Gratitude

The day is nearly done but my mind isn’t slowing down. Wearing a sweatshirt I borrowed from my son, I’m planted in front of the fireplace enjoying the softness of the fleece against my skin and the way the flames both warm and brighten the room.

Surrounded by comfort, I’m acutely aware of just how close any of us might be to losing our comfortable lifestyle and being forced to alter the way we live in unimaginable ways. There is a very fine line between security and desperation, between confidence and defeat.

We’ve all experienced times in our life when it feels like everything is going in the wrong direction and you can’t turn around without facing another obstacle that seems impossible to overcome. Then, when you least expect it all of the pieces fall into place and both the present and the future are bright and beautiful.

2014 will go down in history as being one of the more challenging years of my life. Things got off to a rough start. I can’t say it was much fun to experience the major winter storms, a terrifying blow out on the interstate, three separate power outages, multiple nights without power, more than a few unexpected (and expensive car repairs), and last but not least a pair of broken eye glasses.

It would be an understatement to say I was less than positive after the long winter, I was downright depressed. I’m affected by seasonal depression and this year the state of sadness lingered well into the spring and even the summer sunshine wasn’t enough to lift my spirits completely.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that most everyone who has started their own business has encountered at least one if not more really rough patch. A stretch of time that challenges you to the core and makes you wonder if you’ve made the right decisions. This summer was the season that tested my mettle.

It was a season of “hurry up and wait.” Just when I thought something big was going to break loose, it didn’t. Just when I thought nothing else could go wrong, it did. There was nothing easy about it, but I knew there was no choice but to continue putting one foot in front of the other and have faith that if I continued to do the right things ultimately my prayers would be answered.

In addition to having a wonderful support system of family and friends who allowed me to be vulnerable and offered me support without question, my art and writing kept me focused on positive thoughts. I believe my creative outlets provided me a way to overcome doubts and fears and to welcome new ideas and opportunities.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and life through art. It’s not about where you start or even where you finish. It’s how we handle the collection of steps along the way that sometimes feel all wrong but end up leading us to exactly the right outcome.

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I wrote this a few weeks ago and for some reason neglected to share it on my blog. The message is still relevant and my feelings of gratitude have deepened even further.

Also sharing artwork from my journal. I had writer’s block the night before I wrote this – and my entry turned into another flower. (either that or I couldn’t wait to try out my newest set of pens).

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happy flower_new ink pens

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