Approaching 50

all photos in this post are from unsplash.com

I have been blogging for almost ten years now and have logged well over five hundred posts.

And for some reason, even though I know it doesn't really mater, I feel this need to create an accurate timeline as I blog, making sure readers know where I have been, where I am at and where I think I might be going.  I'm trying to fight the compulsion. It's not necessary to do this, it's only me, but I can't help it.  

Do you feel the need to do that when you write, or scrapbook or create?  I think that if I can overcome the need for a timeline, break free of obvious linear restraints, that I might just explode in a rainbow of sparks and awesomeness.

Or not.  

Where I've been -

I've been a Nanny since 1989. I attended Nanny school and graduated with a full time, live in position for two beautiful children in a home known as the Miami Vice Home.  It was sleek, clean, well kept and expensive.  The family was so different from my own lower middle class up- bringing, I learned a lot from them about money, family and priorities. 

I have always been good with children.  It's one of those things I thought everyone could do naturally. I know now that it's not.  Reproductive organs do not automatically guarantee a nurturing woman.  Even after 4 kids of my own I still enjoy children.  In a room of adults, children are my comfort zone.  Even if they are screaming.  

Maybe it's the creative side of me that connects with children. As a child I loved art and make believe. I took beginning art, advanced art, and then was a teacher assistant in art so I could do more art.  My Jr. High art teacher was kind and encouraging.  I loved to draw but never felt like I was very good at it. I loved color and paint, but nothing looked like I wanted it too. My art teacher thought I should go into drama and acting.

I had a scary experience my last day of Jr. High in the art room.  I'm not sure if this is why or if it is because I felt frustrated with my inability to capture my vision, but I never took another art class. Instead, I followed the promptings of my art teacher and threw myself into drama while in high school.  

As a ninth grader I also had an english class that required daily journal entries - this is when I began to take a journal with me everywhere I went. 

My journal was my refuge. I wrote stories, took Bible notes, doodled, prayed, and dreamed in it all through high school.  I was in several plays.  People said I was good.  I thought I was good.

Then, like the art, I felt like I wasn't good enough.  My senior year I was only in one play, and I didn't audition for anything else.  

After high school - I worked.  And in my free time I would write.  I discovered NoDoz caffeine pills and I would take them and write for hours.  My first big purchase other than a car was a $200 word processing type writer.  It had spell check and could correct mistakes.  I still have it.

I worked as a Nanny.  I wrote epic fantasy adventures next to my epic love life failures and emotional roller coaster inner life.  I read books - over a thousand romance novels from the 80's and 90's - if it fit my favorite criteria, I read it.  And fantasy novels.  The impact of all this reading still remains.  I can tell you the plot line of books I read ten years ago.  Why these kinds of things stick with me when I can't remember if I took my vitamins this morning, I don't know. 

When my first baby boy was born I began to scrapbook.  Just for the baby books I told myself.  Four kids later, I have a closet full of scrapbook paper.  

As a woman who works with children and with kids of my own, I read children's books.  Thousands of children's picture books.  My library lets you check out 50 books at a time on one library card.  I made sure all the kids had a library card by the time they were 3.

After my daughter was born I started a blog.  Later I joined several writing critique groups.  I submitted my work.  I learned a lot about point of view, show-don't-tell and adverbs.  I thought my writing was good.  People said it was good.

Where I am At

I loved scrapbooking.  Mixing paper with stickers, colors and writing.  I watched the industry change, watched how scrapbooking could become art.  

I turned 40.  And decided I could do art again.

I met Nancy, branched out and we are doing Yourdori.com together. 

I found Perisope.  And decided I could preform in front of people again.

I'm still writing.

And now 50 is getting closer.

Where Am I going?

Have you ever felt like you needed to do something different to move forward?  Do the research, buckle down, make something happen?

Have you ever felt clueless on how to do all of that?

I've been in this online group, the Heart Tribes,  that is jam packed full of talented, creative, knowledgeable business women, many of them younger than myself, all of them moving forward, finding their footing, getting their focus, making things happen.

As much as I'd rather be in a dream world where I can create without the pressure of creating valuable content, I find myself stuck with the same linear compulsion: a time line requires ending points of success.  My personality requires that endings are full of rainbow sparks and awesomness.

My art needs to progress -
 My writing needs to progress-
My preforming needs to progress-
As much as I want to, I can't do them just to make myself happy, it all has to come together, have meaning, value and fruit.

I can't think of another way to say what I am feeling. In the Christian walk, your "fruit," is very important.  It is the end result of everything you do; how actions and works are judged.  It goes against everything I believe- all my personal make up to just be creative for "myself."  That would be like going to the store buying mangoes and eating all of them without sharing any with my family.

How are you turning the things you love into "fruit" you can share with others?

How are you progressing on your own personal timeline?  Do you feel the need for endings and points of success?

Do you know of any women who created the most fruit, celebrated their biggest successes and reached their dreams in their 50's?

I'd love your help in continuing this conversation.  Comment or email me Dapoppins@gmail.com.


What Do You Regret Spending Time Doing?

My son told me today that Star War's was 40 years old.  His fourteen year old face, animated with a smirk that made his dimples come out, beamed when he said, "Mom, Star Wars is 40 years old, so that makes you older than Star Wars."

I'm not sure why this is funny.

But he also thinks that being taller than his mom, body odor, and wearing underwear five days in a row is funny.

Sitting down at the computer to begin a blog post, I let my eyes wander a bit while thinking how I should start.  I promised a Creative Writing Accountability group that I would produce a post a week.  I didn't say anything about a well thought out essay of awesomeness written with the potential of a Huff Post spotlight - which would of course send me into overnight viral fame lasting long enough for me to notice and wonder how I can capitalize on that fame into something lucrative - like a children's picture book deal, before fizzling into nothing because I'm really still a mommy/nanny blogger with a dream and a penchant for gesso and splashes of color and run-on sentences.

As my eyes wander up to the ceiling, I see these reddish splatters of what might be spaghetti sauce. On the ceiling.  Which I can not touch without the help of a chair and my tippy toe's.   I hope it is spaghetti sauce.

I really hope it is spaghetti sauce.

The fourteen year old I was telling you about, he thinks all kids of weird stuff is funny.  Like nose bleeds, which were getting so bad that we had to take him to the doctor.  I would not put it past him to have done something to cause actual blood spatter across the ceiling.

If you have any experience with teen age boys you understand.

There is a spatter of spaghetti sauce on my ceiling and I don't know how long it's been there.  At least a couple of weeks - I can't  remember the last time we had any spaghetti.

I really should stop what I am doing and clean it up.  I really should.  It's what mom's do, right? Isn't the reason women are exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed.  Because they see the little messes that come out of no where.  Little messes that no one else sees. And no one cleans. They work hard all day, make all the meals, do all the cleaning, make sure everyone is doing what they should be doing, they take it all on and manage it to the best of their abilities.  They clean up the messes no one makes and no one sees. Sometimes in the business of it all, the most important things in life fall through the cracks.  Things like self care, relationship investment or a dream so important that on their death bed they will be regretting having not spent more time and effort reaching for that dream.

The Deathbed Moment of Regrets, of total honesty.  Yeah.  About that.

When my grandmother was in hospice in her home, beginning the process of dying, she looked down the hallway at my children playing with some blocks and said.  "You need to clean that mess up."

She was a wonderful woman.  I admire her greatly an miss her still.  I don't think she had ever heard the concept of self care.

But I have.

I sat in the theater during the first run of Star Wars.  And I raised babies to the voice of Oprah.

I know what self care is.

Unless I get someone else to climb on a chair - that sauce will probably be there until we paint over it.  I know what I want to spend my time doing.  A perfectly kept home is not a priority.  Not even a perfectly sanitary home.

But getting this blog post written for my accountability group is something I will not regret.  

What are your priorities?  What will they mean to you on your death bed?  Is old spaghetti sauce on my ceiling any less gross than the spray of a bad nose bleed?


How To Be The Most Confident You

An Idea

When you were small did you feel out of place or different?  I have this idea that has been formulating since my late thirties (I'm gettin into my fabulous fifties now,) I have this idea that every person on the planet has at one point felt out of place and different. 

In any group of people, when I am feeling awkward, someone else in the group is feeling the same way. Maybe everyone in the whole group is feeling that way, at the same time. I think this happens in every gathering of people, at every every age, in every setting.

I think everyone feels like they are on the outside looking in.

When does it happen that we start thinking certain people never feel insecure, inadequate or imperfect? Famous people sometimes look like they have it all going for them.  We see them on t.v, watch their stories unfold, but even reality t.v. makes it look so much more perfect and comfortable compared to our own lives. I wonder if Kim Kardashian ever feels ugly or stupid. I wonder if  (insert famous actress of your choice here) ever felt like she wasn't worthy, wasn't good enough and didn't fit in.

Closer to reality there is probably at least one person at your workplace who looks like they have it all together.  Or think of church, sometimes there are entire families who seem to be living the dream of the perfect life.  Think back during the school years, college, high-school and jr. high and the first time you really became aware of social differences.

My theory is that every human being no matter how wealthy, beautiful or gifted she is, has felt different and inadequate many times during their lives.

Take a introspection moment here.  Look back at all those times where you were so uncomfortable with yourself and the situation that you wanted to peel off your skin, that you wanted to hide under a rock, that you felt  not good enough...

Add a few people who always look like they have everything together and they always know what they are doing...

Draw a mental picture for yourself.

Now see them with the same pain you felt. See that what is really happening underneath.

What Happened With Me

I remember feeling like an outsider the first time I stepped on school property.  I'd had a small social circle before Kindergarten which consisted of my older brother and some cousins.  A pattern of me feeling different within my own family had already been established and school did nothing but reinforce it from Day One.

After some really pain filled, emotional years as a child I became a Christian at sixteen.  Jesus revealed His love to me and brought me out of a very dark place.  I was filled with despair and hate. I had a hair trigger temper that was capable of very destructive rages.  I loathed everything about myself.  Stupid, fat, ugly, awkward, lost, different, not enough, not good enough.  And I hated everyone else.

And then I met Jesus, Son of God, God in the Flesh, He showed me a love so profound it literally changed my personality.  First He loved me as I was, stupid, fat, ugly, ect.  Then He showed me who I was:  Loved, Wanted, Good Enough to Suffer and Die For.  And then He showed me how He saw everyone else.

How I Became Confident

I think understanding these three things is the key to being the best, most confident person you can be.

Understand who you are
Understand Who loves you.
Understand who everyone else is. 

And once you have these three revelations, being the best, most confident You is so much easier.

post card for Canvas Corp Brands DT swap

When I share my art, it's not because I think it is perfect, professional or worth the big bucks.  It isn't perfect.  But very few artists are ever fully satisfied with their work plus we all stated at the same place and we are all on equal playing ground.

I share it because I want you to not be afraid to share yours.  I share it because it is a part of my story.  I share my story because it might make you feel like you are not alone, different, and out of place. I create fearlessly because it is so much fun, I am all most certain everyone on the planet should be doing it too.

Silly Glasses postcard - but it was too fat to send so it went in anenvelope! 

Okay.  Maybe not.  But if you want to make stuff---fearing what other people think about it should not be a reason for holding back.  They feel the same fear you feel and they do it anyway.  Some of them even create fearlessly and teach classes!

Art cards from the index card a day challenge at DaisyYello.com#ICAD2016
Confidence may not happen for you like it did for me.  And sometimes it is a process.  (Almost fifty, did I say?  I am still learning stuff.  Which is actually kind of wonderful when I think about it.)  But if you haven't started the process what are you waiting for?

Did you make any New Year's resolutions to be more confident?  Did you make any decision to become a better You?  Did you Pick a One Word this year that has been guiding you on a pathway to more positive wonderfulness in your life?

If you did , Yourdori.com & The Gratitude Girls Cheer League is hosting a Heart Check event on facebook. You are invited.  There are five daily prompts for comments and photo sharing.  (feel free to go back and do the previous prompts!)  Comments will get you entered to win a coffee gift card and a "flip book" made by me.

If we are to teach are children to be confident, we must learn the path for ourselves too.  Do you think my theory is correct?  How are you learning to be a more confident person?