Mixed Media Artist

It Is Your Choice

This is a 4″x6″ mixed media painting on paper covered canvas.
It is funny how we need constant reminders in life. Reminders about things that we’ve already learned. Reminders about things that we have tried to to teach others, mainly our children.

Recently when I was away visiting my family with my husband and two daughters I was struck by how Imogen (my 6 year old) was constantly asking what we were going to be doing next. She asked this question even when she was in the middle of doing something that she was really enjoying. It was like she was trying to hold on to the good feeling she was having by being insured that she still going to be enjoying herself during her next activity and her next. Yet, she was worrying so much about having a good time in her future activities that she wasn’t really enjoying the fun activity she was presently taking part in. Partially maybe, but not entirely.

Remind you of anyone? Well, it reminded me of me .

Ever since I have arrived home, I have had a kind of ill feeling in my belly. Like a feeling of dread or foreboding. I didn’t want to come back this time and I really can honestly say that I am always happy to get home. Back to my life, my home. Always sad to leave my family and Victoria but happy to be back. Not this time though. I have been trying to figure out why this time is different. Perhaps I realize the possibility of ever returning to Victoria is nil to none. Perhaps I realize that if I had realized that when I moved here over a decade ago, I would never have moved here in the first place. Perhaps I realize that realization is untrue because I have to be here. My soul mate is here. The problem is, he wants to get back there too. But how? We could fill rooms and rooms of worry jars with that question. And we have, late at night looking at house listings on the internet and dreaming about having enough money to purchase something that costs twice as much and half the size as the house that we own. Now tell me if this isn’t a wast of time for two people that have so little time in the first place! So much for living in the moment, hey Imogen?

When I was a little bit older than Imogen I traveled to Ireland with my parents and little sister. On arrival at the Shannon Airport I was fairly miserable. I had an earache on the plane and was feeling tired. It was my first long flight as a child and I really didn’t enjoy the experience. I remember being in the back of the rental car driving to Waterford City to see all my relatives and I was most likely whining about feeling so awful. When I think about my parents at this time I realize now how excited they must have been. My Mum was was going to see her Mother and she probably hadn’t seen her for over eight years. Obviously, this was lost on the nine year old me but now when I think about it, I realize how anxious, nervous and excited my parents (only 32 after all) were feeling. I know when I am feeling this way and my girls are being difficult or moody I am struck with feelings of impatience with them. Like they should understand at six and three how important this is to me, which is ridiculous.

Anyway, my Dad turned to me in the back seat of the car and he told me something that has always stayed with me and really changed the way I think about life. He said that he understood that I wasn’t feeling well but that I could either choose to be miserable about it or not to be miserable about it. It was my choice.
To me, the idea that I actually had a choice to feel good or bad when I was obviously feeling bad was kind of like a slap in the face but some part of me liked the idea that it was MY choice to feel better, or to at least try to feel better. I had never before realized that I had the power to make my life better just by choosing to do so. That is some power to have and a major revelation for a nine year old.

In my life, choosing to make my life better has always been by living for right now and not dwelling on what the future holds. We can’t ever really know anyway, can we? It is easy to say worry is a wasted energy but it is hard to live those words. No words are more true. And I know that my daughter(s) will learn more from my actions than my words. So today, right now I am choosing NOT to feel miserable about it.
After all, life is so good to me right now.
Right at this moment.
I am so blessed.
So, so, so blessed.

13 responses

  1. Inspirational post. As a parent, I can relate. Thanks for sharing.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:30 am

  2. Shelly

    So true Maria…so true…Choices can either be our heaven or our hell..

    I love this piece! At first glance I feel power, expressiveness, movement, wind….it is very dramatic!

    April 9, 2010 at 4:48 am

  3. Hilary

    You say you are blessed…. You are also a Blessing and very much loved. Welcome home!
    This is a very different painting. It really depicts your theme of “your choice”

    April 9, 2010 at 4:57 am

  4. As I told you recently, I have never forgotten the day, the place, the feeling of when you told me that story about your father. I think it was the moment I knew we would be friends. I hoped we would. I think it was when I began to fall in love with you.

    I can see and feel your heart ache when you watch Imogen struggle with staying present…with transitions (cause after all that’s the same thing). You know so deeply how that melancholic quality can shape your life. I think it is a painful side effect of being introspective… Do you know what I mean? Examining life and self often creates questions and doubt. It makes even the most joyful moments bittersweet. I know this too. You should know, it is part of your charm and hers too. It’s tender, raw, genuine.

    It makes me want to hold you while you figure it all out. I am holding you in my heart while you move through this. Blessed, not blessed, so blessed, blissed…. Doesn’t always make it easy to “make your choice”.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:58 am

  5. Hey, I agree with Shelly. It is windy. Perfect night to post this one. Blustery, cold, foreboding…

    April 9, 2010 at 5:01 am

  6. Beautiful, evocative painting and perceptive writing.

    April 9, 2010 at 8:33 am

  7. Thank you, I needed that!

    April 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

  8. Tanya C.

    This is a wonderful piece and a wonderful post. I really enjoy reading these Maria.

    April 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

  9. jena

    Thank you for this post and for this site, your art is special.

    April 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm

  10. Chris

    Yes…were are so blessed.

    April 11, 2010 at 5:07 am

  11. I say that to my son and daughter all of the time. Sometimes we havethe tendency to see the glass half empty. When we do, we need to be reminded that it is ok , but we have a choice on how we can react to it. I also wanted to stop by and let you know that your artwork inspires me so much!! I’m so glad I found you.

    April 11, 2010 at 7:02 am

  12. Shelly

    GASP…..there’s a crow behind her! (facing left on my computer screen)…I can’t believe I missed it the first time!

    April 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm

  13. That is so wild…I never saw the crow either…and I bought this painting. I love it so much more now..but I love all your surprises Maria. Can’t wait to have it in my room. hugs..Chris

    April 28, 2010 at 6:32 am

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