The Journey of Seven is a group of seven women who desire to live their lives authentically and to support each other in achieving their goals in life.
Deb, Dianne, Donna C., Donna H., Margie, Peggie and Susan.
This is Susan. This past Sunday I was able to complete one of the goals I have been working on for a few months; running in a 1/2 marathon. On Sunday, May 27th, Memorial Day weekend, I accomplished it. I doubt I can find the words, as verbose as I can be at times (like this blog), to describe the feeling of euphoria I felt as I jogged over the Finish line and a young girl was there to hand me my Finisher medal...and both my grandsons were there to hand me a bouquet of flowers and 'love you Grandma Sue' hugs!
As the months went on prior to this day, I knew I would be on the Start line and I knew I would Finish...and I knew I would have times of doubt between those two points. And there was a moment or two, in the heat and when the mile markers seemed to be light years apart, when I said, "What am I doing? What made me think I could do this?" Then I looked around and, lo and behold, the runners around me were struggling also. I wasn't alone. They were doing it and so could I.
I think accomplishing this goal first was a message of sorts; the anatomy of a goal. In all of our goals, we need a place to Start and we need to have the confidence that we will Finish. What happens between those two points is a crap shoot. I walked sometimes when I wished I could have run...but if I had run I may not have made it to the end. When I hit a water stop, I stopped. I didn't grab the cup and keep going like the more experienced runners do. I stopped, took a few sips, and then moved on. This is not easy. You want to just keep going, keep moving, get there! But...maybe you need to stop every once in a while and look at what you are trying to accomplish and be sure that the way you are going about it is the right way....for you. Those last two words are key...for you. I did what I needed to for me to stay in the race and it worked. Don't be afraid to stop, revisit your goals, massage the tasks you need to get you there; whatever it takes to keep you on your path. As long as you don't turn around and go back, or sit at the side of the road and wait for someone to pick you up, then you are on your way.
There exist goals that are
impossible and then there are goals that seem impossible. And when they seem impossible, that is when your
friends and family are there to help move you along (or offer you a glass of Gatorade). They are your
support team.Stop for a few seconds, reach out, say 'Hey, I'm struggling here, I don't think I can do this.' The rest will just take care of itself, promise.
A few times during my training, that half-marathon seemed impossible...but its been done before by women older and less physically active than me, so I knew it wasn't impossible. And I think my daughter-in-law and I grew a little closer, standing on this common ground. I not only don't want to lose that, I would like to build on it.
I can't wait to accomplish my next goal; that feeling just can't be beat!
Nice to turn on my email this morning and read an email starting off with "You are receiving this notification because someone has purchased a print that uses one of your designs available on Spoonflower."
A person with fun taste bought a yard of my Jellyfish in Bubbles design. Wonder what they're making with the material.
So, this morning, after my run I found a baby robin sitting alone, in the open, squawking for food. As soon as it saw me, the mouth went wide open and the squawks of hunger increased in volume. What to do? I couldn't see a nest in the tree it was under and I couldn't leave it exposed; that would be cruel. So I put it in a shoebox and called two wildlife sanctuaries. Both said, "Put it back where you found it and it will be fine. The mother knows it is missing a baby and will find it." So it was put back. (I must say here that I did not lay one human finger on the bird...no contact...so the mother should not reject it.) Anyway, that scrawny, undernourished little robin has made its way from under the shrub next door, across the lawn of my next door neighbor, down in back of the house and is now behind my deck...still squawking its fool head off!! I don't know how it managed this. It can sort of spread its wings, which are not fully feathered, but cannot fly. Its legs still can't support it long enough to walk, it keeps falling over. And, above all, I don't believe its little tummy has had one morsel of food all day! I feel so heartless. But the 'experts' tell me this is best. One said they are little beggars always looking for a handout, but they have to do this to learn to survive in nature. I hope they know what they are talking about because I feel like a louse leaving it to the creatures of the night. I see some really bad dreams in my future
Susan here... I feel like the energizer bunny came by, stole all my energy and robbed me of some of my motivation! What is up with that? I don't think I've worked on my BHI book in a week! Not good. Now I will need to play 'catch up' as I have an end date to meet. The other goals are going along well, they are less about creativity and more about discipline. Ever since I put the right side of my brain on the shelf so that I could let the left side get things organized, the right side has been in hibernation. Accidenti!! (Darn!) Time to shake it awake!! Before I lay my head down to sleep tonight, I will have the next island essay written.
Aren't these cupcakes gorgeous! These beautiful, and tasty, cupcakes will be part of Donna H's upcoming cookbook. As the "cookbook" photographer it has been fun to marvel at the recipes and creations that Donna H has assembled each time there is a "shoot". Four members of the Journey of Seven are involved in the groundwork: Donna H--the pastry chef, Donna C--the graphics coordinator, Deb B--the set designer, and myself--the photographer. One of the best parts of being involved in this project is the "tasting" of each recipe after the shoot; and, of course, the remaining members of the Journey of Seven participate: Susan O, Margie L and Dianne K, as well as numerous "guest tasters". All the recipes in Donna H's cookbook will have been tested and given the thumbs up! ---Peggie
Hi Donna C. here.....thought I would try sewing some baby bibs with my fabrics and characters that I designed. I quickly mocked up a few ideas before I start to sew. What do you think? The ladybug and baby carriage are cute but predictable. I'm partial to the big baby head; cracked me up.
I do love when a design goes beyond the edge.
Maybe I could start a line of Big Baby Head Bibs.
No, that doesn't sound right does it.
I'm having fun creating and I hope you are too! If not, why not!
This is Susan. Yesterday I had an experience in the morning that reaffirmed my faith in man while simultaneously causing me to question man's apathy. On the return leg of my four-mile run, my nose began to bleed. I'm sure the reason was the additional breathing in through the nose and increased blood pressure (mine is low so I know it wasn't that alone) that caused this most aggravating situation. Of all days, I did not have any tissues with me!! So as I walked along a very busy street in my home town, I had my right arm up in the air so that I could hold the sleeve of my t-shirt against my nose. Well, blood is getting all over my shirt. It is about 6:30am, traffic is heavy and I had no place to sit and wait for it to subside unless I sat on the sidewalk. I made it to a small gym and asked the owner for some paper towels (which he gave me and he then went back to working out) and began walking home...I had about 1-1/2 miles to go. I was somewhat surprised in my 1/2 mile trek thus far that nobody stopped to ask if I was okay. Then someone did. A fifty-ish man in his work truck saw me, knew I was in a situation, turned his truck around and asked if I was okay. I explained my situation and he offered a ride home. Initially I said no, thank you, I would walk. He asked again, told me he didn't mind and that I shouldn't be walking home with my nose bleeding like it was. So, yes, I trusted my gut and accepted the ride. He did as he said he would and brought me to my house. He, too, runs and so does his wife. He was an extremely kind person and his concern was genuine.
Now I was hesitant in saying anything to my friends or on this blog as 'you should never accept a ride from a stranger, never'. But I did because I had to trust my gut and use my common sense. He wasn't cruising the main streets looking for a damsel in distress who he could take advantage of. He did what I would have done in the same situation. Stopped and asked if he could help. This, too, can get a person in trouble, it could be a ploy...but what kind of people are we if we can't step back and say, "Hey, that could be my mother, my sister, my friend. I would want someone to stop and ask, "Are you okay?"" I don't know how many cars zoomed past me. Did they see my situation? Maybe not all of them...but some did. I don't know what they were thinking but this situation and another that I will write about on another day have shifted how I, personally, look at the world.
I'm a photographer. Photographers need to look at the world in more detail...see the things most people walk past, step over and ignore...and sometimes that look needs to be with our heart and soul, not just our eyes.
This is Susan. It's 12:30am and I should be in bed...but I made myself sit down tonight and clean up my image files. I still don't have a work flow in place and my photos are going all over the place when I download them. The right side of my brain gets so impatient to start playing with the images, it overpowers the left side and any organization goes out the window. The images just stay wherever they land!
I'm not at 100% yet and I have a few duplicate folders still to go through, but I'm in a much better place. I put the right side of my brain in a holding pattern until the left side can clean up and get organized. The trick will be to keep the right side corralled long enough for the left side to do its job. It won't be easy...wish me luck!
Hello....this is Dianne, almost 60 years old and this is my very first blog..I am a member of the Journey of Seven, which has been a great experience for me. They are great friends which have had a great influence in my life. Everyone should be so fortunate...thanks to all the other 6..
Peggie here.....I have been remiss in posting anything for the last few months. My creativity took a vacation, as did the goals I had written for myself. During this time I have been thinking and formulating a redesign of my goals, along with searching for my creative spark. What is amazing in life is that when you think you need a boost to lift your spirits, along comes some good news. This week I sold my second print of Motif Number One on Fine Art America and one of my fabric designs on Spoonflower was tagged as a "favorite" by a website visitor. These two small "events" have boosted my spirits and re-ignited a spark, encouraged me to work towards a flame, and eventually towards a blazing bonfire! Now I need a good shove to work on the new goals!
This fabric I designed reminds me of childhood. I think I had a pair of shorts similar to this material when I was about 10. Come to think of it, that was the last time I ever wore shorts! No shorts for this body anymore, I'll sew up a tote bag or a cosmetic bag or better still, an eye glass case because the eye sight is blurry now or a small pouch to store our pills for sore knees, lower back aches, tummy attacks or whatever ailment that hits us after 50. Or maybe I'll revert back to childhood and make a pair of shorts. I think 10 yards should be enough.
So, I've been training for this half-marathon for a couple of months. It is one of my original goals for 2012. The event is Sunday, May 27th, Memorial Day weekend. I got off my schedule a couple of times due to my unprecedented travel itinerary... but got back on track (no pun intended). I also made the dollar commitment. I signed up on-line for the race. That means if I back out now, I'm out $50 and that would not be a good thing. So, one way or the other, I will make the 13.1 mile journey around Hyannis and cross the finish line. I have $50 in addition to my self-confidence on the line!
Sometimes this is the route we need to take, put some hard-earned money behind our goals. This is not an easy concept. Money is tight, there are always other more pressing concerns. And that is why we need to step back and look at our lives. If we are totally committed to investing ourselves in our goals, if what we are doing is truly our life's dream, then we have a responsibility to put some force behind it. If we don't, we are cheating ourselves. Our creativity will give us power but we still need a vehicle to ride in...and that might mean spending a little more money than is comfortable. I just purchased some software to help me in post-processing images. I think I do okay with composition, I kind of know how to adjust the settings but there are many great photographers out there. If I want to compete with them, I need the tools of the trade...and, unfortunately, the days of film and darkrooms are about over. I kept putting off the purchase because it seemed wasteful...but the time has come for me take a big step forward. If I stumble, so be it, but now that I've invested a bit more into my dream, I may work a bit harder to make it happen.
Last night I watched "Two Broke Girls". They managed to work their way into a gala event where Martha Stewart was a guest because they wanted to 'stalk her' and talk her into tasting one of their cupcakes for a business they are starting up. When one of the girls said to her, "I'm sorry to be talking business at a social event." Martha said something to the effect, "When you are in business, there is no wrong time to talk shop." She then pulled 4 copies of her book out of her handbag! I don't recommend stalking any celebrities but if you need to push the envelope a little, you have my unauthoritative permission!!
"If you aren't living on the edge, you are taking up too much space!" Anonymous
I just got home from a photography workshop in Manhattan which was held at the Radio City Music Hall. I was a bit nervous about going as I'd never done anything like this before. However if I want to improve my photographic skills, I need to ante up and step outside the box. I also traveled to Manhattan alone, taking the bus down on Saturday morning and staying overnight so that I could be on time at the workshop on Sunday morning. This was a first time experience also. I'm happy to say all went well. The workshop was intimidating at first as many of the women in the group had taken workshops with this instructor before and were very comfortable "taking space". I hung back a bit but by the end of rhe workshop, I, too, was able to "claim my space" and speak up when someone got inside my frame. I first thought these women to be pushy, selfish, and rude, and a couple of them actually were. But then I realized that if I didn't speak up, I was giving them permission to be that way with me. Why would I give anyone that kind of control?
I think that is one of the things women need to do more of, speak up and "claim your space". Being shy is cute when you're five...when you're fifty, it's a roadblock to full potential. Hanging back is no longer good enough. Women in the 50-ish age bracket spent most of their lives doing the bidding of others and being content to be support mechanisms. Many times we were considered 'self-centered' if we thought of ourselves or 'too independent' if we wanted to do it alone and our way. This type of thinking has to end. Peggie mentioned a great quote, "Proceed until apprehended." Three words which, when combined, tell me its okay to jump on a bus, stay alone in 'the big city', spend money to improve skills for a creative passion and tell some over-bearing semi-professional photographer to 'please move your tripod out of my space'.
So, just do it! Follow your heart, don't listen to the naysayers of the world, and your dreams will come along for the ride.