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BY Flow

02/01 Direct Link
I've generated an new dose of hope. Last month I was geeked to get a part time job so I could spend less time in the store waiting and more time relaxing in the fact that money was coming into my bank. This month, I figured a better way to earn money. An A. Art Cart...mobile art for residents of nursing homes or foster care homes. So perfect. Flexible schedule, I already have supplies and lesson plans and experience and the fact that I run a store with the same name gives credibility. Bravo. I am all set up!
02/02 Direct Link
Read an article today about scientists clearing out used up cells in mice with miraculous results. The mice bodies became young again. This mechanism of stagnating cells that are no longer functioning is linked to the body's fight against cancer. But those cells age us. No one knows the real side effects of ridding these stagnant cells from human bodies. Query. At a certain age, would you have this procedure done if it meant your body would become strong and your mind sharp even if the trade off was that you lost some of your old memories? "Some" is undetermined.
02/03 Direct Link
Clarity #13 the reason why I can't forgive my sister and yet I can forgive my ex-husband SO MANY awful incidents: ex was self serving and deceitful about having an affair. The betrayal crushed the relationship. Truth. He was probably borderline personality. But the stuff he did was more pure? than my sister? Sis played me like a pawn. Sis pretended to care so that she could stir me away from getting a divorce. She minimized, invalidated my concerns. It was a manipulation on a grand scale for years. I trusted her. Maybe that's the main difference. Truth shocked.
02/04 Direct Link
I feel resolved. I brought up the instance with Kathy that has plagued me. Resolved and she thanked me. Marl, my upper neighbor came in to chat. It's been at least 6 months since we did that. I thought-in my last text to him I took I took too much liberty in ribbing him about his love affair. I debated about calling him, apologizing. But I did nothing and we're fine. Bob came for a visit after being absent for a month. I emailed him; all is well? I wrote Stanley and he back to me. we're good. Ahh.
02/05 Direct Link
Boxed thinking. We all do it. We use a reference we know well and try to apply it to other situations. Maybe sometimes its rewarding-even genius. But other times it only holds one back. Like the saying, how fast can scientists progress? One funeral at a time. Because the head guys can't bend their minds around the new ideas, so too far out of the box means wrong. Case in point. My business consultant wants me to mark up the floors, divide spaces for artists. He has a desk matrix in mind. I think open spaces means just that.
02/06 Direct Link
There's a guy who rattles me. He rents my garage and pays me handsomely for it. Each month when he hands over $200 in bills for the privilege of its use, I get tongue tied. Am I enthralled with the guy's ability to pay that much? I say stupid things, like I found myself explaining why I had tied a shirt around my waist for warmth, also yesterday, I told him most people stop by just to talk and not to pay for art stuff? Did that make me sound like a narcissist? He's a shy, unassuming, average guy. WTF?
02/07 Direct Link
What is so alluring about this computer gizmo? I could foresake most things I should be doing to its draw. Maybe I keep hoping for a level of satisfaction I had? Or, it's satisfaction enough just to procrastinate my chores? Just for a few more hours in my PJs? Addiction: any behavior that perpetually interferes with normal functioning, that resists change. Hmm. This, and wine in the evening, work at the store. NPR expert on love says love, too is an addiction. I knew it! An irrational craziness that overcomes wisdom and clear thought. Don't allow it to happen again!
02/08 Direct Link
I was brave last night. I had made a watercolor painting at art therapy of my sister's beloved dog. The dog was recently put down. With a photo of the painting, I was able to create an ecard to express my sympathy and I sent it to my sister. This communication was a step into the uncomfort zone. I've been wondering what the response would be. She received the card. There's been no answer. That's fine with me. I'm not looking for a relationship. Just expressing sympathy. I'm a bit happier since now I consider the ball's in her court.
02/09 Direct Link
I'm working hard to stay on task. To really force myself to do the things that are hard for me, computer stuff and social media. Also this month I actually have to look at my finances. Yuck. Things are going well. I have hope. I'm looking at making an invitation to artist friends to see if they'll join me at the store and rent a space. Did I already write about the reader? My reading was very positive. All the work I've done so far is supposed to start paying off. I'm counting on that. Positivity. It's time to shine!!
02/10 Direct Link
I'm frequently stuck in PJ mornings. I hover over the keyboard punching for something satisfying to come on the screen. Keep searching...hours go by. Stuck. Identify the problem: I don't have a vision of what to do next. Nothing seems exciting enough to lure me into the next phase. Only the clock. As it ticks toward 11:00am I start the negative self chatter, "It's Eleven for god's sake! Do something." Then my rebellious teenage self says, "Screw it! I can do anything I want." In life and in each day...the struggle for acceptance of the true self.
02/11 Direct Link
Would being a nanny suit me? Would spending time with kids each day, from end of school through dinner enhance my life? Would it give me the pleasure of interacting with youth? Would being a sort of surrogate grandparent round out my life? What about loyalty? It would be a more personal commitment than working at a coffee shop where you can call in sick, right? But, it would be pleasant work, and local work. I could see riding my bike to work, giving some art lessons, listening to stories. What if I didn't like the kids? Then you'd quit.
02/12 Direct Link
This isn't about my business mentor's advice to me, no change that: her questions, her line of questioning. It's about how it makes me feel. The impact it has on me, the gut negativity that is bigger than it should be. This informs me that it's my history that is in play, not mentor and her words. It's big sis knowing more, warning me, judging me according to what she would do, she thinks I should do. Her dismissal of, "Well, have a good evening, nice to talk with you...." Unreasonable impact-that stirs my consciousness and furrows my brow.
02/13 Direct Link
It's Saturday! Last day of my work week. I've got a jumble of junk all over the tables on the studio to sort and put away. I've divided the shelves for storage. I'm on task. I'm raring to go, get it done. Even if this is the start to my closing the store as I know it. When it's time, it's time. I will get a job that earns me some money, then it puts the studio into perspective. It will be a studio in which I do some art work and that I share with others who pay rent.
02/14 Direct Link
I can't feel the enchantment any more. This is a great loss to me. As a child and as a teenager, I could lay in the grass at sunset and feel in love with the world and the beauty before me. It was such a glorious contentment. I remember feeling that way about silent snowfalls and thick windless grey skies that muffled the way sound traveled in my early thirties, before I left for California. I remember the thrill of spring mornings when the air felt dewy soft. I can remember these feelings, but my present experiences are shallow or muted.
02/15 Direct Link
My father died three years ago today. I still have a recording on my phone that says, "Flow, if you want a hint about today's puzzle, the third word begins with B." We always used to do the Free Press Jumble Puzzle, ask each other for hints, share our brilliance or our defeat. I loved him. The only real friction was our views on politics, but he was an old white male and I was a less advantaged female. The gulf between us on these political issues bothered him. He was a great dad. He loved us and nurtured us.
02/16 Direct Link
I should be doing x,y,z. I'm late with A, B, C. People are counting on me. Do they know I'm behind? Why do I hate to step up to the plate and do what I'm capable of? This is the negative self feedback that is my habit. In contrast, I could be saying to myself: You are a tiny, exquisite creature on the planet, confined by choice in a well appointed house with running water, and food in the pantry. You have great friends and family who care about you and a cat the sweetly head butts you.
02/17 Direct Link
I should make up a song that has these lyrics: What do you care if your big plan goes south? Why do you think it's the only way out? That's all we know is we're on our way out. People you know have made the transition and people you know are headed there soon. Everyday is one less to be on the earth. Do you want to spend it fretting? You'll get to the end anyway. All you need is just a bit of money, for food and a few bills. Stop judging, keep observing, breathing, appreciating, loving, remembering, smiling.
02/18 Direct Link
It's my morning and I'll do what I want to...do what I want to. You'd do it too if it happened to you. So there. A morning mantra for the PJ'ed lady in the white chair in the sunny spot of her living room. Smile.

I sent my sister my anger. Covertly. Genius. And I feel better. The watercolor was of her now sadly deceased dog; standing posture on a rug that was angrily red and yellow scrawled in a design underneath the dog. The background was light as air--wasn't even there. "Life is sad and I'm mad."
02/19 Direct Link
There is an underdog position that we don't like to acknowledge. Maybe it's politically incorrect as it relates to inequality. But sooner or later everyone will be the underdog. I look at women's position in most societies. They seem to be waiting. I watch how they do it. They form strong relationships with each other. They grasp their time by the throat and make the most of it. It might not seem like valuable activity. Maybe they're knitting, or reading up for next week's book club. They are practicing resilience. They are nurturing their souls, learning self sufficiency. Getting powerful.
02/20 Direct Link
I slept until 10:30am today. I really needed the rest, apparently. Now I feel energized to deep clean eveywhere as my activity of choice. Rest makes a big difference. Eating right, sleeping well, being happy; these are quality of life issues. I am lucky to be pain free; mentally and physically. And I do mean luck. The genes that I carry have served me well. Dad's vibrant resilience, mom's artistic nature all have brought me a wealth of well-being. My upbringing, not ideal, must have shaped me into this coping, never unbroken entity that allows me to change.
02/21 Direct Link
Today is either the beginning or the beginning of the end. I had to think twice and three times before I pushed the launch button to invite members to my studio. It does signify that change is necessary, and there is always a risk. If this doesn't work, I'll be calling a realtor to help me rent out the space: a studio whose time is done. But I'm now ready psychologically to let go and move forth. This shows growth from when I was clinging to this store as a life raft, peering into the abyss with terror. No more.
02/22 Direct Link
When did you start feeling tired in the mornings? In February 2016. Describe please. Get up before dawn, have coffee, sit in chair to type out 100 words, feel so tired I want to go back to sleep. Why don't you? Hmm. why not? Is this one of those can't break the rules, yet there's no one to say you're doing it wrong? Cause for early wake up: my cat is getting more demanding. I experience a claw to face around 5:30am. Followed by a cat stare that is incessant. Followed by scattered cat play noises around the room.
02/23 Direct Link
I'm in a period of life that I take chances, that I wing it. That I feel like I'll come up with something if I get a gig. This is true tonight where there's some kind of daft project and I'm supposed to make it ok with accessories. Also I signed up to do private art lessons! What do I know about it? Also I signed up to do art with groups of 10 seniors at nursing homes. What? Yes. I keep stepping into it by design. I guess it beats sitting around getting social security. Keep moving, keep living.
02/24 Direct Link
Dream: Inside some public building or market, I run into my small group of easy friends that are seated and chumming around with their dogs. Then I leave. It's dark outside. I walk about 150 feet behind a few buildings, toward the parking lot.There's a tall man there. He says, " me and my friend are going to Costco, why don't you come along?" I sense danger, I turn and walk fast toward the market. He follows, he's catching up. I'm almost to the door. I know I MUST scream or no one will know I'm in danger. I scream.
02/25 Direct Link
dream cont: It wasn't a sharp determined scream. It was a reluctant scream. As if my scream had lay dormant for so long, the inertia was hard to overcome. It started as a moan and became nothing more than a very loud moan. I heard it. It woke me up. But, I woke up very proud of this assertion of my voice. I'm 63 years old and full of dream experiences-and real life too!- where I didn't speak up. Where, when I needed to scream-nothing came out and I was doomed. I feel I've made a big breakthrough.
02/26 Direct Link
Dear Rob, I know you like me. I know your frequent visits to the store and our talks are important to you. To me,too. I know the state of your life. and I know the struggle that you've overcome to make your life your own. (I think, a man's struggle for independence is more difficult due to societal pressure to be the provider.) We've both witnessed what happens when one involved party chooses not to participate; kibosh! I don't want to be part of the journey you're destined to take now. The escape part, the hardest part comes next.
02/27 Direct Link
My response to a bill I received for business consultation service. Dear Dee, You probably, like me, want to be informed about a service fee before you decide to engage with the service. The thing I find most egregious about receiving your invoice was that I had asked you twice before to let me know the costs. You declined to be up front with me and even lead me to think you were charitable with your time. This feels like a sabotage of trust. I will not pay for the two visits prior to our last. Too bad, lacking integrity.
02/28 Direct Link
Miracles: Two days ago, I said a prayer to my dad. I like to imagine that he and I are still communicating from this realm to and from the next. He helps me find my misplaced things. Maybe hes even behind the doors of opportunity that have been opening for me. "Dad, you know who is really lost? Jay. He is struggling to know his specialness, his purpose, to find joy. Im ok now, please help Jay." Two days later, Jay has a new opportunity through an old friend, has excitement for the future, is dreaming again. Amazing.
02/29 Direct Link
Can a steadfast friendship for over 30 years fade away and be lost? What would be the causes? That new reveals shifted the automatic acceptance? That judgement crept up on the edges and frayed the fabric until it disintegrated? Or, that the courses of our lives split wide open at the point of what had been a central theme? Family and couplehood? That the paths diverged and created an abyss that we couldn't relate to each other's lives? Or could it be a mutual devolution into the mutual turning toward the end? Thus our end? What is left to say?