Enlarge your Vision; Sweep out the Cobwebs, Make Way for Tomorrow

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Many people are good at “compartmentalizing.” They focus on one crisis at a time, and they don’t try to multi-task. They are persistent and dogged until the job is complete; full steam ahead. But they are so caught up in the task at hand that they miss out on the simple and sometimes important things that are happening all around them.

Take the University Professor who almost never flushed. He assumed toilets were supposed to work that way. Was he concerned about water waste? Was he being overly frugal? Or did he simply lack common sense? No matter how smart we are (or how smart we think we are); when we laser-beam on minutia the bigger picture gets away.

Naturally, we all have our own work and play styles. As we age, we squirm around until we’ve found that “sweet spot” that gives rhythm to our work and enjoyment to our play. Our pace of life compliments our personalities, and we say we are happy – settled.

Sea Nymph

“Sea Nymph” 24×18 acrylic on canvas; for sale

This is the exact time to measure your existence with your dreams, and your goals against reality. Are you content in this predictable routine you’ve built for yourself or have you only settled into familiar ruts?

Your own answer will determine if it’s time to shake things up. Life demands it!  Every now and then we must give our lives and our minds a good spring cleaning. Sweep out the cob webs, pull the dust from the rafters, and scrub out the build up and grime caused by last winter’s dose of cabin fever.

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Have you forgotten it already—how stifling and smothering it felt? I find it difficult to be creative when I’m surrounded by clutter and the walls start to close in. Once I’ve put those nagging pieces of humanity away, it frees my creative brain for bigger things. When my environment is organized and ready, then so am I.

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Those who work in a studio are blessed with a space that is always ready. Some of us must organize a space each and every day, along with all the other conflicts of interest; but this daily battle actually gets the creative juices flowing.

Not only must you and I file projects and appointments in our minds, but we need exterior compartments to organize them. I once was an organized person, but since I moved into a smaller space, I’m limited. I need to work smarter, in order to work at all. I’m rethinking new ways and places to put files so I can get to them when I need them.

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I have a book case full of old books that I’m going to send to Goodwill and open up space for square baskets and boxes to store those files that I depend upon.

How about you? Have you opened up your windows and let the fresh air of tomorrow clean out last winter’s traces? Are you preparing for a more productive year full of positives instead of negatives?

Now is the time to re-evaluate. Don’t put it off any longer. Stir the pot that’s swirling inside of you; choose your direction and go!

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What if the Moon really is made of Green Cheese? Let’s Pretend!

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"The Neptunes -- Octoband" acrylic on 11 x 14 panel

“The Neptunes — Octoband” acrylic on 11 x 14 panel

Magical things happen when someone says: “Let’s pretend.” The expectation hangs in the air like droplets of nectar from an enchanted forest. The adult version of this quip is “What if?” We call it “Thinking outside the box.” We’re expert at hiding the real reason our internal child takes the bait. The game takes us out of our constrained conformity and plunges us into the realms of make believe.

What if pigs could fly? Why do salmon remember where to spawn each year and how can we harness that drive? If the Argyroneta aquatica or diving bell spider can live under water, why can’t we?

Children are experts at what ifs and why not’s! They can improvise and make-believe their way out of bad alcoholic parenting, stranger abduction, bondage and hunger. They are not only resilient they are hopeful. There is always a rainbow after every storm. Their hope is eternal.

"The Neptunes -- Trumpeteers" 11 x 14 acrylic on panel

“The Neptunes — Trumpeteers” 11 x 14 acrylic on panel

A looking glass may mirror the ugliness of reality or it can reflect a window that is open wide to the imagination. I spent many hours as a child looking into a mirror that was placed under my nose. In this way, I walked the steep dormer ceiling of my girlhood home creating a make-believe terrain that only I could see.

My own children pumped our player piano and sang at the top of their lungs pretending their way to fame and fortune. Later they discovered that imagining they were playing was much easier than practicing those monotonous scales, memorizing notes, or phrasing properly for a parent or teacher.

“Let’s pretend” gives us a break from the harsh realities of life. We can stand on the fearful brink of decision while imagining several different outcomes or scenarios. By expanding our mind we can contemplate the possibilities that may evolve from any given choice.

"The Neptunes -- Golden Girls" 11 x 14 acrylic on panel

“The Neptunes — Golden Girls” 11 x 14 acrylic on panel

Once when our family T.V. had given up the ghost, we decided to hold off getting it fixed or buying another. What was it like “long ago” before people had television to entertain them? We decided to find out.

We read together more. We got through Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Jack London’s Call of the Wild. We engaged in conversation. The children learned how to make jello, bread, and cream puffs. We went to the library more often.

They discovered “the play!”  We performed several short ones, each family member taking a part; the older ones helping the younger. And, of course, at Christmas time we performed the “Nativity” reading from Luke 2:1-19. We donned our bathrobes and put towels on our heads. The youngest played baby Jesus.

As an extension to their learning, we took them to plays so they could witness first-hand how professionals made a performance real. In the process, we found something treasured that we had lost: our family. Sadly, once the T.V. was back and their young minds became hypnotized and mesmerized, we lost some of the closeness we once had. But the memories lingered.

Today they still remember when we were all bold enough to say “Let’s pretend,” or to ask “What if?”

"The Perfect Ending" acrylic on canvas

“The Perfect Ending” acrylic on canvas