual legal action being taken, so I can't lay it all out here. I'm thinking about using my vox blog which has that setting so only friends can read it to release some of this tough stuff. I truly appreciate your support and love in response to my last post. I needed it, so thank you. I'll be posting all the recent art soon, promise!

Introvert + Extrovert = Lots of Learning!

July 16th, 2007, Comments (11)

I am a classic introvert and the fiansor is a classic extrovert. Through all of our talking over the 6 plus years we've been together, we've learned how to communicate with each other pretty effectively. We've taught each other about our differences and in the process we've learned more about ourselves. When I read The Introvert Advantage awhile back, I laughed in recognition at my behaviors written out and felt much validation along with getting some great tips on how to work with my personality. I shared a lot of that book with the fiansor who found it helpful in understanding me a little better. (Incidentally, the author of this book recently put out a book about introverts and extroverts in relationships which looks interesting.)

Recently, The Happy Introvert was recommended to me and I picked it up. I began to read it over the weekend and this very different book provided more info, including a lot more about introverts and extroverts in relationships together. I brought the book out to the living room and on the couch, the fiansor and I read through most of the book together, finding some really helpful insights that led to further discussions. We laughed at how certain lists of behaviors were so spot on.

Here are some characteristics of introverts and extroverts from The Happy Introvert. Do you find yourself in these descriptions? I've marked introverts with an  (I) and extroverts with an (E).

  • You usually like being with people (no too many at once) for no longer than an hour or two at a time (I) (almost always true for me.)
  • You generally prefer being with others or talking on the phone to being alone. (E)
  • In group discussions, the topic being discussed sometimes changes by the time you have collected your thoughts and are ready to speak. (I) (Yep, that's why blogs are so great! I have plenty of time to think and then respond.)
  • You have a lot of energy, your voice is usually strong and confident, and you speak with little or no hesitation. (E) (This is the fiansor to a T.)
  • You sometimes procrastinate when you want to avoid interacting with people. (I) (ahem. yeah. I'm noticing I do this more and more now.)
  • Some people see you as being on a power trip, artificially optimistic, or overly dramatic. (E)
  • You tend to think out loud so what you say isn't always fully thought out and in general you are fast more than accurate. (E)
  • You like to concentrate in depth when doing a project and you are often content to be alone with your thoughts, feelings and activities. (I)
  • You often prefer that others make reservations, announcements, phone calls and introductions. (I) (The fiansor laughed at this one as he knows how much I hate to make phone calls when we order out.)
  • You like to buy on impulse and you frequently seek outside stimulation. (E)
  • Your style of speech tends to be calm and quiet and your ability to remember names is average to low. (I) (This one about the names was really interesting to me and very true.)
  • You want to make an impact on your community. (E) (This one made me laugh because I know the fiansor feels this way and we had just talked about how my desire to make a contribution is there, but quite different and how his desire is much larger and very ingrained. Very interesting stuff!)

At the end of the book there was a big discussion about personality types using the Myers-Briggs system. The fiansor's type was very easy to determine (ENFP), mine not so much. I'm still not sure. But it's further info that's helpful and interesting. We both have characteristics of introversion and extroversion in us too. It's never so clear cut, but knowing where we're coming from is helpful as we grow as a couple and as people. I've found all this particularly interesting because extroversion is so celebrated in our culture that introverts are often made to feel they are strange and abnormal. In general, I'm quite content in my introverted ways. I'm quite good at entertaining myself for hours on end. But on the other hand, it's good for me to push the envelope a bit sometimes and be more social as it often leads to wonderful things. Balance, balance.

Tomorrow's my birthday! I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, but during the day, I plan to follow my whims and make it a fun, relaxing, and playful day. I hope your week is a wonderfully creative one!