art, Health, relationships

Feels Like…

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My teenage daughter and I had a conversation about her anxiety and panic disorders. She described it like this:

“It’s like wearing wet jeans to school. It’s really uncomfortable and smells bad and you want to take them off, but you can’t just whenever you want. You can’t take them off while you’re at school.”

Listening patiently and doing your best to understand are the first steps to alleviating the stress and anxiety of our loved ones.

art, education, motivation, Personal Success

Open

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I was inspired by the spring cacti in my yard.

So I began to paint…

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16-year old daughter: Whatcha painting?

Me: A really stinky cactus.

D: Oh yeah? What’s it smell like?

Me: Garbage and butt.

D: It looks like a monster on Monsters, Inc.

Me: (laughing hysterically)

D: Draw some arms and legs on it. Call it, “Open to Interpretation.”

 

Isn’t everything?

art, motivation, Personal Success

Practice Daily

 

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In art, one must be mindful of space: the space between images.

In a few of these, I was afraid of too much space and added graphics. The result was a non-uniform crowding of images, which is not pleasing to the eye.

 

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In relationships, space is even more critical. “Caring” and “parenting” are not about invading space, but respecting our teenagers as their own people. Crowding and controlling them is not pleasing to them!

This is the exact opposite of how I was raised.

But I can choose to question that thinking and do better.

 

Personal Success, relationships

Mean Girls

My 15-year-old daughter went to the bathroom at school today. She didn’t feel well. There was another girl in there – a waif with thin blond hair who looked like she was on meth.  The Daughter felt self-conscious, barfing into the toilet.  Outside her stall, the waif snickered. Suddenly, the lights went out. The door slammed shut.

Shrouded in darkness, she had to feel her way around to the light switch. Retching and bewildered, she cried. She’s still out there, waiting to see my reaction.

So when the tears stopped, she rinsed her face.

The waif was waiting. The Daughter walked out, head held high.

As she told me the story, she started to shake.

“Why did she do that, mom? She knew I was sick. She could have asked if I was OK and if I needed anything. Why would she do that? Why would she be so mean?”

I didn’t know what to say. Mean people have always existed, like cockroaches. They’re vile, but they must serve a purpose somehow.

“It wasn’t you. It was her. This was not personal, she didn’t even know you. She’s obviously very unhappy and wounded.” I hugged her and told I was sorry that it happened.

I was aware of several facts all at once:

  • that I wanted to exact revenge on The Waif;
  • that mean people will hurt my children and everyone I love many times over;
  • that we will never know why people do cruel things; and
  • that I have very little control over anything.

All we can do is be our best and be kind and provide love and comfort to each other.

And practice drawing octopodes.

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