Friday, May 25, 2007

Beleaguered

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately. I used to be so…I don’t know…capable. If life were a circus act, I would be the clown on the unicycle, spinning dishes on sticks with a hula-hoop around my neck, all while juggling flaming bowling pins with my left foot. Now, it seems as though I’m having trouble even riding a tricycle and honking my nose at the same time.

What happens to us when we approach…dare I say it…middle age? Why do we become so overwhelmed? Why do we waste time questioning our past choices, our past decisions, and our present selves? Or—as much as I hate to admit it—what if it’s just me? What if I’m in my own pre-perimenopausal world of cynicism, my very own planet filled with mountains of hurdles and oceans of doubt?

Back in September, when I entered the “MORE” magazine modeling contest—purely on a lark, and not expecting anything more than something interesting and fun to blog about—I felt fairly comfortable with myself, my career, and the choices that I’ve had to make throughout the years that led me to where I was at that time. But when I peered through the latest copy of the magazine—the issue that listed all ten finalists, and the three top winners—I felt like such a loser. Not because I wasn’t a finalist in a so-called “beauty” contest. I felt discouraged because the women who won were all successful, self-assured, and at peace with themselves. Out of the ten finalists, four of them were doctors. Count it—four. And one of those four was also an officer in the Air National Guard. Another woman was a world-champion equestrienne who owned her own stables and took breaks by riding her Harley Davidson Sportster (a “beautiful white” one, at that). One was a CEO of a corporate image group; another was a beautiful actress and successful artist. Yet another was the director of a rape care center that she founded in New Jersey, and the grand-prize winner was a former sales director. Oh…and how can I forget…one of the women was the Executive Vice President of Fox Searchlight Pictures—silly me.

I’m not envious of these women. I’m really not. I’m actually proud of them. I’m happy that I’m part of a generation that doesn’t put limits on a woman's ability to achieve her goals. I guess what I feel is a certain amount of frustration. How does one follow their dream when they have a mortgage to pay and they’re responsible for carrying the health insurance for their family through their job? How does a woman continue her education when she works full-time and still has to come home and be a caretaker? You know the routine; making dinners, washing clothes, and doing any of the other eight million blood-sucking, life-force draining errands that we feel responsible for in order to make the house run in a somewhat efficient manner.


Maybe someone in their twenties or even their thirties would be able to handle a balancing act like that. However, following one's dream is usually easier when one does it right out of high school. Admittedly, I spend a lot of wasteful time rehashing the past choices of my parents. I wanted to go to school for art—I was gifted with the ability to copy most anything that I laid my eyes on from a very young age, especially cartoons. My parents felt differently; having been a part of the World War 2 generation, they felt that the only way that I could be successful was to be a legal secretary, a career that I loathed to even think about. My mother actually told me that I would never make any money “doing art." This notion was based solely on her vision of artists as being poor souls who sat on the side of the road selling their paintings, not because she didn't think that I had any talent. How reassuring.

Now, I know that they meant well. They truly wanted me to be a success, even if success meant that the highest promotion I could get would still always keep me beneath someone else. I went to school for business, but of course, dropped out before the semester ended. I was given a choice; either stay in school for business, or go to dental assisting school.







Please, mom, let me take art courses. This is what I want to do.


But of course, the answer was no. I was going to have a steady career if it killed them. I went on to become a dental assistant, a “career” that lasted two short years. In the interim, my mother became very sick. Toward the end of her life, she agreed to let me go back to school—for art. She actually encouraged me to go. Sadly, it took the realization of her own mortality and her own missed dreams to finally understand how important it was for me to try to achieve my goals, not anyone else’s.


I started school in January of 1985. The first semester, I pulled a 3.5 average; sadly, my mother took a turn for the worse, and died August 1st. Heartbroken, my father wanted to sell the house. I quit school, took a full-time job working for a finance company, and moved out. A few years later, I married and became a full-time mother. Subsequently, I divorced and floundered around in various careers; none of them satisfying, but all of them allowing me to pay my mortgage and bills.


When I was married to my first husband, I had everything I could ever dream of; he was successful, we had a beautiful house, and I had two wonderful children whom I adored. However, I always felt that something was missing; so much so, that I used to cry about it quite often, wondering what was wrong with me. Suffice it to say, when I met and married my second husband, I found that I no longer felt this emptiness—not in my relationship, anyway. Now, there seems to be some kind of drive inside of me. I know I need to be doing something, creating something…working toward some kind of personal success that will get us out of our financial hole and satisfy my desire to be acknowledged for my achievements. The only trouble is that I'm overwhelmed on a daily basis just trying to live life. Not that I'm complaining--I love my life--but I'm not sure how any creative ideas are going to surface if they're constantly being buried by the pressures of work, home, and the fact that there are just not enough hours in one day.
For months, I had been looking at a wayward maple sapling that had grown in the most unlikely of spots. It abutted a cement wall that has stairs behind it going down to my stepson's room in our basement, and was growing sideways through other, more established bushes just to get some sunlight. I knew that this determined little tree was going to eventually break the cement, and I told myself over and over to take it out and replant it in a more desirable spot (like right in back of my deck so I wouln't have to look at my neighbor's crumbling roof anymore). One day, I finally found the time (and energy) to embark on this project. It was even more difficult than I had imagined. At one point, I was hanging over the cement wall with my feet dangling toward the bottom steps just to try to dig the roots out. When I tried to dig out the roots on the other side, I had to crawl under the buggy bushes and got scratched up and itchy. I eventually loosened the roots enough so that my husband, who had just gotten home from an estimate (and thought I was out of my mind) was able to give it the final tug that pulled it out, as he balanced with ease on the top of the wall. The point of telling this story is that when I finally replanted the tree--as I had dreamed for months that I would--I felt such a sense of accomplishment. Yes, it was very difficult, and at times I was almost tempted to chop it down instead of continuing to dig it out. But now I have a strong sapling that will someday grow into a beautiful tree that will provide shade for my deck in the summer and block the undesirable view from my back door in the winter. And it will no longer cause the foundation to crack.
God knows, I don't want my foundation to crack.


Quite possibly, this experience is a metaphor for my future; the future that lives in my dreams and seems impossible in the natural to acheive. But if I remain determined, if I remain hopeful...then maybe I can replant my desires, my abilities, and my spirit in more productive soil. I just have to pray for the clarity of mind to remain focused on higher ground.



(Footnote: My blogger is being very weird. I have re-edited it a hundred times, and it keeps doing what it wants...it won't let me put spaces where I want to put spaces. I give up!!)






58 comments:

simply me said...

Li - One Word "Amazing" and that is what you are. We both have similar dreams and we always talk about them. The truth is you are so talented...do not and I repeat DO NOT give up because you are already planting your seeds. Itsa comin' your way, don't despair. Don't forget - MO & LI

Betty said...

Dear Lisa,

This post brings up a lot of heavy issues. It sounds like you're having an early wave of a midlife crisis, and based on my experiences in talking with friends, this midlife crisis can start during one's 30's and carry on well into the 50's. Thank heavens, it waxes and wanes instead of going strong for all those years, but when it's strong, it's strong. We question what we've done/not done with our lives, to the point of torture. I think it's a normal phase, and just like the separation phase a child goes through, it resurfaces again and again over many years, in different forms.

I think it's very important for you to hold on tight to your dream of being an artist, and don't worry about the fact that it didn't happen on a certain time schedule. You're still young! Your dreams are alive! Just transplant them to a different time frame, and watch them unfold.

Hugs,
Betty

Carine said...

Lisa, you are doing just wonderfully-midlife is just a Phase and it too shall pass. don't let anyone tell you different-even if it's you.

Lisa said...

Maria (mo),

Thank you for always encouraging me and understanding my quirkiness. And thanks for cleaning my kitchen tonight. I love you!

xo
(Li)

Lisa said...

Betty,

Yes, sometimes I feel like that mid-life crisis is just an inch away from me, ready to make my head explode. But I do admit that I feel as if I'm on the right path--I don't feel like I'm going in the wrong direction--but I do tend to take detours along the way. That's my biggest problem--focusing on the destination, and just getting there!

Thanks for coming by!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Carine,

Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I admit, sometimes I am my own worst critic (sometimes?!?)...but I'm learning to become a good friend to myself. In the end, I'm all I've got, right?

Take good care,
Lisa

Matty said...

lisa,
Self-doubt will always be a part of our lives. I had dreams as well, but fortunately, I was able once my sons were grown, to go back to school in my 40's and get my degree in Social work and Psychology. And then when I made plans, well, God had his own plans., so mine were put on hold. Or maybe my plans weren't meant to be. I think its absolutely normal to quesion ourselves constantly as we get older....who are we? where are we going? is this what we really want? and yes, we keep peeking over the fence too...and notice the grass does seem greener on the other side.
You say those women seemed content, self-assured, successful? How do you really know? Was this their public face? It's possible they're a mess of questions, contradictions, and what-ifs?
Having successful careers doesn't mean they're happy or content.
Forget about the past..there isnothing you can do about it...live for today...get grounded in today, focus on your goals & eventually you'll get there..if that's what you really want.
Have faith in yourself.

Loving Annie said...

Dear Lisa,
Your post brings up what I faced this last year for the first time, too. Going into menopause (at age 49), and looking at life and wondering why it has turned out this way, looking back at choices and time, and thinking is this all there is, and why does it look so easy for some people to have it all, even if I am happy for them, I'd like it too...

Society today expects wmen to wear 6 or 8 hats - wife, mother, sister, career woman, friend, etc., etc. It is both overwhelming and unrealistic to expect one human being to do it ALL...

You may think someone else has it, but you are only seeing the surface... Everyone has only so much energy, so much time, and one or two priorities that can be accomplished....

Focus on what brings you love/happiness inside. If it is your art, so be it...

Try to be more gentle with yourself, Lisa... You don't have to do it all, to be it all, to be okay, to be worthwhile, to be loved and lovable and to matter...

Life seems incomprehensible sometimes...

One thing at a time, Lisa, is a good thing... It doesn't all have to be done today. You can focus on what you would like to do in the the next 5 years -- one thing that really resonates with you...

And that will be huge in your life... Think of Leonardo DaVinci and Michaelangelo -- they did ONE thing, and did it spectacularly - over a period of YEARS...

They weren't expected to wear a half-dozen hats and scatter their energies...

In all of your writings and posts, you have intelligence, giving, kindness and awareness.

Give yourself the time and space to accomplish your goals one at a time, and I think some of the pressure will ease...

Hugs to you, Lisa... Getting older brings its own worries with it. All of a sudden you look back at your life and wonder where it has gone... And what you will do that will matter in the next 30 or 40 years...

The tree may well be a metaphor for the future... When you were ready, you moved the sapling... When you were ready, it had a chance to grow in a new direction/way... It didn't rush itself, nor did you...

Big Dave T said...

Speaking as someone who just turned 54, I can't say it gets any better as you get older. Though I have plenty of free time, I feel like I'm spinning my wheels, getting nothing real accomplished. It's like time is in fast forward while I'm in slow motion.

I really want to pursue my creative side more than anything. But it takes time to be productive even there. And it doesn't help that I walk on break with a younger boss who banters every day about working on his car, putting in or taking out trees, updating his house etc.

When he asks me what I've done, I can't think of anything. I can't even tell him "Well, I put up a new blog" because nobody at work knows about it.

So I can empathize. I can even relate to your story about the tree. I once transplanted a lonely sapling to a spot outside our kitchen window. It yellowed and lost all its leaves save one. I kept watering it despite pleas to give up. And today it's incredibly healthy, two stories tall and a wonderful specimen.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize I planted it over our sewer line so now I've got roots in the system, and occasional back-ups in the basement.

Tough life, isn't it? We'll find the rainbow some day.

Mark said...

Lisa,
This was a wonderful and creative peice. You have much creativity flowing through you!
We all have these moments when we can't see the forest for the trees. One of the key things that we all must do is to follow our passion and not get hung up in the "how". The "hows" will happen. You must go for your dreams, your passion, trust that the bills will get paid, don't worry about the hows, they will happen, the universe will provide you exactly what you need as you need it as you pursue your purpose.

Mark said...

Lisa,
The tree is a great metaphor and lesson for you. What is great is that you were aware enough to pick up on the lesson of the tree! You my dear are only feeling the discomfort of pending change, trust in yourself and boldy continue forward with your passion!

Matty said...

Lisa,
Heed the advice but don't give up the medical plan!
Love, Matty.

Summer said...

This post reflects the life, hopes and dreams of many of our generation...from your writing; you seem to be doing all right! :)
we will always have this question about who we are, what we want to do and whatever become of us, but we always have to accept our reality and try to make it better as best as we can...You are OK Lisa, i am not worried about you hitting midlife crisis hard...you are too wise to lose it! :)
Good read always! And good luck!

Loving Annie said...

Left special blessings to you today on my blog, Lisa !

How are you ?

Kacey said...

Lisa, Honey --- Remember me --- Married at 17, mother at 21, 23 and 14 --- Nursing school at 40. Not as glamorous as being an artist, but if I had known at 17 that I would want to be a doctor --- I would not have married the love of my life. So, I settled for being a nurse and having the last almost 54 years with him. You still have time for art. Your talent doesn't have an expiration date.

Kacey said...

Whoops! I was not a mother at 14 --- that was supposed to be 24!

Young Werther said...

Lovely piece of writing..life's hard and we're forever chasing that "je ne sais quoi" but never really getting there.

Hang in there, take little steps and remember to breathe once in a while.

gilda said...

i had a lot of things i wanted to say but many of my thoughts just would not form into words. thank you for that beautiful post. it made me think about a lot of things. for one thing, i too love art (well i love design) and even though i don't think i have a talent for it, i enjoy it. but my parents would not hear of it and for most of my life, told me i would not go far.

but they finally gave in to me and let me pursue my dreams and i'm happier than i've ever been, doing something that i love, even though i might not be the best in it.

sometimes, i too wonder, how some of the most successful people in this world seem to have 30 hour days. but i've learnt to let go and just be content being me.

take care! will be back again for a visit.

Lisa said...

Matty,

I think that my dreams stem more out of overwhelmment (is that a word?)sometimes than actual desire. My life is very hectic; my job in itself is very stressful, and then I go home and the next part of my day just begins! So dreaming about peacefully writing or drawing, and actually making a living by doing so, is very desirable to me. Unless it's just a mental escape!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Loving Annie,

Thank you for your kind words. I do tend to be a bit impatient. Sometimes I feel as if I rush things, only to find out that I'm not prepared to take the next step, and my mind is blank.

I think that when the time is right, everything falls into place and it's not forced--that's what I'm hoping for in the near future!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Big Dave,

You have a wonderful sense of humor! I'm sorry about your pipes! We've had that trouble ourselves, so I know what a pain it is!

I fully expected the leaves to turn yellow and perhaps even fall off out of shock, as I transplanted a "Rose of Sharon" a couple of years ago and thought I killed it because in two week's time, it had lost all its flowers and leaves. Now it's beautiful and healthy! So I'm hoping that my little sapling will follow suit.

It's somewhat comforting to know that men go through the same mental anguish that women do and don't always have to go out and buy a Mercedes and get a new girlfriend!! You're a good guy, Dave, and you're a wonderful writer. Keep plugging away...it'll pay off someday!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Mark,

Thank you for the complement. Yes, I admit, the "how's" always get to me! Although I'm creative, I do have a very annoying practical side that's like an over-protective parent, and it stops me from moving forward sometimes. I am trying to learn how to trust my instincts more. After a lifetime of doubting myself, I've only begun that journey in the last two years. It's a process! But I'm pretty sure I'll get there someday!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Summer,

You always have a comforting word for everyone. You're right, I do see so much of our generation sort of "stuck" in the "what if's" of life! At 44, this is the first year that I've really started to understand that I'm not 25 anymore! I don't have my "whole life ahead of me" anymore like when I was younger. So the future is a little scary to me, because it's coming faster than I expected it to! But I guess even in some small way, everyone who's our age probably goes through this.

Thanks for stopping by, and I'll try to pop over for a visit to your blog later! I've been really, really behind in my reading AND my writing, so forgive me!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Kacey,

I always admire your thoughtful comments. You are right; my talent doesn't have an expiration date! I never looked at it that way! You and I have some similar things going on in life, and I've heeded your advice in the past (like when you commented that I should learn to forgive my sister-in-law less I still have these terrible feelings when I'm 71--I knew that you were talking from experience, and it was overwhelming for me to think about still feeling that way in the future). I learn a lot from you, Kacey, and I really, truly thank you for that!!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Young Werther,

Thank you for your complement. I admit, I'll have to look up what "je ne sais quoi" means (unless you come back to visit and share it with me), but it sounds interesting!!

Thank you for coming by, and I look forward to visiting your blog again soon!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Gilda,

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your kind words. This particular blog came from my heart, and it really represents something that I've been going through as I enter "mid-life" (which is basically like visiting Antartica--you knew it existed, but you never actually thought you'd get there)!

I got to read a little of your blog, and you seem like such and intelligent, personable woman--I'll come back and visit soon!

Take good care,
Lisa

Desiree said...

Lisa,

It's dangerous when we start comparing ourselves to others. God gives each of us our special talents. What's more often those that look most successful have unsuccessful lives. If you have it all in your career then most often it comes at your families expense. All we can do is live the most appropriate life for who we are and not allow ourselves to get caught up in the they are more successful than me thoughts. When I read your blog and your comments here and there across some of the same blog lanes I travel I think what a wonderful person this person is and in my mind that is SUCCESS!
However, I can relate to a great deal of what you wrote here and I think its all often a backlash of our society and in being a woman, mother and or a wife. You do the things you feel you are supposed to. You nurture that and then you're left at (ugh!) middle age to pick up the pieces of who you are and your shattered dreams. We look at those young people pursuing their dreams and wish it were us! However, maybe we can't have that but its never too late to have something. It is just as you said you can replant your desires, your abilities and your spirit in more productive soil! You are so right about that!!!

Loving Annie said...

Hi Lisa ! It's Satruday the 2nd, and am just checking in to see how you are doing --
*smiles and hugs*

Lisa said...

Desiree,

What a lovely comment! Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words.

I really never wish to be younger (although I think I've searched the world over for a magic eye cream), nor do I envy anyone who's just starting out. I wouldn't want to go through the things that I had to go through again. But I do find that I wish for more time! Like "more hours in a day to get everything done"-type time. I used to be able to get by on 5 hours of sleep if I had to (heck, when I was young, I could get by on NO sleep if I had to), but as I'm aging, I find that I really do need a lot more sleep. So that interferes with me staying up late to write, or to do things that I want to do.

I guess at some point, everything calms down. I see it happening all around me--people's kids going off to school, empty-nest syndrome--that's why I feel that I need to have some kind of plan for when the day comes that I wake up and realize that my house is empty because they've all grown up and left. So I do hope I'm on the right path--it feels right!

Thanks for stopping by, and I promise I'll try to stop by when I have time this weekend (we have a party tonight and another tomorrow, so it actually might be Monday)!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Hi Annie!

Smiles and hugs right back!

I'm waiting for AT&T to call me back because my cell phone broke...I had to pick out a new one on the computer, so here I am just putzing around on the internet, waiting for them to call.

Sadly, I have eight million things to do, including a manicure appt. in fifteen minutes, but I'm stuck!!

Take good care,
Lisa

Desiree said...

Lise,

Oh, well, I do wish I were younger. I am saddened by getting older. I love life and I feel sad to know that my time here is limited and that my body isn't as agile as it once was and you know what I hate the most? Watching everything I put in my mouth!! :-)
Yes, youth is truly wasted on the young! LOL I like my age too though I like the knowledge that I've obtained and I certainly wouldn't want to go back and re-learn all of my life lessons. Ugh! No, I simply wish I could have a young body again to accompany my middle aged mind!

Desiree said...

Oops typo on your name! Sorry about that Lisa!

Dgroove said...

While googling my kids and other names, I came across this blog. Wow. If your life ended tomorrow, God would say "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master". Lisa, your children are shinning beakers of light because of you. You have sacrificed for them and loved them the way God loves his children. Although not always in the time we want or expect, God will provide for you to see your hearts desire. You have an amazing God given gift. He will see that you use it for the joy of others as well as you.

Lisa said...

dgroove,

I never expected a comment like this. It honestly made me cry--even more so because I believe I know who you are. I haven't always been the "good and faithful servant" you speak of. Well, maybe faithful...I've always held onto my belief in God. But I haven't always done or said things that I was proud of, not even in this blog. I've held onto anger that really needed to be let go of years ago. And some of it came out in places that it shouldn't have, because it was nobody's business...especially not the whole world's. For that, I'm ashamed. For that, I was not being an example of a "shining beacon of light." But we live, and so, we learn.

I am very, very thankful for the support that you give to the children, both financially and personally. They respect you and adore you, and whatever they have become has been because BOTH of us have done the right thing, not just me. You're the one who gave them spiritual guidance--imagine that!! I look at Kayla in church and watch her sing every song because she enjoys it. Trust me, she never did that at St. Francis!! You gave them a Godly home base that I couldn't give to them, and I'm so thankful (I can't believe I gave you such a hard time about taking them to your church)! You should always be very proud of the examples that you set for the kids.

I know we don't always see eye to eye. We were both very different people back then and we still are right now. But I think that our differences combined helped us to raise two pretty spectacular kids. You gave to them what I coudn't, and vice-versa. There's nothing wrong with that! I think that we've both grown so much over the last ten years, and I know personally that I'm still growing in my personal life as well my spiritual life, and I hope to get to the point where I don't let my emotions or my anger cause me to do or say things that I later regret.

We've come a long way, and we should always thank God that we each have spouses that we get along with and whom our kids love so much. We truly are very blessed.

Betty said...

Dear Lisa,

These last 2 comments speak volumes about you, your character, your accomplishments, and your triumphs. Maybe I will be able to think of you and your ex the next time I start to lose faith in the goodness of human nature.

Hugs,
Betty

Loving Annie said...

Lisa,
I am so happy for you that dgroove left you that message that moved you so much.
It is very lovely indeed to be acknowledged for who we are that is good and worthwhile and precious.
*smiles*, and happy Wednesday the 6th to you !

Little Wing said...

Lisa, I took a speech class in the technical college that I attended. The most important lesson I learned, in that class, was that no one knows how scared and insignificant we feel on the inside. My hands would be cold and sweaty, as I was waiting my turn to speak... as I was speaking, I felt as if my voice was reflecting some weird sort of panicy-like urgency. The teacher video taped our speeches... not only did I ace the class (this previously shy little girl), but when I saw the video I was astounded at how well I presented myself, with what appeared, outwardly, to be a grand display of confidence and unabashed boldness. Watching that video changed my life, in so far as confidence goes. I realized, then, that we can't ever know what goes on inside another person, no matter how confident they present themselves, or how accomplished they may be. Don't ever be intimidated by your own lack of confidence in yourself... in fact,
'fake it till you make it'... it works!

I can't believe your story. You have read mine, I know. I experienced the same sort of thing, in the path that I ended up on. I wasn't allowed, when I was in college (the first time) to choose my proffession... instead, it was expected that I would take an insignificant career, because, afterall, I would become somebody's wife, stay at home and raise kids. As it ended up, I wound up in several different marriages, and I can fully understand you, to hear you say, things get sucked out of you. My current 'partner' says of my interest in art or music, "oh, if you were gonna become anything of it, you already would have. An artist or a musician HAS to take pictures, or paint, or sing or play music. An artist can't NOT do those things." I was so infuriated, because he never had any children of his own, to raise, and he also became physically disabled at a very young age (a very dibilitating form of arthritis) he had all the time in the world to persue many of his passions. I have to say, it is amazing what the man can do, given his disablity... however, I did not appreciate his very small synopsis of my life.

I recently began thinking on much of my life... and how I seem to never have time to do the things I want to do. I felt anger and frustration. And some of the anger I felt towards my partner, who takes so much of my time, to assist in his own life. I begin to realize that it is I who gives him this time... and he could not take it if I did not give it. I also begin to realize that if I ever want to persue my dreams, it is my responsibility to make them happen. It is as if I have been sitting and waiting, for so long, for something to happen, that would open my world up, so that I could become the person that I always wanted to be... and do the things that I have always wanted to do. Within reason, of course, I realize that no one is responsible for that, but myself... not my partner, just me... and that I have landed here, because of... yes, many of life's circumstances... but, also, because of the decisions that I have made, over time. And now, it is time for me to allow myself the time that I so desparately want. Does it mean that I have no talent... that I am not artistic, because I have not developed it to the fullest? No, it does not, no matter what my partner says. There are so many people, in this world, with so many undiscovered talents... just waiting to open up and blossom... and that artist is still inside of you, girl!

When my father passed an old friend from middle school came to the funeral. As it was, she used to have a huge crush on the guy that I am with, now. I knew that she would get a kick out of knowing who I was with, because she knew that my husband had passed, etc. When I told her who I was with, her mouth flew open, and she said, "Oh my gosh, that's wonderful! I can see that! I can see the two of you, together, because you are both the artistic,creative types." I was shocked that she said that... and I said, "Me??... you think I am creative???" ... I honestly didn't know where that statement came from. I knew that we had played guitars, together, when we were 14... but I could not recall where she might've gotten the idea from, that I was artistic and creative. Did she, at some point in time, ever see a drawing that I had done? Her comment was right on time, however. Again, no matter what we think of ourselves, we often cast a different reflection towards others... and all that we ever wanted to be is still somewhere deep inside, waiting to surface again. It doesn't really matter how we express, so long as we do, eh? In one form or another.

Little Wing

Little Wing said...

P.S... I bought a little japanese maple, because my deceased husband loved them... and he had one that he had been bonsai-ing? before he died. Sadly, I let the thing die... so consumed was I with mourning, upon his death. It broke my heart, that I had let it die, too. When I moved in with my current partner, we bought a lot of flowers, shrubs, trees, etc, to plant around his new place. I bought a japanese maple. To me, it was very emotionally symbolic... and somewhat in memory of my late husband. I wanted to raise that tree up big and beautiful and learn the patience of bonsai-ing? (lol) ...but, my partner is very controling and in charge of everything... so, he would not let me plant the thing where I wanted to. In fact, he had the say-so on many of the plants I wanted to put down. I became angry and then would have nothing to do with the tree. I told him it was his tree, I was done with it, he could do, with it, as he pleased. He planted it in a place where, in my opionion, it will not grow well. Underneath the huge limbs of a dogwood tree, that blocks nearly all the sun.

Thank you for this post... because now I am determined that I will take my tree back over... and, in spite of what life has done (his planting it where he did) I will make it work, anyways (life). I will love and nurture that tree.

Little Wing

Lisa said...

Loving Annie,

I'm sure you figured it out, but in case you were wondering...Dgroove is my ex-husband. ;)

I hope you have a wonderful remainder of the week, and a great weekend!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Little Wing,

It was so good to hear from you!! I'm adding you to my blogroll and my favorites so I don't forget to visit you now and then!

I recall that we did have a lot in common when I read your post about your years growing up. I do understand completely about what you're saying...that people see something different than what we see when we look at ourselves and our accomplishments.

I think "it's never too late to be what you might have been"--one of my favorite quotes--and I think both you and I need to devote a small amount of time each day to do what we love. Right now, I'm really passionate about writing, but I do have some characters in my mind that I need to draw on paper. It's that old time factor that gets in my way...but sometimes, the dusting and the wash have to wait, you know?

I hope that you get to the bottom of what's stopping you from doing what you need to do...spending time nurturing you creative side. You know it's in there; you just have to have faith that you will figure out what to do with it! As Kacey so wisely said in one of the comments on this post: "Your talent doesn't have an expiration date." Very wise words from a great lady!!

Take good care,
Lisa

Little Wing said...

Ah, thanks for the words of encouragement... and I really like that quote!

Boomie said...

Lisa,
What you are going through is very, very common and expected. We all go through it. I did. Believe it or not, what helped me was taking small doses of estrogen (natural, or prescribed or OTC-over the counter) I did it for only a year. Our lower estrogen levels give us the fear, the questioning, the regret etc. It messes up our brain.
Go to your Dr. and try it. Give it a month and see how you feel.
Just my 2 cents.
Good luck.

Lisa said...

Boomie,

Thanks for the advice!

I've had a lumpectomy before (benign, thank God), so I'm pretty much thinking that hormones are not an option for me in the future. I also still have horrible monthly periods just like I did 20 years ago...the only difference is that once I hit 42, they became regular for the very first time in my whole entire life!! I guess some things about aging work out.

What I did do was get some St. John's Wort, and I take one pill every day. It seems to be working very well; even I can't believe it! I'm also taking my vitamins, minerals and supplements more often and regularly, so hopefully that will get me through the next couple of years!


Thanks again for stopping by my blog!!

Take good care,
Lisa

Loving Annie said...

Lisa,
3 aleve is the onlt thing that ever took care of my incredibly painful periods... The 'naproxen' in it somehow did the trick for me... But you have to be careful, because if you have a sensitive stomach (which thank goodness I don't) it MAY cause internal bleeding...

About Paris Hilton... There may have indeed been some behind the back political deal going on, but it appears that it has been squashed. Thank Goodness.

I can't believe she cried and said it wasn't fair.

How about being horribly embarrassed for making a spectatcle of yourself in the first place and thinking she was entitled to special treatment ?!?

I'd have wanted to lie low, get itover with as soon as possible, and CHANGED my behavior so I'd never be in that kind of a situation again !

Clearly Paris has learned nothing, and has no intention of learning anything.

I wish her 15 minutes of fame were OVER. That mightbe the only thing that would teach her a lesson...

Anyway, how are you doing today ? Hope all is well, Lisa, and have a good weekend !

Lisa said...

Loving Annie,

I'm chuckling out loud over here. Clearly, I can see how incensed you get over the same stuff that I do!! That girl is out of control, and so are those sad excuses for parents. Boo-hoo-hoo. I wish ALL of those horrible role models would end their 15 minutes of fame--Paris, Lindsay, Nicole...any more? I'm sure I've forgotten at least 20!

Anyway, I'm having a glass of wine and trying to relax from a stressful day. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Take good care,
Lisa

Loving Annie said...

Happy Monday to you, Lisa !

Helen Burton said...

Hi Lisa:

Just checking in to see how you are doing? Helen

Carine said...

LIsa,
Congratulations on your winning the Father's Day contest on fab40!!!

Lisa said...

Loving Annie,

Haha...I'm a little late...happy Tuesday to you!! Hope you are well.

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Hi Helen,

I'm doing well, thank you! I've been a little busy, but hopefully I'll get a new post up by this weekend. I think I left a comment on your blog, but I've been too busy to get back over there to see if you responded! I'll come by to visit soon!

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Hi Carine,

Thank you!! I was really excited to win! I only saw the email, I haven't been over to the site yet to see what it says (does it even say anything?)! Anyway, thanks again for the good wishes! If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't even know to enter any contests!!

Take good care,
Lisa

A Who said...

Not that you need anymore comments, but I had to tell you, I thought this was very beautiful post.

Lisa said...

My dear Who-relative:

A comment like that from you is not only welcomed, it's truly appreciated. I have feeling you know where I'm coming from. ;)

XOXO
Lisa

LZ Blogger said...

Lisa- Thanks for the Father's Day wishes. It was a great day for me! Everyone wanted to know what I wanted to do... I told them that I wanted to Grill Burgers for my Father's Day dinner. So... that's what we did. JUST WHAT I WANTED TO DO! ~ jb///

Lisa said...

LZ,

Good for you!! It's great that everyone listened to you, and I'm glad you had a wonderful day!

Take good care,
Lisa

Desiree said...

Hi Lisa,

Just wanted to pop in and say hello! Hope all is well! I thought of you last night I was reading some local classifieds and I noticed an add in there for an artist who has her own business painting wall murals for children's rooms! I immediately thought of you and how that would be something quite suited for you. Well just a thought I thought I'd pass it along.

Lisa said...

Hi Desiree,

Wow, thanks for thinking of me! That was sweet. I actually was having trouble with a few things when I painted murals, such as the one that is displayed in this post. The first thing is that my neck kills me!! It's really hard to draw and paint with your neck leaning all the way back to reach the high spots! And second, I was way too slow. I couldn't charge for the day, because I would take seven days to finish something that would take someone else three. I have to draw the whole mural out in pencil first, paint in the colors, and finally, outline it. Most mural painters don't draw anything with a pencil, they just go ahead and paint!! Also, I could get in trouble for not making the characters "thirty percent off", or whatever the requirement is. I wasn't aware of this rule until after I painted that mural.

I know I'll find what it is that I'm supposed to do eventually...I feel it! But thanks again for bringing me to mind!

Take good care,
Lisa

Matty said...

Lisa, check out my blog..I nominated you!