Monthly Archives: January 2019

Creating a positive environment to thrive in.

I try to only follow those on social media who either inspire me or exude good vibes. Unfollowing someone is usually nothing personal; we just may no longer be on the same wavelength.

I follow Nicole Arbour on Instagram because the girl is smart and funny as hell. I may not always agree with her point of view but it’s always entertaining.

When reading about her, I learned that she was in a car accident years ago that left her with chronic pain syndrome.  Part of how she got through that to become who she is today is by surrounding herself with good people and good things. Not only that, but even paying attention what she was paying attention to – what books she was reading, what shows or movies she was watching, music she was listening to. If it wasn’t positive and feel-goody, she didn’t bother with it. I liked that so much that last year, I adopted that approach to an extent (because, let’s face it – I enjoy some pretty dark Netflix series) and I can say it has weeded out a lot of the negativity in my life. I do believe that if we surround ourselves with the people and things that make us feel awesome, our life will feel more awesome in general. It’s not rocket science when it’s spelled out like that, is it?

It isn’t a perfect method ~ I’ve caught myself voluntarily watching or listening to things that are upsetting and have had to tell myself to knock it off and turn it off. Find a more lighthearted series to binge watch on Netflix while I craft or do chores. Choosing not to listen to music that promotes violent behavior and attitudes. There’s just so much anger out there that it can be tricky to navigate around it. It takes effort, a real conscious effort.

So, besides the people I allow in my life, I also try to have things around me in my home that are uplifting. I also try to make such things because I believe in it so much. I’m not saying deny the shitty times ~ acknowledge them ~ but also know that shitty times don’t last forever.

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These bottles are full of positivity and good vibes. They were one of the first things I made when I moved to this house. Theresa and I were engaged only a few months and us buying the house and legit moving in together was a huge step. We were sure it’d work but still…you don’t truly know someone until you live with them.  I was optimistic though and here we are, almost a year later, still doin’ it. Kids, animals and all.

This set of wine bottles can be purchased HERE —> https://www.etsy.com/listing/662633022/collage-magazine-flower-silver-glitter?ref=shop_home_active_1

Need a pretty vase for your Valentine’s Day bouquet? Snag it here —> https://www.etsy.com/listing/660832198/valentines-day-collage-red-pink-love?ref=shop_home_active_2

 

Snowed in and keeping busy ~ also, telling the little lying voice to shut up.

Upstate NY this weekend:

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Perfect time to hunker down in my house all weekend and get to decluttering my craft space, like I said I would do last weekend.

[As if I need an excuse to be home and avoid other humans on the weekend.]

I woke up without exuberance ~ maaaannnn, I was really hoping to spring up out of bed, ready to tackle the day! But I could feel despair hanging on to my back, slumping my shoulders, making me wonder why I bother with anything. I stood at my kitchen sink and told myself that the voice was a lie ~ I am not invisible. I am important. What I do, who I am, matters. I literally had this conversation out-loud with myself and I’m not sure why I’m sharing it because it is kind of embarrassing. I just hate that depression sometimes tries to determine the kind of day I am going to have. Nah, son. I’m going to determine that. Kindly fuck off in that direction over there.

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Keeping busy has always been a big help for me – as in, ROUTINE. So, I wrote out all that I wanted to accomplish today and set to it. I turned my music up way loud and ended up having a rock concert all by myself as I sorted, recycled, donated, and organized my craft space.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

BOOM! I mean, it’s not 100% done but it’s so much better than what it was!

I gave a box of stuff to my friend Kim for her to use because craft hoarding is a legit thing. I get a lot of items donated to me and I put most of it aside, telling myself I’ll get to it…and so I made a decision today. If I’ve had it for a year and I haven’t done anything wit it yet, it has to go. Whether it’s donated to someone who can use it or recycled – it’s gotta get out of here.

I took a break for some lunch and Kim came to get her things and then my sister showed up, unexpectedly! It was wonderful – first visiting with Kim and then with my sister. My heart feels very full today for the important people in my life.

Can I say, I feel amazing? Today is a victory. That’s how you master life – one day at a time.

Body Pumpin’ with my Cha Cha

For the first time in a while, my fiancée and I took a fitness class together. I love working out with her; I have someone to make faces at and break a sweat with.

That’s how she and I met ~ I was her kickboxing instructor. It feels like “home” – like when we first met – whenever we exercise together. It’s how we originally bonded; me, standing over her as she did sit-ups, asking her if she felt singled out. I loved being a fitness instructor because I got to make people laugh as they did hard shit. I could be as weird and out-there as I wanted to be and it would resonate with someone. It was all just one big giant show. It was the most socially outgoing period of my entire life, something I won’t ever get back. Something that, if handed back the opportunity, I would pass up. Funny how things change.

My experience has been that in life you either get a fun job or a fun life. This season of my life is about having a fun life and an ordinary job.

So, anyway – Theresa attended Body Pump with me.

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We have done this class before ~ about a year and a half ago now. I wasn’t too impressed back then. It felt too easy – too aerobicsy and silly. I was hesitant to get back into it when I joined Best Fitness.

My two year stint as a kickboxing instructor made me very snobby toward other workouts and very critical of other instructors. I’m still critical of instructors because I’ve seen so many that give the vibe that they want to be anywhere else but where they are – how does that translate to someone who’s new to fitness? Or someone who’s having a tough day and didn’t want to come?

Back to the point: I’ve been doing it now for almost a month and I’ve grown to really enjoy it. I don’t look forward to going to class, but once I’m there I am ready to start. I enjoy the muscle burn out – the high reps with light weights, how it is very low impact. I’m even seeing more muscle definition in my shoulders which is awesome and reassuring!

I liked having her there with me, too. It’s good for the both of us to be in a routine and it makes it more desirable all around to have a buddy to go with. Accountability.

Routine is really what helps me with my depression, as well, especially now that I’m transitioning off of my medication. Even if I don’t want to go, I go. Although…possibly not this weekend, given the big snow storm we are supposed to get. Can I tell you how excited I am for a blizzard? Our first real one of the winter ~ we only had to wait until mid-January for it to show up. If I have to be stuck inside, I’m going to be stuck inside with my crafts, a good book, wine, soft blankets, and my yoga mat and free weights because even if I can’t get out, I’m going to get some exercise in.

I fear being ordinary.

I fear being normal.

I fear being forgettable.

I fear not causing a ripple whatsoever…it all makes me squeamish. I don’t want to be unremarkable.

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But there is beauty to ordinary things – the things we look over; too focused on the bigger picture or what’s being painted on the canvas in the background.

While I may sometimes feel as interesting as a dull penny, I know that to my dog, I am someone super amazing and important.

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I am the provider of a million kisses, tennis balls for fetching, and the best neck scratches on the planet.

There is nothing wrong with being the solid foundation of a life instead of the glittery decoration at the top. The world needs all kinds to run.

I am over this season and how it has me, at times, too much inside my own head and not enough outside in the real world. Sometimes I feel like I’ve shrunk so small – that I’m almost invisible – and then the world brings me right on back in with an unexpected conversation with a stranger. Thank you, Erica, from Nini’s Gourmet Paninis. I snuck out of my office like a ghost to have lunch amongst a hungry, busy group of strangers. It was refreshing to be seen amongst the mass of digesting 9-to-5ers; I didn’t even know that is what I needed.

>>View my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArt

>>Follow me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/WeirdGlassArtStudio/

 

Did you know – it’s a competition! Who is the most tired?!

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Everyone I talk to is tired. If I’m asked how I am, my knee-jerk response is “tired”. What’s with this?! Why is everyone so damned tired all the time? And why does it feel like a competition?

I’m tired of everyone, including myself, expressing how tired they are. I’m tired of the tired-ass tired excuses. The more I say “tired” to myself, the less it sounds like a real word. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s all fictional. No one’s tired – we’re just conditioned to say it so we can make sympathetic noises at each other. It has become as blah of a topic as the weather.

It’s crazy.

Seriously though – I ordered myself a sunrise alarm clock to try and make it easier to get up in the morning. This winter I’ve felt more of the seasonal depression than I think I ever have; we’ve had so much rain and darkness in upstate New York. I keep waiting for the snow because, to me, snow makes the winter…winter. And tolerable. Soon. Soon we’ll get it.

I just don’t want to default to “tired” anymore. I don’t want to hear it from anyone else, either. What can we do to make ourselves less tired and more excited about our lives?

Sleep better.

No electronics at bedtime.

Drink more water.

Drink less caffeine.

Eat less artificial sugar.

More yoga.

More exercise in general.

Fresh air.

Healthier foods.

Practicing gratefulness.

Prioritizing and getting real with yourself – are you overloading your plate?

Making a plan – something fun to look forward to.

Oh, and I am unloading my cabinet doors on my friend Kim. Kim makes awesome holiday décor with wreaths ~ I figured she could experiment with these and if she doesn’t like the result, she can dispose of them as she sees fit. No more supply hoarding for me! I don’t want or need a ton of lingering potential projects hanging over my head, making me feel closed in or pressured to get myself in a position to use materials.

Unexplainable Happiness

Both weekend days I woke up and just felt happy – no explanation behind it. No specific event had me feeling elated (although, maybe it was a hangover from my first sale on Etsy? Who knows!), I just woke up like Yes, today is going to rock!

And my weekend kind of did rock. I didn’t have any real plans besides a hot yoga and a cardio kickboxing class. I enjoyed the pep in my step and the time to get some household projects wrapped up, craft ideas organized and/or began, and the time to binge watch the entire season of You on Netflix.

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I used to take a lot of selfies, but over the past couple of years I haven’t been too happy with what I see in them. At first, it was because I felt that my face looked baggy and tired – I was under a lot of stress with so much change happening in my life. Then, it was because I thought my face was too chubby. Then too weathered. Too this, too that…The selfie above I took in my craft studio and besides brightening it up (it was taken in the basement, after all), I like this picture of me. Feelin’ amazing without any specific reason. I wish I could bottle that feeling and sip on it every day, while having enough to share with the world. Maybe the secret to a good selfie is to be doing something that you love in the moment so your happy can shine right through.

Link to my Etsy Shop —-> http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day – for the birds?

I’ll be the first to admit my long-held hatred for everything Valentine’s Day. I’ve always scoffed at it, thinking to myself: WHY do we need a “scheduled” day of love? Why can’t we just show love every day? Why can’t we buy each other something special or make an extra effort on a whim?

Secretly, though, I’ve always kind of loved the idea of Valentine’s Day. It is just cool to hate it, hip to be cynical. Just because there is a holiday dedicated to something doesn’t mean that something can’t be celebrated every day. There are no rules or laws against it.

I’ve given the side-eye to many things over the years and some of it’s legit, some of it isn’t. In the case of Valentine’s Day, it’s not legit. Sometimes I vocalize displeasure at one thing or another as a way to guard myself against disappointment. If my significant other doesn’t acknowledge the day, I’ve shielded myself from the appearance of being let down and can be bummed in private. If they make a big deal about it, then I can let my insides and outside somersault with happiness.

If I think I’ll fail at something and I succeed, I feel that surge of confidence and get to hear everyone tell me: See? I knew you could do it!

If I think I’ll do awesome and I fail, it can be hard to believe in myself enough to keep moving forward. Tough to stay motivated. The haters will titter: See? I knew she couldn’t do it. She’s doing it all wrong!

I feel like adults are looked at as if they are crazy if they show any sort of child-like enthusiasm or blind hope. Life throws punches at us and we become cynical to protect our real selves that are hiding inside. Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the birds – it’s for the love birds and it’s okay to be a mushy-gushy love bird, even if you are single. It’s okay to believe in love even if you’ve been burned time after time. It’s okay to see the world like a child – full of opportunity and magic.

In revolt of years I’ve spent proclaiming that Valentine’s Day is just sooooo gay (coming from a gay person), I made this super flamboyant vase for the holiday and plunked it in my Etsy Shop.

Why? Because I believe in love. I believe in second chances. I believe in good things coming after bad, bad things coming after good, all that shit circling around again and again until we eventually die. I believe we can come back after years of being away.

Link to my Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

Direct link to vase: https://www.etsy.com/listing/660832198/valentines-day-collage-red-pink-love