Apr 4, 2014
As children, we learn numerous other essential life skills from play. We learn how to get along with others and how to practice self-control lest we lose our playmates due to a tantrum. And play makes us happy. So, is it surprising that happiness has been linked to success? I suppose you can be successful without being happy (Donald Trump) but are you enjoying the success?
A successful happy life is also linked with humor because laughter is a direct antidote to pessimism and discouragement. So to attempt to lead a successful life, it would seem we need to start shopping from the happiness aisle. And if that means playing more, so be it.
According to Dr. Alan Marlatt of the University of Washington, if we make the play activities ‘shoulds’ and not ‘wants’, “We run the risk of burn-out and turn to alcohol and other chemical substances to give us relief that we get from play”. Um, yes.
Play activities need to be “want” activities and not “should” activities. And I can say I have spent so very much time stuck in the “But I need to get this done and I should accomplish that before I let myself play” section of that other aisle. Such a habit of wanting to accomplish but not realizing I no longer valued fun and lived in a constant state of boredom, continual hard labor, and adultness. Until recently when I have discovered Creative Flow and am Connecting the Dots of creative self.
What kind of parent would I be if I did this to my children. Even as a farmer with multiple children, if I needed to till the garden and plow the fields and rethatch the roof, I would still need to cut those laborers some slack to get their yayas out. Because that’s what you do.
In my graduation to adulthood, I forgot what it was like to be a child. To play and learn and wonder and add to the world I am in. I became subsistence girl. Survival mode keeps you alive alright. But it is our destiny to do more than just survive. We have the gift to live and thrive and grow.
So I vow to give myself way more time to play. Whatever that means and however I can make that happen. Play is more important than I have ever given it credit. And so is happiness. Happiness is all it’s cracked up to be.
Apr 2, 2014
Thursday night was my Nouveau inspired rocking chair‘s coming out party for the Talbot County Maryland’s Humane Society Fundraiser, Rock On Talbot Humane. Held at the Avalon Theater, the thirty painted rocking chairs were on display on stage as the artists and business owners who will be hosting the chairs, looked and mingle and nibbled.
It was nice to see the chair I’d worked so hard on. And it was really wonderful to see all the other very different and equally labored over chairs as well. The rocking chairs were as diverse as the people working on them. Definitely a Chesapeake Bay area event as you can see by the images of waterfowl, retrievers, Old Bay, fish, and sailboats.
Happily, for a few brief moments, I also got to hang with some dear people who were significant in my life. Chef Dave who catered my wedding and whose wife painted the mer-cat and mer-dog chair above, and the floral designer who designed my wedding florals and I ended up working for and friends with, the beyond talented Pama of Moonvine. My chair will now reside in front of her shop on Harrison Street for a month until the auction on Sunday, May 4th at the Milestone event facility out near the airport.
You can check out the chairs and bid ahead of time at the Rock On Talbot Humane’s Page Here. Drive or walk by Moonvine in downtown Easton, Maryland, and say hi to Pama and check out my painted rocking chair. A little bird told me that my chair, entitled ‘Oh Promise Me’ after the sheet music I chose to rip up and decoupage onto it, will be a contender because of that musical connection. Yay and I hope they make their goal of 25 thousand for the animals at the Humane Society at the auction in May.
Mar 31, 2014
The baby took an unexpected nap in her highchair. I had just finished wiping down the kitchen and realized my opportunity to get to redecorating was now. Since Christmas had been stripped, decorations remained un-replaced. I raced up the steep attic steps to fetch my decorative stuff from the various bins. The house desperately needs color and character. And as I shoved the carpet down into the stairwell hole, I heard “I can’t because” being disproved.
I have been chanting “I can’t because” quite a lot since the baby arrived. Plenty of projects I say I’m unable to do because I can’t be hands free to do this or that. But then I managed to clean a bathroom while my son watched her. And balanced a checkbook while she was both awake and asleep. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Sometimes I have back up, most of the time I don’t. Will I never? No, just not exactly right now unless it is right now.
You can make whatever you want to happen if you are willing to come up with solutions to whatever keeps you from doing it. Childcare is a big one for me but I think I can steal time and energy and nap time here and there enough to get a multitude of tasks done. It seems only the creative tasks get the shaft. Hmm !?
I really truly want to condone the “I can’t because” statement. I want to be supportive of the road bumps that happen in people’s lives. I can’t agree to “I can’t because” but I can say, yes you can in a different way in a different time by a different method, encouraging someone’s will to push through. I’m inspired by the courage I see it take to make the impossible possible. I want my underdog to give me hope for delivery from my own stuck-ness. So I shoved the rug down the stairwell and grabbed a purple tote full of stuff and descended. I intend to be the change.
(Read my letter of gratitude to Holly Becker after I took her first e-course when I began to truly see my creative blockage for what it was, bad for me.)