Sunday, January 4, 2015

Onward and upward

Is this not a fun bottle of wine?
Got it as a Christmas gift.
Haven't opened it yet,
so it may taste like crap, who knows.
But I don't care,
cause it's got ART ON IT!
 I'll be saving this one for sure.
A bit of doodling last night
while I watched TV.
Watched something called Sole Survivors.
About sole survivors of plane crashes.
There was one man in particular
who was having such a hard time
with survivor's guilt.
He felt like he was just wasting his life
doing nothing
while all these other people on the plane with him
had died.
Their lives had ended
and his had continued
and he couldn't get over the feeling
that he was wasting his time.
Don't we all feel like that sometimes?
I do and i'm not a sole survivor of anything!
But we don't need to be incredibly accomplished
to have value in our lives, do we?
There is profound value
in being a good mother.
A good father.
In being a good friend.
In not being prejudice.
In spreading love as much as we can,
or at least, not spreading hate.
In being grateful for the simple things.
I believe there is HUGE value
in a simple life.
We don't all need to be presidents and astronauts.
Some of us need to be garbage collectors,
or secretaries,
or waiters or stay at home moms.
And others (like me)
need to be part time office workers.
Tomorrow, I begin a new job
and for the next 5 months or so,
i'll be sitting in a gray cubicle again,
shuffling papers & answering phones.
About 2 years ago,
right after mom died
I decided I needed to get myself a job
outside of the house.
I had been self employed as a graphic designer
for about 10 years (at home)
and I needed a change.
I needed something totally different.
Out of my element.
I felt like I was stuck in the mud.
I no longer loved what I was doing at home
and as much as I still needed a paycheque,
I also needed a drastic shift
in what I was doing for work.
Well - I got what I wanted.
Not sure it's a good change, but I got it.
I got an office job where I was well paid,
8 hrs a day, 5 days a week,
about 5 months a year.
So now I get called back every few months
for this gray cubicle job,
where I mostly feel like a fish out of water.
But I get a steady paycheque.
I sell them 8 hours of my day
and they give me money in return.
Some would say it's a great thing,
because it's a JOB.
And maybe I should feel the same,
but I don't.
Just thinking about going in to work tomorrow
makes me want to poke my eye out with a pen.
I am already thinking about plan B
but for now,
I will make the best of Plan A.
is because so many of us think that
everyone else "has it together".
Everyone else seems to have figured out
how to make that 6 figure salary,
or how to find their dream job
and wake up every morning to the sound
of twinkling harp and sparkling waterfalls.
That's not reality for most of us.
Many of us are doing work
that is not fulfilling.
That is not connected to who we really are.
Some of us are doing work that we hate.
But we do it anyway
because we need to pay the bills.
Because that's what grownups do.
Because society says
THIS is a normal job - not that.
And sometimes,
some of us do all the right things
to get to where we want to be in life,
but for some reason,
we are not there yet.
So we carry on 
despite the boredom
despite the disappointments
and we continue on our path
even if it makes no sense to anyone else
but ourselves.
The important thing is to carry on.
To persevere.
To practice patience.

The handwriting (photo) above is something
I wrote about 3 or 4 years ago,
when I was trying to figure out
why I was having such a hard time
carving myself a life as an artist.
A life that would sustain me financially.
When I look at the list now,
I feel sad and proud at the same time.

Here it is, in case you couldn't read my writing:

What did I do right?
1.             Practiced my ART every day. (writing and painting)

2.             Sent my writings to magazines – got rejected.

3.             Sent to more magazines + got rejected again.

4.             Surrounded myself with inspirational people.

5.             Read ALL the right books about courage + perseverance.

6.             Avoided the naysayers + negative people in my life.

7.             Spent a lot of time in nature.

8.             Shared my art with the world (blogging)

9.             Put my ART for sale on Etsy.

10.         Put my ART in galleries.

11.         illustrated children’s books – a success – until the publishing house decided to call it quits.

12.         Kept painting – even when I sold nothing.

13.         Kept a journal – several journals!

14.         Took on-line classes to further my skills.

15.         Took on-line classes to connect with others.

16.         Gave paintings away as gifts.

17.         Learned from others who are doing what I want to do. (making a living
with ART).

18.         Teach part-time classes (in Art) at the college.

19.         Offer ART classes to women in my community.

20.         Read books about inspiring women.
What I did WRONG?     
1.             Not believe in myself.


  1. A very inspiring post. I really feel for you not wanting to go back to your job - although I like where I work, I'm feeling a bit the same myself. 2015 seems to stretch out with nothing but work in sight! I really hope you continue to find time for creativity, your doodles are awesome!

    PS. I would have bought that bottle of wine just for the label!

  2. Lovely doodles and a very inspiring post!
    Thank you for visiting my blog!

  3. What a fascinating post and how true it is.
    Living a simple life, being a good friend, enjoying the Now.....
    And I love your doodle, not so much a doodle as a work of art.
    Love that wine bottle, yes I've bought wine just because of the art on the label - and it did taste good too.

  4. Dear Pauline, all the best for this new job! It's been great catching up with all you've been creating and musing. It can be hard for some to accept where they are at, at this moment but your words are wise and just trying to accept and be patient, being grateful for all the simple abundance in daily life is a good key to feeling happy!
    Best of wishes to you for 2015! xx

  5. Beautiful bottle!! where is it from???
    I think i leave a comment in a wrong site!!!
    i write it here again :)
    Hi. Pauline !! Thank you very much for your comments. A lot to read here! I think you described long ago, this feeling of leaving home to go to work. You remember? When I told you that although you're not drawing or painting, your head is gathering information for your next period art ?. Anyway, I understand. I think I just happen to me. One feels that, away from home is not where you should be.
    I also miss the Christmas of years ago, but not because I was younger, I think it's because I was naive, and yet, at that time, Christmas was surrounded by some fantasy. A mysterious fantasy, like a fairy tale.
    OK. life goes on. and it is beautiful!
    I send you a big hug!

  6. Oh Pauline, how your writings can be rejected, I don't understand.... The way you write is so unique and touching, I know very few writers who have the same skill. I always look forward to your blogposts, because I know I'll see beautiful art and read beautiful words. Keep believing in yourself and don't ever stop writing and making art. I feel sad for you knowing from previous posts how out of place you feel in your cubicle. I hope the 5 months will fly by, and that you'll find the time to nourish your creative soul during that time by writing and painting and drawing. Wishing you a beautiful year ♥

    1. And, oh yes, that bottle is amazing!! Is it Canadian wine?

  7. Oh what a totally fun wine label!!! Beautiful authentic post... simplicity... being real... thank you for voicing all this. I hope your next few months in the cubicle will be relieved by art in the evenings... and community with other creative people - even if it is just us on the other side of yr screen:-) You have so much to offer... and do... too bad you can't paint your cubicle apple green with polkadots!:-)

  8. That was a really inspiring post and such a good read. Thanks for sharing :)

    I choose half of my wine because of the creative labels! What a way to find great new wines! Love the label you found. I totally would have bought that one too. Happy new year!

  9. I just "celebrated" 4 years of having gone back to work part-time. My husband owns his own business so taxes are an issue for us and have been for the last 10 years. I'm super spoiled because I only work 3-4 days per week and only the hours that the boys are in school so my work life is "transparent" to the family. I am there in the morning and there in the afternoon (since don't moms just go into suspended animation during the hours their kids are in school anyway - I think that's what they think - LOL) Anyway, that leaves me with very little down time since my afternoons/evenings are filled with the detritus of life - laundry, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping etc. In fact, as I type the timer is going off telling me to pick up the middle-schooler and then we need to go to the vet since the dog has developed a limp this week - sigh. . . There is never enough time for creativity or quiet - but isn't that why we continue painting/drawing - because it makes us feel good when we are tired or stressed or just plain worn out?!! I always enjoy your posts - not only because of your gorgeous work but also because you keep it "real"!

  10. do not give up Pauline, you deserved the best! Thank you for such a honest post.

  11. wow, what a powerful post. You have to add "Inspire people" on your list of what you did! I love love love coming here and hearing what you have to say, you really know how to write a blog! I can learn from you, my friend! I ask myself the same questions and its good to know I'm not the only one. I too started a new job recently. I was laid off from my company after working there for many, many years and telecommuting. It was scary and freeing at the same time. I'm working at the post office now, its not my life's dream to be middle age and starting all over again...but I'm not isolated and I'm out everyday amoung people. I beat myself up alot about the 'would of, could of, should have' stuff, but I have to remember to be grateful and know that there are alot of people out there that are feeling the same way. Not that it makes me feel better that others are hurting, but I know I'm not alone! thanks again for a wonderful post and giving me some brain food.