Parcels, Easter Eggs, and Sleep.

I have such a great family.  My parents sent another care package from home containing easter crafts and chocolates.  I am surrounded by so much love, even though they live in another country, we stay in touch as if they lived around the corner.  Right away, I started building my easter cookie house and stuffing my face with Kit Kats, Cadbury Cream Eggs, and chocolate bunnies.  Not sure why I made a weirdo face while holding the parcel, I blame it on excitement as to what is inside.

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Despite me turning 25 this summer, I still enjoy my favourite activities from childhood. Clearly, as you see above.  In the box was also the supplies to paint easter eggs.  I couldn’t justify boiling the eggs and then just throwing them out afterwards- too much of a waste for me.  So I carefully poked holes in the bottom and to get the egg out, and then cleaned the shells.  Lets just say the Artist was eating lots of eggs for breakfast, as I don’t like eggs like that.  After I had a bunch, I got to work.  Funnest easter craft ever.  Throwing them out, and taking down all my easter decorations was so depressing.  Especially tossing my eggshells.  Sigh.

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Just to add to my love for old childhood activities, during a thunderstorm the other day I put on my Dumbledore’s Army pin and watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with a bowl of popcorn.  I even have the old fashioned air popper, so it’s a healthy snack, yet still has the nostalgia of the classic snack my mother used to make.

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I do have an abnormal obsession with dark afternoons, there is just something about a good rain/thunder/lightning storm that is soothing to me.  There were several days in a row a weeks ago of thunderstorms, rain, and the darkest afternoons I have ever experienced.  There was even a tornado, with the sirens going off and everything.  It occurred in the wee hours of the morning, really close to where we live, and I slept through the entire thing- sirens and all.  It was by far the best sleep I have ever had- ever.  Just thinking about it makes me feel happy and refreshed.  I love to sleep.  I have never had problems falling asleep or staying asleep.  But I do have issues with waking up, and not getting enough sleep.  Every morning, for the duration of my entire life, is a struggle.  Waking up is almost a little traumatizing, I need lots of time to slowly make the transition.  Showering immediately is out of the question.  Which is why I have been an evening showerer since I was a kid.  Whenever I tell people that I need at least 8 hours a night of good, deep sleep just to function, they usually laugh.  Then when I tell them that 9 hours is what I prefer because I feel so energized, they usually give me a strange look, eye roll, or head shake, and then proceed to tell me about how they don’t have time for that- that they get 5 or 6 hours a night.

I simply can’t handle that.  If I get 5 or 6 hours of sleep, I feel like I have a hangover combined with the flu, combined with being hit my a moving vehicle.  And everyone says they just push through it, and go about their day.  But I feel lethargic, my brain is foggy, I can’t think or focus despite my maximum efforts, and stare into space all day.  If this is the case for me, why should I live like that?  In terms of “not having the time or sleep that much”, I would rather leave the dishes and laundry until another time and take care of my body and brain, and sleep.  Housework will be there tomorrow.  Walking around only half there all day is no fun, I want to enjoy the day and be fully present and feeling vibrant and full of energy.  So I guess you could say, sleep is important to me.  It is a priority.  And since I have started making the time and effort to get 8-9 hours a night, I have energy to go to the gym (and sleep is important for muscle recovery), I enjoy everything so much more, like cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping, and even watching TV is more fun because I am not zoning out, I am actually watching, and laughing, and engaging.  My skin is clearer, and dark circles around my eyes are minimal.  I feel more motivated to eat healthy, nutritious foods, and go out and about doing fun things and experiencing the city.

And I love snuggling into our soft bed, with cozy blankets, all comfy, snuggled up with the Artist’s arm around me as we chit chat before drifting off, is a fun little excerpt of quality time together.

To summarize: I refuse to walk around like a grumpy zombie all day because I didn’t get enough sleep.  I want to feel energized and enjoy every day as it comes.  Because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

 

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The Artist’s Process.

I talk about my Artist a lot, I know.  About how he is gifted, in a way that is unique.  A way that is so unique, it is not something that one can acquire, or learn.  It is not something that can be taught either.  But rather, something that just exists.  It can be guided by others who also posses this, and honed and harnessed over time.  I went to his studio the other day and starting snapping pictures of awe-inspiring moments.  Of moments where I can feel the vibes in the air, viscerally.  Where my body is physically feeling pleasure and happiness, and passion that can only be understood by feeling it- not explaining it.  I am dedicating this post to the images I captured of my Artist doing what he is meant to be doing, in his niche, and exploding with passion and talent.

There are different “phases” of his art-making, that occur in no particular order and each time is different.  I call them looking and thinking, curiosity, and going on a rampage.  Here you will see him looking and thinking.  Ever see the episode of The Big Bang Theory when they have to buckle down and get to work, and then Eye of the Tiger comes on and they are standing and staring at their white boards?  It is kind of like that, quite simply put; he is looking, and thinking.  And holding his hand or brush in a strange way, to imagine certain scenarios.  But the thinking that is going on is intense. Sometimes it even makes him sweat.  Sometimes he can’t think about anything else, and even asking what he feels like for dinner takes up too much of his attention to think about.  And one time, Eye of the Tiger actually came on the radio when he was doing this, right after I thought of the parallel between him and the TV show.  It blew my mind.

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And then there is the curiosity type.  He is curious as what will happen if…..or what will happen when…..often using his foot to smudge something around, or crinkle up the canvas and patina it with old paint, dirty brushes, or roll it around on the messy floor.  There is a large playful aspect about this, where is he having fun and exploring.  The Artist is very curious by nature in every day life.

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And lastly, he goes on mark making rampages where he literally throws paint around, splashes it, and goes into a frenzy of sorts.  Often times, this is where the bulk of the marks are done, and in a short period of time, because truly, he can’t stop.  Even when he is plagued with allergies and is wearing sunglasses at night to protect his sore and sensitive eyes with tissues stuffed up his runny nose.  But not always.  There is no real pattern or predictability to his process, he does what he wants, when wants to do it.  It is almost like an obsessive-compulsive thing, where he gets urges to paint, and regardless of the time of day, where he is, or what he is doing, he finds a way to make the magic happen.

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As you can see, the Artist goes from squatting to standing to bending over about a thousand times when he paints.  This makes for a nice pairs of legs 😉

You are probably thinking that all these photos look the same, that I am a lunatic, and nothing I have said makes any sense- what is so special about all of this?  It is something that cannot be fully explained in with words, or justified with writing.  It is something that needs to be felt, and I am trying to convey the Artist’s passion and talent with my words and by capturing him in action, but to truly experience this, to truly get it, one must feel it and experience live.

Think about the things that get your heart pumping a little faster, that make your body tingle, and that causes your brain, and your heart to explode with intense emotion.  It may not be art that does it for you, but it is still an experience of passion, of something beautiful.  And I am so incredibly fortunate to get to experience  this on a daily basis, on top of a million other things that make me happy.

As I read this post over, I am not totally satisfied.  It is missing something, something to really push my point across so share exactly how I am feeling, how the Artist feels, and what these experiences are like.  But then again, that is just it.  I can’t express that missing something with words about how I am feeling, the only way to experience it for yourself, is to to do just that- experience it.

 

Getting Out of This Funk- Update.

I think it is time to update my get-out-this-funk status.  I have been working hard at my checking off everything on my list, and feeling much better 🙂   No more letting these winter blues bring me down!

– Clean the house, top to bottom. A cluttered and messy living space makes for a restless and overwhelmed mind. And a clean and tidy living space makes for a more calm mind, or so I have found for me. DONE!

– Catch up on laundry. IN PROGRESS! (I never have enough quarters….)

– Schedule a day that works for both the Artist and I to prepare our taxes. MAILING OUR FINAL PAPERS ON MONDAY!

– Apply for an external scholarship. IN PROGRESS!

– Go to the Soulard Farmer’s Market. To stock up on fresh and healthy foods, support local farmers, and get some fresh air and out and about in the community. I like to eat local and organically as often as I can. NOT YET, BUT MAYBE TOMORROW!

– Do some yoga. I enjoy kripalu yoga. I find it is relaxing, stress relieving, and is really beneficial for my body’s needs. NOT YET

– Work with the Artist on fixing up the chairs from Goodwill. DONE! (refer to previous post)

– Stock up on lots of healthy foods to fill my body with nutrients, and to entice me to cook lots of home cooked meals, and healthified baked goods. DONE! (Still some items I would like to get, but still bargain hunting for a good price!)

My favourite salad.

My favourite salad.

Pork and veggie kabobs.

Pork and veggie kabobs.

Home made Mongolian Grill style stirfry.  AMAZING!

Home made Mongolian Grill style stirfry. AMAZING!

Chocolate peanut butter cups, healthified.

Chocolate peanut butter cups, healthified.

The middle is organic, natural, unsalted PB with some vanilla protein powder to help flavour it and thicken it up a bit.  The chocolate is organic unrefined coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey and pure maple syrup to taste.  The flavours of those don't come through, they just sweeten.

The middle is organic, natural, unsalted PB with some vanilla protein powder to help flavour it and thicken it up a bit. The chocolate is organic unrefined coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey and pure maple syrup to taste. The flavours of those don’t come through, they just sweeten.

– Switch up my exercise routine to include heavier lifting and more cardio. LIFTING HEAVIER 😀 FOR MY VERY FIRST TIME EVER IN MY LIFE, I GRABBED WEIGHTS ON THE BOTTOM FREE WEIGHT RACK! STILL TRYING TO WORK IN MORE CARDIO.

– Clean out and organize the fridge, freezer, and pantry. DONE!

– Find good homes for clothing and other items that I no longer need, and that are contributing to the clutter. NOT YET

– Do a little thrifting. I could some some non-winter shoes that are more fancy then every day wear. DONE! (refer to previous post, although you can never do enough thrifting lol!)

– Pick up my knitting. WORKING ON SOME LEG WARMERS!

– Finish my current novel. IN PROGRESS!

– Watch some good movies. YES 🙂 Among others, I recently saw Gravity.  It was amazing, but really scary.  Space really freaks me out.  It is like my worst nightmare, being lost in space.  Or bring lost at sea on a rubber dingy, with no land in sight.  The vastness of the ocean also freaks me right out.  I could never go into space, or go scuba diving.  I don’t even like doing for deep sea swims in a lake or something where the bottom is waaaaay down there.  I’m not sure what it is, but it is so scary to me.  Way more scary then horror movies with fictional monsters or villains.

On a happier note, I listened to an interesting story on NPR recently.  The Artist and I were in the car, arriving at home, but ran into the house as fast as we could to turn on the radio to continue listening.  It was about a man who was several months behind in his rent and had to go before a judge, and was facing eviction.  He was given 15 days to come up with the money his owed, and had no idea how he was going to do it.  He entered a rap contest and the grand prize was exactly the amount he owed.  He was struggling to make a living, trying to follow his dreams.  In the end, he and another contestant were tied for the win, and he was able to pay off his rent debt.  Shortly thereafter, having been seen at the contest, his career took off and he was going off on tour.  He said that if this is what it took for him to make it, then it was all worth it.

The moral of story is, don’t give up on your dreams.  Don’t settle for anything less then what you want.  I think the reason why the Artist and I enjoyed this radio talk so much was because we are living this story.  We are struggling, we are broke, but we keep on going.  One step at a time, we are headed in the right direction.  We figure out whatever obstacles are presented to us, and we become that much closer.  Some think we are crazy to “choose” this struggle, that it is really worth it?  The answer is yes.  Without a doubt.  We know what we want, and will stop at nothing.  As the saying goes, “even the longest journey, begins with a single step”.

I know what I want in a home.  I know what I want in a career.  I know what I want in a family.  I am in an amazing marriage.  I am head over heels in love.  I will work hard to achieve my goals.  I will never give up.

Am most importantly, I am happy.  And really, isn’t that all that matters?