Wednesday, November 3, 2010

art every day month #3: remember to look

look-picture

these were some of the first words i wrote in my journal when i started this world a few years ago, for by nature i am not an observer. i'm impatient. i have a hard time living in the present. if i don't make a deliberate effort to notice things, then i rush rush rush through my days, rush my family, rush myself, and for what? i miss things entirely, don't take the time to take things in context, don't stop to think, THIS IS MY LIFE HAPPENING. nerve endings deaden. instants pass and wash into another. missed moments gang up on me at night and run through my head like what-could-have-been movies. it's something i've always struggled with, a disability i know is worth overcoming. when i can delight in a moment, or just acknowledge that it's an important part of my day instead of an annoyance i have to get past, i find a natural contentedness in that. it is a mindset that rights so many wrongs within me. but as i said, for someone who wasn't born with that perspective, it takes work.

my blog has helped a lot with this. when i post spontaneously and often, i feel alive. my kids have helped a lot with this. they don't let me NOT notice. my town helps a lot with this. it's hard not to when there are googly eyes in trees and people lounging in the street and typewriters installed in front yards. my art helps with this. because creating always helps. my husband helps with this. he's one of those who naturally appreciate the value of an everyday moment. but despite all this help i've felt myself slipping back into my rushy ruts and generally just being a big kvetch.

this morning i felt it was time to give that old doodle new life, because i needed it. i drew it from scratch, gave it a new outfit, more color, more messiness, more detail, more immediacy. to remind me that the piece of toast left on the table with one bite taken out of it is not just something i have to clean up, but a sign that my seven year old was there that morning. that when the four year old has to stop and look at every freaking leaf on the sidewalk, she's simply enjoying herself, even if i'm not, and that counts for something in her life. to remember that what defines my life is not what will be happening in ten years or what i could be accomplishing if it weren't for this or that, but what is happening RIGHT NOW, at this very moment. well, i've teared up a bit writing this, which means i've struck a nerve somewhere within me. a moment lived, a moment appreciated. i think that means i'm off to a good start!

29 comments:

Inner Toddler said...

letting the kids determine the rhythm of the day makes so much sense and yet it is SO tiresome and bothersome that my head just might fall off my neck. being present is so counter to my dreamer/fretter/toiling self.

Sherry Lynn said...

I love your blog, such wonderful things..can't wait to see more.

Curls O Fred said...

good perspective, and a good reminder. thanks :)

lori vliegen said...

you're not the only one who has teared up.....mainly because your fabulous gift of being able to speak your heart (and somehow make it seem like you're the voice in my head) has struck a nerve within me, too! i have a friend who told me long ago to "be here now"......thank you for reminding me of that......xoxo, :))
p.s. and along with your gift of the written word, your gift of the doodle is spectacular, too! xo

nacherluver said...

Shout it Sistah!
I relate to this post very much. Thanks for the reminder to live in the Now.

Buffalo Lucy said...

I needed that reminder today (er, um, this year). I just sent the link to Stephanie too. Thank you! <3

cindy said...

i saved this post to read word for word very slowly while thinking about it just like you said. you are right. we're in a hurry, but to go where?

Leah Virsik said...

Nice reminder. I got tears too.

http://www.leahvirsik.com

L'Atelier said...

what a great doodle! and a wonderful reminder
love art everyday month! cant wait for tomorrow :D

Liv @ Choosing Beauty said...

Absolutely love this, Aimee. Just a few weeks ago, my hubby and I were sitting in the family room, surrounded by total chaos - running, jumping, thumping boys - and we shouted to each other how much one day we'd miss this insanity. Someday I know it will be way too quiet and I'll wish I'd cherished more of the chaos. Thanks for the artsy-riffic reminder.

S.E.Minegar said...

living in the NOW is difficult. i can totally relate to this. i spend so much time waiting for school to be done, to get a dream job, to have a house, to BEGIN life...but LIFE IS HERE already and I'M LIVING IT!

oof, now i'm tearing up.

thanks for the reminder.

Nur said...

Absolutely well put, absolutely true and absolutely beautiful!! Thank you for this post.
:-)

sYda said...

Beautiful post! I simply adore your doodles and loved this delightful reminder to inhale the moments one at a time.

Leah said...

I just love your style! And I know what you mean about noticing the little things. Kids are so great at helping us slow down and notice!

I Saw You Dancing said...

You are such an inspiration!
Thank you. x

painted fish studio said...

you? not an observer? the snippets of conversations you catch totally contradict that statement -- you hear the best things. and your attention to visual detail has me a little green... thank you for reminding me to pay attention.

freebird said...

I am 57 this month and I haven't learned to do this well yet! I try but as my family says, I live in la-la land. I'm usually daydreaming rather than doing. Off living in my mind rather than seeing the glories around me. I really need to learn this lesson SOON.

Missy said...

Fantastic piece, your totally right and kids are great for making you notice and take things in.

iHanna said...

Oh how beautifully written, and how true. I practice mindfulness all the time, and just as it is with yoga etc. it is called a "practice" because we all have to remind ourselves daily of it. I really love your positive outlook on change and your own powers: "a disability i know is worth overcoming", you rock!

Pointy Pix said...

What a great post and a very timely reminder for me, as I am so guilty of exactly the same thing. My mum often used to say to me that I was wishing my life away and I still do it now (even though I'm hitting an age when I so want time to slow back down again!) I am constantly looking forward to the next thing instead of enjoying the here and now. I don't have kids but my dogs provide me with similar frustrations and impatience and yet they provide me with so much joy and unconditional love. They are programmed by nature to be creatures that live only in the here and now and I could learn a lot from that. Your blog is wonderful, Aimee and I'm so glad I found it.

Karen Blados said...

OMGosh Aimee, I read this last night and couldn't reply through my sniffles. What and amazing reminder to appreciate each moment.

I'm a rusher, too, and I spend my days hurrying and stressing and bullying my Punks to go faster. We always end up wherever we need to be early and then I wonder why I fussed so much to begin with.

And the piece of toast thing totally got to me. Especially this morning after cleaning up crumbs and crusts from both Punks.

Thank you so much for your honesty and for posting this. I'm going to print it out BIG and tape it to my bathroom mirror to remind me to S L O W D O W N.

Laure Ferlita said...

Wonderful post, Aimee, and oddly enough, I would never have thought you to be a non-observer.

One of the things that I've used to help me create more awareness is a (conscious) list of small things that I'm grateful for that would probably not make most folks' lists.....the aggravation of spilt paint (because it meaning I'm creating), having to rake leaves (because I often find small treasures and gifts from Nature); and for a sore back (because I'm healthy and able to get out and rake leaves)....small, insignificant things....on the surface. And I try to come up with 5 each day (conscious thoughts) to remind me these are the moments that make up the everyday of my life.

Hope this helps, but know that you have plenty of company!

Chel said...

Wow. This post really resonated with me. A lot of the stuff I've read these past few years has told me that mindfulness is ESSENTIAL to well being, which scared me because I just *can't* get it! But I'm realizing that I *am* being mindful, in my own little way. I may not be able to fully live in the moment every second, but I am starting to appreciate more and more. Deep breaths, watching the sunset in the middle of our little container garden with a cat curled and purring at my hip, good books, lovely cups of tea, seeing art that makes me say "Ohhhh!" out loud (as so much of yours does, honestly...), getting an idea... moments to savor for sure.

Segovia said...

Your blog today reminded me of that little sound kids make when they are nibbling on soup crackers.

aimee said...

segovia,


and everyone else,
thank you :)

The Original Drama Mama said...

From one of my current fav songs:

"Compare where you are and where you wanna be and you'll get nowhere."

This is me...sometimes nearly incapacitated by the realization of where I am and how far I need to go to get to where I want to be. I need to enjoy and experience the "here" more and focus less on the "there" !!!

Bella Sinclair said...

Aww, Aimee, this is beautiful. That big colorful LOOK is like a best friend, gently nudging you back on course.

Totally off on a tangent here, but "living in the here and now" and savoring the flavors and textures of the moment are also apparently the keys to...um..female satisfaction.

AG Ambroult said...

Well said.
Yeah, in a perfect world we'd let our kids schedule the day, but we'd end up squishing berries from a bush on to ants all day.that's just outright murder, and kind of counter productive.

Biomouse said...

Perfect sentiment and I love the power of our own words when we can actually see them outside of our own swirling fish bowl of thoughts and actually feel the intention of them. I'm a rusher, fusser, perfectionistic OCD, flitterygit. Remembering that the hairballs on the carpet are not personal irritation telegrams from the cats and that my husband putting kitchen utensils in the wrong drawers is cute, rather than a personal affront is not easy, but you helped today :) Thanks always for your great words, your fearlessness to share, and your jubilant nature.