I saw a meme the other day that said "It's almost 2022 and I'm still processing 2020." and that feels all too true. Everyone has had a rough couple of years with the pandemic, insane political environment and life trying to keep moving forward. Mix in addressing a lifetime of anxiety I've tried to ignore, the loss of my brother to a heroic cancer battle and the diagnosis of my sons autoimmune disorder..... it's been a little crazy. It's not a stretch to say I've had the 'out of office' sign up on my studio for a hot minute or two.
*Insert me shaking off the last couple years of dark ..... and refocusing on light*
I like to think we all grow (and get better) as we get older. I'm not sure about the wiser part, but at least more satisfied with who we are as people and finally, finally learning to embrace it. One of my favorite things is to surprise myself, which have certainly done many times in the last couple years of self discovery. The most surprising of all is this cute little gentlemen right here. Meet Neville. Neville Heavybottom. Sitting next to a beautiful bouquet of Dahlias that I grew! I killed bamboo a couple years ago, so this is a major photo for me.
I would not consider myself a cat person, but Neville is no ordinary cat. He's my sweet little gentlemen and snugglebug. We recently adopted him after some heartbreaking pet moments when our family needed a furry friend. I thought he would really be for our kiddos, but low and behold I am smitten with his sweetness. When I'm working, he wants to be on camera with me and sit his 20lb booty on the keyboard, to my coworkers delight. When I'm painting or sewing, he wants to remind me that treats are the only way to his heart and that he will soon file a complaint with the shelter he came from if I do not quickly remedy the situation with treats. When I'm dying fabric at night, he stands and watching me thinking "this lady is nuts, but she feeds me, so I'll sit here till she notices me.....". Best of all, he is my enthusiastic meditation partner these days and I can't believe how soothing he is to have with me. I've been trying to consistently meditate for at least 20 minutes a day, and instead of just being my cuddle buddy during the session, he has quickly turned into my adorable accountability partner who reminds me when I'm off schedule. I love him so. And there I am again, surprising myself by gushing about my cat for a entire paragraph. *shakes head*
But he really has been a nice little reminder in my life to find that balance I didn't know I was looking for. The balance of self, and wife, and mother, and employee, and friend, artist, and cat meditator.... and all the things. It feels like that last couple years every conversation starts with the reminder that "it was a hard year" and it was. But Neville and I are going to keep attempting to find quiet moments of inspiration and joy where we can, cause there really is a lot of it out there when you need it. I'm not a great blogger, or poster, or speaker of the real feelings, but I do enjoy looking back on some of these blog posts as markers in time. Where I was and where I've been. It's somehow affirming that growth. If you're here, interested in art or cat meditation, or finding joy, you are welcome. I hope you find some today. I dare you to seek balance and embrace where you are, even if its not the final destination, even if its not who you think you were , or if it's someone others don't understand. Let that shit go, and embrace the good. Oh, and get an old and overweight cat to snuggle. Its a game changer. Sending Love & a classic Hayley hug where I hold on for a little too long. <3