16 Things That Will Make Me Happy In 2016

venus rising FB

If there is one virtue to growing older, it’s that I’ve learned to identify the things that make me happy as well as the things that do not. Finally, finally, finally I’m spending more time pursuing the former and less so the latter. What took me so long? Here are a few photos from my unplanned Monday Morning photo outing. I awoke to the expressive alignment Venus and of a waning crescent Moon and everything fell into place from there. Before it was all said and done, I had witnessed the most gorgeous sunrise from the edge of the crackling ice along the shore of a nearby lake.

skating BLOG

geese silhoutte BLOG

start your engines BLOG

As 2015 winds down, I find myself taking note of the things that make me happy and I’ve made a list of 16 things I want to accomplish in 2016. Here goes!

1. Move on from past mistakes
2. Appreciate NOW more
3. Spend more quality time with Family
4. Do something good for a Friend
5. Be a Peace Maker
6. Meet new People
7. Go places I’ve never been before
8. Go to familiar places and look for something new
9. Shoot More Pictures
10. Make More Videos
11. Pick up a brush and paint with reckless abandon
12. Be inspired by the work of others
13. Improve My Skills
14. Share my work with more people
15. Write more
16. Learn new things every day.

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Please Vote Yes On The Resolution Rewind

Finding Balance (24"x36") oil on canvas

Finding Balance (24″x36″) oil on canvas

Hold on, Hold Everything! Has the expiration for New Years Resolutions past? Surely there is a grace period, right? If not I want one and I want it Now. Does 30 days seem reasonable to you? If we had a grace period of 30 days, all of those resolutions that are blown within the first 48 hours could be resurrected for another try. Failed resolutions could be replaced by new, easier to keep versions or we could go back to the drawing board and re-imagine the resolutions that will make a difference. A rule change would be good for all of us, do you agree?

Today is January 11th and I’m gonna make my case for Resolution Rewind. You see, I am absolutely worn out, sick to death of allowing selfish, negative people to influence how my time is spent. We all have a finite amount of time in this life to learn, love and create, yet there are troubled individuals out there who apparently have made it their mission to prevent folks from accomplishing those things. My new goal for 2015 is to learn how to remain calm when confronted with one of these Unfortunate Souls. For lack of a more sympathetic name for the contemptible type that I’m focusing on I’ll just call them PTA’s (People To Avoid).

You can usually identify a PTA pretty quickly when you observe the following characteristics:

1. The PTA is intolerant and has no capacity for authentic compassion and understanding.
2. The PTA already knows everything and has no interest in learning, therefore they make the same mistakes over and over.
3. The PTA spends all of their time looking for faults in others and none of their time looking four their own shortcomings.
4. The PTA takes no responsibility for mistakes that they have made, yet they hold others accountable for theirs.
5. The PTA lives by a social balance sheet, making sure they never give more than they receive.
6. The PTA loves to talk and hates to listen.
7. The PTA is long on talk and short on action.
8. The PTA is short on facts and long on opinions.
9. The PTA prefers complaining to helping.
10. The PTA slanders others indirectly, thereby robbing their slandered victims of a reply.
11. The PTA accuses others of exactly the same things that they are guilty of.
12. The PTA brags about immoral victories, then quotes enlightened words when they feel that they have been wronged.
13. The PTA always has to have the last word.

Normally this blog is a complaint free zone, all positive, no negative. But I am the self proclaimed Mayor of Art Spirit Village and I really think that we need to follow through with this Resolution do-over thing. Nothing could be more positive. In 2015 I will breathe in peace and fairness and I’ll breathe out the toxicity that radiates from these unwanted PTAs. I may discover that Yoga, Meditation and Prayer are the magic ingredients to succeeding in my newfound resolution. Or perhaps just really focussing on compassion for these less fortunate individuals will help me to accept and move on. I’m really excited about the prospect of liberating myself from the tyranny of the PTA. I will reclaim the time that has been stolen to me and I’ll apply it to a greater realization of peace, grace, productivity and above all Creativity.

There is always the possibility some PTA out there might take offense to this post, To that person I say in the nicest way possible…”GET A LIFE, ASS HOLE”. 🙂

Two Questions: What do you think about the Resolution Rewind concept? Is there a PTA that you need to free yourself from?

Dad’s First Annual Year End “Pick One” Extravaganza

jesswithpainting

Its easy to get caught up in year end rituals and say the words “out with the old, in with the new”. It is somewhat harder to act upon those words, to really let go of things that we have become attached to. Personally, I have too many unhealthy habits and they are hard to part with because, over time they have become part of my identity. In fact, even healthy habits have a limited effective lifespan and must be purged at some point in time, lest they become concrete ballasts that prevent us from moving forward to new healthy habits. So many habits to work on..so little time.

I’ve been making a special place in my basement storage room for my painting “archives”. Up thirty inches or so off of the floor (in case of flooding), I now have shelves and slots that make it much easier to file away and review my previous artistic efforts. Perhaps this is the precursor to bigger and better things in 2015, selling my work in a gallery for example. My new library is filled with yesterday’s masterpieces and yesterday’s failures and oddly it it equally hard to part ways with. This year during Christmas visits, each one of my four grown children had an opportunity to take with them the piece of their choice. God knows that they have each been there right beside me on my quest for deeper meaning, a process that has cost them all in one way or another. They all seemed to enjoy the process of gaining something tangible from my madness. I do run the risk that these works may end up in their basement storage rather than mine or that they may end up getting traded around at next Christmas’ white elephant give exchange…Ouch!

Nonetheless, its time to let go of past and to make room for new dreams and ambitions. I’m looking forward to a productive, growth filled year in 2015 and I hope you are as well. Do you find yourself hanging on a little too tight to the past? What to you do to lighten the load so that you can move forward?

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