Picture Perfect?

Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.

SALVADOR DALI

One of the reasons that I enjoy doing my series Life: From A to Z is that most of the time I’m not even sure what I’m going to write about. These posts are very spontaneous. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But, HEY, nobody’s perfect!

It’s usually either a great quote that I manage to dig up, or the content of my featured image that inspires me or helps me along. In the case of the letter “P,” it was the “perfect” quote (above) that helped me select my p-word; PERFECTION.

Good old enticing… titillating… and unattainable perfection.

Continue reading “Picture Perfect?”

RIDING THE TIDE

First of all, I want to say “Hello… it is good to be back!” Even if it’s only momentarily. For now.

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve been active here on the blog. In traditional time, one month is not long at all, but by today’s standards – with social distancing and another round of shut-downs hitting my area tomorrow night—one month can feel like eternity. Like everything else, my concept of time has been altered.

The phrase “riding the tide” came to mind when I was thinking about life being turned upside down. I’m not even sure if I’m understanding the idiom correctly, but the way that I’m visualizing it sure fits. And when I say upside down, I don’t mean that every single occurrence has been negative, gloomy, or tragic (although for some that might be the case). What I mean is that my life—like the lives of many others—has experienced a major, and quite uncomfortable “shift.” It’s like we were beamed up by some kind of sci-fi light and transported… from a time when things were like that, to a time where things are like this. Life just isn’t the same.  

I was thinking back on my drinking and partying days (way back when it was still happy and fun, that is), and even on the days when I worked in the real estate industry, when the market was rising at warp speed and property values were skyrocketing. I was whooping it up and spending money like it was raining from the sky (or growing on trees). In times like that, there was a gut feeling that I always had… way down deep. An omen of impending doom, perhaps? Something inside of me just knew that if things kept going the way they were going, or if I kept behaving the way I was behaving, a CRASH was imminent. Well, the market DID crash. And so did I. Right down the chute to the rocky bottom.

I think that we all have that internal warning system, even though some of us are really good at ignoring it or even playing chicken with it. Remember that game? Anyway… I started thinking about what’s gone on, and what is still going on, and I had to wonder. Did anyone ever have gut feelings that something like this was going to happen? Did I? 

Maybe it’s my old self-sabotaging self that always expects bad things to happen, or just feels that they inevitably will… but I have to say that there have been times in my life when things seemed to be going far too good. That’s usually when I would hear the alarm, sirens blazing and my gut letting me know that when something (life) seems too good to be true—it probably is.

Maybe those internal alarms that are built into us humans aren’t always warning us that life is going too well, and so something bad will inevitably happen. Maybe those gut instincts are telling us that something HAS to happen—something that will shake (or wake) us up—because, just like what happened in my old drinking, partying and over-spending days, sometimes we need something to make us see that we haven’t really been living… we’ve just been riding the tide. Going with the flow. Complacent.

I don’t know. Just a thought.


On another note, I’ve missed everyone. I left for my sister’s house a month ago with every intention of returning once I got home, but life had other plans and I needed to spend time offline and focus on school. Three more weeks and I’ll be on winter break, then three more classes next semester and I’ll finally have my Bachelor’s degree. Yahoo!!

I’ve been doing a lot of new things, and one of them is sewing. My bed has been swallowed up by pillows that I’ve sewn covers for, and there is barely room for me in there anymore. I do love my photographs and art, but I have to say that sewing something and then holding the finished product in your hands is one of the most awesome feelings ever. And speaking of photographs and art, I created the featured image from an old photo of my son surfing—a little symbolism there, I suspect. The contrast and darkness in the wave that is going to crash makes me think of a journey into the unknown. It can be scary in there, but there is always something to be found in it.

That’s about all for now. For those of you celebrating, have a wonderful Thanksgiving…

Peace & Love!

Beautiful Storm

I started working on this image during my “time out” yesterday. I feel wonderful today, and very well rested. The beach scene is not quite where I wanted it to be, but it will have to do. For now. Striving for perfection is exhausting, so it’s “good enough.”

I’ve come to the conclusion that—even with this extra time we’ve all been given—it’s still possible to burn out. Too much sleeping, overeating, excessive introspection, and even (in my own case) an overdose of blogging. Some of it isn’t visible; it’s the unseen things we do behind the scenes—thinking about what to share, writing and editing, scratching the whole shabang and then starting over—that sort of stuff. Assuming I’m not the only one who does that!

Yesterday I REALLY dug in and I’m almost finished cleaning and organizing my space (the old bedroom / desk / work area). Wednesday is my new student orientation at the University— which, unfortunately, is now on zoom instead of face to face—and then the following Monday my classes start. Yay! That being said, I’ll be too busy to over-introspect or overdose on blogging, so that’s really good news. Anyway, it felt SO good to clean and organize. Sometimes I think cleaning is good for the soul. It helps us heal, and everything looks so pleasing afterwards. Like a fresh start!

I thought I’d do a Daily Gratitude because that’s how I feel today. After writing about my struggles with the ALL or NOTHING syndrome, and trying to find some kind of balance, I see something very beautiful in that storm, something I’m very grateful for…

Sanity: The ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner.

Although it’s not official, I’ll stick to the definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I’ve done that before! And I blamed everyone around me for the destructive tornado that seemed to follow me wherever I went. Not until recovery did I learn that it was me. I was the cause. It was MY storm.

Having a sound mind and the wherewithal to think and sort through my whirlwind of thoughts, from different perspectives, is something I’m truly grateful for. It is in that storm that the answers hide.

I’m ALSO grateful to all of the readers, my friends. Every comment (or like) encourages me, and your words have helped me to see or realize new things. 

I know it’s a bit strange to lump together sanity and readers (friends), but actually it’s not. This is a difficult and unusual time we’re all in. Life is “different” right now, and it will be different for quite some time. Being there for each other is part of what keeps us sane. So, if you ask me, I’d say that the two go hand in hand.

Thank you for reading, and for being there!

Peace & Love…
—Janet

Painted boarder

Not an Island

I am not an island,

That is what I have been told.

But I am alone when at sea, it seems, 

Paddling out in the cold.

I am not an island,

Isolation takes its toll.

But the fish and birds accompany me,

While the ocean feeds my soul.


Written for the Word of the Day Challenge: Island. The accompanying image is a photograph I shot at Malibu beach a few months back.

Note: We all do what we can to stay busy during these long days of social isolation. Apparently swimming out in the ocean should not be one of them though, as a man was arrested on this very same beach for paddle boarding during the quarantine. Yikes!