fountain stones by Serendipity Artist
fountain stones, a photo by Serendipity Artist on Flickr.

People are always talking about the importance of gratitude. How you should count your blessings. This approach never worked for me. I appreciate the blessings in my life, but my frustrations would still take hold. This weekend I tried something different that seems to work for me. It isn’t a new idea even to me, but I seemed to be able to get it this time around.

I was folding laundry and thinking about how I never have time to work on my art and even when I make time to do art, I am frustrated because I can’t get into a rhythm. At one point my poor unsuspecting husband wandered by and asked how I was doing and I snapped, “I feel like housework and chores are sucking the life out of me.” As my words slapped him in the face I suddenly realized that folding laundry wasn’t so awful. In fact I had failed to notice that it felt kind of good getting things in order for the start of the school year. I apologized to my husband. Then I spent the rest of the day playing a kind of game with myself – seeing if I could notice something positive in any frustrating situation. Like when I discovered mosquito larvae in the fountain, instead of focusing on how annoyed I felt about draining and cleaning it, I took the opportunity to look at each of the pretty stones as I cleaned them off and put them back in the water.

I know this won’t work for every tough situation I encounter, but I’m looking forward to the challenge – especially in the studio.