It's been quite a while since I wrote anything here about happiness. The project's been on hold; I've been choosing Happiness, albeit not as frequently as in previous months, but I haven't been writing about it because ... well, partially because I signed up for "Art for Seniors" in May. What fun! I love doing art, and I couldn't help but give the class a whole of my attention. In short, I started thinking Art instead of Writing. I was fully justified in doing so because of my
I've told myself this tale repeatedly over the passing decades. It goes like this: When I was a little girl, I loved drawing and colouring and messing about with paint. "I want to be an artist when I grow up," I decided.
"You can't make a living as an artist," they told me. I believed them.
(I learned later that they were wrong. One of my best girlfriends from high school was hired by a major corporation as one of their promotional-materials artists. Now she's retired, and still doing art. Her paintings get juried into prestigous shows, win prizes and get bought as well. I'm impressed, and so pleased for her. Her website is HERE )
In grade 7, so my story goes, our teacher remarked that I was a pretty good story-writer. I embraced this new dream, and eventually my career as a writer came to fruition. I've cranked out several novels in recent years, a local-history book and in recent months, this Blog. Writing is satisfying, but I always grieved for my lost vocation.
Then Art Class started. Golly, what fun it is to mess about with pencils and paint! "By Golly, I'm back to my roots!" I told myself. "I was born to be an artist, writing was just a next-best thing." With that, I shoved my writing onto the back burner and turned the heat down to low.
I gave myself permission to quit writing these blog-articles every week. I decided no one would really care if I didn't finish the next novel in the series. After all, ART is my true, original calling, right? That was my story.
There was just one problem with it:
If you cook the way I do, you may know what unfortunate things happen when things are back-burnered. I expected that Doing What I Was Born to Do would make me happy. It didn't. I thought it would bolster my Average Daily Happiness (ADH), but au contraire - my ADH plummeted within a few weeks of starting my art class. It was significantly lower than it had been for months. Ugh!
What's going on, Ms. Down-in-the-Dumps?" I asked myself. The answer was twofold:
First, I missed writing. Instead of competently messing about with words, which I enjoy, I was focussed on something that was fun, but definitely outside my field of competence.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, my thousand-times story was a tale of victimhood and wasted decades, of effort put into the wrong dream. Sheesh, what a downer! No wonder I haven't been feeling really jolly and upbeat! Tear up those pages, I'm ready for
A New Story:
When I was a little wee girl, I loved drawing and coluring. Like you perhaps, I was born to be creative.
Another thing I loved was the books Mom read to us at bedtime. In time I too learned to read for myself. Soon I learned how to make words and sentences, and how to write 'long-hand'. Now I too had the tools that writers use. I too could create intricate, complex worlds, worlds where people lived in other places and did other things. I was hooked!
Isn't that a better story? I wonder if you too have a Thousand-times story? I trust it is one that makes you feel happy!
All the Best from Your Friend, Elaine
PS: If you'd like to get an email when there's a new post, go HERE. Talk with you soon, Elaine