Monthly Archives: December 2016

The End and the Beginning

I am done! Selfie #365 is in the bag!

img_4240

It’s taken me a few hours to sort the blog out. It turns out there were 4 posts that I had written as drafts but never posted. I have posted them now, on the appropriate dates. I have also tidied up my Flickr album because some pictures had not been posted at all, and some had been posted twice. There are now exactly 365 selfies, as there are on this blog.

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to complete this challenge. There were times when I wanted to give up but that’s exactly why I started this blog. I knew that if even one person was watching, I would feel obliged to meet my commitment.

As I wrote yesterday, the biggest thing I have learned from this project is that I am the cause of my own unhappiness – and that means only I can make the changes that are needed. And I no longer believe that these are necessarily physical changes (although they may be). Instead, I think the necessary change is a psychological one – possibly a spiritual one.

Above all, I need to focus on making myself happy – or at least, making my life feel meaningful – and to stop hoping other people will do it for me. This first means accepting reality without embellishing on it with unhelpful stories.

(For example, “My art is not currently in any galleries” is a reality. “My art is not currently in any galleries and that is because it sucks and I will never have my art in any galleries” is a story. The first allows for possibilities and suggests possible actions – “Maybe I should visit some local galleries and see which ones might like my work?” – the second shuts everything down, precludes any possibility, and makes me unhappy.)

Taking responsibility for my own state of mind also means that I need to take action rather than waiting for stuff to happen. And so I have decided to replace this project with two new ones, each designed to help me build on this last year and keep moving forward.

The first is a public project, the second is just for me.

Project One – My Pursuit of Happiness

I’ve learned this year that I focus way too much on the negative – as I suspect many of us do. To balance that, I intend to spend some time every day taking a photo of something that made me happy. By year’s end, I will have a visual record of all I have to be thankful for.

I have a long dormant blog that I kept up as I moved back from the US to the UK, and I will use that blog to document my 365 ways to be happy. If you’re interested in following me, you can find it here. I will also post my photos to Instagram, so feel free to follow me there.

Project Two – Advancing my Art Career

I have a more-than-full-time job as well as a house and garden to keep up, a dog, a husband, a cat, friends and family, so I struggle to make time for art. This year my art has fallen by the wayside because the selfie project has taken up any spare time. But now I have 30-90 minutes free every day when, instead of drawing myself and then writing a post, I can work on my art career. This may mean something as simple as a sketch or an update to my website, sometimes it will mean posting to social media, and often it will mean working on new pieces. Whatever it is, I will spend time every day on moving my art career forward. I am not committing to daily posts about this, but I will update my blog and Facebook page more often.

Miscellaneous

  • I will be kinder to myself (I have already started this and it naturally makes me kinder to other people).
  • I will not believe my thoughts.
  • I will accept sadness when it comes, rather than fighting it.

This has been a good year. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for paying attention, commenting, encouraging and genuinely being amazing. I couldn’t have finished without you!

Happy new year – let’s make it a good one!

Hall of Mirrors

I much prefer the few days’ holiday around new year to the few days around Christmas. Instead of frenzied preparations, there is peace, calm, a sense that things are returning to normal. And in this peace, there is time to reflect.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned over the past year. I want to define the ways in which this project has changed me. I was to pinpoint the things I will be taking with me into the new year.

I think the biggest change is the way I view my own mind – and the way this influences the way I view the world. Time and again during this most difficult of years, I have been reminded that my thoughts are not reality. Time and again, having stressed or cried or rejoiced about something I perceived, I have been faced with the reality and forced to see that I have everything skewed.

It happened again today, when a casual comment laid bare the reality of a situation that I had seen in a completely different way. My perception had made me miserable. The view I saw through someone else’s eyes was both surprising and instantly familiar. Familiar because it matched other evidence that was in front of my eyes, but that I had stared past blindly, wrapped up entirely in my own warped view.

I have come to see that my mind is like the hall of mirrors at a funfair. But instead of laughing at the distortions, I have been letting them dictate my state of mind.

Through therapy, I understand where the distortions come from. This next year, I hope to learn how to move past them and on to the life I know I am capable of living.

IMG_4239.jpg

 

 Busted

my trusty MacBook Pro seems to have died tonight, which leaves me frantically loading WordPress on to my iPad and which, unfortunately means that I can’t edit the photos of my selfies anymore – so apologies if this isn’t cropped correctly. Oh well, only a few days left!

  

Too Tired

To write anything meaningful. I worked myself to the bone to make the perfect Christmas and of course it wasn’t because there is no such thing and then when that was over, I had to visit in-laws and now I just want a day of but it’s back to work tomorrow, full on.

Hey ho.

IMG_4213.jpg