Studio Materials 2

Studio Materials 2

Monday, May 23, 2011

Yes To Change

I’ve gone through a lot of changes in the last few years. I got divorced (well, it’s not quite final but pending), I moved, I’m making a living as a teacher not as an artist at present, I started a new relationship (keeping it light, though), I’m living with a teenager (not my own), and last, but certainly not least, in fact most importantly, I’m saying yes when, in the past, I usually said no.

I suppose most of the changes in my life are due to my newfound tendency toward the affirmative. I entered into my current relationship not because I was lonely, but because it felt good, even though most people I confided in warned me that it was much too early for me to get serious about anyone. This relationship felt so good I moved in, again ignoring the naysayers. I liked what I saw happening at the house, I liked the house, and I liked the neighborhood. I have river views out my front door. Sweet!

The house has a charming little courtyard out back. We had a rough winter and are experiencing a very wet Sring, so there is much debris, city grime, and moldy slime all over everything. Cleaning this up is requiring some major work. We rent, so there is only so much time, money, and energy we want to put into any one project at this place, cool as it is. But, dammit, I want this little gem of an outdoor space to look good, and I want to enjoy it this summer. So does my guy. Budget? Sort of. I’ve bought some plants. I’ve got my eye on a nice little bistro set. I’m hoping to get a coupon online. I’m also asking for free stuff, giveaways and discards from my friends. Guess what. I’m getting free stuff. YES!!

I’ve said yes to just about every teaching opportunity that comes my way, mostly because I need the money. Artwork just isn’t selling like it used to. Besides, I’m rather good at teaching and I enjoy it immensely. I didn’t used to. I found it stressful. I used to plan my classes from start to finish. You know, I was trying to control them. Now, I just show up, and I am very present. I listen to my students more now than I used to rather than talking at them and hurling information their way.

When I thought again about learning to cook (for the 50th time in my life) I finally found myself saying, “YES!” Do it. What are you waiting for? As it turns out, my timing was perfect because I had recently met a chef who wanted to start teaching people how to cook. We both said yes at the same time. Perhaps serendipity comes more often to those who say…well, you know.

When I was married we said no a lot. We were frugal with our money, and we worked a lot, so we said no to many social opportunities. We felt obligated to have a hard life, for some reason. There was always something more important to do than nurture our lives with fun activities. I don’t think anyone was to blame; it was just the dynamic of that relationship at the end. Actually, it was how I treated myself. Now, I say yes to joy. I say yes to frivolity (within reason-I am cash challenged). I say yes to silliness. I say yes to new things that either present themselves or that are required in my life due to …well, change. I say yes to change and it’s pervasiveness. 

12 comments:

  1. YYYYYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!

    I love it Donna...and you by the way...

    Your "creepy" cousin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Mel, thanks for reading. You too, Jeff.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It takes insight and bravery to open up to the possibilities of change, and Its great that you have both of those qualities. It is not a easy thing to do, we like to hold on to want we know, even when its not bringing us happiness, you have choose to look for more, and all I can say is, Yay

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a really good reminder that when I start to close up my fist around security, I need, instead, to open my hand to the new possibilities that saying yes brings.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous, thanks for your encouragement. It can be very scary to accept what is unknown or to have faith that the future will turn out in our favor. My mantra these days is, "I'm fine right now. In this moment, I am happy." I try not to dwell on the future or the past as I have no control over either. Staying present in the moment has helped me to welcome change.

    Linda great metaphor, the open and closed hand. Our need to feel secure in my opinion means that we are fearful. Once you identify the fear, then it's easier to release yourself from it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That was your best one yet, Donna! You're a great teacher - and not just an art teacher.

    Keep 'em coming!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks, Tom. :-) You're my cheerleader.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hungadunga! Hungadunga!
    SIS! BOOM! BAH!
    Cusano! Cusano!
    RAH! RAH! RAH!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I felt a pang of recognition, saw myself still fearing the next big loss. There've been so many losses. At times these feelings return, but then I remember the only gift we can give one another is our gift of time together. To see that gift and not the lack of that together-time took me far too long. Donna, thanks for sharing your wisdom. Joy here and now. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ginny, loss is such a hard thing to accept. My therapist has taught me the importance of feeling the loss, the pain, anger, everything that comes up. Then and only then can we move beyond that loss. It's always a tough time when you feel loss. I remember feeling like I had open wounds and that everyone could see them, could see my rawness. I decided after a time to make the pain my friend. Now, when I feel pain I don't feat it.

    You are right about the gift of time we can give each other. I often forget that in the rush of the day to day. There have been so many serendipitous moments I have had with friends lately, moments that could never have been planned. They are sweet, sublime. They can happen every day if you let them in.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That was " I don't "fear" it....

    ReplyDelete