Weekly Art Journal – The Good and the Bad

Today’s page was week five’s homework for the Soul Restoration class.

This week’s theme is about knowing what your definitions for happy and sad feelings are. As usual, I don’t want to go into detail since it’s Melody’s content but I will talk some about what came up for me. I struggled more than usual this week because there was a lot of journaling to do and I am one of those people who likes to do her homework before I do the art. I wrote for a while but then put off writing anything for many days. This was a sign to me that the way things were structured wasn’t working for me so after postponing it all week, I finally changed it around. I still plan on doing the work, but I think it was too much for me to focus on at once.

So instead of focusing on each definition, I made a list of things that give me positive feelings and a list of things that give me negative feelings. Here’s what’s on each list:

The good
finishing a task
coffee & graham crackers
quiet time
doing art
family time
hugs from my boys
Jake’s hugs
practicing gratitude
completing my exercise
helping someone
getting positive feedback
good books
learning new things
honest compliments
holding hands
going to the movies
bubble baths
taking photos
sunsets over the sea
my kids laughing
feeling free
being forgiven
letting go
unexpected kindness

The not-so-good
saying yes to something i don’t want to do
disappointing people
not enough sleep
the unknown
having to quit
going back on my word
comparing myself to others
not being able to measure up
not doing my best
wasting time
when what’s on my mind doesn’t match my artistic abilities
lack of planning
dropping the ball
empty gas tank
driving somewhere new
putting myself down
feeling alone
holding on to a mistake
holding a grudge
reacting without thinking
making a mistake

Each list can easily be 10 times longer. But I just wrote in five minutes and told myself it was ok for now. I then printed the words and made this two-page spread. Blue for the happy and brown for the not-so-much. This is a guide for me to remember what makes me sad, upset, disappointed, etc. It’s also a reminder of things that make me feel good so that I can do more of them, especially when I am feeling blue.

Here are some other observations from this week:

1. One of the things I noticed was that “completing a task” came up in several of my lists. This is not very surprising considering how much I like getting things done. But it did make me realize that I can change the way I start and end my days so that I wake up and get something done immediately. Which will start my day with a great positive feeling. I can also end my day with a completed task or at least set it up for the next morning’s task completion. Help myself since I know the joy this accomplishment brings into my life.

2. If I can start each day with the task to complete and then do exercise and art, I am already in a good mood. Then when I start work, I can do the same. Instead of reading mail, I can just complete a task first. Then the good mood from that will help me go through my mailbox more quickly and efficiently.

3. I need the take the time to hug my kids daily. I do this a lot already but I need to do it more. I need to slow down and smell them and hug them and laugh with them. The joy this gives me is unparalleled and I need to make sure to do it each day.

4. I would like to plan my meals and the kids’ meals more. I’ve been saying this for months but not actually doing it. Let’s set it as a goal for getting organized on this before February is over so I can have a plan in place for March. (if not sooner.)

5. I need to journal more. What a gift it’s been to rediscover journaling this year. I am so thankful to Stephanie and Misty and Melody. They reminded me how amazing, anchoring, soul-lifting journaling is for me. I need to make the time to do it daily. It feeds my soul like nothing else.

6. Overall I need to look at these lists each day. And make sure to do at least 5 of the “good” items and focus hard on not doing the yucky ones. To make myself more aware daily. Start the day and end the day with a review of my lists. So they are always forefront on my mind.

There we go. I am so sorry that this Tuesday will be the last class for Soul Restoration. I can’t remember the last time I took such a powerful class (and online!). I have simultaneously been working on other art journaling pages too so if you’re sick of these, there are different ones coming I promise.

Another look at each page:

Weekly Art Journal is a weekly project for 2011. You can read more about it here.

6 comments to Weekly Art Journal – The Good and the Bad

  • Brenda in Sunny SoCal

    Karen this is SO inspiring! it is beautiful, a piece of art really..

  • PatP

    Hi Karen,

    More observations for you. The things on your good feelings list are both internal and external, but the overwhelming theme of the bad feelings things is that you are still terribly hard on yourself. Please be more forgiving to yourself! None of us is perfect, we all have days were we behave out of character: yell, make mistakes, be sarcastic (I am the queen of sarcastic, ask my entire family!), disappoint people, make mistakes, fail… On and on. When people make a mistake at work, one of my favorite things to say is that it’s what you get when you hire humans, and it’s true! So, please be nicer to you! It’s ok to not be perfect all the time, no one else is. And when your kids or husband have a bad day, what do you do? You love them anyways, don’t you? People will do the same for you, I promise!

    And, a hint about planning meals… When my kids were younger, I would do my grocery list on the left side of a piece of paper, and in the lower right I would write out the 7 days. I would put in 7 dinners, complete with meat, a starch, and veggies as we did then, and then I would make sure I had everything either on my list or in the house for those 7 meals. We didn’t stick to it at all, something was always coming up with 3 active kids, but at least I had thought it through when I shopped, and when it was dinner time, I had ideas and ingredients on hand.(When my son did this with his then-wife, she made fun of him! It worked for us though!) Let’s face it, when you are cooking every day for a family, the menu doesn’t vary that much anyways! We had standard things for weekdays, and then sometimes I would get a bit more fancy on the weekends. Monday-Friday, the menu was pretty predictable (I gave my kids broccoli A LOT, I still hear about it. Poor kids, I think I scarred them for life, with vegetables!) Anyhow, that’s what worked for us.

    Have a great week, and please be nice to you, ok?

  • This is so awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing it. Super inspiring!

  • Roberta Miller

    You are the only person I check each and everyday! I had four boys of my own and looking at your family gives me such joy. the joy of remembering how different each of our sons is and now that they are all grown with children of their own, along with their two sisters……well I love looking at your sons…and reading your words…..I have not started to journal yet…I stand on the edge and want too but I am afraid to start…but visiting you everyday is chipping away at my fears and you are touching my life to give me the courage to start…so soon I hope I can let myself go and do some of the things I really want to try if I would only let myself….just know that to someone you are changing and helping….our struggles may be different and yet the same on so many levels….You did and do make a difference…I can’t believe I am the only one you have helped….Blessings

  • Yona

    canikom bayildim listeleine, bu kadar net olabilrisin . ben liste yapmaya kalksam kirk saat dusunurdum. bu arada sana yemek konusunda tavsiyem her haftasonu hafatnin yemek programini yap. her gune bir menu ve ona gore alisveris , inanki kafani 5 dk kiriyorsun sonra zaten program belli ve malzemeler evde diye yemek hazirlamak kendiliginden geliyor … bu kadar liste ve program seven sana cok uyar bence. menu fikrine ihtiyacin var ise hemen yazarim sana tarifleri ile beraber sen sadece sevdiginiz seyleri yaz. yediklerinizi listele ben sana yaraticilik kullanirim.

    optum canim

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