Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas (or whatever you choose to celebrate)

Life intervenes, as they say, and I have found it too hard to post on this blog as often as I originally intended.  I have completed the first year of my Visual Arts degree, and been pretty happy with the results.  In 2012, I'll be taking the Photography strand as well as picking up 1 or 2 art papers, depending on the timetable.  I'm in my new home, and working to make this as comfortable as I can.

Christmas for me is a time for being with family, and also a time for reflection.  I like to think back on the year (rather than wait till New Year) and think about what I've achieved or haven't got done, and what I want for the coming year.  Even though I'm not religious, I love Christmas, not for the crass commercialism and pressure to buy buy buy, but for the genuinely kind and selfless moments that you find, when "goodwill to all men" actually happens.  Of course, there's always tragedy and hardship and sorrow - that's part of being human, unfortunately.  However,   the decorations and lights and trees give pleasure to children (and adults), as do even small gifts.

I have friends who are deeply religious, and others who are committed atheists.  I fall somewhere in between.  Who do you thank when things go right in your life?


  1. I reflexively thank God, as in the Christian God. Can't shake my upbringing. I've never really thought our lives predestined, that there are many paths leading us to wherever we are meant to end up, and that is where free will lies. Yet I can't help thinking in some circumstances, coincidence is too much to believe, that God does sometimes intervene on our behalf. I have a convoluted and tortured belief structure!

    Thank you for the questions you HAVE posed on this blog and I apologize that though I wished to, I wasn't always able to respond. What has really stuck with me was your challenge to do 3 new things this year. I only managed one, and I still have a week to possibly do the other. The 3rd didn't happen due to lack of a local option but it may present itself in 2012 and then I can follow up. The one I did attempt has really made a difference in my life, and I'm not sure I would have pursued it had you not thrown down that challenge and made me think about it.

    I'd be interested in how well others did on their 3 new things this year. For instance, did you learn to roller blade? I believe that was one of yours.

  2. Hi, Shirley. Just happened upon your blog. Good for you for going back to school. I went to grad school at 48 and began a PhD (in literature) at 50. I took so many kicks in the teeth (so to speak) but I learned so much, and those were the happiest years of my life. Of course, when I finished, the jobs dried up! So now I'm back to art, but learning new things all the time, like blogging. And may you have a happy holiday season with your loved ones.
    best from Tunisia,

  3. Oh dear, I didn't learn to roller blade....

  4. I too hd intended adding to this but where did the year go...or was it poor time management?I did some of my 'list' I wrote in January.I took up yoga which I love and it has made a difference as far as relaxation and stress goes.I have done some mixed media work and challenged myself with results I am happy with.I have finished every book from the book club I belong to which has been out of my comfort zone a bit but good disipline and have squeezed in one classic...Gullivers travels and some others too.I have also started a quilt using only fabric I have in my stash and its a work in a busy time which includes a full time+ job.
    Well done Shirley with your studies and all the best for 2012 to everyone,Sally in Matamata

  5. Shirley what a deep question you have asked --''who do you thank when things do go right for you''--
    I have used thank God as a 'stock' reply-- up to now.
    I have given this some thought and from now on
    am going to say/think
    'thanks from my heart'
    as thats where the feeling is coming from.