Age, Art, and Learning

The other day I was dreaming about ways to letterpress print on a textured surface. I am getting tired of plain white backgrounds.

Then, I watched a few videos, took some notes, updated photos in the Etsy shop, and answered emails about our upcoming Write-On letter writing workshop at Kickshaws.

But wait. I will be 66 soon. Why am I still trying to run a business? Why am I still trying to build community? Shouldn’t I be relaxing in retirement?

Actually, I do relax. With my mom in town, life has changed. But I find myself drawn back to connections.

Somewhere around 1988 or 90, I bought my first computer and hooked it to the internet as soon as I could figure out how to do that. Suddenly I could learn anywhere, and I could share what I was learning with others.

I’ve always been fascinated by entrepreneurship. But more than that, fascinated by what makes people connect.  I am inspired by  Seth Godin, or books by Simon Sinek or Jason Fried

The Heath brothers  and Daniel Pink challenged my way of thinking about ideas, Clayton M. Christensen on disruption… well, you see where I’m going. I love to learn (and to think about how we learn).

Brene Brown came into my life about ten years ago, and recently as I’ve thought about storytelling, Bernadette Jiwa.

It is never too late to learn. To create. To do anything.

Why stop now? I can’t imagine a better retirement. How lucky I am.

 

Writing to Heal

When I’ve spent too many nights waking to dark thoughts, tossing and turning in the wee hours, I know it’s time to write.

Often getting the words on paper is all I need. I suppose that’s why I love printing so much. Whether it’s a powerful quote or an affirmation for a friend, the cards and prints make me feel more at peace with the world.

Today I received a love card in the mail from a friend from Turks and Caicos. It told me she was thinking of me– and of our time together. That’s also why I’m excited about our Write On evening, a chance to celebrate Letter Writing Month.  On the 17th, we’ll gather at Kickshaws Market in Fredericksburg to write letters– to friends, senior citizens, or even women going through breast cancer treatment. Doing this as a group allows connections that we need so much these days. And knowing that someone will get a card in the mail just as I did today makes me happy.

All you have is now, this moment to make someone feel good. And I know you’ll feel better about yourself and the world, too.

 

Teal, in all its magical shades

I am about to head out for another relaxing week on Turks and Caicos. Our stay involves lots of reading, walking, eating, and sleeping. But mostly, I stare at the water.

There’s something about the shades of turquoise that calms me and helps me breathe differently. I do recognize how lucky I am to be able to travel here once a year. I gather my art supplies and books and spend the week putting myself back together.

My IG feed will turn teal this week. But I’ll be back soon with lots of new ideas for prints.

 

 

Eating for Health

When my thumb seized up last month (I mean literally across my hand), I decided I needed to try an anti-inflammatory diet. And, while I was at it, I’d see if I could determine what was causing my digestive distress. It seemed “Whole 30” might be the answer.

We had to make some adjustments as we don’t eat much meat. So we combined the Whole30 vegetarian diet with the regular and made our own plan. That meant giving up alcohol, grains, sugar, dairy (we ate eggs) and processed foods (not that we eat much of those). We ate a few beans, a little chicken, and occasional salmon. David decided to help, which was huge not having to navigate this my myself.

I thought I’d miss my evening wine, especially if we ate out or visited friends. It wasn’t easy, but what I missed the most was simple cooking. We ended up spending lots and lots of time in preparation (making shopping lists), shopping, prepping, and actually cooking. I don’t like to cook, so I didn’t enjoy this. But, again, David jumped in and did most of it.

I also added turmeric to my supplement list.

Four weeks later and I can’t say I am all better. My thumb joint is– the swelling is down and the pain is gone. But whether that’s the acupuncture or the diet is hard to say. Unfortunately, the diet did not lead me to the culprit that turns my stomach upside down. I am wondering if it is not food but anxiety rearing its ugly head.

As we celebrated the other night with wine, we decided to continue eating healthy foods by following Dr. Greger’s “How Not to Die” plan, with some modifications. This all may take longer than 4 weeks, and we’ve adjusted pretty well to lots of vegetable casseroles, stews, and snacks. I had pretty much given up dairy, so that is not a problem. This go around will be eggs free, too.

Now if I can just figure out this anxiety. I see more meditation and yoga in my future!

Namaste.

I read a depressing blog post

…about how no one is sending cards or letters any longer.  There are many reasons, of course: too lazy, waste of paper, not having anything to say, the speed of technology.

I knew this, really. But I still find it depressing. I LOVE getting real mail– and I often put the cards in one of my wooden holders to display for a while. Every time I walk by, I think of my friend and smile. Can’t do that on a phone.

I’ll keep making mine if only for me. But I am filled with joy when someone else finds my work appealing and buys something. So validating. And I like to think the cards and prints make this world a better place :)