Creativity is good for my soul

Man! Designing these cross stitch patterns has been so good for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still exhausted as shit, sleeping poorly, and the back pain actually seems to have gotten worse somehow. But, it’s almost like I don’t mind it so much?

I feel more engaged in life. I feel a little more like I have a purpose. Above all else, it’s fun. I think about the designs as I’m falling asleep. I looked at the elevator light the other day and saw my little stitch blocks.

Some of them are gifts, which is always fun for me. I love handmade gifts. It’s nice to be able to make just the right gift. My plan is to design a bunch, make them, and then on my next trip to the US, get everything framed and shipped out where it needs to go. I’ve made a lot of designs though so I have no idea if I’ll be able to get everything done.

I do hope to sell some of them eventually, but even if I don’t, that’s okay. It’s FUN for me. And I am desperately in need of some fun to lighten up all the BLAH that has invaded my life.

If you’ve got any ideas for things you’d like to see in stitches, let me know. I’ll see if I can tackle it.

Doing More

I feel like I’ve been able to do more lately, which is outstanding. Well, let’s be fair. When I say that I’ve been doing more, I should clarify what I’ve been doing.

As you know, this month’s 30-Day Project is to design a new cross stitch pattern every. That has been incredibly fun and it’s given me some vitality that I knew I’d lost. I feel driven to create and that hasn’t happened in a long time. I’m thinking about selling the patterns on Etsy once I get them reviewed and stitched up. Not sure how much success I’ll have, but I’ve gotten very good feedback on a lot of what I’ve done so far. People have even requested I send them the patterns to stitch!

I have also been reading more this year. When I do the Reading Challenges, I start slow and then, toward the middle of the year, realize that I haven’t been reading all that much. I frantically dedicate days to reading and get ahead. Then it trickles down as the year comes to a close. Since I joined NetGalley, I feel an obligation to read the books I’m gifted sooner rather than later, especially if the book hasn’t been released yet. Because I keep finding books that look great there and actually getting them, this means I’m committing myself to reading more than I had before.

I was doing my semi-regular cleaning out of email and sorting through things I have to pay for, and I discovered that I own a lot of domain names. Each domain name represents a project I started and haven’t finished. Part of the point of the 30-day Projects is to finish what I start. While that seems to be working (most of the time) on a concentrated scale, larger projects have been completely neglected.

I’m tired of doing that. I didn’t get rid of most of the domain names. I liked those ideas. I wanted something to happen to them. Lost of things got in the way – marriage (good thing!), health issues (bad things!), emotional issues (more bad things!), and trying to live in a new country (neutral thing).

I’ve been here long enough that I need to get my shit sorted out. The health issues aren’t really changing and I’m pretty much doing everything I can for them right now. The emotional issues are better when I’m being creative, so if I focus some more energy (through my 30-Day Projects) on creative things, some of the stuff I’ve been meaning to do that hasn’t been touched in ages may actually get a loving caress from me.

The first thing I need to do is sort it all out so I can get a grip on what’s actually out there. What I feel like I’m doing is standing still with things floating all around me. I need to grab them and stuff them in a box so they can’t get anywhere. Then, I’ll catalog the things so I can decide what I want to do. Then I’ll prioritize. Yes, this sounds like an excellent plan.

However, I could use some guidance on organization of intangibles. How do you keep your projects organized? How do you not let it overwhelm you?

30-Day Project: January’s got me in stitches! (And December wrap-up)

30-day Project

December was (mostly) a success! I think I forgot to post a photo one day, but I think I made up for it by posting 2 on another day. I’ll take that level of success!

I’ve become obsessed with cross-stitching. I got really ragey for a while and Etsy and Subversive Cross Stitch were able to satisfy my cravings for equally ranty patterns. So now I have tons to do. I also bought a few patterns that don’t use the word “fuck.” For when I’m feeling mellow.

I also bought myself some cross stitch software so I can make my own patterns. Some that I’ve designed so far have really amused me. I’m thinking about putting them up for sale in my own Etsy store. So, to practice with designing and maybe build up a stock of patterns, my goal this month is to do one design per day.

This is an ambitious goal as some of these designs end up taking a lot of time. They can get pretty detailed if you want it to look right. I’ve had at least one that took an hour to do and I’m sure it still needs some revising. It’s been worth the effort though.

I’m going to post the finalized designs on the Facebook page. Look for one later today!

This is going to be a great exercise in discipline for me.

Movie Review: The Intern

The Intern

Went to see this one yesterday with some friends of mine. With leads like Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated, The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give) doesn’t veer too far from her norm, but why should she? What she does is working.

Ben (DeNiro) is a widowed retiree looking for something to do with his days. Jules (Hathaway) is the head of an online clothing company who is in a bit over her head. The company recruits senior-aged interns to bring experience to the very young company. Against Jules’ wishes, Ben is her intern.

The movie is a lot more complex and nuanced than the previews suggest. Jules has a lot going on in her life aside from her work. Like so many successful women these days, she’s trying to find balance. The movie highlights a lot of the double standards so prominent in American home life these days. It also contrasts the old way (Ben worked at a company that printed phone books for 40 years) and the new (an entirely online clothing store).

Will this movie win any awards? Probably not. It’s not a particularly novel concept, but it’s well-acted and heartwarming. The supporting cast turns in excellent performances as well. (It’s weird to see Adam DeVine – Bumper from Pitch Perfect – not busting into song but his character is pretty similar. The score and soundtrack are also quite good.

If you’re looking for a feel-good movie, this is definitely one to see.

Dose of Lyndsy: Approved

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Care Bear Stare

30-day Project

This month is a two-fer in terms of projects. I wanted to do something spiritual in addition to butchering haiku. What I learned today is that I’m basically doing a Care Bear Stare.

I’m sure some of you have no idea what  Care Bear Stare is. The Care Bears were a TV show in the 1980s about a  group of bears who live in the clouds and help people out. Each bear has a different positive symbol on its tummy (except Grumpy Bear who has a raincloud) that characterizes his/her personality.

My favorite was always Cheer Bear. For my 5th birthday my dad gave me a stuffed Cheer Bear and I *still* have him. He used to be pink, but years of travel have made him slightly more gray than pink.

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The Cheer Bears overcome whatever evil is plaguing them by doing a Care Bear Stare. They all line up and project their happy and positive symbols into a rainbow. BAM! Evil defeated.

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So today, while I was sitting in bed, legs sort of crossed (damn cast), I was projecting love, light, and positivity to my friend. She’s been going through some rough shit lately and I wanted to see if I could help in some way. I was basically visualizing a rainbow of those emotions going to her. It hit me that I was doing a Care Bear Stare. I also visualized weights being lifted off her shoulders and her walking on clouds now that so much has been taken off her.

Before actually doing this today, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get through five minutes of this. When I try to meditate, my mind wanders and try as I might, I cannot reel it back in when I’m counting breaths or trying to focus on a word.

But when I actually started doing it and visualizing my friend being lifted the time flew by. I was shocked when my timer went off.

Even more than that, *I* felt lighter and lifted. Prior to this exercise I was feeling a bit down and sort of dumpy. Not after I was done. I do love giving and I very much believe that in order to receive you must give, but I had no idea it would have the impact on me that it did.

I even drew a picture of my visualization that I will share with my friend. I’m not much of an artist, so it looks nothing like her, but I think it’ll get the point across.

The only thing that sort of sucks about this is that I have no idea if it’s really doing anything. I’ve read a lot about the power of thought and the power of prayer. I *hope* that all of it’s true and that I am making a difference.

The 30-day Project

30-day Project

I learned a lot working as a prosecutor in Drug Diversion Court in King County. One of the biggest takeaways came from Judge Wesley Saint Clair. When the participants were struggling to make it to their meetings or not use drugs, he used to tell them, “It’s 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days.”

I have loads of things I need to work on, but when I think about doing them all at once, I get overwhelmed. My big focus right now should be on my health. My body is working so hard to heal (though it apparently has done all it can), I need to give it some help. I also haven’t really be doing things I enjoy as much as I would like (coloring, blogging, cross-stitch).

So, for a year, I’m going to pick something to focus on each month and do it every day that month. May will be the first month I do it. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do in May, but it’ll probably be something easy to do, so I don’t burn myself out.

What kinds of things would you be doing if you were playing along with me?