Thursday, December 28, 2017

I'm Not "Supposed" To Do This

Convention wisdom will tell you that if you have any kind of business-y online presence that you should keep it all business and not mix in your personal life.

I tried doing that.
A lot.
Many times.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows that me + conventional wisdom have never really gotten along so naturally all of my attempts to conform to it have failed.
In a blaze of fantastic disaster.

I can't separate my personal life - aka my real self - from my business self.
We are one.

I guess that if I have a blog (or Facebook, Instagram, etc) associated with my business that I'm just supposed to write about business stuff, but the one-dimensionality of that would keep you (and me) interested for all of about 2 or 3 minutes at best.

Conversely, I guess that I'm supposed to have a separate blog (or Facebook, Instagram, etc) for my personal stuff and I guess that I'm not supposed to write about business stuff there, but don't you think that's kind of ridiculous? 

My business is based on my creativity and I don't want to sound corny or dramatic but that creativity courses through my veins. Furthermore, I am a bona fide writer - yep, I get paid all professional-like for stuff I write and have written.  So it is completely natural that I would incorporate those two core things into what I put out into the world (wide web).  I wouldn't have the first clue how to separate that out into some conventional wisdom compartments.

I see a great many people out there compartmentalizing and presenting their business or personal life as this non-messy, everything's-always-fabulous Stepford Wives persona to the world and in between my yawns I'm like "BS". 

(By the way, perfection is boring.
I want to see the real you, warts and all.  I want to know what/who is behind that thing you create.  I want a little insight into what makes you tick.)

I've said this a gazillion times in my lifetime...I've said it to my kid, to my self, to my staff, and basically to anyone who needed to hear it:

If there was one way to do a thing, one way that would lead to the whatever the goal was, 
we would all be doing it and then basking in the riches that showered down upon us all.

That reality, thankfully, is not that there is any one RIGHT way to do anything...except maybe heart or brain surgery.  Probably there is a really right way to do either of those two things and so if you're a surgeon it's probably a good idea to not go rogue and to instead stick with the tried and true. No one wants their doctor to say let's try something new and see what happens.

My other big saying that those around me have heard ad nauseum is throw it at the wall and see if it sticks.

I do this a lot which might have something to do with why my husband is losing his hair kind of rapidly.  See, I have a lot of ideas, frequently...and I also happen to think that the real meaning of life is to grab hold of it and take chances and have as much fun as possible...so I try things. 
Lots and lots of things. 
They might work, they might not, but in the meantime I'm living and learning and proactively having a grand time with this life thing...even when I do nothing more than write about not having a great day, etc.

How about you? 


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Confession: Is It Over Yet?

There is a chalkboard hanging in my kitchen upon which I have chalked in a countdown that I change daily.

Many other people have some kind of similar thing hanging in their homes and each day they excitedly change the countdown number as the anticipated date draws nearer.

The difference between mine and theirs is that they are counting the days until Christmas and I am counting the days until the day after Christmas.

I was not always this way. There are several reasons why I no longer enjoy holidays but the biggest one has to do with becoming anosmic and no longer being able to smell the associated scents that come with holidays.

I'm not going to get into a big scientific explanation of how your sense of smell affects every single freaking thing in your life/world and that if you still have the ability to smell stuff you have no idea what I'm talking about.  Most people who smell (ha) think that if you can no longer smell that it simply means you don't smell stuff.  That is wrong.  Oh so very wrong.
You, smelling person, are smelling things right now that you are not even aware of that are giving your life a very rich, multi-faceted experience.  Like, an amazing technicolor life.
Me, as a non-smelling person, experience life in a completely one-dimensional way.  Like, in a dismal black & white kind of way even though all the colors are there, right in front of my, um, nose.

Here's a visual:

Me, as a smelling person enjoying the Christmas season, hands thrown out in joy
Me, as a formerly smelling person attempting to enjoy the Christmas season, hands thrown out in WTF
Let me explain even further: there are scents that evoke memories.  The holidays are filled with these scents and even without you knowing it, when you smell a particular something it wakes up the part of the brain that holds the memories associated with that scent - that's basic stuff, right?
Maybe for you it's Christmas cookies or pine needles or the ham/turkey in the oven or snow or your loved ones, etc.

All of that is gone for me.

So in the season of sensory overload, I'm over here being constantly inundated and reminded of what I'm missing and I try really really hard every single day to not think about it so that I can function to the best of my ability in this new world of sensory nothingness that I now live in thanks to my non-functioning nose.

I try to get into the spirit of things to the best of my ability, really I do.  The outside of my house is decorated so that our neighbors don't think we're Scrooges.  I have fake trees all over the inside of our house year round and one is rather tall with beautiful white lights, so that one conveniently serves as our Christmas tree.  I might bake some cookies even though I can't taste their flavors anymore.
Oh, did you not realize that when someone can't smell it means that they can't taste flavors either?
You can see what I mean by being inundated and reminded of what I'm missing.

Every day without fail I remind myself to not think about not being able to smell.  If I don't remind myself and I start thinking about it too much, despair comes, and if I let that happen I am in really big trouble.  So it's my daily battle and it's kind of exhausting.  Then along comes a holiday and screams in my face everywhere I turn and I'm just like

The only part of Christmas that I still love are the Christmas lights.  I still get little kid excited by them.  We still go for long rides to look at them.  That's Christmas to me now.

Regardless, my life is still blessed and I spend more time than you can imaging thanking God for all I have...primarily a husband and daughter who uplift me when I sink too low and who share oh-my-god-i-can't-breathe laughter with me...and let's not forget that unconditional love thing.

I just hope that in the middle of your hustle and bustle that you remember to appreciate - I mean really appreciate - the stuff you maybe take for granted.

Smell those smells, taste those tastes and in the middle of it all remember to count your own blessings.


Monday, December 4, 2017

I'm Big In Berlin

You might not know this but I am the resident artist at The Globe in Berlin, MD.

So fitting that I shared the spotlight with
Funk O Lisous (sp)!

All year round approximately 25 or so of my artwork hang downstairs.

I hung a bunch of new stuff there in September totaling 26 pieces and I got word that much of that has sold!  So that's pretty great 👍
We hustled and ordered a bunch of new stuff and trekked down there this past weekend to replenish stock and wound up hanging something like 39 new pieces.  Whoa.

For some reason I am pretty successful in the Berlin area.  Every single week, no kidding, I get messages from people who say they saw or bought my artwork there.  Fabulous.

Every time I write about The Globe and Berlin, MD, I have to expound on how magical it is there.  The movies Tuck Everlasting and Runaway Bride which tells you that even Hollywood thinks it's a pretty special place.

So, go, if you can manage it.

Buy some art while you're there 😏

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