In my daily life, I talk to many people. As an introvert, this takes a lot out of me. When I go home, I want nothing more than to completely shut out the world and enjoy the silence. I want to sit like the proverbial bump on a log and just be. Or read. Or binge watch whatever strikes my fancy. This is all well and good. It's even necessary at times. However, it is very easy to go into what I like to call "hermit mode" and isolate rather than recharge.
In my professional life--and let's be honest, in my personal life as well--I often tell others they need to start a self-care routine. Do something just for them. I tell them it's not selfish. I tell them how important it is if they want to be able to be there for their loved ones. I tell them they need to learn to be able to pass the oxygen mask test.* Problem is, while I hibernated and isolated, I was not practicing true self-care. I found myself reading less and watching even fewer shows and movies. I needed to find something that I enjoyed doing. Something that created a spark in me. Something that allowed me to recharge so I could be there for others in my life.
Enter acrylic pour painting. A local wine and paint studio started offering acrylic pour classes to their schedule. I had always wanted to try it. A friend and co-worker (hey Palmer!) encouraged me to buy what I needed to try it on my own but that did not appeal to me. So I signed up for the class. I then canceled the class when another friend/co-worker (I'm looking at you Mary!) said she would go with me. However, she couldn't go to the night for which I had signed up so we coordinated our respective schedules with the studio and went one month later. We had fun and were able to take home some super cool paintings. During the class, we were told if we wanted to save the skins from our paintings (the paint that drips off the canvas and runs into a puddle), we could let them know and they would save the skins for us. Mary and I decided to save our paint skins. Later we both wondered why we did so. What would we do with them? Mary told me not to grab her skins as she had changed her mind. I however, decided to search on-line what one does with acrylic paint skins. I found out many people create unique jewelry pieces. I was sold.
Some years ago I used to make jewelry. I beaded necklaces, bracelets, lanyards and bookmarks. I enjoyed it but it could be tedious. As I got older, it became more difficult (my eye sight is okay but not what it used to be!). I eventually became too busy to bead as I had decided to go back to graduate school. As I watched videos on making jewelry from the paint skins, I got excited. I knew I could do this! I picked up my skins, as well as Mary's, and made pendants with supplies I bought on-line. I had fun making them. and enjoyed surprising Mary with a little gift even more. I may have become a little obsessed. But I found a spark I could turn into an exercise in self-care. This site is the extension of that spark.
My hope for you: Find the joy in your life. Enjoy it. Share it with others.
* The oxygen mask test explained. Please note, this has been going around for years and is not my own. When on an airplane, passengers are told in the event of turbulence, the oxygen masks may descend. The attendants tell everyone traveling with small children or others needing assistance to put on their own masks before helping others. If an individual is not getting the needed oxygen, he or she cannot help anyone else. The individual is risking not only their own welfare, but the welfare of the others they are trying to save. Life is the same. If we give all of our time and energy to everyone else, there may be nothing left when it is truly needed. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can be present for others.