art · life curation

My (Not So) New Hobby – Painting!

During my time away, I had a chance to resume one of my interests: painting! There is something so therapeutic about applying paint to a canvas . . . The brushstrokes, the blending of color, the magic of taking a concept and turning it into a tangible work of art. I love to paint and I can’t wait until I have more time to devote to my craft. Until then, here are a couple of pieces that I’ve created:

Me with a piece I completed earlier this year: I premiered it in Los Angeles in June 2019

Recent piece in progress

I’m so eager to see where this curiosity leads me. I would love to continue developing my skill, take a few classes, and work with some new techniques and materials. This hobby relaxes me and gives me a much needed creative outlet, so I’m sure I’ll have more paintings to share in the future!

 

 

life curation · Uncategorized

It Feels Great To Be BACK!

Hi my dear friends! I’m so happy to be BACK on the blog! As you may recall from my last post, I’d been experiencing some health issues that were making it difficult for me to keep up with my blogging schedule. To be honest, I didn’t feel like getting out of bed on most days, and even little tasks felt like huge chores, so blogging fell WAY down on my list of priorities.

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Smiling because it’s great to be back!

After experiencing some pretty dreadful symptoms for several months, I was relieved when I finally got a diagnosis. I have fibromyalgia, a disorder that affects your entire body and causes widespread pain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and a host of other symptoms. I’ve read countless articles and found that most doctors agree that this is a neurological disorder and not a joint/muscle issue. I often find myself needing a lot of rest and even small, stressful situations can lead to a “flare up”, where my symptoms are more intense and I find it difficult to function. When I experience “flares”, I have to rest more and use stronger pain medication in order to get some relief.

Through all of this, I feel truly blessed. Yes, this condition is annoying and I wish I didn’t have it. But, I have a wonderful support system, and I recently moved into my first home, which is much closer to my care providers. My new home is beautiful and serene, and being in this setting has contributed tremendously to my overall health. I’m so fortunate that I have an understanding workplace that allows me to work from home as needed. And now, after making a few changes with my providers, I finally have a healthcare team that has given me the treatments and tools to feel better daily.

This experience has taught me SO much and I am excited to share these lessons with you all. I feel like I have a new lease on life! Now, I still have pain occasionally, and I have to monitor my symptoms daily so that I know what I need and how to best care for myself. But simply KNOWING that I’m not just tired or stressed has been such a relief. Knowing that I have an actual condition that is medically recognized and treatable means that this isn’t “all in my head”, and if other people are experiencing this, then that means I’m not alone, and there’s a good chance that that are treatment options that can really help me minimize my symptoms.

So I’m BACK! All of my posts won’t be about fibro: I’m going to leave those discussions strictly for Fridays, which will be (for now) Fibro Fridays. I’m excited to share self-care tips, lessons, and more information that I’ve gotten since learning about this condition. I look forward to sharing this journey with you all, as well as resuming my art, music, luxury, and lifestyle posts! Take care!

life curation

On a Serious Note

Hi friends! I’m coming to share a bit of a health update with you all. It’s been a while since I’ve “bared my soul” on the blog, and I feel ready to share this latest experience.

Recently, I have been experiencing some health issues that makes it difficult for me to carry on with my normal routine. I’m still going through lots of testing and such, but at this point it looks like I may have fibromyalgia.

I know that having an illness doesn’t mean that my life has to stop, and for that, I’m thankful. And as severe as fibromyalgia symptoms can be, I’m thankful that I’m not experiencing “the worst” that can happen. However, I’m faced with making a lot of changes in order to accommodate my “new normal”, and it isn’t easy. I still love art, culture, good food and excellent wine, and travel. But I haven’t been able to partake in those things as much as I’d like. And I’ll be honest, it sucks to be limited in this way.

I’m working through the pain and doing my best, but if I miss a post here or there . . . It’s probably because I’m not feeling so well. As soon as I have a better sense of what’s happening with me, I’ll share with you all. Until then, please send some good energy my way: I could use it ❤

life curation

February Challenge: Write a Book!

Hi friends! I’m so excited to do this post, because this relates to a post I shared a few weeks ago ago about the book Get It Done by Michael Mackintosh. I selected a project for February that should put me significantly closer to my overarching dream, while allowing me to practice and perfect the goal setting routine that I’ll use going forward.

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The goal I’ve selected for February is to finish one of my books. This is a book I began working on last year, and while I’ve made significant progress, I could stand to do more as far as moving this project along. Just for clarity, this is not my NaNoWriMo project (that’s going on the backburner for a bit). I’m still working out a few details related to accountability as I write, as well as chunking down the work so that I can easily accomplish the most necessary tasks. That being said, I’m looking forward to finishing my manuscript by February 21st.

So over this upcoming weekend, I’ll be outlining the tasks to be completed in preparation for February 1st. And then, on the 1st, I’ll begin the challenge. I am so looking forward to sharing with you all how things progress as I accomplish this huge goal for my year.

That’s it for today and I will be back on Monday. I hope you all enjoy your weekend. Take care!

life curation

January’s Organization Challenge: Mid-Month Updates

You all may remember a few weeks ago when I stated that I was going to start a January organizational challenge. I use the outline provided on a website that I visited, All Things Mikita. This post is just a brief update of how that organization challenge is going.

Well, I stopped the challenge. What I found was that I had to substitute too many of the items outlined in the challenge. For instance, Day 9 of the challenge called to get rid of nine skirts or dresses. However, since I have made it a habit to regularly streamline my wardrobe, I didn’t have any items that I wanted to get rid of. I wear skirts regularly so removing them from my wardrobe would have left huge gaps. Day 15 of the challenge calls for getting rid of old jewelry, but most of my jewelry is high-quality so getting rid of 15 pieces did not appeal to me at all. Day 20 calls for getting rid of 20 pajama pants, but I don’t even own 5 pajama pants!

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I’m envisioning organized spaces, like this

This challenge is excellent for a few reasons,  especially for someone who is attempting to upgrade their wardrobe and get rid of many excess clothing items. But in my case, I realized I did not have an abundance of the items mentioned for the challenge. This is a good cautionary  example for me, because it’s important to look carefully over a challenge before committing. Next time I do an organization challenge, I will be sure to note whether I can complete the tasks as listed. And, if I can’t complete the tasks listed, I need to prepare myself in advance of the challenge start date to substitute appropriately.

I’m sure I’ll do more challenges in the upcoming months, but this one fell flat. I wish I had some good results for you, but I stopped after I got a few days in. It just didn’t fit in my life at this point. The next challenge I select will be a better fit for me and my lifestyle.

Enjoy your Thursday, friends! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

life curation

Will My 2019 Goals Fail?

Happy hump day friends! As I look at my beloved planner, I think to myself how, every week, I set out little goals that will feed into some of that bigger goals for 2019. I’m only a couple of weeks into the new year, but I noticed something that I wanted to share with you all. I’m concerned that maybe my goals don’t have enough “umph” to them.

The problem with tepid goals is that they’ll usually fall flat. That isn’t intentional, of course:  no one sets a goal with the plan to fail. But in my experience, goals that don’t fire you up rarely have enough steam to be fully realized.

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So I had to ask myself, will my 2019 goals fail?

I’d like to think that they won’t:  I’m beyond the phase of life where I’m at I’m okay barely making the mark. At this point, only success or major progress will do.  That brought me to the realization that, for my 2019 goals, I have to find some fire for them.  Specifically, I have to make them bolder and bigger. Everything will have to be taken up a notch if I want to ensure that the goals will be accomplished.

Last year’s goals had a measure of success to them.  Nothing was a complete failure, but they did not have enough fire to keep me working hard on them all year long. I figured that might be somewhat normal:  working non-stop for an indefinite period of time on anything is nearly impossible. One of the reasons that I was really thankful for getting the 21 Day Challenge book was that I figured I could work on anything fervently for 21 days.

But after I took some time to examine my current goals, I don’t even think that 21 day challenges can keep me lit up all year long. So this year, I’m going to take a little more time and figure out exactly how to make my goals bolder than they were last year. I want goals that light me up and that excite me as I discuss them.  I start my first 21 day challenge in February, and I want to make sure that I’m ready and raring to go at the beginning of the month so that the 21 days I pour into a project will be some of the most inspiring days of my 2019.

So I’m going back to the drawing board for my goals, and I’m going to make them bigger and bolder than ever. I can’t wait to share them with you all soon!

That’s all for today. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

Resuming My Gratitude Practice

I didn’t mention this at all on the blog last year, but I meant to, because I was eager to resume one of the practices that made 2016 and 2017 especially magical years for me. Several years ago, I kept a gratitude journal. This journal is good for capturing the little things that I appreciate throughout the day. I got away from this practice because, life being what it is, I got distracted. I really wanted to resume the practice, and even begin using my journal again in August 2018. But, soon I found myself again skipping days and forgetting to do my entries. So my journal went unused for most of last year.

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This year, I wanted to start things on a different note. I decided to begin using my gratitude journal again because well, why not? I don’t have many pages left in this particular journal but I will use it until it’s full, then I’ll start a new one. I focus on capturing the great things that happen each day. I don’t worry too much about expressing gratitude for the same thing multiple times within a week. If there’s something great that I appreciate on more than one day during any given week, I take no issue with noting this more than once. I do, however, try to focus on what truly makes me happy each day and I make an effort to find the moments that made me smile, no matter how small. 

So we’re eight days into the new year, and I’ve  already know that more than 24 things that I can be grateful for this month. I’m happy to be recording the things that I appreciate, because I tend to lose sight of what’s important. Now, I like to think that I am very appreciative on a daily basis. But, I am human and I’m not always as mindful as I’d like to be. Sometimes, I forget how much I have to be grateful for. So this exercise has been great for getting me to focus on what really matters.

Are any of you keep a gratitude journal? If so, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear more about your personal practice as well as how long you’ve been doing this.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are enjoying your day. Have a great afternoon and take care!