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Most of us wonder where the time went at the end of the day. If you are like me you still have too much to do at the end of a day. I am experiencing that right now. At 63, I seem to have less energy than I used Timeto have. Plus being a bit under the weather has forced me to slow down and nap more the last couple of days. And things start backing up when sickness occurs. Being single and unemployed, I can’t pass things off to someone else that I need to take care of: Packing garbage for Thursday pick-up, buying groceries, keeping up with Ebay listings, writing blog posts, chores, feeding and caring for a cat, taking my meds and making sure I refill them, going to doctors appointments, listening to webinars that promise a hefty and profitable 4th Quarter, and the list goes on.

Sometimes I stand in the middle of the room and cry HELP ME GOD!!! I often don’t know what to do first or what I want to see accomplished at the end of the day. Everything seems to be important and maybe it is. I’ve found that the crying out to God actually works. He makes something catch my eye or my thoughts and I go do that, then something else will come to my attention and I’ll go do that, etc. Before I know it, I’ve gotton tons of things accomplished, my stress level has decreased, and my self-esteem has been repaired.

If you don’t have a relationship with God, you can try thinking of the 3-5 most important things in your day that really need to get done by the end of the day. You want to be able to lay your head on your pillow at night and not be disturbed by thoughts of incomplete projects, or things your mind brings up when it should be settling down for the night. What will it take to get those done or at least taken to the next step? If by some chance you get them ALL done, then go to an auxiliary list of the next most important things that need accomplished and pick something from that and so forth.

Give yourself some down time in your day also. A 15 minute cup of flavored coffee where you put your feet up, stare at a rosebush and just think of how good the coffee tastes will go a long way to relaxing your mind, freeing up your spirit, and improving your perspective. Whatever it is that will accomplish this for you, do it!

Don’t let the day be ALL about you though. Take a little time to focus on someone else. Write a note of thanks, or send a greeting card with a message that you know will encourage another. You want to do something that will help someone else, but will not take you down a rabbit trail that takes you off course in accomplishing your goals. Maybe you want to plan a meet-up with someone – just call and ask when they are available and avoid a long conversation at that moment – save it for the meet-up. This will help to get your mind off of yourself for a while, and put life into a better focus.

Well these are some of the things that were mulling around in my mind as I look forward to an extremely busy day tommorrow and some ways I was thinking of surviving it … smile. How do you tackle busy days? Do you have any unique strategies to share?

When you are an artist, frequently you work with color. You apply it in different ways on Robins Egg Nest in White Birch Branchesdifferent kinds of surfaces with different types of tools. Your job is to control the colors, understand how they relate to one another, communicate something to others with them, and decide/plan what the visual outcome will be. What you can’t control 100% is another person’s thoughts or reactions to what you have made. They do not know the different decisions you made to arrive where you did and why. They may not even care unless they have a relationship of some kind with you. But even then, they only have their reactions to go by in the final analysis. They may love it, or hate it, or be indifferent to it, even if they know you personally.

The reason for this is thAbstract Japanese Waterfallat we react to colors, shapes, and textures differently. We are individuals and as such we have separate brains, emotions, preferences, personal history, and understanding. Often colors are an emotional choice for us. Many people love the color Blue. It’s endearing, it’s soft and romantic. It’s the color of the sky, the ocean, flowers, and more. Things we tend to love and be gently attracted to. Even a harsh Blue can still be enduring because at it’s base is Blue. Red on the other hand can agitate us if it’s too harsh. It is an aggressive color, loud, dominant, and also loved. Red is a very important color to the Chinese, especially for celebrations. Red is seen as a power color as well. If you have to give a business presentation and it is important for you to demonstrate that you are in control, wear Red. (Please note: Make sure your presentation is well prepared and delivered because just wYellow Cat In The Gardenearing Red won’t save you … smile). Green is a calming color. People associate it with growth, and living things. It makes us feel secure. The only time it doesn’t feel secure to me is when I see it on hospital personnel or hospital walls. Then it makes me feel sick.

There are whole websites devoted to the Psychology of Colors and how they affect us. Colour Affects is a website in the UK with some very interesting information on eleven colors and their psychological affects on us. This is a very interesting read. Click on the name in this paragraph to go to their website and discover the properties of color on our mind, emotions, and reactions.

Mel MaskFor me personally and as an artist, I’ve been gravitating towards creating art with a variety of colors. I’ve used watercolors and markers primarily to create realistic and unusual pieces that my mind and emotions come up with. I’ve displayed some of them throughout this blog post. How do you react to the colors used? Do you sense peace or irritation? Are you soothed or confused by the colors? Do you love them or hate them? Please share any thoughts you may have about your own color preferences.

I usually go to church each Sunday. We have four services, but I usually attend the 9am one. Cross WoodI’ve been going to church all of my life as a ritual. When I was little my mother made sure we went with her while my father opted to stay home. That must have made her feel really good … hmmmm. Well anyway, due to some circumstances at home, I could not attend today, but I missed hearing my pastor’s thoughts. I’ll be able to listen to them on the internet next week as they are recorded, but I still miss hearing them fresh.

When I was older, I went to church because I liked it. I wanted to know God personally but sadly after 12 years of religious training I could not tell someone how to become a Christian. It dawned on me that I could give information to people on how to become a member of my religion, but I could only tell them about God from what someone else had told me and not a personal perspective.

It wasn’t until I was in college, that someone told me how I could know God personally for myself, and not second hand through someone else.

The first step was knowing that I was a sinner. I may have had the best intentions, but compared to a holy God, I had flaws and that made me a sinner: Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

The second step was to acknowledge that sin (including my sin) causes death and separation from a holy God. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death … ”

The third step was to understand and believe that we die once and after death comes judgement by a holy God. Hebrews 9:27 “For it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement”

The fourth step was to acknowledge and accept for myself (make personal) that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”

The fifth step was ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart, cleanse me from my sins, and make me a Child of God & a new person. Revelations 3:20 “For behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and dine with him and he with Me.”

The sixth step was to accept that God made me His child through His Son and that I have everlasting life in heaven with Him. John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

The seventh step was to understand that God made me into a new creature the moment I made the decision to trust the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as full payment for my sins. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

This is how I came to know God personally and Church became an intimate encounter with God and His Children instead of a Ritual to be observed. Once I believed God’s plan as outlined in the Bible and gave my heart and life to Christ, asking Him to dwell in me, it made all the difference in the world.

Do you have a similar story to share? Please feel free to tell us about your own spiritual journey.

It’s The Weekend!

Is this an American phenomenom or are people in other countries happy when the weekend rolls around, Hospice Bespecially if they have it off from work? For many years I used to survive the week with the expectation that the weekend was mine and I could do with it what I pleased. Well to a certain extent anyway. No punching a time clock or being under the thumb and watchful eye of company watchdogs. I used to work in a place where you would hear immediately if you did something wrong, but rarely complimented when you did something right. Good Grief. No wonder people live for the weekends!

So now in unemployment and in anticipation of retirement, my weekends roll into the weeks. There is no distinction and I have to be more mindful of when they come. They seem like the other 5 days of the week, except that Sunday is a church day for me. If it weren’t for that, I would hardly know the weekend was here. It is Saturday today and I must keep that in mind, for the sake of others. If I want to get together with friends, I have to be mindful that they still work and their schedules aren’t as free until a weekend. I have to be sure that if I have any business to take care of, that I do it during the business week if it involves a company that doesn’t work on the weekends. So even though I don’t live the work week like I used to, I still have to be aware of it.

I guess I still get to be glad it’s the weekend then. For others. I rejoice with you that you have two days off … smile. How will you spend it? Because you know it WILL go quickly and before you know it, you’ll be punching that time clock again on Monday morning … HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

I became permanently unemployed on December 2, 2014 after 24.5 years of employment with the same company. I was not a bad employee though the company made it sound like I was. BuEmpty Pocketst after the state bureau of unemployment investigated the event, they determined by law, that I had been let go for an unjust cause. It became clear to me then that this was a matter of age discrimination. I was 62 and planning on working until the age of 70 when I could draw the most social security benefits possible. That plan did not work out.

I did not fight it because I had suffered enough at the hands of unfair practices for many years, and to fight it to get my job back. would have been masochistic. So I found myself jumping through unemployment hoops such as fixing up my resume, getting educated about today’s job market, how to sell yourself, and many other considerations. After several months of no interviews I finally had 7 in two weeks time. Mostly for Art Teaching opportunities with school systems hiring for the 2015-2016 school year. But also some data entry and proofreading openings. The jury is still out on a few of the openings but mostly the answers have come back as “Thank you for your interest in our company, but we have selected another candidate.” Or some sort of wording like that.

I still have some benefits coming in from unemployment which will last a few months longer and then I will probably have to retire if no job can be found. While searching for work I have also started to get more serious about selling on the internet. I’ve never been very good at this, but with an ebay coach and thousands of other eCommerce sellers at my fingertips, I have all it takes to be successful.

I guess while unemployment is stressful, it is less stressful for me than my job was. In fact that is one of the benefits of being unemployed for me … less stress! I also joined a job group at my church to get training and encouragement for the job hunt. I’ve found medical rating at the hospital and saved a boat load of money on medications. I’ll go to my city next and see if I can get a lower rate on my utilities for the time being. And I get to experiment with entrepreneurial ideas and learn what it takes to be a real entrepreneur not just someone with a hobby. New and fresh worlds are opening up to me since I became unemployed. I’ve been stretched, challenged, educated, and made aware of possibilities instead of being stressed out, beaten up, and stabbed in the back.

Time will tell what will actually transpire, but for now I continue to pursue these new worlds and find my footing in unknown territory.

Beginning a New Day

What are the first thoughts you have when you wake up in the morning? Maybe your mind is in a fog Dogwood Flowersand you just go through the motions until a few hours later and after coffee. Use the restroom, wash your face, brush your teeth, put clothes on or not, comb your hair, etc. Mindless tasks that prepare us for a new day. Maybe when the clock alarm sounds you hit the snooze button a million times and it’s the afternoon before you truly get out of bed. You’ve been there and done that, and I have too.

But what’s on your mind after you finally wake up? You begin to plan your day and think about what types of tasks have to be accomplished, who you’ll talk to or meet up with, chores around the house, the vacation you’re going to go on, celebrations of friends and family that will happen perhaps today or the near future. Lots of things roll around in our minds each day that we wake up. Often there are lots of things we take for granted that we hardly think about until they are gone.

A friend of mine had an interruption in her day a few days ago. She never saw it coming but it changed her life. Her car was stolen from her sister’s driveway. She and her husband had loaned it to her sister because hers wasn’t working. Her sister didn’t have the money to pay for repairs for her own car, and is waiting on a check to come in. In the meantime, someone decided they would steal the car. This caused anxiety and worry for everyone involved. No doubt it will affect the monthly insurance premium of my friend causing them more financial stress. Arrangements had to be made to get alternative transportation for two families, police reports had to be made, and a host of other details worked out.

When interruptions in our day happen like this, we feel broad-sided, we feel put out, we ask why, we feel it’s unfair. We want to find that person who interrupted our lives and punch them in the nose to say the least. Humanly speaking these are some of our reactions. But with God all things are possible – Matthew 19:26. He knew this was going to happen. He was not broad-sided by someone stealing this car. He actually knows the perpetrator. He has plans for this event and it’s affect on the participants, the one who did the deed and the ones who suffer from it. It sounds glib, but the reality is that God is still in control of the situation. Detail by detail is being worked out and slowly the stress factor is lessening. The initial shock is wearing off and things are returning to normal. In a little while they will be back to where they were … those mindless things we do everyday without thinking about it. The sun is shining again and we won’t remember the clouds anymore.

What things have interrupted your day today? Things that have forced you to focus on them when you didn’t intend to. Perhaps they aren’t as dramatic as a stolen car, but they were unexpected. How did you react, and what were your thoughts/words? Did you see God in it eventually? He has a habit of getting our attention and breaking into our world to let us know He is there and is dependable for our needs. Yes He can prevent things from happening, but sometimes His choice is to let it happen and allow us to see our need of Him. We don’t know all of His reasons, but when we see His hand, we can rejoice that He is there with us, holding our hand, helping us put the pieces back together, and healing us in that unique way of His. Remember to remember Him today. Take a moment out of the busy-ness to chill with Him and thank Him for overseeing your life and it’s events.

Perfectionist or Slob?

I usually tell people that I am a perfectionist, and that since menopause I’ve just gotton sloppy at it!

I LIVE IN MESS

                       I Live In Mess

I was raised by a perfectionistic mother, and learned to take the time needed to make sure your world was orderly, clean, and perfect. Call me crazy. but I even loved cleaning bathrooms with the toilet being my favorite thing to see shiny and clean. Okay, now that most of you have thrown up with that little announcement, it’s time to return to the reality of the today. I am not a converted slob! There is nothing that I won’t end up trashing, given enough time.

I Travel In Mess

I Travel In Mess

But I miss those perfectionistic days. I feel like someone has taken over my body, mind, and soul and isn’t leaving anytime soon. And so I joined a facebook group that specializes in helping you declutter your business. I also see how the principles shared can benefit one’s personal life as well. Here are some of the issues I’ve personally dealt with as I do the exercises:

1. Do I need to save every piece of paper I’ve ever written on?
2. When does nostalgia become nausea?
3. If I haven’t seen it in a year, do I really need it?
4. What is of true value and what is just marginal?
5. Is it really FOR me or is it a cheap temporary substitute?
6. What do I really need to focus on NOW that will make the biggest difference later?
7. Recycle, Throw Out, or Give Away?
8. Can I regift this in a sick sort of way?
9. What will things be like 5 years or 10 years from now if I make no change?
10. To nap or not to nap, ah….that is the question!

Well those are just some of the issues that I deal with everyday as a slob that is trying to become reformed. What do you think? Can a slob be reformed? What is your Perfectionist or Slob story? Please share.