Friday, September 18, 2009

Pursing Happiness... by way of a slap on the forehead.

This morning I was mentally running through my exceptionally long to-do list. It was scary. I was thinking about how I really need to get myself onto a schedule with more discipline into my routine so I can accomplish more every day. We already know I'm overcommitted... I've given up on magically being granted more hours in the day. Oh yeah, and I was looking at the dust bunnies in the corner and thinking (only thinking) "I need to sweep..."

All of a sudden two sayings came into my head. Sayings that reminded me that there's more to life than meeting deadlines and living in a constant state of craziness. Talk about your V-8 moment... I felt that slap on my forehead - that slap came from my wise grandparents, who have been gone for many years, but still influence my life.

Years ago I got an autograph book and began collecting autographs. I think it was the summer before 7th grade - about 1971... I gathered them joyfully, all sorts of notes written in various colors of ink from friends and family... I had one of those "cool" pens that had about 12 colors of ink with those little sliders all the way around the top to choose the color. Two of those pages contained advice along with the signature - words of wisdom that stuck with me - that I think of fondly from time to time. Today those words hit me like a ton of bricks. "Listen up" they said to me.

The first saying I was reminded of came from my grandfather - he didn't originate it, but he wrote it down in my book. "Take time to smell the roses." Yep. Stop spinning in circles. Stick your nose in a flower. Appreciate what's around you. SLOW DOWN. Got it Grandpa T.

The the second one was from my grandmother. It was a Chinese proverb. "If you have two loaves, sell one and buy a lily." Who needs two loaves? One is enough. If your belly is full, you should feed your soul. Enjoy something beautiful. It also implies (to me anyway) "slow down." You could also take "live for today" from that one. Actually, I see many ways to analyze it... (and I won't go down the "stimulating the economy" road). My grandmother was among those responsible for encouraging my artistic side. Thanks Nona M.

So, today I'm taking a deep breath. Now all I have to do is inform the people whose deadlines I'll be delaying that I'm busy smelling roses and looking at lilies. Piece of cake. Well, I'll do it with a smile - that'll help ;-)


  1. Creative people are rarely organized, but always seem to get done what needs doing. give up trying and be the best artist/person you can be. dust bunnies will take care of themselves. and if they don't, who cares anyway.

  2. Truly words of wisdom - words to live by. Let's go smell the roses!

  3. You need to do this more often Cathy. Learn the power of "no" and give yourself TIME!!

  4. As a clergy spouse, I had to learn to say "no" and mean it (but in the nicest possible way). It was one of the most difficult lessons I have ever had to learn because I have always wanted to please people. Here's how I handle it:
    Step #1 Say "thank you" from the top of your head or the bottom of your heart, it doesn't matter.
    Step #2 Politely decline.
    Step #3 (Optional) give an excuse. Notice, THIS IS OPTIONAL!
    Step #4 (Also optional)Leave the door open for a later request IF YOU WANT TO.

    No one knows better than you how full your datebook is. Take care of yourself or there won't be anything left for your art or others.