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A Controlled Creative Climate

For the longest time, I have wanted my own creative space. I have carved them out of back rooms and basements. In this house, I have use of a sun porch which we call the craft-room. It would seem that would be good enough until I can’t be in there alone without “company” and then the Summer weather makes the room unbearably hot.

But don’t be fooled, this isn’t just about the actual space to physically create in. This is also about the mental space and permission with which to be our truest selves. I have waged a battle inside that had me losing the opportunity to create regularly until now.

A controlled creative climate on Shalavee.com

 

 

When we are in a creativity mode, we need to know that we are safe. We are our inner children wanting to play uninterrupted. The irony that our actual children steals that away from us is an unfunny life joke. Seems a fair enough request to ask for regular recess in our play rooms but our inner adults often have better more productive plans for us. Eventually we give up and we resolutely stuff our “childish” desires down some dark hole in our psyche.

In my case, my inner child began to tantrum. And what I came to understand was that not only did I need to allow her to indulge in her recess, I needed to create a safe environment in which she could play free of judgements and distractions. And then she needed to trust that when she wanted to play, I’d create time and space again for her. This is exactly the process by which I’ve begun to trust myself.

A controlled creative climat on Shalavee.com

So this Summer, to further indulge my need to create safely, I’ve hired a sitter to regularly engage my daughter (CRAZY COOL) and purchased a mobile air conditioner for my craft room (COOL LIKE CRAZY). Which means I can close the door and create at will. There are no more obstacles and I feel slightly giddy.

This is how I am creating a space to grow into. Like setting an empty box down to be filled with a project of yet unnamed magnitude. I’m nervous at the prospect of having no more excuses in some ways but I’m also giddy at the notion of possibilities. And all it took was circumventing my excuses, ridding my roadblocks, and taking responsibility to keep my inner artist safe until she can come out to play.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. 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 In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

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Summer’s Ending

After our teeth cleanings, I moaned to Penny behind the desk at the Dentist’s office, “I’m done with Summer. I am just so done.” I’d begun to chew rigorously on the inside of my lip from the stress of the two bickering in the back seat on the way to the appointment. I was glad that the dental hygienist hadn’t mentioned the damages during my teeth cleaning. Knowing that school is a mere 5 days away, I can almost let my breath out.

The Summer played out like the swim test my son took and passed. Started out confidently, ran out of steam halfway through, sank to the bottom, and then was told to just keep swimming. He passed the swim test and I passed the Summer test but it wasn’t effortless. Summer's Ending on Shalavee.com

I conquered my biggest fear which was to remember and show up for all the camps and dates I’d planned for us. Daftly weaving the naptimes in with drop off and pick up times. And almost getting a few days off for myself here or there. But I envy everyone who has families to share overnights with, grandmothers to ship them off to for a week, or even older girls and boys to watch them somewhere other than right here all day inside in my face. And I have forgotten how much worse my Summer could start out as last Summer’s start was horrendous.

Fiona happily started a new daycare in June twice weekly which she loves. Summer has become a bit relentless here at the end but we do get to cap it off with a festival right in out front yard. Summerfest happens in late August on the courthouse green which we live across from. And this year, I’ve encouraged my son to bum around with his friends. He’s about to enter Middle School and 6th grade and that’s what you do.Summer's Ending on Shalavee.com

My biggest goal was to get Eamon to pass that swim test which took many trips to various pools before he stopped thrashing and fighting the water. He took that test and was so pleased with himself to have passed. Then he and his buddies got to goof off together in the cold pool at Y camp. Mission accomplished.

My own personal goal was to stop stressing out and find a cruise mode. I even enjoyed myself for a few lovely languorous moments on our beach vacation in June. I began my video chats on Facebook and am trying to keep up on all the tomatoes that my husband’s garden is now mass producing. I even made a peach and blueberry cobbler last night. Summer's Ending on Shalavee.com

Eyes are on the prize of the upcoming school year. A schedule to follow is better than an endless non-schedule. And the cooler temperatures of Fall will be very appreciated. When we can throw back open the windows, build a fire in the fire wok, and celebrate my 50th birthday in a month. Stay Freaking Tuned.

And 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 orPinterest 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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Knowing What You Don’t Want is as Good as Knowing What You Do

I often say that knowing what you don’t want is as important as knowing what you do want. I got a job at a television station once and immediately knew that despite my degree, I didn’t want a career in television. It is invaluable to know yourself and what your happiness is composed of. But sometimes I still screw it up.

Last week, for the umpteenth time, I wrote out my bigger writing and blogging career goals, readying myself to take the actions I still always feel I can not get ahead of, and suddenly, I felt smothered. All these must do’s and have to be’s were exhausting me. I’ve intentionally been taking my cues on choosing by what makes me happy. And suddenly all I felt was overwhelmed and incapable of living up to my intentions. Like I was trying hard to be someone else. I did not want to feel like this.

And so I put everything down and stopped thinking about what my future self needed to do. As I am committed to my writing, I always keep up with my blog posting but I realized … it’s Summertime. There’s even less time to do anything during the Summer with children out of school. And here I was trying to stack more on my head.Fiona at the grocery store on Shalavee.com

I wanted that “kick back and relax” feeling that I had in the beginning of Summer. Because in less than a month, it’s back to school. No more leisurely mornings and afternoons or visits to the beach. It is a mindset to enjoy the slower pace and I had completely forgotten that was where I needed to be.

So here’s to dropping obligations like hot potatoes for the month of August. Here’s to doing what I want when I want to. And allowing for the feeling of nervousness to pass after the third day of doing nothing “productive” because I’m so used to ambitious thoughts that I don’t know how to exist without their whip.

We all have things that we do that we may not be aware we’re doing to keep up or keep ahead. Just being mindful and staying grounded can be the exact thing that you need you to do to see these and be in control of them and not them of you. Fear is usually the wall to wall carpet in these rooms. And I’m being very mindful to watch where I step.

And just as I’m preparing to publish this, I read this post called The Struggle IS Real : The Ten Tell-Tale Signs of Burnout . Fabulous read by a favorite sage Miss Sas Petherick . An absolutely spot on tell it like it like it is to be burned out and what you need to do immediately. Which was pretty much what I did. We are all so hard on ourselves. But candles burned at both ends burn out.

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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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.

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 post shared 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.

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