This is titled "Gratitude"  It is a Secret Language of Flowers inspired drawing.  The fuchsia mean "good taste."  This is intended as a thank you for those who support me and admire my creations enough to purchase them.

Silent and Plotting

I have not been doing nothing while failing to post anything on my blog.

I have been creating new art and planning.

I am not going to share the plans yet.  Every time I do something seems to happen to keep me from following through.  Not failing to follow through this year.  This year stuff will happen.

I have finished some things that I started earlier in 2016 and done so many new things since I last posted.

I am getting better at drawing and painting as well.  It is great to see the changes in my style.  Seeing the things that stay the same and the things that change.  All it takes is practice, lots of practice.

Here are two of the things I got done last year.

There is so much more to come!

Click on the pictures so you can read my captions!  They explain the art a bit.

 

mondays-sounds-like-a-case-of

Better Attitude? Yeah… Riiight

Today was the first Monday of the new year.  2015 is in full swing and my attitude about the new year and its possibilities did not fly very high.

THIS IS A RANT!!  I am venting my irritation at my day.

I started the day tired, my brain just would not stop thinking about things.  I even abstained from caffeine Sunday to ensure that I could sleep.  That failed.

I exercised this morning.  My heart rate pounded with the slightest exertion.  Four days of lazing around and the lack of sleep did a number on me.  I also tried some “core strengthening” yoga poses.  My back (Dr. says I sprained it) is very tender and hurts.  Sitting all day did not help it at all.

I almost missed lunch due to the volume of work that kept walking into my office.  A poorly scheduled meeting, person after person after person, parading in and out of my work space.  I did not get half my work done.  I cannot image that my office mates got anything done either.

The “better” attitude that I planned on entering the new year with quickly evaporated.

There are days where I really just want to live in a hole and not see, hear or speak to any people or things.

I really did try to have a positive attitude about today.

I was going to go in and kick butt, take names and do my job so well that I would out do my records for 2014.  I was going to have a better attitude towards my co-workers and do what I could to help them.  I was going to get stuff done!

In reality the gym kicked my butt. I took names, and promptly lost them in the flood of emails, voices and post-its.  How quickly this year went to crazy was the only record I set.  I was able to keep my head above the proverbial water, just barely.  Not much got done.

Some days (like today) I would not mind being unemployed.

I hope everyone’s Monday went better than mine.

caseofTHeMondaysI think so…

Today

Many people spend the two weeks before a new year either looking forward and planning the next year or looking back and tallying the hits and misses.  Many people do both hoping that they will learn from the failures and make the next year better.  I have already done that.  I spent one day on both.

While I am thinking about the past and the future it is not what my focus is.  My focus is today.  Today I made sure I got up in time to get the morning routine done, started the pea soup (slow cooker for the win.) and even was able to take out the recycling.  I made sure I had everything I would need for my after work meeting (which was just canceled.)  Now when I get home I can focus on the home things.  Today I need to make sure to clean up after the plumbers, spend time with the spouse, clean more, exercise and have some personal time, all before bed.  I really need to go to bed on time today, too.

I really think that during this time of year people forget about the “Today.”  These are still days.  They still count to whatever goals you have.  Discounting them is short changing yourself and will mess up your figures for the year.  Instead of distributing things across 365 days you end up distributing things across 351 or less, depending on when you start your Holiday Season.

Hypothetically I could have planned on doing 365 hours of self prompted education (learn to code or speak a new language, learn to knit, something new.)  If I dismiss the two weeks before a new year I have just increased the daily duration.  It is only by two and a half minutes (estimated,) but those minutes add up (to two weeks!) and soon you may find yourself back logged if you choose to skip out on them on a daily basis.

It is important to remember the past and learn from it, it is also just as important to plan for the future.  The thing that ties the two tenses together (past and future) is the present.  It is where we exist and where things happen.  It is what makes the past and where we take the steps that will bring us to the future.

Look at me, slinging around analogies in math and English!  I must be “on” today.

Have a great new year everyone.

Look behind, look ahead, but live in the present.

 

Moving into a New Year

MerryChristmasSeattleBannerMerry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that it is Merry and Bright for everyone.  If it is not looking like it will be for you, I hope that something stands out as good.  Focus on that and you will make it.

ChangeRoadSignWhen I graduated from University I was not prepared for the career I paid (lots) to learn about.  That is my fault for choosing the wrong school, wrong course and not questioning things as much as I should have. That left this year as a quest to get over my fear of change and failure.  Fear of not being “good enough” to graduate (some how I did,) not being able to get a job (still at my old one,) and not being able to do what I want to do (Web Designer!)  This year I failed to do a lot of things that would have made it easier to do what I wanted to do.  I got the wrong internship, I did not keep up with my studies, and I did not ask questions or look hard at what was going on.  Only when I got frustrated and angry did I start making changes.

I am not saying that this year was a waste or all bad.  I had tons of great things happen.  I DID graduate from a reputable University.  I DID get an internship.  I DID create some websites (no matter how basic.)  I DID quite my internship when I realized that it was not going where I needed it to.  My spouse and I made the move to home ownership (that was stressful.)  I have a new internship lined up and I have plans on making next year good.  All in all the good outweighs the bad since I learned things that enabled me to move on.

One of the tools I used to get over my fears is Planning. I find that making a rough outline helps keep me on track and keeps the fear of change at bay.  Whenever I HAVE to do anything (that I don’t want to do or am afraid to do) I plan.  I actually plan the fun out of it and cover pretty much every contingency (I have no idea why I did not go into project management.)  Plans allow for the greatest amount of light to shine on something that you are afraid of.  Especially if it is something new.

My rough plan for 2014 is pretty basic right now.  Do some follow up education so I can understand Web Design and Development better.  There are many things that make no sense to me and in order to get a job I feel that I should understand them and be able to work with them. As I learn more I want to rebuild my website (down for financial purposes – darn house) and the others I have built, practice, practice.  I also want to start building demo sites and templates for some of the various content managers out there.  I think if I can learn enough about those I can secure a decent internship (paying?) or start charging for my services (freelance.)  This means reducing the number of hours I spend on graphic design.  While it is fun I need to spend that time coding and expanding my Web Designer skills.

I have other personal plans too.  I plan on spending more time off my butt and walking around.  Exercise is important and I can use the time to plan out other things.  I can also increase my collection of photos so I have things to use when I need to make a graphic for a site.  I plan on encouraging my spouse to blog and finish his degree.  I plan on seeing a doctor on a regular basis (that is really scary in my mind.) I also plan on taking a vacation this year.  I has been a while and I am feeling the need to take a break.  That means saving up some green and paid time off.  I should probably spend some time with my friends too.

OtherSideOfFearFear is natural.  I think almost everyone is afraid of new things.  Things that they cannot fathom or understand.  I find planning helps reduce the fear.  Fear will never go away until you deal with its cause, but you can lessen it to the point where you can deal with it.  All it takes is some planning and research.  I need to research my medical plan and learn about finding a provider and paying the bills.  I need to learn how to use my insurance and so many other things.  I am worried that I will put it off again this year (it was a goal for 2012.)  I know that if I do research and ask questions I can over come this and help other co-workers figure it out. Once I figure it out I know the fear of it will be gone and I can spend that energy fearing something new.  The process repeats.

Have a great holiday season! 

Do what you need to do, even if it is scary.  The fear will go away once you do it.

 

 

Taking Breaks

It is time for a long weekend!
I am very tired of work and would LOVE the chance to refresh over a long weekend. There really should be more. At least one every other month.

I really enjoy my job and the organization I work for is pretty awesome. I accrue Paid Time Off at a very good rate. Taking it is sometimes a problem. I have checked into how many hours the “average” American works and how much PTO they get. We are in the top 10 of most hours worked ! And women tend to work more hours when they “like” their job.  The figures do not leave much of a chance for anyone not to work to hard.
I take great pride in doing my job well. I do not really believe that my trainees have the same pride when it comes to doing their jobs, or my job.  I am pretty sure that my attitude to my work is what helps me work myself into exhaustion.  It’s not like my job is really hard, it is just detailed and involves people.  Lots of people.  People who are stuck in their own bubbles most of the time, caught up in their own self importance.  That is the most tiring part of my job, dealing with those people.

Anyway!  That was not where I was going with this.

In the US companies only have to offer 5 of the 11 Federal Holidays.  Most companies go with Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year Day, and Memorial Day.  That is not even enough to take one long weekend every other month!  With Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year all in the same time the end of the year is seriously holiday heavy.  This leaves employee’s having to budget their PTO so they can cover the excessive amount of time off at the end of the year.

Many people choose to work through all the holiday’s they can for the bonus pay.  Then cash out their PTO to afford nice things, like extra Christmas gifts or down payment on a car or home.  These people tend to burn out quickly, if they cannot find a balance.

I am kind of like that.  I usually work 90% of the holidays one year and take my holidays and a few long weekends the following year.  I am starting to notice that I have a lower tolerance for this since I have started my internship.  I REALLY want to take every holiday I can.  Either to relax or work on things for my internship.  In the end I am still working and that keeps me tired.

Now I have a question.  What do you do with your Paid Time Off?

Some nice info-graphs for everyone to enjoy 🙂

womenwork working-hours110819.TribeHR-Work-Hours

Designs for the Holiday’s: Part two

Here are my designs for Christmas and New Year.

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I like how cold everything but the words are.  No department store vomit on my Christmas design.

Image

This turned out much darker than I intended.  I am going to have to work on it a bit more.  It is almost like Hallowe’en all over again.

I also think I like purple a bit to much…

 

Autumn, season of change

Every fall my thoughts fall to the next year and how to prepare for it.  I start planning the changes I need to make for myself and my family.  Changes that maybe as simple as making sure the flashlights have batteries or harder ones like planning a healthier lifestyle.  I do not think of these things much during the other seasons, only autumn, the season of change.

I kind of wonder why autumn makes me think these things.  If you go through the seasons and attach a “mind set” to them fall usually comes out as “change.”  Winter is “sustain,” Spring is “rebirth,” Summer is “fun,” and we come back to Autumn as “change.”  Maybe this has to do with the colors we associate with fall.  Oranges are uninhibited and extroverted colors, reds are passionate and yellows comforting.  It could be the changing of mental gears.  The end of summer fun and starting to prepare things for next year.

This year my autumn is full of change.  Buying a house is the biggest change and brings with it many smaller changes.  The new daily routines have the biggest impact.  I still do not know all the turns in the halls or places where the floor squeaks.  This things take time to learn and will change as we make changes to the house.

My favorite new routine is how close to work I live.  Instead of getting up 2-3 hours before work, walking to the bus stop and then taking the bus to work. I now walk to and from.  This is really good because I need the exercise and it has already inspired a few ideas for paintings.  Another bonus is that I am not spending hours playing games on my phone.  I do not get to read either, but I usually wasted my bus time with games.  Now I listen to some music and think about things.  Things can become so clear with a little walk.

Change brings on hope and dreams.  I hope I will be healthier in 2014.  I dream of being able to fit into some of my nice cloths.  I dream of the good times my family and I will have in our new house.  I hope that things will go smoothly in the year to come.  All my hopes and dreams are started by changes.  Changes in the seasons.  Changes in circumstances.  Changes in attitude.  The new year does not start in January for me.  It starts in autumn.

Why not plan a change this autumn.  Maybe it will turn out better than a New Year Resolution.Image