It’s day three of 2014 and I am a Resolution Dynamo. I’ve painted, cleaned, filed, exercised, and eaten like a champ. But it’s only day three. What happens when I get tired or lazy? What will become of my resolutions when I lose motivation, or fear sets in? Will I have enough willpower to keep me afloat? The ‘diving in’ part is easy, now I’ve just got to keep swimming.
“Just Keep Swimming”–Colored Pencil
I’ve always thought of myself as an organizer and motivator with strong leadership skills. Once, fifteen years ago, someone told me I was bossy—that I just snapped my fingers and expected people to jump. Those words were said in anger—one time—fifteen years ago—but they made me question who I was. I know better than to let someone’s negative words define me, but still, those words have stayed with me. I wish I could just snap my fingers and make them disappear. I guess if I were truly bossy, I could.
“Snap”–Graphite and Colored Pencil
In order to create, I have to feel well, so I exercise every day, eat a vegetarian diet, and practice yoga. Lately, though, I’ve been bombarded by advertisements, infomercials, and well-meaning friends who assure me they’re selling the most miraculous ‘diet’,’health’, or ‘fix-all’ product on the market. As far as I know, there is no secret pill, shake, wrap, or drink that will result in optimum health, the perfect figure, or an incredible level of fitness. There is, however, a magic bullet. We all have access to it. It’s free, it has no side effects, and it contains three simple, safe ingredients: knowledge, action, and willpower. You want to be healthy and fit? Stop wasting your money on hollow promises made by unethical companies and empower yourself. Do your own research. Eat whole foods. Lay off the junk. Get off the couch. Get moving! Your health is in your hands. All you have to do is pull the trigger and see what that magic bullet inside of you can do. Salute!
“The Magic Bullet”–Watercolor–from my sketchbook
Much like a child sitting on a swing, I sometimes wish someone would push me. Just a few quick shoves to send me soaring into the air, higher and higher, shaking up my adrenaline so it bounces around inside me like a run-away ping pong ball.
When I’m in art class, my instructor and fellow students provide those ‘pushes.’ Whether compliments or critiques, their valuable feedback inspires me to improve my work. When I’m alone in my studio, at times it’s hard to get motivated. I find myself longing for those encouraging hands on my back. After all, it’s much easier to get started with a little push.
As children grow older and wiser, they learn that they don’t always need to be pushed. If they pump their legs fast and hard, they can propel themselves as high as they want to go. In life, everyone reaches a point where there’s no one to push them. If you haven’t learned to pump, you’re not going anywhere. And since I can’t get enough of that ‘flying’ feeling, I’ll just have to pump my legs.