Be it tradition, routine or obsession. I pick a word to focus on all year, HEART and that word would help me grow and understand the inner makings of myself to the outer situation going on around me. Well, I always move forward in hopes of this. I'm not sure if it really does, but it's a touch stone in my life to pick a word and next create a vision board.
This year it was to Grow Your Heart, heart being the word for the year.
After I make my vision board which is done at the very beginning of each year. I do start rolling around in my head about what directions I might move into or tackle in 2019, It's happening now. When I finish the board I go to the office store and have it laminated. A full sheet of poster board that I use and it becomes a place mat on the kitchen table where I use my laptop the most.
I then use Photoshop to crop down the vision board into card size images and print them out and put them in clear plastic sleeves...something like Soul Collage but not...when I do my morning pages I can see a section smaller, meditate and focus on it better. I break it up into 6 sections which works well for two month increments.
No Idea what was head...though I remember questioning is I should look for a regular job....for 9 years, I've heard my spouse talk about leaving a his job...the A-hole was too much and he was really getting scared something might happen.
April was a traumatic month which now I can look back and see clearer....At the time it was happening I think I was in shock. We where going through major job transition that started with my husband walking off his job. He had grown up with the two bosses, lived in the same neighborhood, went to school with them, worked with their fathers before the company became owned by these two bosses. I've had a hard time understand human behavior because of the history between all these people it became very toxic and distance and dangerous for people to work around a man that was a big bully and threaten your life with machinery. I will stop there with my thoughts and feelings...it rise ups resentment and I don't want to keep hurting....
The Grace of this, was Unemployment allowed my husband to collect an income because of the dangerous environment he worked in. Normally when you walk off a job you don't or can't collect. It was the hardest things for my husband do and to have someone believe him like this was a blessing. We couldn't believe it when she/unemployment person allow it to happen. She scolded my husband and said," never ever again walk off a job..."
I'm thanking for the company my husband worked for because they did start a retirement fund that we could draw from to help us not lose our shit, (mainly so I didn't) home, life and peace of mind...The house/home became my focus on creating collage works...my favorite piece is this one below...called Homestead...this series, started after May.
Prior to this all happening....I was working on self image series... which manifested into an exhibit at Starline Gallery in Harvey IL. I used my art to help me get through....16 pieces were created, very passionate, raw, and revealing work. It was a life savor to be working on this artwork because I commented to this exhibit. I think I would have fell apart as we went through a man of 57, white, and white haired trying to find a job and have some life insurance without sucking us dry...
I have a large group of nude images of my body so I will have to be caution where I exhibit them...Public, local place like libraries are not good places... or acceptable.
Where ever your birthday month is make sure you put a picture of yourself in. That's what I tell my students when the take this works.
During this month I was really going through major anxiety so badly that the stress had me loosing my hair...OMG my hair.. I was not sleeping, I was afraid to take a shower....feeling like a cancer victim. I didn't have a big appetite. I was journaling writing, teaching classes....vamping up ways I could keep income coming in as my spouse had unemployment coming in. Using his time between sitting behind a computer for hours filling out application for jobs he got back into the house/home improvement parts...mainly because if we have to sell it would be nice if it was some what finished and we would get more money for it if it sold...move away to a big piece of property...and have chicken etc...still being the artists that we are.
I prayed, talked with my spiritual friends and walked, I thought about the heart of matter....to have heart is to be courageous, but you are also very vulnerable before that moment of being a warrior of resilience. I was dealing with the fear of losing our house. This was my own drama....growing up with a family, blue collar moving from one house to another. My dad was a very handy man and would fix up house and find a bigger one till we were able to have one built...but there was a lot of moving around so when we found out house now and build on to it. I vowed not to move so our kids would be able to stay in one house...my thoughts....because it wasn't heading that way, we made drastic changes, cut backs and brought our bills down to manageable sizes cut many things out. This time was also a motivator for two of our adult children living with us still get prepared to move out. We knew it was going to happen but because if this change it felt so odd...but they had been talking about it for years...so the parent birds give the nudge and out on their own they go...
Still no job and having to hear how the interviews went...He was well qualified for these jobs but the age of my husband was a big factor and the cost of insurance for someone this age on the job is what people are dealing with...Grateful for good health but still a crazy world we are awakened to.
Keeping myself sober emotional was a big factor and managing the house finances and being a sounding board, supporter, encouragement...Plus my oldest daughter was also going through the same job search situation....Inside I was falling apart... Art, process work kept me going.
Our relationship husband and wife also went through some changes...as of the area's in our relationship that were a bit sticking and hard to navigate became area we had to face and be open and honest about. Dealing with Money has always be a touchy subject for both of us and that is no more...well there are some moments but far and few in between...we talk at a level that we haven't. We are more open and vulnerable with each other...we are closer together then we ever where...which in some cases this could have been something others would walk away from.
Two of four adult children have moved out and I see this section of the vision board with the furniture...I wondered why I was drawn to it when I glued it down...Now I know it has me moving stuff around, clean out my studio space...setting up a room for possible classes because that thought in the back of mind is more a possibility....me teaching classes at home, Randy my husband working out of the garage fixing things in our retirement...which would be a life of still working but having purpose and fulfillment. Around the mid August beginning of September my husband found a job...the only one that would hire him. So many interviews, so many jobs that would have benefited from his hard work.. but as I said only one that would hire him...Working on a Dock/freight company. Odd hours, lots of documentation needed for every shipment going out and in and where you drop it off at...he finally feeling like he's getting it but that's going into two and half months. My hardest part of this is witnessing it all...seeing the pain and courage...being the cheerleader.
My work has focused on paying for our temporary health insurance, until the new job kicks in.
There has been so much change. I have to look at this all so I can make sense of it as going through trauma...major drama and great loss, Grief.
At every turn we were having to give up something to make ends met some where else. We never were ones that lived high on the hog but we really became so aware of our spending and how and what we really need that at time we can be grateful of it.
I know during the height of it all I was praying with gratitude, silly but thankful we were alive. I know dramatic...but I believe I had to be counter with positive, being thankful this happened, sounds so backwards but it forced me to see what was in the moment. And how rich it is. I know I wasn't as open about this all with both sides of parents...but it has been damn hard, and sometimes till is to deal with in the moment let alone sharing what was going on. I have to admit there was a big sense of False Shame going on. Took me a while to realize I had nothing to be ashamed about. As I did open up with people around me...I heard stories of experience, strength and hope...and how many folks get through it. Though it's a different time now the atmosphere is one of Fear...Which we counter that at ever turn with positiveness and gratitude.
This is my last two months section before the new year comes around...this is the time of year I go in...like the bear and become introspective and seek deeper awareness and guidance. When I create the vision boards for myself I do have that self awareness of the section but I try not to make to many boundaries. But what is amazing is how it all works out. I'm truly in Awe.... It's has been my touch point, a place where I could look at and see hope...
For the new year I had a few words I posted about a few weeks back.