Thursday, July 28, 2011

Explore:: Thinking about perfect

I am nowhere near on time with this class, but it's ok - I'm giving myself permission to do it at my own speed.
This lesson was thinking about perfect - what makes it? I've had to rethink a lot of my ideas of perfection lately...and it's surprising how many ideas come from other people or their expectations. I don't know what perfect is any more, really, but I do know what makes me happy.

I know that if I am constantly looking for the perfect 'thing' that will make me happy...I will never enjoy what I have now. For me this is part of the balance between enjoying and appreciating life today, while still making thoughtful plans for the future. I am learning to enjoy every day and relish every moment and realise that it can be perfect for now.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Explore:: destinations

So, if the class I'm doing at the moment is about the adventure of life...what's my destination?

I always plan extensively for a holiday because to me that's part of the enjoyment, and I love the satisfaction of seeing everything on my list. But I'm not so much of a planner that I can't enjoy a spontaneous day trip or random detour. Too much planning can get in the way.

And so in life. I'd always poo-pooed people who planned their lives with goals and action lists. I thought it was too rigid, too inflexible, and you were inevitably going to fail and be disappointed. A few years ago, I realised that I was wrong. I think it's partly a scrapbooking thing...if I am recording my life now with all my hopes and dreams, then I'm holding my future self accountable. So if I want to be richer/more creative/more successful/living somewhere exotic, then I have to put the plans in place to make that happen.

Then of course, things happen. Life happens. Sometimes you can't do the things that you plan for and have to start new lists with goals that are more achieveable. When I was at my sickest, my daily plan was most often just 'get out of bed'. And there were days that I didn't manage that.

All these experiences have told me that it's good to plan, but it's good to be able to go with the flow. I'm enjoying the adventure of life, but I'm not focusing on a final destination. I don't think there'll ever be a day when I go 'that's it, I'm done'. I want to grow as a person and become all the things I promised myself I would be when I was sick...and that growth will never stop. I am a work in progress.

(All that aside, the place I most want to visit is America. I went there on my last big holiday before I was sick, and I dearly want to go again and do a proper road trip. It's in the plan.)

Friday, July 22, 2011


A new class from my favourite instructor is just the thing to get me scrapbooking again.

Right now my desk should be covered in books, study guides and revision planners.
Instead there's a pile of papers and photos, and some finished pages of a new mini book that look something like this:

We're exploring, but it's not about going on holiday. Life is all an adventure, right?

I had an interesting conversation once with my psychologist at the hospital. It feels like there is a big expectation on people who survive cancer, especially ones who are younger than average, to make dramatic changes to our lives afterwards. Go travelling, change my career, find religion...something major.

What if I don't do anything?

That conversation made me realise two things:

One, that other people's expectations are irrelevant. I no longer give anyone the power to make me feel insecure about my choices or uncertain about my own abilities.

And two, that change does not have to happen overnight. I may well do things differently in my life because of what I've been through. But that doesn't mean I have to do those things tomorrow, either.

I've joked before about the fact that cancer has made me more self-centred, and this project is very much focused on me, my life and my journey. Right now, my challenge is balancing my renewed creativity with a busy work/study life. It's all part of the adventure.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Er, I seem to have missed June. What happened there?

There definitely hasn't been any creating, that's for sure. I've been studying like mad - only two assignments left until the exam now. Sitting on my desk are some new paints which are just dying to meet a canvas...I'm promising myself a crafty weekend.

In the meantime...I only took photos on three days in June. This was the prettiest.