The F Word, Burn Out, & Casserole People

Failure.

I have a pretty good relationship with failure *intellectually* by which I mean that failing = trying and if you’re trying you’re winning. But when faced with personal failures, I can be completely self-eviscerating. Like, this week.

This week, I poured my last pour. Things happened (that are now resolved) that really took it out of me. I had to chase someone down and ask that they respect my intellectual property. I have stored grief from last year’s adventures in dealing with my son’s mental illness coming up (fiercely). I have come to recognize that sometimes when I think I’m offering grace, what I’m really offering is appeasement – the soft underbelly, the bared throat – as if to say “Please don’t fucking hurt me. Here. I forgive you.”

I am also experiencing the wild ride that is peri-menopause, and all that comes with *that* joyful rite of passage. Like, seriously. I’m watching The Blacklist. I start to cry because of a passing look of tenderness on a character’s face. I legitimately *cannot stop crying*. And so I yell at myself. “GO HOME, EFFY. You’re HORMONAL.”

Cue startled dog and hysterical giggles that, again, I cannot stop.

Batcrackers.

Burn out is a real thing, y’all, and I’m having it because I am a bootstrapper. I have been a bootstrapper my whole life. I was indoctrinated to bootstrap the fuck out everything. When I feel overwhelmed, I do not pause to take a breath. I pull up my socks and I get ‘er done. And this is *bad* for me. It isn’t a virtue. And it’s no one else’s fault that I do this. No one else is asking me to straighten up and fly right or push myself until I am a living embodiment of The Goddess Never Not Broken. Some of this is a feminist issue, and has to do with time, emotional labour, being a mom without a partner, being a creative whose work can be lifted from her without so much as a ‘please, may I’ or a link back. Some of this is childhood conditioning. There was literally *no one* who gave a crap if I was in pain or overwhelmed in childhood. No one. I was shunned for having feelings, called all manner of names, punished…and we are talking about a childhood in which I was brutalized, so yes, I had feels. Lots of very complicated feels. Feels that a capable, caring parent would have made space for.

Some of it is due to a history of choosing relationships with people who can’t handle feelings, who have *hit* me for having them, who have abandoned me or held me at extreme arm’s length for having them, or who could only be counted on to show up for feelings that don’t trigger them. (So, like, almost never.)

It’s a lot. I am carrying a lot.

And in the midst of all of this, I have designed a life that keeps me too busy to be with myself for any length of time.

So, burn out.

And, in the overwhelm, and the necessary reassessment, the F word. Failure.

Except that *I haven’t failed*.

This is not what failure looks like.

I haven’t. I spent 95 days creating a series of 70 videos for #MiniMoleyDaily. I showed up even when I didn’t feel like it in order to test my own limits. At first, it was joyful and I absolutely loved doing it. Then, it started to come something I *had* to do because I had set myself up. What was supposed to be a personal project, a thing I wanted to do *for myself* became a thing I did ‘out loud’ in the way that I do things, with a Facebook group and a blog category and playlists on YouTube that *no one else asked for or expected me to do*.

I am my own worst tyrant. This is a true thing.

***

Yesterday was ‘Goddess of Never Not Broken” day in my world. I could not stop crying. I felt spent in a bone weary way that I wasn’t sure I could come back from. I wanted to run away from home. I wanted to fake my own death. (Not really, but sort of. A clean slate sure felt like a good place to start). A friend pinged to ask if I was okay, and i just kind of moaned something unintelligible about needing casserole people. You know. The people who will show up when they see you dropping all the balls with a casserole, a box of wine, and a shoulder to cry on.

She is coming to see me on Friday. She promised me a casserole. I love her. <3 But I needed casserole *yesterday*. You see what I’m saying? Yesterday, in my state of never not broken, I needed casserole.

***

This is not a pity party. This is the life I’ve designed for myself – a life in which I am rigidly scheduled up the wazoo. A life in which there is no room or time for being never not broken. A life in which I am too guarded, too bootstrappy to call up a friend and say “I need a fucking casserole”.

I have failed to create a meatspace tribe that I can count on. I did that. And that’s got to change.

***

Meanwhile, a meatspace friend *did* read my omgdoom post on Facebook, and did show up with a country drive and red velvet cake, and another invited me out to a thing tomorrow night so I can do something spiritual, creative, fun, and *outside of the house* as a supplement to the usual box of wine + Netflix style of self-care that is my default position.

I don’t have casserole people because I’ve never asked anyone for casserole.

So, no. Not a pity party. Just an acknowledgement that I bootstrap until I’m broken and I have no where to turn because I haven’t yet learned how to *ask for what I need*.

And I haven’t yet identified who among my people are casserole people.

***

#MiniMoleyDaily is a beautiful project, and I intend to continue on with it, but I’m shifting gears now, and reclaiming it as a personal project. The Facebook group will remain, and I will be popping in there on FB live once in a while to play with my people in a ‘so not obligated to do this but I’m here for shits and giggles’ way. I have a playlist for you that consists of 70 videos created in the first three months of 2017 that amounts to HOURS AND HOURS of viewing pleasure + inspiration. I will archive that on the page I created for that purpose, and I will continue to upload pictures of my mini *as I am inspired*.

I need more space for the never not broken moments. I need more space for all the things I could be doing to prevent the never not broken moments.

This is not a failure. It’s a necessary tweak. It is a holy no.

***

The ‘#MiniMoleyMonday’ RSS feed will be discontinued. I will leave Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s on my blog free for personal musings. Journal52 will be tweaked (more on that tomorrow) in order to prevent its unauthorized use (personal use *only*, people. That means do not copy paste share my stuff in your own spaces – especially not without a link back!). It will still post every Wednesday as usual. Same with Friday Five.

That being said, Journal52 for the next *two weeks* will be word prompts only, since I need to edit my art cards to include a watermark, and that will take time. Unmarked cards will be available as a collection for a fee, and that will also take me time to set up.

Boundaries. Because good fences make good neighbours.

***
I’m a pantser, by which I mean that most of what I do is ‘by the seat of my pants’. I’m learning as I go. That means I will fail in a rather public way, sometimes spectacularly and with gusto.

I hope you glean some insight from witnessing that, and if not insight, then at least a little self-empathy for the ways you, too, are never not broken on the bedroom floor at midnight clutching a cell phone and a tissue begging someone to please bring casserole.

I’ll see you next week.

Get only the posts you want.

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#MiniMoleyMonday – Week #13 + BOD sale ends tomorrow.

#MiniMoleyMonday is a feature here on my blog wherein I plan to share the images and videos I create for #MiniMoleyDaily. Here is an info page and archive of images for #MiniMoleyDaily, in case you want to get all caught up. This page includes the full YouTube playlist of #MiniMoleyDaily spreads! Yay!

Last Week In #MiniMoleyDaily

I am completely caught up in my #MiniMoley! Huzzah! Not that I was ever very much behind, but most Monday’s I find myself with a day or two to get caught up.

This weekend, I spent about four hours in a Live on Facebook with my tribe o’ Wildlings, splashing paint around, and it was glorious (though it does mean some of the MiniMoley videos are choppy, because I kept forgetting to hit the record button on my video camera).

This is a thing I love – arting in community, even if its virtual community. Maybe especially in virtual community, since virtual community doesn’t even require pants. :D

Some of my spreads are taking a deeper turn. I’m grappling with something things of late – boundaries, the holy no, the holy yes, the work of this woman in the world – and it’s good to know that the size of the substrate really doesn’t matter when it comes to working with these kinds of things in the journal.

Some of these spreads took an hour to create. Others, just fifteen minutes or so. In each case, the spreads say what I want them to say, and they gave me space to be with myself in exactly the way I needed to be with myself.

Onward to this week’s edition of #MiniMoleyMonday!

Here’s this week’s playlist.

This was my favourite this week.

Gallery Of #MiniMoleyDailies

In Other News

Book Of Days is on sale until tomorrow (unless you’re in my teaching network, in which case, I’ve extended the sale until the end of April).
In this year long workshop, I offer a mixed media buffet of ways to meet yourself on the page, including full length art journaling tutorials, explorations of various mediums & techniques, live video classes, journaling prompts (daily!) to get you going, tarot pulls, weekly vlogs, etc. etc.
This offering is jam packed and is meant to appeal to the magpie nature of the journal artist who prefers to have multiple sources of inspiration rather than just one way in.
Every month, I create these gorgeous journaling workbooks that include musings, journal prompts, spaces to write your to do and gratitude lists, space for your explorations with tarot or other oracle decks, and correspondences. These are feasts for the spirit that provide many ways ‘in’ to your own inner landscape. I’d love you to have this month’s PDF for free. Just right click here to download it.
It includes the link to get BOD for $99 instead of the regular price ($180 for the year).

#MiniMoleyDaily – Week #12

#MiniMoleyMonday is a feature here on my blog wherein I plan to share the images and videos I create for #MiniMoleyDaily. Here is an info page and archive of images for #MiniMoleyDaily, in case you want to get all caught up. This page includes the full YouTube playlist of #MiniMoleyDaily spreads! Yay!

Last Week In #MiniMoleyDaily

I got six of seven days done last week in my Mini. I spent a part of my weekend playing catch up since it was a very busy week with not a lot of time for playing, but I’ve got to tell you – the afternoon I spent splashing paint around was a balm on my soul.

I rebound my fat MiniMoley on Friday by slashing the spine and adding a wide strip of Duck tape. Easy peasy, and now I have no fears about the book exploding on me. Thankfully, the Moleskine Daily Planner that I’m using is a sewn binding and not a glued one, otherwise I don’t think this thing would hold up to the abuse it gets from me.

It’s starting to become ingrained in me now to sit down with this little book. They say it takes sixty days to properly form a habit, and it’s been almost ninety. I am only one day behind on spreads, which feels pretty miraculous to me, but I think that has everything to do with the ‘no rules’ attitude I’ve adopted with the project. If I need to do a three day catch up, I’ll do it. If I want to experiment with new supplies, I’ll experiment. If I want to repeat a theme or technique, I will.

It hasn’t taken the place of my sweet trash or other practices, but I do find it enhancing them. The paintings I create in my Mini get scanned and printed so I can smash them in my Sweet Trash journal, making for a very satisfyingly thick document that consists of written journaling, some life documentation with photos, and art I’ve created both in and out of my MiniMoley.

I think I have developed an addiction to filling up books with evidence of my existence here on planet earth. It feels like an act of self-love – like a declaration. “I matter enough, my life matters enough to take up space (and printer ink).”

Onward to this week’s edition of #MiniMoleyMonday!

Here’s this week’s playlist.

Gallery Of #MiniMoleyDailies

#MiniMoleyMonday – Week #11

#MiniMoleyMonday is a feature here on my blog wherein I plan to share the images and videos I create for #MiniMoleyDaily. Here is an info page and archive of images for #MiniMoleyDaily, in case you want to get all caught up. This page includes the full YouTube playlist of #MiniMoleyDaily spreads! Yay!

Last Week In #MiniMoleyDaily

This was an insane week, and I was very pressed for time, so I did what I always do when I’m behind on things! I printed and glued! The MiniMoley is lovely for life documentation. Think “Project Life” but without all the stuff to buy. I just print out images, slap them in, add sentiments, and voila!

I did have some trouble with my prints, however, so I started using Krylon Workable Fixative to seal the prints before working with them. There is something about the UHU glue stick that seems to react badly with my printer inks, but the light spray of Krylon worked wonders.

The first two spreads this week were painty, and the second in the week’s collection is easily my favourite.

Onward to this week’s edition of #MiniMoleyMonday!

Here is the playlist on YouTube for these spreads

This was my favourite spread this week.

Gallery Of #MiniMoleyDailies


By the way!

I built myself a beautiful tarot journal, and created a tutorial for Pull.Pen.Paint in which I walk you through the process of finding your soul card and painting yourself as said soul card. It was a pleasure to create this class, and you can find more info here. Please note that this lesson goes live this week, but that’s the least of it! This class is so packed full of information on the art of using Tarot as a mirror, as a jumping off point for painting, as a soul friend…

I hope you’ll join me.

 

Find me in:

Life Book 2017 | Let’s Face It 2017 | One Bad Ass Art Journal | Pull. Pen. Paint

Find my classes here. | Find my tip jar here.

Get only the posts you want.

#MiniMoleyMonday

#MiniMoleyMonday is a feature here on my blog wherein I plan to share the images and videos I create for #MiniMoleyDaily. Here is an info page and archive of images for #MiniMoleyDaily, in case you want to get all caught up. This page includes the full YouTube playlist of #MiniMoleyDaily spreads! Yay!

Last Week In #MiniMoleyDaily

I’m behind one day in my #MiniMoleyDaily this week, but that’s easy enough to catch up on. I will be doing that today by combining Sunday & Monday in one spread.

Last week’s adventures in mini-journaling were awesome. I brought a lot of the techniques I use in a typical journal spread into the mini without any difficulty. I was especially moved by the spread I created for Friday, and the up-swelling of self-empathy it created in me. The song, “Sweet Lorraine” by Patty Griffin, felt perfect for it. I’ve included this week’s entire playlist in this post, but I also singled that video out in case you were pressed for time.

In case you missed it!

This lovely mini workshop consists of two parts – a full length mixed media art tutorial & a style development interview. This class will walk you through the creation of a focal image surrounded by Klimt style doodles. There is a healing component wherein we will explore the importance of showing our true colours so that our tribe can find us.

There are six parts to this class, but it is easy enough to completely over the course of one weekend.

Originally filmed for Ever After 2016, it has been moved into my private teaching platform for your enjoyment! Unlimited access and downloadable content is included, and if you need feedback, all you need do is email me. $29

Onward to this week’s edition of #MiniMoleyMonday!

Here is the playlist on YouTube for these spreads

This was my favourite spread this week.

Gallery Of #MiniMoleyDailies

Get #MiniMoleyMonday in your inbox! Get ALL my posts (including Journal52, Friday Five, and my blog posts!) in your inbox.

Find my classes hereFind my tip jar here.

Find me in:
Life Book 2017 | Let’s Face It 2017 | One Bad Ass Art Journal Pull. Pen. Paint

#MiniMoleyMonday

#MiniMoleyMonday is a feature here on my blog wherein I plan to share the images and videos I create for #MiniMoleyDaily. Here is an info page and archive of images for #MiniMoleyDaily, in case you want to get all caught up. This page includes the full YouTube playlist of #MiniMoleyDaily spreads! Yay!

Last Week In #MiniMoleyDaily

Last week was all about feeling spring happening in my bones. My palette reflected that. My symbols reflected that. I did a spread for each day of the week until the weekend, when an impromptu trip away required that I do a two-for-one for Saturday & Sunday.

On A Personal Note

I had a rotten cold last week, so I skipped Friday Five. All I really had to say was “Vicks, Neo-Citran, Kleenex, Lip balm, soup, etc…” so I figured I’d spare you the whining. :) It will return this coming Friday, with my gratitude for your patience.

I have a lesson in Life Book 2017 that just went live! It is an exploration of artistic lineage, represented by a patchwork tree. I also have a playsheet on the subject of befriending your inner critic (whose job it is to protect us, even though it never really feels that way!). It isn’t too late to sign up, and I’d love to see you there!

Onward to this week’s edition of #MiniMoleyMonday!

Here is the playlist on YouTube for these spreads

Gallery Of #MiniMoleyDailies

Get #MiniMoleyMonday in your inbox! Get ALL my posts (including Journal52, Friday Five, and my blog posts!) in your inbox.

Find my classes hereFind my tip jar here.

Find me in:
Life Book 2017 | Let’s Face It 2017 | One Bad Ass Art Journal Pull. Pen. Paint