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Currently Browsing: Friendship

How I Make Your Triumphs into My Losses

I feel bad about the way I’ve treated you. You are such a good friend but I have a guilty secret. Sometimes I put you up on a pedestal and then use your accomplishments to feel bad about myself. I want to celebrate with you and feel like your equal, but I just end up feeling inferior. And I feel that I’ve put a great big blockage into our relationship.

Remember when you announced that amazing break you had last year? I know you worked hard to get it and I was immediately conflicted between wanting to celebrate with you and wanting to be soooo jealous of you. I hope you didn’t notice I made it all about me. I’d be mortified if you noticed. So I just keep my jealousy to myself and live my own life of desperation and futility.Playing on the floor on Shalavee.com

I work so hard to come up with brave tasks to tackle. I challenge my fears at every corner doing the things I dread most in order to improve myself. But then another post comes up that tells me you had something else great happen to your career or your house or your family. And then I spiral. I compare your outsides to my insides and always come up with the crappier end of the equation.

I’m not the only one I know who does this. You might do it too. And that’s maybe why I bring this up. Because if you knew I was doing it and I knew we were doing it together then maybe we’d have a better time of feeling good about being right where we are. Accomplishments and failures alike, we are just all coexisting and hoping for happiness. the tunnel on shalavee.com

So I promise the next time I want to take your success and add it to my failure column, I’ll stop. And I’ll try to remember that there were probably many items and things in your life that didn’t go so well too. That you didn’t share those but if we talked, you might. So for now, I’m going to value my life on my own merits and not on the demerits I got from your good fortune.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto! Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

Summer ’16 Continues

We’ve been at this Summer thing for about a month and a week. And thankfully it has felt less laborious as previous Summers. I have better self-esteem than I used to so I’m not rushing to see all the bad things about to befall me. These things will or won’t befall me but at least we can have a plan and some fun in the meantime.Emma and Fiona eating dogs on shalavee.com

Emma and Eamon on Shalavee.com

I’ve enjoyed the lazier feeling of the mornings. Children have played together quite nicely which, with their age difference, seems miraculous. Fiona screams about everything all the time anyway so I’m trying to just ignore her and let Eamon handle it.Fiona and Emma on the alligator on shalavee.com

The kitty cats got themselves a Summer cold aka upper respiratory infections. They have created a soundtrack of wet sneezes for a week as the first one is getting over hers and the second two are following. Luckily we humans have yet to suffer any colds or flues this year that were “bad”, knock on wood. I keep telling the children they can’t catch the kitty’s colds.stormy sky over Greektown leaving Baltimore on Shalavee.com

Summer firepit on Shalavee.com

And so very exciting, last week in between kitty sneezes, this black snake showed up in my second floor hallway. After placing several calls to men I knew who might come to save me, I went ahead and saved myself. Used the bin to trap him/her and then he/she was escorted outside to freedom.

Hey mr black snake on Shalavee.com Mark’s tomatoes are doing so well that he just had to fortify the cages yesterday with posts lest the monstrous plants knock themselves over in their sprawl. Fruit should be forthcoming within the month. I can’t wait for real tomatoes ! But I’ll have to.

painting with Unky John on Shalavee.com

Peanut gallery for the fireworks on Shalavee.com

Unky John and Fiona in the dingy on Shalavee.com

Goofballs of all sizes in Summer on Shalavee.com

Our holidays with our friends and family have been so satisfying. Happy to see and be with our loved ones. The children know that they’ve got lots of people who love them and I can’t think of a greater gift of knowledge to give them.

After our vacation to Ocean City, I got the obligatory sunburn but we’ve more visiting to do, a few more camps to attend, and a few more beach visits to sneak in. I have yet to eat a steamed Maryland blue crab so that needs remedying. Perhaps a crab feast again on my birthday! That’ll be the grand finale to the season. My big 50. fireworks over the creek on Shalavee.com

Hope your holidays, or winter days, are treating you well. That you are doing your best and letting go of the rest. And when you’ve caught up, you relax. That’s where I want to be.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto! Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

The Daydream of More

My favorite daydreams are the ones where I have more money and more time to pursue all the things that make me happy. I hire landscapers to redo my garden and I build a master suite off the back of my house overlooking my waterfront view after I pay $10,000 for the tree removal crew to take down the large dead tree that’s blocking my view. And then put my new desk facing my water view in my newly decorated master suite and get to writing all that stuff I never have the right place or time to write. Because I now have a live-in Nanny too!

Yes, this is exaggerated. I truly didn’t have this dream until I began to write this. Maybe now I do. I often think if only I had more time alone to write and think. But I also know that all too soon I will have that time because my little girl won’t be little forever. I do remember there’s only two more years until school day freedom. Keeping the balance between being here now and seeing the light. The Daydream of More on Shalavee.com

I was floored when I read this Instagram post from the amazingly wise and prophetic Anna Lovind who asks that we take a look at our dreams and expectations, tweak the reality factor, and stop torturing ourselves. Either be OK with where you are or adjust your expectations but stop toturing yourself.

Annalovind – 

The dream of having all the time in the world is just one more way we keep ourselves from getting started. We don’t need all the time in the world; we need just a little right now, enough to get going.
And if you feel that’s not enough, you probably haven’t been able to zoom in on your dream properly.
Maybe you’re still trying to grasp more than you can handle. Or maybe you’re trying to make things happen faster than is possible for you in your current circumstances.

Get real about what your life is like right now. If you have three little ones at home, or if you’re working full-time and commuting two hours daily, that will affect the size and scope of the dream you can go for right now.
That’s not a problem, it’s just what this season in your life is like, and it will change.

In the mean time, don’t compare yourself to others – whose circumstances you know nothing about. Don’t struggle to change things that are not in your power to change. Just zoom in on your dream until it’s a size you can get started on, kids, demanding job and all.

Creativity thrives in limited spaces, and once you get going, you’ll be amazed at how much you can create with what little you’ve got. “

 

Accept the season in which your life sits. Be kind to not dangle unrealistic goals and expectations in front of yourself yet do everything you can to prepare for the opportunity when it arises. And live on tall drinks of faith and kindness until your life turns just enough to begin to accommodate your next set of goals. It’s not too far away really. Especially when you are seeing what you have right in front of you that you need to hand gratuity over for.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit. If you Sign up for my newsletter in the sign up box over there to the right, you’ll receive a first look-see at my Creative Mothers’ Manifesto!  Heartfelt impassioned words on the need for expressing creativity for your soul and being a better mother for it.

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Why Our 2016 Summer Vacation Didn’t Suck

For a long time, I resented you and your family vacation. I didn’t really have a quintessential family growing up, think broken home and raised by wolves, and there were no vacations to be remembered. Your pictures of yearly fun at the seashore and by the lake house were just a reminder of my lack of a life like yours.

But then I created a chance for a Mulligan, a history do-over. One where I had my own family and my own kids. I knew that ever elusive family Summer vacation was one of those must-haves for my children as well as for me to heal and begin again.

Fast forward a few more years and we have just returned from our 2016 Summer beach vacation. It was a pretty big hit for the littles and big both.

Mark and I were in a chillaxing mode on the way out-of-town. We’d both gotten our homework done and were ready to just unplug. That set the tone for all of our unrushed choices for the next three days. The meals, the unlimited cartoon cable network watching, And the swimming swimming swimming all the time time time.

I wasn’t blogging yet I wanted to have an outlet to do something creative for me, so I told and posted our unfolding story on my Instagram feed. If you are not a social media user or an IG follower, I have included those posts from our beach visit in the order I posted them so that you can feel caught up. It’ll make you feel like you are there with us. Almost.

Just so you understand how special our time here at the beach is for me, I didn't get vacations as I kid. I barely got a childhood. And although I've risen like a Phoenix from those ashes, it means more than the beautiful Solstice moon to me that my children have this memory. And that my husband and I can weave it for them with calmness, good humor, no anxiety, and generosity to ourselves and them. Driving here I said to Mark, "Imagine what it would be like to have someone anticipate your every physical and comfort need. That someone cared enough to get your favorite things for you at the store and cheer you on at every endeavour." He said Yeah, Wow, and I said ,"When you grow up, that person is you. You are your own parent. Whether you are a good one or a bad one depends on how you value your inner child.". You know what she loves, when she needs firm comfort, and when she needs a pass. Be a great parent to yourself and you will reward yourself with trust. Love to all of you who wished us well on our vacation. You are dear to me, each and every one of you. #OceanCityMaryland #fionamariepeach #poolside #atthebeach #taleswithfriends #Soul_selfie

A video posted by Shalagh Hogan (@shalaghhogan) on

Here’s to hoping for the same fun vacation next year for these kids and for their parents who deserve a break too. There’s nothing wrong with knowing where you’ll be, what you’ll be eating, or where the best arcade games are. And it’s fun to discover new stuff every year.We found there was a sushi place nearby and a Chinese carry out that had Indian Food ! And although they built a Starbucks across the street from our hotel, we still had our traditional Dunkin’ Donuts’ morning coffees courtesy of my early bird husband. Such predictable goodness!

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Q & A with Creative Momma Megan Gray

I was feeling a wild exclamation streak coming on. A need to bring up the subject of mothering and creativity and take a stab at outing the innate shame of this combination. Righting the wrong of the looks of suspicion and incompetency we get when we try to be both mothers and creatives! Gasp. Impassioned, I wrote a Mother’s Manifesto and I immediately knew who I needed to talk to on this subject : Megan Gray.

I think I must have stumbled on her prolific self through Instagram and soon I was reading some of her blog posts enthralled because not only was she a highly talented and prolific artist, she also faced some seriously scary life and death challenges with her daughter simultaneously. Among many other things surely, Megan paints, blogs, promotes other creative mammas, and mothers her own children. She inspires me immensely. So I asked her if she might be amenable to an interview. She said yes and asked me if I would also do one. The link to my interview is here.

Megan Gray herself on Shalavee.com

Do you feel there’s a societal conflict between creating, success, and mothering?

Absolutely! I don’t hear anyone asking my husband how he goes to work and does all that he does while having kids. But I also believe that mothers/caregivers have the power to change this mindset, and I believe we are starting to. I think with supporting each other as parents and creatives, instead of judging our choices as parents, we can move in the right direction. I also believe we can do it all, just not all at once.

I feel I need to work twice as hard to maintain my separate creative self since motherhood. Do you find this and how have you coped? How did/do you balance or juggle, allow for and nourish your creative needs and your babies’/child’s needs simultaneously?

When they sleep I work. When they are playing without my need to hover, I work. When I am with them, I am with them. When they were babies I constantly reminded myself that they grow quickly, enjoy this time (still remind myself of this). I was in full mother mode for the most part. As they get older and more independent I can work more because they also have lives of their own. We live, learn, and create simultaneously. Sometimes it’s great! Sometimes there are major challenges when someone is sick, or the kids are just being kids. I try my hardest to stay in the moment, but I’m not perfect. I feel lost and upset at times. I wouldn’t change any of this though. No matter what. They help me to see how much I need to create for myself. They are my greatest teachers and supporters. I love that! My husband also helps me soooo much. He only gets one day off and whenever he can he takes over so I can get more painting done. I really couldn’t do as much as I do without him. Support from others is key!Another Megan Gray painting on Shalavee.com

Was there a point, after you’d worked so very hard to establish a product and presence, when you could relax a little? Or do you feel a little like I do, stuck in a creative doing vortex?

I do take time to relax, especially after any events or bursts of creativity. If I don’t my sanity can get just as crazy as if I don’t create. I work a lot at night, so if I don’t go out in nature often, I won’t feel inspired enough to work either. It’s all a balancing act.

What do you do to keep balanced your career and family goals? To keep from burning out at both ends? What are your thoughts, mantras, or practices on maintaining the balance of being a good mother and a productive creative?

Practicing mindfulness has helped me to really be aware of what my needs are at a given time. Also, helps us as a family to be mindful of all of our needs. Compromises help too. Again, I am not perfect. I have moments I am not proud of as a parent/human. The best thing though is to surround yourself with supportive people as much as possible, and have a lot of patience for yourself. I’m still working on this.

There are also times on the parenting end and the creative end where I ask myself, “Have you done enough today?” I love my kids, but I don’t need to do every single thing for them, or play with them constantly. I want them to be independent and creative on their own. Of course I am here to help them when they are hurt, sick, having trouble with figuring things out, and to help guide them with learning, but I am also here to make sure they are given the freedom to be creative humans themselves. Same goes for my art. If my kids need me more, or in that moment, it’s time for them. I will get back to the art later on.Megan Gray Painting on Shalavee.com

My Take aways:

  • “We can do it all just not all at once”
  • We need to support each other in changing the judgemental mindset.
  • Ask for help from others
  • Get outside
  • Do your thing when you can and be with your children when you are with them

 

You can find Megan’s blog at www.megangrayarts.com . Her Facebook page and her Patreon page all show her dedication to making, selling, and sometimes giving away her beautiful paintings. Her Instagram page is where we do most of our chatting and I admire her kindness and enthusiasm so much. We art inspirational when we follow our own muses. I know you are with me when I say Buy Original Art!!!

Thank you lovely Megan.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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