Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Happy Hour: What's Your Word Again?

I’ve had an epiphany. But it was fleeting. I’ve set goals. But I can’t find the list. I’ve been inspired and then shelved the whole thing. I’m all organized, I have the tools for success, and I’ve even been given generous time. Oh, I’ve had good intentions, but complacency came creeping in the back door again, followed closely by excuses and idle distractions. My intentions were good and plans rang with sincerity, but I confess; I have lost FOCUS.
One word, one little word to direct the course of one year. 365 days. And somehow I’ve managed to forget all about it. Come mid-summer I need a gentle push or a BIG SHOVE to get back on track. How about you? Do you remember what was inspiring you to make a fabulous re-start as we rang in the New Year? Do remember when I proclaimed valiantly to live a more meaningful life? And I asked you to join me? (Yes, right here in this post!)
I guess when I think about it I do live a full life. In fact many may say I am living an overabundant life most of the time with all these Vikings underfoot. And while they know how to pillage and plunder daily, there is no shortage of a life well spent in this house. But there are things I set out to do when the clock struck 2012 and I know I am falling behind. I know I could do better still. I know I have hopes and ideas that ten me’s couldn’t finish and yet I’m half-assing it most days solo. So, let’s get going! Let’s you and me together pick up what’s left of this year, nearly six good months, and finish what we started.
This was the best week ever because I am inspired to stay focused on a few great things:
·         We have a summer to-do list and I am focused on crossing each and every last thing off.
·         I am lucky to have friendships with inspiring women who keep me focused.
·         All the summer produce stands have inspired me to cut back on the ice cream and focus on healthy eating again.
·         Family members are visiting this summer. They keep me focused on what is most important: relationships.
·         I took a break from blogging, but now I am focusing on new ideas and content to keep inspiring my readers.
·         And today I am focusing on that list of goals I made with the intention of realizing my dreams, one step at a time.
I hope you’re still with me on this journey and making great plans of your own. What was your word this year and how will you use it to inspire you to have the best week ever?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Happy Hour: Sweatin' in the Suburbs

I’m obsessively checking the weather reports again. I keep thinking there must be a mistake and they will revise the forecast from 106 down to 86 so that we can leave the house without getting heatstroke…but alas….it is hot, hot, hot on the East Coast. And the boys are beginning to bounce off the walls! Ahhh....this is summer.
It’s also the time of year that I have to stop kidding myself that I am going to have plenty of time in the studio. I think kids have radar and as soon as I have washed the last dish and sat down to work on anything at all creative, a fight breaks out or someone comes to me dying of hunger. (Never mind that I tell them to go figure out how to solve those problems on their own!) But the interruptions are one more excuse I can claim as to why I have not painted one picture or written one story in the last few weeks.

Digitally edited photo of Jellyfish from National Aquarium
It’s on my mind. An artist will find inspiration in even the slightest of moment; a sparkler, a jellyfish, a ship in the harbor, a fabulous meal or a wicked storm. The mind doesn’t stop thinking about the next great idea even when we haven’t made time to act on any of them.  I know there are certain hurdles I have to overcome if I want to accomplish anything. Like the heat, I guess I have to face it if I am going to do anything outside my front door. Or as an artist I must go to my studio, shut the door, and face the blank canvas and let the kids figure out how pour a bowl of cereal!
But despite it being hotter than Hades, I still managed to accomplish one thing – I still managed to have the best week ever!
·         We saw the Orioles in Camden Yards win an intense game in the blazing heat. We survived with cups of ice to pour down our shirts and stayed to see the grand finale fireworks show. It was followed by a sudden intense storm that dropped the temperature 25 degrees, brought winds of 75mph and wiped out the power in much of the Mid-Atlantic.

·         We did not lose power. That was a gift I will always be grateful for.
·         We made it back to the National Aquarium for the first time in half a dozen years and my youngest and middlest sat amazed at each exhibit and my oldest was not entirely bored.

·         We made tie dye tee-shirts. Lots of them. Maybe we got carried away and started dying anything we could get our hands on in the end, but they turned out better than expected.
·         We had the best barbeque meal for Fourth of July thanks to my Viking Chef husband that will cook anything on the grill that he can get his hands on. On the menu: Caribbean jerk chicken, peppers and onions, clam fritters, rum butter pineapple and coconut rice. Yes, we eat well!
·         We have been lucky to have Nana here to play games, give hugs and reconnect for more than two weeks. We’re having fun together, even in the heat!
So, though we’re melting like crayons on the sidewalk today, we can still make something out of the melting rainbow of wax. How about you? Are you surviving the heat of summer? How was this your best week ever?