Super Happy and the Every Day Struggle

“It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you, without a strong rhyme to step to…” – Eric B. & Rakim

comet2Wow, life has been busy. Let’s jump right in.

I am super happy with my life. Almost every day is a struggle.
I love having an unstructured schedule. I can pretty much plan my day around my workout. I hit a gym about 3 times a week. My body has changed a lot. I’m not as frail looking as I was originally after the 40 lb weight loss. I’m developing definition in my arms. Watch out now!

Just about everyday I do something related to painting. Sometimes it’s studying techniques or products. Sometimes it’s looking for or organizing inspirational pieces. Sometimes it’s spending 8 hours on one piece or 8 hours on four.

Marketing the book is just as challenging as I expected.  But lots of folks have shown their support with purchases, leads and introductions. Actually, I’m having a little trouble keeping all the info organized and followed up on.

In spite of all this, almost everyday I find myself lonely, bored and or restless. I have to consciously use my positive coping techniques and self talk. The positive activities to cheer me include painting, getting outside, meeting friends and new people, prayer, exercise, aromatherapy, beverages with a lot of caffeine and sugar and thrift store shopping. Well, maybe those last two really shouldn’t count, huh?

Left to its own devices, my mind wanders off to various dark corners. I think the interesting part of it is, while it probably always did that, now I notice it and it bothers me! Yes, now that my head is clearer, I can see just what a mess I really am. Chuckle.

I’m kinda at a crossroad with my meds. My doctor and I tried to take me off one, but I began to really struggle. Now we need to figure the next dosage or combination of medications. I had dropped out of talk therapy for over a year. I can see it is time to go back and tackle a whole new set of issues.

I thought getting  well was a full-time job. Staying  well is a full-time job! I love my job.

“When I”m writing, I’m trapped between the lines
I escape when I finish the rhyme…
I got soul.” – Eric B. & Rakim I Know You Got Soul
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The Makeover

I was selected for a business women’s makeover by internationally acclaimed transformational makeover expert Eve Michaels on Thursday. The makeover included hair, make-up and an outfit. I had the opportunity to model my “after” look in front of a business crowd. I also got information on how to style myself as an artist. I was super excited for this opportunity. “What NOT to Wear” has been one of my favorite shows. I’ve learned some good general points from Stacy and Clinton. The opportunity, however, for personalized instruction from Ms. Michaels was so precious and inspiring.

Points Ms. Michael reinforced for me included:

  • jewel tones ( sapphire, jade, amethyst) look best on me
  • a supportive bra is an everyday essential
  • expensive clothes don’t have to be if you know where to shop
  • thrift store finds can be figure-flattering if you compare your measurements to those of the garment and have a neighborhood tailor

New things I learned:

  • my eye glasses are too rectangular for my face, and too narrow so that they cut my eye space (eyebrow to bottom of eye socket) in half
  • wider and rounder frames would be more attractive
  • “droopy” hair elongates my face and makes me look sad
  • more height to my hair will be more complimentary
  • a more flattering, attractive, artistic look may actually help me sell more art at better pricesIMG_2065

Perhaps the bottom line for me is, I could be doing better with my daily presentation of Kartika: the wife, mom, artist and author. Too often I rush and throw something together and skip the make-up. Years ago I had gotten my make-up application down to 7 minutes. But recently the thought came to me, why should I rush? Why shouldn’t I take 30 minutes to create the day’s look? For me the “whys” speak to some underlying issues. Had I believed I wasn’t worth the time? Had I believed it was vain to make the effort. Was I uncomfortable with “looking great” or “looking sexy”?

I’ll continue to dig into those issues. In the meantime, I’m reading Ms. Michael’s new book, Dress Code: Ending Fashion Anarchy. She has a 3 day makeover boot-camp coming up in September which I’d love to attend!

Please learn more about Eve Michaels and her life-work at her website.

www.http://evemichaels.com/

Ladies, wanna weigh in on these issues? I’d love to hear from you!

Pretty AND Powerful

I was parking my Jeep on a short incline. Also, I wanted to be sure I was equidistant from each white strip on the pavement. Looking up and forward, my concentration was shattered. Off in the distance I saw a princess. Spotting princesses is almost as rare as mermaid sightings. I’ve seen a group of those too recently. However, it was just a picture so I didn’t get to talk to them. I threw my car into park and jumped out.

Now she was standing for others to see and comment on. Her dress was pale blue, flouncy. I could see the sparkles as I closed the distance between us. She had curly blonde hair, so cute. She didn’t have a wand or scepter or anything in her hands. Who was she? I can’t remember who wears blue.

Her mom was tucking her into the car, so I had to walk faster.” Hi there! Hi!”

Her mom turned toward me.

“I see you have a princess in your car”, I said.

“Oh, yes”, she said quietly. The princess poked her head out.

“Hi there!, I said to her. Which princess are you?”

She simply smiled.

I asked her mom, “Are you headed to a party?”

“No”, she said

“Oh, why so dressed up?”

“It’s ‘pick your fight day’. That’s all she was willing to wear.”

“Oh, how old is she?”

“3.”

“Ahh.”

I turned from mom and bent down to speak to the little one inside the car again. “Well, I’m so glad to have met a beautiful princess today. Bye sweetie.”

She smiled a wide grin for me. As I walked to my apartment, I knew there was a lesson in this scenario. I couldn’t wait to get to my computer and start to comb it out.

Ladies, do you have a dress or suit that when you put it on you feel pretty and powerful? When you wear it do folks take notice of your energy? Are they drawn near? Do they fall under your spell for a few minutes?

When I used to feel down or weak, I’d put on my old college sweatshirt. It is an XL, grey, frayed sleeves thing. It wasn’t pretty however, when I put it on I would gain temporary strength and boldness. But I was kinda hiding in it.

It’s ratty and way too big for me now. I think I need to exchange it for a “princess gown”. I need something that presents  the dreamer and optimist in me. (That’s what the princesses represented to me as a girl. Their stories ended happily, things worked out. I never really made the connection that a man was necessary for that to happen. Guess that’s because I was raised by a mom on her own.) I need something that allows my “magic” to sparkle. And it’s gotta fit properly!

Once we find our “gowns”, let’s wear them everyday. Let’s put up a fight when someone thinks we should take them off. Let’s recognize the sisterhood of those with “princess powers”.

Disney-Princess-Lineup-walt-disney-characters-20868733-729-214

What do you think?

I bought a watch

Disney

Disney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I didn’t start carrying a handbag till I was 32. For so many years, being able to stuff my things into the side pocket of the baby bag had worked just fine. I didn’t start wearing make-up till I was 34. I was living alone by then and that allowed me more time and money to spend on myself.

 

I wasn’t much interested in wearing a watch. My first watch was a Mickey Mouse watch my grandparents gave me when I was about nine years old. I ruined it almost immediately by deciding Mickey wanted to swim in the bathroom sink. Since when does a mouse swim? I remember buying a Citizen and a Wittenauer watch, but it seems I didn’t wear them long.

 

When I was about 30 years old I started working in call centers. You are in a fishbowl as a phone consultant in a call center. Absolutely everything is watched and measured and reported on. The goal is efficient use of time and money. And they have formulas and forecasts to assure their success. I learned that time, down to the minute, was very important and my time was not my own. I had a boss that said, “Business is lost in a fraction of a second in a call center.” I wasn’t prepared to take it all quite that seriously, however I got the point. Oddly through the first eight or so years in the call centers, I never wore a watch. Was it some sort of rebellion?

 

Five years ago, when I became a manager, I tried wearing one again. I was running with the “big boys” now. I wanted to look professional and responsible. So I wore it and looked at it when appropriate. However, my time was still not my own. I could plan  so that 11 hours worth of work fit into 8. But, the emergency monster, a Medusa-like creature, would come around the corner and destroy my day’s plan. Looking into her eyes would turn me to stone, cold and clunky.

 

Besides, clocks were everywhere. On mostly bare walls, on phones, on computers. The one circling my wrist was beginning to suffocate me like a boa constrictor squeezing to cut off breath and circulation. In a couple of months I had misplaced it. Until a month ago, I never thought about wearing one again.

 

I saw surfing the web, perhaps my favorite pastime. I saw a deal on a really cute watch. (Perhaps finding good deals is really my pastime.) The watch is silver with a pink face. “Well, you don’t really need a watch,” I told myself. But then on second thought, I realized I did. I have absolutely no set in stone schedule, and  I really like that. This year it became hard for me to keep a routine. I seemed to even have trouble with meetings that met the same day, same time, every week. But I have a lot to do. I’m very impressed with how much I’ve absorbed, how much I’ve accomplishment and that I’ve done on a shoestring budget.

 

So I have reclaimed and re-purposed my time. Now I do what I really care about, and can really care about the people I do it with. I wear my watch every time I leave the house. I’m on a mission with 16 hours worth of work to do in 12.