Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

As the Old Year draws to a close Today it was some time for quiet reflection upon what 2014 brought in the way of Blessings and Challenges.   It was quite the mixture of each for our Family, but it is my Belief that we can each be Improved and Transformed not only by the Good that happens in our Lives, but also what we Endure and Survive as well.

As I prepared what Princess T refers to as 'The Feast' for our New Year's Eve Celebration Today, I am reminded of how Truly Blessed we are in spite of Life's Issues and Challenges we've faced and moved through this past year.   It is my Hope that 2015 will be a Special Year filled with New Beginnings and Opportunities to seize!

And I don't just hold out that Hope for ourselves, but for everyone else as well.   I've known so many Wonderful People who struggled this year and had to Endure hardships.  So it is my Hope that 2015 will bring to them Fresh Opportunities and New Beginnings to build upon so that this coming year will be better and Memorable in a Good way.

I must say that for our Family, even though 2014 held it's particular Challenges, it was a far better year for us than 2013 had been.  In 2013 Tragedy had struck severely and it was a Memorable year for all of the wrong reasons that we'd just as soon forget and not have to think about or dwell upon.   So this year was a year for us of Healing and Improvements, which we Hope will continue throughout the New Year that is just upon the Horizon now.

We'll Celebrate and Usher in this New Year of 2015 quietly and safely at Home with Family and whatever extended Family and Friends drop by for a visit.   We'll have plenty to eat and I've got some Pina Coladas chillin' for whoever wants to join me in a Celebratory New Year's Eve drink?!?  *Winks*

I can't help but feel Happy and Content when we are surrounded by Family and Friends Sharing a Meal Together.   It doesn't have to be anything Fancy or need a lot of Work to prep for, it can be Simple, Informal and Fun... the Fellowship is the icing on the cake for us... richer than even the most decadent desserts.

I have always felt that loneliness is the greatest Poverty.   With so many people in this World of ours it is a pity that any Human Being should ever have to endure feeling or being lonely or alone... there are surely enough of Humankind to provide ample Companionship if we each reach out to one another and extend Fellowship and Hospitality!

I am especially Grateful to have grown up in a household that had the Gift of Hospitality and taught it to us at a very eary age as a Priceless Gift to extend towards others.  It is one of those Gifts that has reciprocity attached to it... those who Give always Gain... always.   Those who think first of others before themselves will always be rewarded richly.

I'm Glad that The G-Kid Force always extend an Invitation to their Playmates and Friends to join us in our little Celebrations, it shows me that they 'Get It' and find the Joy in Sharing.   I remember a Favorite saying of Princess T is, "Sharing is Caring."   She is absolutely right about that... what we Share with others or withhold from others reveals much about our own Character and Condition of the Heart... or how Safe we Truly Feel in those particular relationships.

You don't have to be Rich to Share what you have... some of the most generous Souls I've ever met and had Share what they have with us have often been considered Poor by Society's standards.  I've often Believed that those who are experiencing hardship often feel even more compelled towards Generosity because they truly Understand how important it is and what a difference it makes to Share with one another in order to enrich us all and make sure none has to go without!

We've spent this last week of the Old Year as an extended Family Sharing Time with one another. Sometimes all you might even have to Share is Time, but Believe me it is Truly the most Priceless Gift because each of us is only given a certain amount of it this side of Time and Eternity!   This is The Young Prince at the After Christmas Gift Exchange at his Dad's Home so I took the opportunity to Photograph him with his Little Brother and Dad.  Princess T was busy opening her new Gifts from her Brother's Dad and Family, so for once The Diva wasn't the least bit interested in being Photographed!  *LOL*
The Brothers are not growing up Together in the same household, but they are building Relationship Together... it can be done, even in untraditional Family dynamics like ours.  It just takes a lot of Unconditional Love, Mutual Desire, Mutual Effort and Mutual Respect to make it Work.   No Child can ever have too many people that Love them so Family has always been a Priority for us, regardless of how far flung we all happen to be or how many households we might be spread across.   I am also Thankful that each Paternal Side of the Family of The G-Kid Force embraces the 'Other Child' that is not biologically connected... and is Loving and Inclusive of them so that nobody Feels left out or not part of the extended Family Unit. 

I Feel particularly Fortunate that even though The G-Kid Force are being raised by us, their Maternal Grandparents, they know they have a Loving Extended Family and are Spoiled by and Loved by everyone they know!    The Gifts kept coming, long after Christmas had passed... and being on a fixed retirement income and still raising children, we always Appreciate that because their 'Wish Lists' are as long as any Child's and we have a slew of other Grandkids we're not raising to buy for as well!  *Smiles*

Even our Local Church and Charity Groups came though and Surprised us and the Children with Gifts that we didn't Expect and were just Perfect since they were things they'd had on their 'Wish Lists'!!!   Anonymous Gifts from perfect Strangers is the epitome of Giving and Sharing at it's very best isn't it and embodies the True Christmas Spirit!  Thank You to whoever provided such a Generous Blessing and brought Smiles to every Child that received one!

Happy New Year from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Love-Hate Relationship With Incurable Collecting

If anyone else out there is an Incurable Collector they will certainly understand the Internal War that can rage and create conflict within yourself?  That Love-Hate Relationship with Incurable Collecting that you can have with yourself in an ongoing basis!

I experience it all the time and sometimes I'm at Peace with the way I am... and sometimes I'm not!!!  There is of coarse the Natural Urge to Gather, to Collect... that I truly Believe is hardwired into the DNA of some of us Gatherers-Collectors, just like it is in some of the Animal Kingdom like Bowerbirds, Pack Rats and Magpies.  I recognize that I AM a Human Magpie, I always have been and probably always will be no matter how much I might vacillate between gleefully doing it and trying not to so much.

It has Served me well over the years since the variety of what I Gather and Collect has had more than just intrinsic value and it has made for Beautiful Surroundings even when times were lean or more challenging.   So my problem lies not so much in the doing of it... but in the over-doing of it.  Since I also know myself to be an addictive and excessive personality that overdoes just about anything if I don't monitor myself closely.

And I have periods of Restraint and periods of going off the rails in my Incurable Collecting.  You see, I Love my Found Objects or I wouldn't drag them Home and the Thrill of Hunting them is quite the Rush.  But since Editing doesn't happen to be one of my strong points or Virtues, and I'm Okay with a certain amount of layering of Beautiful Objects, things can slowly get out of hand and then comes the Hate Period where I'm Intent on Purging what I've Hoarded up!  *LOL*

Because though too much is never enough in my particular Style and Aesthetic, I abhor Clutter... and when things begin to look Cluttered TO ME, then I Feel all out of Balance about my Incurable Collecting habit.   Now, it can look Cluttered to everyone else way before it looks Cluttered to me, because I don't like a barren or minimalistic environment to Nest in, but when its too much for me, then I begin agonizing about the Purge that will be necessary.

You would think that by now, after a Lifetime of doing this incessantly, that I'd be used to it, adept at it and not the least bit Emotional about it... but you'd be wrong... I can be.   Not that I always am, because once I'm in Motion with a Great Edit and Purge I can be Relentless and not the least bit Emotionally Attached to a lot of my Stuff.  But when I get to having too much that I don't wanna get rid of, it can be difficult.

You see, those of us who are quite adept at accumulating Great Stuff on the Thrilling Hunts we seem completely Driven to go on and have Urges that would be difficult or even impossible to completely stifle, can end up with a lot of really Treasured Hoards as the Fruits of our Labor!

My Junquing Buddies LOVE taking me with them just because I can sniff out a Bargain and seem to have Inherent Radar for finding The Good Stuff no matter how well it may be hidden.  I'm like a Bloodhound when it comes to turning up Found Treasures and sorting thru Trash to find True Treasures.   Just tell me in advance what you're lookin' for, what you're Jonesin' for and I'm off like a Bird Dog to 'Score' it... and I WILL 'Score' it eventually, you can rest assured of that fact!

There are times I've Wondered if I should just become a Professional Picker for OTHER PEOPLE just so that I could still Hunt to my Heart's Content and Experience the Thrill... but not have it dragged Home to my Lair or fund it with my Stash of discretionary Cash until I decide to flip it and part with it?  *Smiles*   Even Miss Priss will give me 'That Look' sometimes like, "Really, just how long are we keeping all THIS now?"  *Winks*  Because yes, most of this will eventually Go and NOT take up permanent residence here.

And here's the other problem with the Love-Hate Relationship you're gonna have if you've been doing this long enough... you WILL eventually reach Saturation Point even on the Found Treasures you absolutely J'Adore and don't really wanna have to Let Go of!   It's just logical that at some point in time you will have 'Scored' so much Awesomeness that you simply cannot keep it all even if you want to, because Lord Have Mercy, where WILL you put it?!  *Le Sigh*

And so therein rages that Internal Conflict... because at times I Wish I could just Stop... and times I've actually tried to just Stop or have Stopped for a time and gone Cold Turkey.   But then... I Miss it... A LOT... and realize that I don't REALLY want to Stop because I Enjoy it so much and am so damn Good at it, you know?  *LOL*

It is so much a part of what and who I am at my very Core of Existance that it seems completely Un-Natural and uncomfortable NOT to do it... it's almost like trying to stop myself from Breathing or Eating.   And so then I just say to myself, well, Okay, then... just Moderate yourself and find a Balance in the Doing of it so that it doesn't seem so Addictive a pattern.   Which is easier said than done if you are an Incurable at ANYTHING!?!  *Le Sigh*

I've heard some say that it's akin to a Disease... and they could be right... I don't really know... those of  us so Afflicted can't really Explain in mere Words why or how it is that we do what we do and find such Joy in the Doing of it.   We just never get bored with it... tired of it... in the Doing of it anyway... what I do get weary with is how much Great Stuff I can end up with and then need to Rotate in and/or out with consistency and regularity.

I suppose I should at least be Grateful that I CAN and WANT TO Rotate it OUT from time to time once Critical Mass has been determined.  *Smiles*   I know that my Customers, my
Family and my Friends are exceedingly Happy that I can and want to at various times throughout the year 'Clean House' so to speak and offer it up to be passed along.

In many ways those of us who seem Purposed to do this are somewhat Saviors of Stuff because if we didn't Rescue, Salvage and Save much of it, well, it probably wouldn't still Exist anymore.  Or at least not in the volume that it does, since there does seem to be quite a few of us Destined to be this way!  We are in many ways Curators of the Past and we take that part of our Destiny Seriously since our Love of Old and of Beautiful Objects that others may discard is almost a Sacred Duty.

I didn't used to think or Believe that... I used to Feel like I was some Freak of Nature in the compulsion to do what I do since so few that I knew were like me for so long.   But with the proliferation of Reality Shows Exposing many like-minded Souls... and with the Internet and Blogs that have Revealed to me just how many like me are out there in the World, now I no longer Feel like the Lone Ranger or such an Oddity and Weird like this.  *Winks*

And as I got more Mature in years it seemed that I began to Attract more and more Kindred Spirits of all ages to be in my Inner Circle of Incurable Collectors, Artists and Hunter-Gatherer Types, and at last, at long last, I felt like I BELONGED and wasn't such an outcast of Society!   *Whew*   When you no longer Feel like such an anomaly or quite so Quirky it can be somewhat of a Relief!   Though I've always Proudly marched to the beat of my own Drummer without Inhibition, you don't wanna Think you're the only one in the Band, you know?!  *Smiles*

Because hey, if nobody else likes to do what you do... likes to go where you go... likes to talk about what Intrigues you and you're Passionate about... if nobody Shares your Enthusiasm about what Lights your Fire... if they simply don't 'Get It' or find it to be a complete Mystery as to what makes you Tick... that isn't nearly as Fun and Enriching as being around those WHO DO now is it??!!!

And if nobody Understands why you can have a Love-Hate Relationship with something that you ARE that Passionate about Doing and can't seem to cease and desist from, the suggestions can be trite no matter how well intended.    And they may not have any point of reference about something that one both Loves AND can also Hate at times, because it wouldn't make much sense to them if they've not Experienced that kind of inner Conflict and Turmoil about something hardwired into them that can't seem to Change and often, doesn't want to anyway.

So, yeah, I am getting 'Those Looks' lately from the Cat... and I know she's right... it's TIME once again to Purge the Hoard of Lovelies and pare it all down considerably for the start of the New Year so that my surroundings will bring me Peace and Tranquility once again rather than aggitation that Critical Mass in some areas has transpired.

And sure, it can seem like a futile endeavor if in the near Future I can end up right back to where we started... which we will... that's a 'Given' when you're an Incurable Collector and the Thrill of the Hunt lures you like a Siren's Song, so it's not as if you're gonna just Stop because you ran out of room again and end up right back to where you began!  *LOL*

So... if you have the Trusted Sidekicks that can Assist you with The Process and Ease the Anguish it can sometimes cause until you're sufficiently on a Roll and gain momentum and a rhythm to get busy with it without so much Emotional connection or thoughts to what is in the piles that must Go, it Helps.

Because I also do ALWAYS Feel Good about the End Result once I've sufficiently Edited and Purged, plowed thru what seemed Cluttered and am left with what is left and I'm Content with and Connected with in a Healthy Balanced way.   I just Wish sometimes that I could KEEP it that way and so for 2015 one of my New Year's Resolutions is to just do it more often along with my Hunts and not wait for a Critical Mass Saturation Point to occur.   We'll see how successful I am about that or if I fail miserably?   And you all can Help by keeping me Accountable Okay?  Because Clearly my Sickness is Apparent!!! *Smiles*  

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Friday, December 26, 2014

Post Holiday Thoughts... Turn And Face The Strain Ch.Ch.Ch. Changes

I wasn't sure what to Title this Post Holiday Blog Post... The Racing Mind of a Wanderer probably would've been more fitting, but lets just go with Post Holiday Thoughts.   Because it happens to me at the tail end of every year and before a New Year begins... the Racing Thoughts and Intense Desire to Change things up!   And since I can't Wander right now physically, to allow my Mind to!  *Smiles*

But the end of this year it seems that the entire Family was on board for the crazy ride that it takes you on upon the canvas of your Imagination when you just Feel like a Change is due or perhaps overdue.   We ALL spent the entire day, after opening presents, watching the Travel Channel which profiled Exotic Destinations various Families were Escaping to and a complete Change of Lifestyle and Surroundings!

Even when The Son and Family came by to exchange Gifts they got on board with us and Imagined what it would be like just packing up and making a huge Change?  Perhaps we've all gotten a bad case of The Wanderlust, which isn't all that unusual for this Family really, but this time it seemed more Intense than usual!

To be sure there are pros and cons to a Major Change... a Big Move... and all that it entails.   There are many things that would be missed... people that would be missed... places that would be missed.   And yet, an Exotic Escape and complete Fresh Start is looking more and more Appealing to me at this Season of Life actually.

There would be so much baggage to unload and yet, even though Attachments can be pretty strong for me regarding Relationships, Home, Familiarity and my Stuff... we do miss the Great Adventure of being on the Move and Starting Over.   Now, for some people Starting Over constantly would be daunting, but I've always seen it a complete different way even if I had to give up a lot... Blank Canvases have always Appealed to my Creative Soul.

And certainly we've gotten more Comfortable than ever before staying put for the longest time ever and Enjoy so much about where we Live now that we sat around debating the Known Assets versus the Appeal of the Unknown.   But it was rather nice to Fantasize on a Christmas Day all the same since we all seemed to be on the same page as an extended Family. 

The Young Prince, who is the most Set in his Ways, particularly Surprised me by saying he'd Wonder what it would be like to move to an Island Paradise and near a Beach?   Or at least begin Vacationing regularly at such Locales just to try it out without Commitment?   I Agree wholeheartedly with that Vision and it made my Mind Race with Goals for the New Year.

What if, The Son and Family concurred, we all Planned to have a Great Vacay Escape to the Islands together and Experience it to see what Promise it holds for the Future?    All I know is that I need to get rid of a lot and the Great Edit and Purge hasn't been going nearly as well as I'd anticipated.  I know in part it is because I don't have the Focus or Motivation I really need to Light a Fire under me, I've become Complacent about things not Changing for too long and Feeling stuck and more Overwhelmed by doing nothing than by doing something Fantastical!

And I want to get unstuck because it's out of Character for me not to have a slew of viable Goals and Dreams set up to Work towards and to just propel me forward with sufficient momentum, Passion and drive.   I don't even mind Grandoise Goals that might have to be compromised and adjusted to more Realistic dimensions... and so I allowed my Mind to Race freely so that I'd be uncomfortable with my present intertia in the physical realm. 

And Realistically how far would we want to take it?  Well, I don't really know, we'll just have to wait and see I suppose.   I just know that Big Changes are on the Horizon because apparently they need to be... or we all wouldn't be having Shared Vision about it being necessary and having this underlying Wanderlust surfacing so strongly and in unison.

Are we just all long overdue for a proper Vacay... well, certainly... that's a Given.   Things have been especially tough for an extended period of time now and not just for us, but for just about everyone else we know actually.  And I think that because things have been so tough, so uncertain, it has caused us all to Cancel out Dreaming or even Daring to Dream about Future Embellishments and Change for the Better.  Changes that would Enhance Life considerably and Change things up for Fresh New Beginnings and Adventures.   Even with a Sick Husband and two G-Kids in tow I Believe Positive Changes to be entirely Possible at this Season of Life for us all even though the majority of the load and responsibilities would certainly fall upon me to make it happen thru the Transitions.

The alternative of coarse is should we just continue along doing nothing much that is different or Exciting just because we've allowed ourselves to Settle or to become Comfortable with the way things are just to be on the Safe side and not put in the Work necessary?  I've never been that kind of person actually so perhaps that's why it feels so Stagnant and Constricting to me.   We sat and watched people Chasing their Dreams, their Goals, their Larger than Life Vision for their Future and their Enthusiasm was contagious.

I know I miss having those same kinda Feelings... even though certainly over the years reaching for Dreams and Starting Over has come with it's fair share of Sacrifices and Challenges.  It still made you Feel very much Alive and was quite the Adventure in spite of the obstacles that naturally come up and aren't always expected.   So yes, my Mind is now Racing in an uncomfortable kinda way now... and I Believe that to be a good thing actually, because when I finally get uncomfortable enough I have a tendancy to Change and really throw myself into the Process.

So here's to the Key Word I'm Focusing upon to Propel me into and through 2015... CHANGE... Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl