Well, there must have been a bad moon a’rising because today was a horrible day. The close on our house was cancelled, and then thankfully rescheduled, but it has caused a big mess- the moving pods and truck had to be rescheduled, the clothes and kitchen stuff that was packed needed to be unpacked, and so much more. Now the truck and the POD will be at the house at the same time and there is only room for one in the driveway. We will have to walk much farther with heavy oversized things. All of the careful planning to ensure a smooth and safe move has been destroyed.
It has been an extremely stressful and emotional day. It does not look like the next few days will be any better. I cannot wait for this to be over.
When I painted the double rainbow painting, I was disappointed that I didn’t paint it in a more realistic way, but it was meant to be a fast project. It was somewhat experimental, using a paper towel to blot and remove some color for a fading effect. It worked to some extent, but not to the level I expected. I could have done it better with a paintbrush. But that really wasn’t the point of that particular project. It told a story, which means it met the objective. I had to drop my personal disappointment and move on to the next painting as it was a heavy painting schedule that year.
Well, it was this painting that someone criticized as “a five year old could have done it”. In isolation, this particular art doesn’t represent the kind of work I’m capable of, or the body of work I have done. I thought about removing this from my collection, but I told myself that if I cannot remain humble enough to show my failures and disappointments, then I have lost my way. So every now and then, when I need a double rainbow painting to tell my story, I will dig this one back up even though I know that it doesn’t impress people who judge my art (and me).
Today I was feeling down because the house we inquired about renting had already been promised to someone else. We were too late, and it was upsetting because I’d reached out to the property management and they didn’t answer me. It is like I don’t exist and don’t matter, when it is their company who has managed the house that is pushing us to vacate- you’d think they’d care a bit more about our situation. It brings up a lot of times in the past when I was forgotten, abandoned, not noticed, rejected, and left to fend for myself. These aren’t happy feelings, but I’ll have to push hard and make myself (my family’s situation) noticed.
So, the stressful ordeal continues. We have two months to find a solution to our housing problem. I was stewing about this when washing our outdoor furniture today, preparing it to sell next weekend during a yard sale. I hope to raise enough funds to cover some of our moving costs, and also let go of things to reduce the load we have to move. It’s just stuff. We’ve let go of our possessions before and we can do it again. At least we get to keep more this time. But even so, you can image that my mood while cleaning our things, for others to take for very little, was not exactly joyful.
I scrubbed the furniture down with a bleach solution made with dishwasher pods and hot water, which worked very well to remove pollen and dirt. Then I hosed everything down while listening to music through my headphones (a luxury I don’t often have because I need to be always available and listening to the household while multi-tasking, but this chore was outdoors and I was alone). As I was spraying the water, I felt the sun on my face and realized that I was relaxed. I was enjoying myself- the beautiful weather, the exercise, the music, and the solitude. Everyone was either inside or at work. It was just me and the water, and my music.
This song was playing by MercyMe. The lyrics in particular at that precise moment were “You were made for so much more than all of this” You’re beautiful, just as a rainbow formed from the spray of water. The rainbow, even though easily explained as basic science- water from the hose was caught by the sun- felt like much more than a random event. The rainbow seemed to float in front of my face because it was windy and the water spray was spraying back at me. It was like it was my personal rainbow, almost ON my person.
I will take this serendipitous experience, the water spray rainbow as the MercyMe song played at that same moment, as a small sign of hope. Everything will turn out OK. We’ll weather through the challenges. And if you are going through a difficult time- may you too feel hope that your situation will soon change for the better.
May God bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you, and give you peace.
I’ve used this same painting for a very similar blog post called “Letting Go”. In that post I said these wise words “We may not have control over time, and future events, but we always have a spiritual choice about how we respond to change.” Ha! I better take my own advice to heart, lest I be a hypocrite. The past couple of days I was in a sour sullen snit about the shocking news of learning that we have to move in about two months, when we intended to continue renting this house until after my husband’s graduation (he’d gone back to school after losing his job when the company he worked for moved out of the country, and he’s nearly done- graduates in June- but too late to get us out from under this predicament).
Today I pushed myself to start the taping of the Easter show even though that was the last thing I wanted to do, as I need to start packing! But I’d already committed to doing the show and had invested in it. Yesterday I finished making my dress and I finished the set design this afternoon. Taping has begun! The first segment is done- and it went much better than I thought it would. No matter what’s going on in our lives, we have to choose whether or not to let those temporary circumstances paralyze, discourage, or destroy our purpose. I could have canceled the show, but that would have been wrong.
Letting go of worry, anxiety, dread, fear, resentment, bitterness, despair, and anger is a perpetual experience. Life will never be perfect and if we allow our human condition to stop us from acting on our plans, we will leave things unsaid, inspirations never created, places never traveled, and destinies never reached. So, we must plow through and do the things our heart is stirred to do, even when we don’t feel like it. “Fake it ’till you make it” is real. Not only will we get to where we want to be if we keep doing it, regardless of how close to the bottom we are when we start, but we’ll also become joyful if we fake feeling joy.
Today’s work on the Easter show included dressing up in an outrageously festive gown and singing songs that are truly joyful. I may have started out faking the joy, but shortly after I forced myself to be joyful, I really was! I had a happy time today. I am glad I gave up my stubborn attitude and chose to let go.
My stressful circumstances will change, with or without my cooperative attitude. I can stomp my feet and tantrum my way through this ordeal, or I can aim for high energy to work at a smooth transition. I can look for positive serendipitous events that fall neatly into place. If I look for these things, I will find them. If I work for a smooth transition, I am likely to have one. Change is often difficult. We can hate every minute of it and be no better off. Or, we can rise to the challenge and fake joyfulness until we feel the joy.
I felt a bit of panic, but I willed myself to keep my cool, as cool as this puffin. Today I was working on the new painting and at the end of the session I decided to compile the video footage I have thus far and I was horrified to see that an important chunk of the painting session was missing! It skipped from one part to another in a big jump. Oh no, no, no, no! It was an important part of what I hope will be a special painting.
But, no need to panic. Yes, it could have been a terrible incident that has happened to me in the past: I think I’ve hit the record button, but I’ve really hit the stop button from a session that was still running. Then, I paint while the camera is OFF, and then when I go to shut if off, my stomach sinks as I realize that it was never on! However, it was possible that the camera recorded the whole thing, but the clip was somehow missing from the video file. In which case, the footage was there. I just needed to find the clip. That could have happened easily.
And that’s what DID happen! Whew! I found the missing clip. All is well! Whatever your day was like today, I hope that you too were “puffin cool” even if there were some highly stressful moments. Most things are really not worth getting anxious over, especially if there’s a chance that it will all work out in the end.
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