Friday, October 24, 2014

Sorting Out Life, as well...

Happy husband...

This is where we were the other day, and yes, I gave myself permission to stop doing gruntwork and do what I NEEDED to do.  I plan on more of that!
So.  Not only are we simplifying our home and possessions, but life and priorities as well.  Life is too short, things of real importance deserve our attention, and yes, it's okay to be happy!

I know, that should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of sense, but we do so often do things because we think we should, we must, someone asked, we've committed, we've agreed, SOMEONE ought to, it needs doing, we're responsible...we're trapped.  Tra la.

LONG after these things have stopped being fulfilling, long after they really, actually needed doing, long after the time when someone else might be able to do them better, and might want to have the chance, we're still plodding along.  Blinders on.

And before long we find our souls occupying a tiny corner of our own lives--all the room that's left to them.  I recently posted a link to a site about things happy people do, and it was shared widely.  This is good.  But when I went to some of the shares I discovered a disturbing number of negative comments by people who resented the idea, who thought anyone who had time must be retired (some of the busiest people I KNOW are retired), who didn't have time to be happy (?!?!)...

It made me sad.

The other day Joseph and I were talking about what I actually WANTED to be doing, right now.  (Aside from being Out There, as above!)  I told him about a silly little project I've been wanting to do, for doesn't pay, it's not "work," I haven't agreed I'd do it, no contracts's just fun.  But ya know, I don't have time for that.

He said "DO it!  No wonder all the gruntwork is sucking the life out of you right need to be doing something else, and you're not letting yourself!  Do THAT, and then maybe the Work, capital W, won't feel quite so heavy."

And so soon, I promise myself, I'll do just that.  Right after I put in a few more hours on the contracted obligation.

However, ya know, it felt great to write all this down!  That too is something I need to do.

I'm a lousy Pollyanna, really...I'm stuck in a couple of jobs that have had glitches, lately, needing far more work than I have energy for, and pretending everything is great is just too damn exhausting.

Nuts to that. 

I hope you give yourself permission to do what you really want to, as well.


Meanwhile, there's a helpful series on the Tiny House Blog you may enjoy, on simplifying!…/helpful-tips-downsizing-part-1/

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Discardia on the way to Breathing Room...

Much of this is on its way out the door...yes, it IS a mess.  Eeek.
So.  Here is where I am now...Discardia on the way to Breathing Room.

Getting rid of things via eBay is time consuming and kind of complex, but that's where some of this stuff is going, anyway--I just need time to list the antique teapot, enamel coffeepot, 18th C. style mules or leather slippers, virtually unused.  Books will be offered to a friend before being listed or given away.

(The bins on the floor are full of artwork, both original and prints I offer in my Etsy shop, Cathy Johnson Art & More, so they stay, but I'd love it if I could find a place that wasn't right out in the middle of everything!)

I'm delighted that a dear friend is more into elegant reenacting than we are, now, and he and his camping buddy are taking a fair bit of stuff away.  A big copper cistern for water, a tin biscuit baker, a BIG folding table...gone and welcome!  It's good to know a friend will be using and enjoying them instead of tripping over them, here.

The pile in the other photo includes a bag of art supplies to give to my sketchcrawl buddies...didn't have enough of them show up this time and we forgot the bag in the car...and the current giveaway box, which will go out probably today.  And a heater, and antique books with illustrations I need to scan in my copious spare time, and extra shipping boxes, and...

Yep, it's a mess all right!

My beloved husband is in the basement creating his workroom and simultaneously getting rid of a bunch MORE stuff (why, exactly, did we put two old computers and a monitor down there?), and moving the workbench out of the back room (along with the big folding table) will give us a lot more open space THERE, so we can organize, clean out, and GET TO THE BOOKCASE.

(He was just wishing he'd thought to shoot a "before" photo, so he inspired me to DO so!)

All this stuff served its purpose, in its time, and I'm grateful, as Breathing Room suggests.  It can go to a new home, or recycle, or the dump, with my blessings.  And I won't have quite so much stuff in the way, and will indeed have more room to breathe, both literally and spiritually.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Busy, busy, BUSY!

I have been notably absent from this blog lately, and I miss it!

One VERY pleasant reason for my absence has been one of our glorious fishing trips to the Ozarks last month, a few days after my last entry.  Joseph fishes and I sketch like mad...17 pages, in all, this time!  Can't wait to go back for one more sketchathon this year...

I always seem to sketch this little tower...

Whoops, my ink was water-soluble, so I switched to straight watercolor.

My dad used to stand on the dam and fish--as many people do.  It's mossy and slick and the water rushes over it, and I have YET to see anyone fall!  This one was painted directly, without graphite or ink.

Lovely old stonework all over in Bennett Spring...

My terrific little walker-studio lets me go anywhere I want, to's more comfortable than this bench, actually!

And since we got home, I've been working like crazy on the upcoming North Light book...27 other artists involved in this one, all of them amazing, and I'm getting some exciting stuff in my Drop Box.  The challenge is using it in the best possible place, and putting one more bit IN when it comes in after I've already "finished" the appropriate chapter!

I'll be sharing bits and pieces here, as I go...lovely on-the-spot work!


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