Find your inspiration
I’m not great at vacation; I never feel rejuvenated by it. I wish I did. I envy people who do. I just can’t. If anything, I feel overly anxious about the very idea of vacation. About 12 hours into it, I start to get antsy. I need a project and I’ve stopped trying to fight that need. I am who I am, and my idea of fun is creating things. It’s what I do and who I am.
In 2016, I’m not going to fight that anymore. I’m an intense, passionate, and some might say (slightly) manic, person. Moments of calm and peace are necessary (I sit in meditation for 18 minutes a day no matter what my schedule is), though the natural hum of my life exists at a higher frequency and that’s just fine by me. I’m most comfortable when I’m using my mind, body, and heart to build something.
In the new year, I hope we all find that—the way and speed of life that feels most authentic for us. It’s different for everyone, and there isn’t a way that’s better. Just a way that’s better for each of us as individuals. Let’s honor that.
“Art saves lives. I used to think that was corny, but it’s true. It saved mine.” ~Gil Batle, former prisoner and artist
If you ever wanted to see an elegant story, beautifully told and deeply felt, about how art saves people then this post is for you. Jane Pauley interviewed Gil Batle on CBS Sunday Morning and it’s one of the most incredible interviews I’ve ever seen. Gil Batle has struggled with drug addiction for most of his adult life, and he committed a series of crimes to support that habit. At age 53, he’s clean, free, and creating art that channels his painful past. He carves intricate scenes into ostrich eggs using a high speed dental drill that etches the scenes no deeper than 1/16 of an inch into the shell. If you’re in New York, his work is on display at the Ricco Maresca Gallery. If you’re not in New York, take a look at his work through the video below. You can also see his art at http://www.gilbatle.com/ and on Instagram at @gilbatle.
I was and still am a big fan of Andy Rooney’s essays. The quintessential curmudgeon, he was honest, funny, and poignant all in the same breath. Here is an essay of his that’s always been one of my favorites.
- I’ve learned … That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
- I’ve learned … That when you’re in love, it shows.
- I’ve learned … That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.
- I’ve learned … That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
- I’ve learned … That being kind is more important than being right.
- I’ve learned … That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
- I’ve learned … That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.
- I’ve learned … That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
- I’ve learned … That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
- I’ve learned … That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
- I’ve learned … That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
- I’ve learned … That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.
- I’ve learned … That money doesn’t buy class.
- I’ve learned … That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
- I’ve learned … That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
- I’ve learned … That the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?
- I’ve learned … That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
- I’ve learned … That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
- I’ve learned … That love, not time, heals all wounds.
- I’ve learned … That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
- I’ve learned … That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
- I’ve learned … That there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
- I’ve learned … That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
- I’ve learned … That life is tough, but I’m tougher.
- I’ve learned … That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
- I’ve learned … That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
- I’ve learned … That I wish I could have told my dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.
- I’ve learned … That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
- I’ve learned … That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
- I’ve learned … That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
- I’ve learned … That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you’re hooked for life.
- I’ve learned … That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
- I’ve learned … That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances: when it is requested and when it is a life-threatening situation.
- I’ve learned … That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.