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Dwelling in possibility

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I love working with chalk and chalkboards. I turn song lyrics (and poetry, and quotes) into fun, decorative boards all the time. Sometimes I turn my own illustrations into chalkboard art. Here's one of my illustrations printed over multiple pages and taped together to fit a 16" x 22" board.

I created the original illustration as a coloring page, the phrase suggested by my publisher. For me, dwelling in possibility is about choosing where to focus. Life is wonderful, right? But it's also hard, and sad, and frustrating, and shitty. Sometimes there's nothing to be done about the bad parts, and the only thing that keeps you afloat is choosing where to focus your energy.

Coloring page illustration
Chalk marker outline

Over the last few weeks, my youngest son graduated from college and moved home; my oldest son moved to the east coast, farther away from me than he has ever lived before; and my mom, whose independence is being stolen away from her by macular degeneration, moved in with us. We will, for quite some time, be straddling the two households, figuring out how to end one chapter as we launch ourselves into the next.

At the same time, I'm hard at work on my creative business - hustling for client work, learning some necessary new skills, launching my first online classes.

And then there's the refrigerator leak that spread, unseen under the kitchen linoleum and the hard wood flooring of two adjacent rooms.

To say that it's been a little chaotic might be an understatement. I've been wrestling with... well, pretty much all the feelings.

Which is why I've been thinking about this phrase a lot lately, what it means to dwell in possibility. It's easy to slip into a negative space. Most of the time, I don't know how to prioritize the things I have to do, which leads to feelings of overwhelm and resentment. I fall behind in my work. I miss my son. I don't want my mom to feel like a burden. I get tired of navigating through the maze of industrial strength fans that are drying out the soggy floors.

Chalky Details
Coloring & shading
Final touches

And so, to combat my stress and frustration, I try to focus on the good parts. Like, I'm closer to my mom than I've ever been. And while I wish my son was closer, at least took flight in the age of texting and IG stories. Staying in touch is really easy. Work-wise, maybe I can't always be as productive as I'd like to be, but I'm still making art almost every single day, and that's what feeds my soul.

The truth is, our best laid plans (and sometimes our appliances) fall apart all the time. It's hard to maintain balance AND be engaged with your own damn life. More realistic, I think, is that we learn to stumble with grace, or at least a sense of humor, and hope that something awesome (or funny or enlightening) is just around the corner.

And, finished.

Which, in the end I guess, is what dwelling in possibility is all about, yeah?

IN RELATED WONDERFUL NEWS...

You can learn the super simple, no-expertise-required, perfect-for-all-skill-levels method I used to create this board in my new online course, Easy Chalkboard Sign-Making.

And stay tuned for more classes in the weeks ahead. I'll be creating lots of lettering and illustration courses using chalk, ink, watercolor and digital mediums. Plus I'll be sprinkling in some fast and fun free tutorials, you guys! I'm VERY excited.

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