It’s been a difficult day. It’s been difficult to focus, to keep going, to stay in the present.
I started my day with Yoga and creative practice, but then it just slipped into stress, worry and negative thoughts. I don’t know why, it just happened. And, sometimes that is life’s experience. I mean it’s not meant to be happy all the time. We have to have the ups with the downs. That’s life.
I did manage to create another hand-made stitched journal. This one is a little more refined than yesterday’s attempt and I think I will gift it to someone for Christmas. I want to add some decorative bits and pieces, so I will share that when it is finished. But other than that, is was a very unproductive day.
To be fair I have been unwell, so it’s not that I was just doing nothing, I actually took the day off work to try and recover from an infection. But I find it difficult to ‘do’ not much, even when I am unwell.
However, we did go for an evening walk, the sea breeze was wonderful – just what I needed to blow away my over-thinking.
I’m so grateful for the breeze. It seems like a silly thing to say, but the breeze today was everything.
Well we have arrived. We are now in the new apartment. Shifted.
And, the unpacking begins.
It’s an interesting task to unpack, find new places for old items. I have this horrible habit of saying to myself, “I’ll stick this here for now…” and in my mind I’m thinking “one day I will find a better place for it”. But will that day happen? Or will that item be always in a new location that doesn’t quite suit?
As I have said in previous diary entrees we have down-sized, and we did get rid of a lot of stuff – but “oh my word”, I still have so much. Maybe I need a second round. It is surprising how much stuff I don’t need. This time I have given away a lot of items I use to feel sentimentally about – but it just does not serve to keep them – so I have said goodbye.
Change is exciting, it’s also daunting but I think in the end it keeps us resilient. We need to keep changing, adapting and allow ourselves to face new obstacles. Part of moving into this apartment is to face new challenges and ask of myself to: ‘begin again’.
I am grateful for good coffee. Sounds superficial, but today it was awesome!
I am an artist. I am creative. Isn’t that good to say, out loud. Just say it.
Even if you don’t think that about yourself. Say it anyway. Out loud! “I am an artist.” Because we are all artists. We might not be painters or illustrators or potters but we are artful, we all create. And so we should celebrate.
Being artful, means you ‘think’ creatively, you let yourself explore, be curious, be playful with ideas.
If you, for some reason, have become stuck in routine or are feeling melancholy or perhaps things feel overwhelming this is where being artful can spark a fresh angle on life. It can be a simple as getting out of bed on the other side, taking a different route to work or having lunch in the park instead of the office.
Being artful suggests play. And play opens our mind to seeing the world a-new. Just try it.
I believe that we experience life the way we view it. Meaning if we view life as meaningless, or negatively we will experience life in that way. However, if we see life playfully, if life is a curious and full of possibilities then we will experience life more positively. I suffer from depression and I know what it means to think about life negativity but one of my greatest assets is the ability to play.
Playfulness could be difficult if you are not use to it. I would start with identifying something in your life that you feel is negative or not how you would like it to be and imagine it differently. Start small. Maybe your cubicle at work is depressing you. How could you transform it. Think of what a cubicle would look like from the keyboards perspective, think of a cubicle floating in space, think of a hit song titled “The Magic Cubicle”. Sound weird? Good. Think about it differently, have fun in your mind. Now think about how you can make it a beautiful space to work in.
There is no end to play, no one can take your imagination away. It’s all yours.
Just following on from yesterday. It is our shift day, and as I write this the movers are here with our carefully packed boxes. I’m sitting in the car keeping out of their way. Our possessions at the moment are in a truck. It’s a very odd feeling and I will be glad when the boxes are loaded into the new place.
I am grateful we have been able to afford movers this time. Shifting house is super stressful and having people to assist is such a blessing. I am very fortunate.
It is the last night in our house before the shifters arrive tomorrow. It’s been pretty hectic getting packed up and ready to move while being in ‘lock-down’ and working pretty much full-time. But such is life, can’t complain. Actually I’m extremely grateful.
Tomorrow brings a new chapter.
A fresh start. Change. Movement.
As I said in the last couple of posts, the apartment is smaller than our current situation and it has been the best time to get rid of unwanted, unused, stuff and think about what new items we will bring into our lives. I think we will be much more intentional this time around.
I have two more weeks of work, and then I’m off for a month to enjoy the holidays with family and a much needed rest. I truely believe this year has been my hardest. So much has happened, and I’m not even talking about the pandemic. During my time off I want to reflect on my YouTube channel. Re-think how I am putting myself out there.
As an audience member of YouTube, I know what I enjoy and why it brings value to my experience of engaging with online content, but it is very difficult to create it. Ha ha – but I love doing it, so keep on keeping on.
I’m thankful for the sunshine today. It popped in and out of the clouds all day and seemed to be there when I needed it most. I find that sunshine is so critical to my mental health.
I always feel as if December has extraordinary energy. A little too heightened at times, but full of possibilities. I don’t know if it is because it’s the last month of the year or because of holidays, or something else. In the southern hemisphere it is the first month of summer, so maybe it is the fresh heat, the summer wind – I’m not sure, maybe it is a mixture of all these things. But I do recognise the energy and I thrive in it.
I feel like a cat caught in a ray of sun, soaking it all up, unable to move away. I love December. Today was a particularly good day. We finally picked up our keys to the new apartment. New to us – it is actually a bit of a do-up. But a new exciting adventure. Once we picked up the keys we went and spent some time in the apartment. It was our first time there without the realestate agent. Isn’t it odd that the most expensive thing you purchase in life (if you are fortunate enough) is something you hardly get to see. Anyway, we hung out, opened the windows and doors, listened to the sounds and tried to imagine all our furniture fitting in and making a home.
Shifting is hard to do, not just physically, but emotionally, and mentally. I love change, I want it and need it, but at the same time I resist, the ‘same’ seems safe. So, today I’ve been a bit up and down, one minute I’m excited looking forward to all the ‘new’ and the next moment I’m feeling nervous and wondering if we have done the right thing. But that is life I guess. That is change.
Today I’m grateful that our cat ‘kitty’ can go to a cattery for a few days while we shift. Although I miss her, I know she will hate all the boxing, and shifting that is going to happen. I’m also grateful for that summer wind, I was talking about before, it brings with it a fresh cool touch and a feeling that anything is possible.
A month of sharing my daily journey starting today. I did do a month of writing in 2020, but that was in July, so it has been a while. This is what it will look like:
photo pic of the day
gratitude, quote, or thought of the day
So, let’s begin.
It’s Wednesday, mid week, and we are in the middle of shifting house. Most of our things are packed, sold or in storage. If you have ever shifted you will know how good it feels to go through collected items and realise that they are not fit for purpose anymore, which gives you permission to let them go. I really don’t know why I hold onto things for so long. But I do, and I know it’s a common practice.
Anyway – that is where we are at. We are not moving far, but the place is a lot smaller, so another reason to let things go within that idea of ‘down-sizing’. It’s funny to think I can let things go at anytime, but only do go through this activity when I have to. Maybe this time I wont collect stuff.
Maybe – but I’m not holding my breath.
This morning, I went for a walk down our beautiful mismatched windy street to a small inlet on the Manakau Harbour. Such a lovely spot, and when I was there I wondered if it would be the last time I saw it. I’ve gone down there a lot over the last few years, it’s only a 15 min walk away, so it has been an easy place to seek out some comfort during all the ‘lock-down days’ we’ve had.
So my gratitude for today goes to this place. A place of solitude and reflection and a place that gave a different view and perspective every time I visited it. Whether or not I come here again, I will always be grateful.
I want to point out that for viewing reasons the interaction is much better on a desktop, laptop or tablet. It is not made for phone viewing, so you may encounter glitches if you watch from there.
I first started thinking about the documentary in 2016 and this is when I interviewed my mother, and from that point the idea of ‘At The Horizon’ unfolded. I finished the work late 2020 and it had its debut at RM gallery in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, since then, however, and due to continuing lockdowns, the work has not been able to have public viewings. It is this reason that I have put the work online, holding my own exhibition if you will.
So Please go to the website and check it out. Then let me know down below, or feel free to ask questions.
I’m contemplating, reflecting on the feeling or experience of “putting myself out there”, sharing online, writing this Blog and recently starting a YouTube channel.
It’s difficult, amazing, fun, hard, and very humbling. It’s humbling because part of me wants or needs success, and I’m told that success is measured in views and reads: the more subscribers, the more engagement, click-throughs… and so on. Numbers measure how successful I am.
But on reflection…
That’s not why I started these things. I get caught up in posts like “How to grow your channel”, and I forget that I started it for fun, to share, to grow and to challenge myself.
So, I have given myself a reality check. If I want to keep going, I need to remind myself that success comes from within, not externally.
Success – gets the best of us. It questions our own beliefs, makes us feel not good enough, makes us compare – and I don’t want to be part of that.
My creativity and the way I share is mine. I don’t have to follow a formula or pattern that someone says makes a successful blog of vlog…
I’m going to be strong, and do what I want – because that is valid. What and how I want to share isn’t measured in numbers.
That’s me this week. I little wake-up call. Standing up for myself, being my best friend, listening to my own advice.
If you want to know what I think more extensively on the topic, I’ve written a 2 part blog on success: linked below:
I think change is one of the hardest aspects of life, but also one of the most essential, we can’t allow ourselves to stagnate, we need change, we need to move forward, we need to take risks and be brave. The quote below is exactly how I feel about it. Don’t fester on the things you are letting go or saying goodbye to, but face forward.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”
Short but sweet this week. It’s all in the video so check it out.
An audio-visual work I recently created, (end of 2020), had an initial opening and gallery exhibition, however since then, and mainly due to COVID restrictions and our current lock-down in Auckland further exhibitions have been cancelled or been put on hold.
So, I’ve decided to put my own online exhibition together for this particular work.
I recently watched, ‘Virtual Art Exhibitions: Teaching Art Online‘ with Art Prof Clara Lieu. This was hugely helpful and got me underway to put my show together. Lieu mainly discussed having an exhibition on Instagram, and I’m not doing that, but all the tools for the organisation of the event are pretty much what I’m doing. If you are wanting to organise an online event I would recommend watching this.
I have organised screenings of films, and been involved in arranging events before, so I’m not a complete novice at the task, however, I’ve never organised an online event. I’m really excited about this event and I’m also excited about the possibility of doing other online exhibitions, and not just for my own work. Online exhibitions provide a much wider audience and and a chance to work and collaborate with artists and creators I wouldn’t usually get the chance to work with. So, my little online exhibition will be a good tester.
If you are also putting an online exhibition or event together I would recommend designing backwards. Start with the event name and the date, who you want to attend and why you are putting this on. From that date work backwards, until the present moment. I created a simple spreadsheet and worked backwards deciding on what would need done and when. It was straightforward and took a couple of hours. I listed all the physical work I would have to do, but mainly it was the advertising and promotion of the event that took a bit to work out.
I first decided the platforms I wanted to advertise on and listed all the posts I would do, what would be the content of those posts, and what the posts would add (as in value), so I wouldn’t be just repeating the same content. Some posts are informative, some more interactive, and some are adding a personal touch so the audience can feel connected. I think this is more important for an online exhibition or event, due to the physical separation. I would suggest to do this, if you are also putting an event together. It takes a bit of time, but once you have the list of what to do, and the dates you need to post, it is just a case of getting the shizz done!!
The other thing I have done to prepare is download the Adobe Spark App, it has just made things sooo much easier to make posts look good and cohesive. I’m my own graphic artist on this one, so any help I can get is worth the money. So far, that is the only thing I have paid out for.
If you are thinking of organising something online put some time into research beforehand. There are lots of people and organisations doing more and more of it, so there’s plenty of tips out there. I will post more about my exhibition and how to attend, closer to the time.
That’s all folks. Hope you are all well. Let me know if the comments below if you enjoyed this post.