Blog

News from Behind the Scenes…

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I’ve been working with a fabulous woman in town who is building a new site for me on Squarespace, where I can have a better shop experience for my cards and prints… I’m a little nervous about the transition, but I will keep communicating with you folks who are following me, about how to follow me at Squarespace as well! I’m looking forward to this next online adventure 😊

Dealing with my Anxious Brain

Last week my Anxious Brain threw a temper tantrum. Everything in my life was being filtered, the way a dog recognizes only a few words of your conversation with him. My Anxious Brain disregards the entirety of many sentences, and tends to reframe whole concepts in a bizarre attempt to undermine my Logical Brain. Something like this:  “Do you think you can make this deadline?” turns into “We are pretty sure you are not going to be able to meet this deadline.” Someone saying to me “Sure, I’d like to see you later.” turns into “You are so needy, I guess I have to show up for you even though I have better things to do.” Anxious Brain also hears a phrase like “not now” and holds on to the “not” part… words like “maybe” can be a trigger… and silence — like those silent dog whistles? Yeah, Anxious Brain latches on to that as well.

I’ve used the analogy of Anxious Brain Dog for myself for a while. If I catch the dog soon enough, before it grabs onto a piece of negativity, I can shove a treat in its face and we all move on. If I don’t catch it… well… it retrieves every percieved bit of self-esteem crushing information and just rolls around in it… which every dog owner can imagine <insert disgusting pile of whatever your dog rolls in while you uselessly yell at it>…

This sketch was part of my coping mechanism last weekend.

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Back Home

It was a wonderful whirlwind trip to Maine! Up to Schoodic Point, where we stood on the rocks and wondered about flat earth theory, made up reasons how the rocks got cracked, and reminisced about the yard sales we stopped at. Then off to mini golf and a restaurant meal so terrible it will be months before I can see a bottle of Alfredo sauce without laughing. The next day was a drive to Popham Beach, with warm sand, swimmable ocean water, and the porcupine’s first kite flying experience… Dinner and wine with friends, and the next day breakfast with the same, and then we puttered along home tuning in to as many 80s music stations as we could find.

I hit the ground running with work… and am wishing I could pack up and drive back to the beach tomorrow.

I’m working hard to figure out my brain chemicals… worry, anxiety, panic… disbelief, fear, trust. Funny how new situations can trigger old memories and knee jerk reactions. These are two panels from a comic I did this afternoon, sketching like this definitely feels more natural than a diary. Shadow bunny seems to be off on an adventure, but he’ll be back, I’m sure…

Running away and coming back

Last Friday I made a whirlwind trip to a small town in NY where I have some friends… Susan had been reminding me that I said I would visit once she had moved, and after chatting with me over the last two weeks her encouragement grew a little more forceful… so I decided to run away for 36 hours. It’s a little over a 3 hour drive, perfect for my playlist and about all the time my butt can handle sitting. There was a reunion at her place punctuated by lots of swear words and a few tears as we got caught up, then a raucous dinner at an Italian restaurant with one more friend… a wonderful breakfast the next morning at a friend’s farm, with lots of light and heavy discussion… and back on the road to home in the afternoon.

Returning to Hardwick felt good. I am still grieving for Sara. I still pass her house and in my head are the words “she’s gone.” But being away cleared some cobwebs, and I’d like to think she would be cheering me on to have more spontaneous adventures, and to stay close to the people that have come across my path.

Today I finally mailed packages out, cards and prints, with apologies to all for the delay. Even simple tasks seemed difficult the last few weeks. I’m slowly getting caught up today on projects, and it feels good.

I hope you are all enjoying the day, and have a good week planned ahead  🙂

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The Most Important Meal of the Day

Today I feel fairly calm. It could be that I am flat-lining from all the emotions that have been tumbling around for the last two weeks? But I also was flipping through my calendar and was shocked that I only moved here about 3 months ago… I feel like I have lived a lifetime in this short time.

This morning I decided to make an important decision about the most important meal of the day. I think it was a good one.

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Slogging

I’ve reached the point where my brain can’t keep up with all the emotions and daily distractions and schedules and promises. This morning I felt relatively on top of things, I promised the porcupine it was going to be an Amazing Day. I had a work-list, an art-list, and an end of day let’s-finally-clean-up-the-apartment list. I made plans to run away for a visit with friends at the end of the week.

Then Life Happened, as it’s apt to do. I tried to stay focused on work. Then I muddled through walking to the post office. And slogged through more work. And then decided the time had come to Take Myself for a Walk. Behind my place is wooded area called Hardwick Trails (not too inventive, but accurate). My friend Sara and I went up there so her dog could bounce around and chase squirrels and we could chatter away for an hour or two without seeing another person. There’s the really steep hill we always took breaks on because neither one of us could talk and walk up it without hyperventilating. The area with the sweet smelling ferns. The swimming holes for Roxy to cool off in. Various berries to pick and share.

Every time we went Sara would ask where I wanted to go, and I would laugh, and say I’d follow her… and tell her how I would get completely lost if I ever walked up there by myself.

Guess what happened today? … I did finally find my way back, though. Thanks, Sara.