xoxo, me

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Colorado, United States

Friday, January 1, 2016

Play Time

Yesterday I took two steps toward a more positive and happy life.

I'm a big fan of Facebook. First it is an extremely efficient way to reach all my friends and family in one fell swoop.  No way could I stay in touch with so many people if I tried to reach them all individually. Second - I garner some really interesting information thru articles and websites and can always count on someone responding if I'm gathering information on something. Third - it's just fun. Several times a day someone shares something that makes me laugh or touches my heart.

I always say that working alone as I do, my friends and family on Facebook are my "co-workers." Interacting with them on Facebook is how I can surround myself with people even though I am often just in my studio alone. Well, alone human-wise; I always have a dog or two and a cat with me but conversations with them are pretty one-sided.

I am a huge animal welfare enthusiast and have strong feelings about rescue dogs and cats and senior adoptions. So, of course, there is no lack of conversation on Facebook regarding those subjects and I soon found myself emotionally entrenched with all manner of rescue groups.

Recently I began to feel myself falling down the rabbit hole (so to speak) as day after day, post after post I saw an endless stream of animals in need. So many sad stories - some with happy endings, some not. It began to take a toll on me. 

So yesterday I began unfollowing one page and then another. I guess I'm just not strong enough to see all the hurt in the world. I will always feel strongly about animal welfare and while I deeply admire and respect the people who physically are there for these rescue animals every day - there are things I can do quietly, do locally and do in other ways. It is just too much to see so much every day, all day.

The other positive action I took yesterday? I colored a very detailed drawing of a cat (not this one - that's my real cat, Kia) for over 7 hours. Yup - over 7 hours - and I'm still not done. And apparently I'm not the only one doing this. 

However, let me explain why this is so out of character for me.

Growing up I was encouraged to be productive over playing. In fact I would be called inside from playing with friends to do needlework or some other productive task. 

Now that I'm all grown up I have mixed feelings about this. I understand why I was raised this way; it is the way my Mother was raised. While I'm grateful for the creative skills I learned and continue to use in my creations to this day, I am sad I never learned how to play. Relaxing does not come easily. I feel guilty if I'm not being productive.

I'm 61. It's time to play.

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