Holding on and Letting Go

Full disclosure: not only am i not crazy about today’s girl, I actually had to correct her right eye because it was way too high and just crooked. It bothered me so much, I couldn’t help it. Even with that, I am not crazy about her. But I am keeping it. As I mentioned yesterday, it all counts. Little by little, I’ll get there. Wherever “there” is.

As for today’s quote, it says:

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. -rumi

Nothing teaches me the truth of this better than having kids. Especially as they get older. My son has some big milestones coming up and I am constantly battling between how much I hold on and how much I let go. And I can never seem to decide what the perfect balance is. I am constantly second guessing myself. Constantly putting pressure on myself to get it “right.”

And, of course, I have no idea what “right” looks like.

I just often feel that I’ll know it when I see it. Or when I feel it. But I never feel it. I always feel like I am tipped over to one side or another. Often times, I’m holding on too tight, trying to control the situation. I was like this for myself, in my own life, too. But it’s so much harder for my kids. I want to be able to control the outcome so much more for them because I feel such a strong desire to protect them from grief and hardship. Even as I know that those are the experiences that make us grow. They are the roads we must walk on to get to appreciate our journeys. They help us become who we are. I know these tougher moments are a necessary part of life.

But it’s still hard.

I spent much of this morning trying to navigate this dichotomy. And I have no idea how to do it. Most days, I just end up being exhausted and hope that I do better the next day.

A Second Chance

In May of 2014, I did a project where I painted faces each day and then coupled those paintings with some quotes I liked. I then took the opportunity to write about the quote. This gave me an excuse to do art every day and to write here everyday; i miss both of these things dearly.

So I’ve decided that for the month of September, I will try to draw a quick girl and watercolor her everyday and couple her with quotes again. The drawings will be quick and imperfect and likely I will not like many of them. But the goal is to start flexing my drawing muscles again. I miss drawing. I miss watercolors. I miss doing creative things. September promises to be stressful so I am not sure if it will work out. But I will try.

We have to start somewhere, right?

So, for today, I drew this girl. I drew her in about 10 minutes and then spent the next 15 tinkering with her because I didn’t like her. I considered ripping the page about 11 times but wouldn’t let myself do it. The fact is, I make more bad art than I make good ones. I never really studied art. I forget how to do it right. I don’t have the instincts. I don’t like most of what I make. But I still keep trying. I like doing it. I like trying. And when, in one in a million chance, it looks like what I intended, it feels like my birthday and Christmas rolled into one. So I keep trying and I will keep trying. Nothing is wasted.

Today’s quote says:

You decide every moment of every day, who you are and what you believe in. You get a second chance, every second.

I believe this with my whole heart. It is never too late to be who you want to be. I believe all humans mess up. None of us are perfect. But I also believe that every moment is a new opportunity to do better. When I yell, I apologize and start over. When I make unhealthy choices, I try again for the next meal. I think there’s so much grace in giving yourself a second chance. So much kindness in allowing yourself to start over.

But it’s more than that. If I don’t believe that I get a second chance every second, then I give up. Which then gives me an excuse to continue the behavior that’s out of alignment with my values. I am constantly going against them and there’s nothing quite as draining as stepping on one’s values. Then I feel bad, then I do more of it, then I feel really bad, I feel ashamed, and that causes me to behave even more badly, and this story never ends well. Yet, if I believe in second chances, every second, any moment is an opportunity for me to course correct. Any moment is an opportunity to step into who I am. I don’t have to wait till tomorrow or monday or the beginning of the month. I can do it right now. I can be who I want to be. That’s so liberating. So empowering.

And as I grow older, I realize that I am allowed to change my mind, too. I am allowed to change my mind about what matters. About who I wish to be. Life is short, and I am only bound by the rules I create for myself. I get to choose what matters most to me and then I get to choose to be that person. When I mess up (which I always do), I get to get up, dust myself off, apologize, give myself grace, and then try all over again.

And, if I am lucky, most days, I do more good than bad. But, either way, I get a second chance, every second.

And thank goodness for that.

Everyday Brave – Week 25

Here’s this week’s layout:

The left side here is a door. It’s a bit crooked:

And the right side is a pair of sandals.

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 24

Here’s this week’s layout:

The left side here is a teapot, I don’t like how it turned out but here we are:

And the right side a crooked teacup so here we are:

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 23

Here’s this week’s layout:

The left side here is a kitchen table:

And the right side is supposed to be a perspective drawing. these are always hard for me.

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave – Week 18

Here’s this week’s layout, I did this when we were planning to go skiing.

The left side here is goggles and skis

And the right side is a tram but then Nathaniel got sick and we couldn’t go so I drew his medicine and fever.

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave – Week 17

Here’s this week’s layout.

The left side here is a pair of boots that I liked. They are drawn from a photograph.

And the right side is a workdesk. the perspective is not perfect but i still love it.

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave – Week 16

Here’s this week’s layout, not my super favorite but the trick is to keep going.

The left side here is a government building i liked and wanted to draw. It didn’t come out looking the way i’d hoped but that’s ok.

And the right side is supposed to be a bed. Somehow I find beds really hard to draw.

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 12

This week’s page is simple. On the left side, I drew the new containers i bought for my pencils and art supplies. The drawing doesn’t do it justice of course but it was still fun to do. Then I added some washi tape.

The right side is just an orchid that was sitting on my table and a few hershey’s kisses.

And there we are. Here’s another week.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Listen with Intent – Week 24

For this week, I picked what else. As in what else is there here? What else could I be listening for? What else could they be saying? What else am i missing? What else am i assuming? What else could this person be trying to communicate? What else could be going on? What else, what more, what different is here? The goal this week is to go deeper. Look for more, different, look beyond.

The lettering I used here comes from this pin.

The image here is supposed to be mountains to imply looking beyond something. Looking for other things on the horizon.


Listen with Intent is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Listen with Intent – Week 23

So the first part of being creative is changing my perspective. Listening from a completely different perspective. Slowing down and seeing other possibilities. Stopping my default reaction to things. Really taking the time to look at things multiple ways. Each time an opportunity to listen arrives, I will be asking, what would other perspectives look like here? What’s his/her perspective? What’s mine? Is there another?

The fun lettering I used here comes from this pin.

The image here is from this awesome pin.


Listen with Intent is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Listen with Intent – Week 22

A new month and a new intention. This month, I wanted to do something fun so I decided to pick Listen Creatively. How can I change things up? How can I look at the same thing differently? Can I get creative with my listening? What would that look like? What would that sound like? I am not sure what to expect from this month, but I am open to being creative with it.

The creative lettering I used here comes from this pin.

The image here is supposed to be watercolors.


Listen with Intent is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.