Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Creating Strength

I ran into an amazing piece of support from reaching out to a friend the other day. I had been struggling with feelings of isolation and disconnection from people, and Kim sent me a piece entitled " A Note from the Universe"The message hit me right between the eyes!; it's not the struggles you go through that count - it's how you FINISH - in a position of strength. It came at a time when I was considering giving up on human relationships, on trying to find those strong, deep ones that truly create joy, among the hundreds of casual acquaintance relationships we all have in our lives. I was simply tired of trying! But this video reminded me that the number of times you try DOESN'T COUNT, because if you stop trying before the next try, you won't get there. Whatever your goal, you have to continue to try until you get there, no matter how many times that is; then, and only then, do you finish in strength.
And equally important, the times you try and only make it part way to the goal, don't consider them failures; the strength of your finish is measured by the number of times you try - and keep trying!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Creating time for Joy

Life has been very busy lately; we moved my father from his independent apartment to assisted living within the La Posada complex ( his bone cancer is progressing unfortunately), and James had the first of his cataract surgeries ( which turned out great!). I've found it ever more important to make time in my life for those moments of joy brought on by creativity; otherwise life can become a continual series of unending chores. James and I have started updating our stamp albums together; it's fun, cheap, and appeals to my organizational sense. We welcome all donations of used stamps from our family and friends. I've also created a 2008 Christmas wall-hanging and am working on a set of 6 Christmas placemats ( we plan to invite friends over) and small Christmas gifts for friends. It amazes me how calming and satisfying creating something with my hands is; it completely removes any existing stress in my day!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Up with People Wandered In

What a joyous week James and I had when our "Up with People" cast members wandered in for a stay with us as their "host-family" for their week in Sahuarita. Danielle (23) from Wisconsin and Steph (18) from Vermont brightened our lives with their youth and energy, demanded nothing other than a bed, food and a car ride twice a day, and reminded us how much we missed our grown children. They treated us to an amazing concert on Saturday night, complete with a special guest performance by Herb Allen and the Chandler Brothers ( all seniors we might add!) who wrote the very first music for Up with People in 1965. The concert was done in both English and Spanish and covered a multitude of cultures by young people from 22 countries. We were so privileged to be a small part of this group for even a week; it reminded us that life is for living - and the only way to live is to be INVOLVED as often as you can. Find at least one new thing to explore and share each week is our new motto; it makes life shine! We can still watch TV if we choose, but we are determined NOT to be couch potatoes. We want to be like the 80 year-olds we saw in concert Saturday: they were still kicking right along with the young adults they played for. You can stay young no matter how old you get as long as you involve yourself with life!. Thanks Steph and Danielle for reminding us of this important message.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Creating Harmony

I find it so easy to create harmony in the looks of my home - add a decoration here, paint a wall to harmonize or soothe, quilt a wall hanging to promote the southwest look; I wish creating harmony in my relationships was as easy. It seems so easy sometimes to get frustrated when a coworker or family member is closed off and hard to reach. I find myself wanting to be kind, but acting defensively instead because I am afraid of being rejected in my efforts to reach out, and sometimes just feeling plain ornery because I want things to be easy and smooth rather than stiff and awkwardly hard. I so admire the people I come in contact with that seem to put everyone around them at ease, make me feel appreciated , and have others wanting to gravitate to them. What is it exactly that they do - or don't do - that everyone just seems to feel happy around them? While on the other hand, there are those who immediately have me feeling uptight, as though I were a nuisance, and make me want to hide myself away in my office or room so I don't have to deal with them. What do they do - or not do? And what part do I play in furthering the happiness or uptightness with my reactions? Could I change the uptightness to happiness with the right reactions, or is this just part of the world as it is. Should I reach out more, or leave the vicinity if I'm feeling uptight? Which will create harmony in my life in the best possible way. Colors are easy - either they work together or they don't; you simply change them if they don't. People are much more complex, and sometimes I feel like a child in my level of understanding them and in helping both myself and them towards harmony.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Creating Blog Decorations

If I'm going to create, then the first place to start is my blog, right? With a little creative Photoshop help from my mate Frogwarts, Bearfr's Wanderings has a new look. Let me know what you think. Bearfr

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Creating Humility

Oh what would we do without our good friends to keep us honest about ourselves. My friend Judith reminded me that she hadn't seen anything in my blog about the "ladder" incident - more often called "intimate encounter with a snail" in our house. About a month ago I was busy creating an accent wall in the master bedroom - painting the bay window wall a soft teal blue called Water Dance to match the colors of accents I had used in the room. I was really enamored of the color and how well it matched our ocean bed quilt and three ceramic snails I had recently finished in a fun evening class with friends. Well, in all this musing I missed the last step on my 4-step ladder as I came down from painting for the last time, careened into the hope chest, fell over the planter with the artificial fern, and sat down HARD right on top of Papa snail's eye stalks! How do explain to your coworkers the next day that you are limping because you have a 6" round snail bruise on your behind. God is the best at teaching me to laugh at myself, and not to get too big a head about my creativity! And thanks to Judith for reminding me that we all need at least one good laugh a day - so from my creative self, here's yours for the day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Creative Musings

Just a thought today; is it possible to create calm just by a simple action? Would this,could this, work? Suppose everyone around you (maybe at your work place?) seems cranky, angry, loud, bitchy, or whatever. Each time you hear it, you get up and gently, quietly close the door of your office, then open it just as quietly 10 minutes later. I wonder what would happen by the end of the day? Would being calm, happy, quiet, smiling or whatever have an effect? By the end of the day would anyone get the message? Could we "create" peace around us just by being? Let me know your results and I'll share mine. Bearfr - alias Penny

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Create Love

Creativity comes in many forms; today my husband James and I had a chance to create love for others. Participation in the Arizona Children charity bowl-a-thon, courtesy of James' work, allowed us to help raise money to promote adoption of some amazing older children, who need good homes as much or more than the cute babies. Reading the Book of Adoptees made me realize once again how blessed I was by my own two children, now grown adults. Life was not always smooth for us, but I wouldn't change a minute of being in my children's lives. Where else can you learn who you really are ( and sometimes don't want to be!) then by watching your children mimic you. Children help us grow to be better adults; those who never have this chance miss a whole stage of valuable growth. And hopefully, if we try hard enough, we just might pass on a few kernels of wisdom to our kids, also. Did I say that - oops, Mom's don't really know anything, do they?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Where did I go today?

Since I love to create today was spent as most of my weekends are - trying to create as much beauty in the life of the Paddocks as I can. Today I started a house project; take my enormously bland den and give it a little sunshine. I painted the lower half of the walls with a muted canteloupe color, left the upper half the original desert beige, and will add a saguaro and prickly pear wallpaper border to divide the two areas. Voila - instant desert sun in my tiny office with only one window!!

Deciding that the gold couch in the living room could use some life also, I journeyed to my nearby quilt shop and picked out a lovely print with swirls of gold, beige, and 3 tones of brown to use as the background for new pillow covers. On top will go of course a brown bear with green and black wood tones and a two toned yellow and orange sun to complete the desert look.