So, there seems to be a little funk going around online, and not the good kind (happens to be my favorite of the Mastercard commercials too)! Several people have mentioned it around the interweb. Some are reporting it as a blah feeling. That was the way Ashley Ann explained it over at Under the Sycamore. I have definitely been feeling the same way lately. I find that I always get this way at the point where seasons are changing, but it also comes around when my schedule shifts (moving out of the spring semester into summer, etc).
And, Ashley’s post resonated with me because I am realizing that one thing that happens at the point where my schedule shifts is that I usually have a little more time. For me, this is both a blessing and a curse. A curse because I tend to spend a little more time surfing around online. And, when I read in Ashley’s post that quote “comparison is a thief of joy,” it was like a little light bulb went off.
In academia, we spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to our classmates and colleagues. After all, it is really clear that these are the people that we are going to be (or already are) competing with for money, awards, recognition, grades, admission slots, presentations, etc. And, even though it is logical to do this, this thinking comes from a position of scarcity. The idea that there isn’t enough. And, this way of thinking is infectious.
In fact, I can see subtle ways that my ideas of scarcity have infected my whole life. I watch myself think that there isn’t enough time, money, success, love, (fill in the blank). And, unfortunately, when I am looking at other people’s creations as a comparison to myself rather just as what they are supposed to be…inspiration…then, I do realize that my joy is being thieved! And, worse yet, I am letting it.
So, I am making a conscious effort to shift my energy towards abundance. There is enough time to do the things I really want to do, but I have to decide what those things are. There is enough money if I pay attention to what projects we take on. I will be successful if I don’t define my version of success on others’ definitions and accomplishments. And, I truly believe that with this attitude, there will be more love than I could imagine. So, a couple of nights ago instead of looking at other creations, I finished one of my own inspired by two of the many amazingly creative people out there.
I saw the US Map prints by JanuaryJones on Etsy a while ago. (I know I was directed there by somewhere else, but I am not sure where now.) And, I loved the idea of creating some kind of road map to show all the places we have lived and some of the trips we have taken.
So, because I also firmly believe in supporting the artists selling their work on Etsy, I contacted Nic and Kristen. They were super nice and got back to me immediately, but because of the unique nature of my project (and huge amount of additional design work involved), I realized pretty quickly that it was going to be cost prohibitive to order exactly what I was looking for. So, I decided to take some inspiration from their “the roadtrip,” and I created “our map.”
This map represents the journey my little family has taken over the first ten years of our lives together (1999-2009). It denotes a proposal, a wedding, four houses in four states, a baby boy, two huge road trips, two overseas adventures, and one cruise! It is a little more detailed and abstract than I thought it would be at the start, but I really love the way it turned out! I am hoping to get it printed onto a canvas and hang it up stairs in my hallway or in our master bedroom!
This was a project that I had started a while ago, so I took the lead from Ashley and just finished it. The coolest part was that I learned a ton more about Illustrator and Photoshop as I was finishing everything up, so now the next project will be easier to do. Abundance, here I come!
And, to conclude, some gratuitous pics of the little man! Someone was recently introduced to ketchup! Needless to say, he is in love!