Like You Just Don’t Care

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The rare lower leg selfie.

Anyone have a neighbor who is often seen out in her yard wearing a bizarre mosaic of clothing that might include high-waisted jeans, old Beck t-shirts splattered with paint, bright blue socks adorned with cartoon versions of Bob Ross and his “happy clouds” (could be green and happy trees, depending on the day), and occasionally slippers when she’s forgotten they’re not actually shoes? Does she speak French to her chickens, whose responses are mainly limited to ‘buuuuuurrrrque (French for ‘berk’)? You may also have noticed her taking her undies and other laundry down from the clothesline during your summer deck party.

If so, howdy neighbor!

Yeah, that was me out mowing my lawn this morning in a get-up not too different from that described above (the summer version includes shorter pants, which is awesome if you’re my neighbor cuz you get to see more sock!), with the seasonal accessory of a white mask over my mouth and nose. Allergies suck, and I think it’s too late to hope I might “outgrow” them. At least I can eat peanut butter, and trust me, you don’t want to know me if I ever have to give that up.

We’ve had an exceptionally wonderful weekend here in Seattle (a smidge hot for this native, but I ain’t complaining after the long, soggy winter we just endured), during which I’ve had several occasions to spend time with loved ones who helped me celebrate my birthday. Lots of fun, with some downtime mixed in, and as a result, I needed to catch up on chores this morning.

I’m not tangoing to the mid-century beat yet, but it is pulling me onto the dance floor. (I love to dance, so perhaps if I think of it this way, aging won’t be so bad.) Meanwhile, I’m not a young thing anymore, and as a result, I find that I am getting less and less concerned with how I’m perceived. This is a blessing for me, but maybe a curse for my neighbors.

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Not to get too macabre about it, but by this point in life, it has become crystal clear that there’s much less time in front of me than there is behind me. I need to maximize every minute of every day (although I do like my occasional nap) to read everything I want, to continue learning, to travel, to see friends, to write, to garden, to work for social justice, to volunteer, to try new things. To finish this damn rug (tantalizingly close; see this post for where I was with it back in February).

As for trying new things, I’ve embarked on almost every creative ship that was departing Inspiration Bay. After enjoying a few days on beguiling new waters, I usually become bored of the horizon that stretches out seemingly forever and move onto another adventure. Such is the Gemini personality. The islands (i.e., closets) are strewn with the jetsam of my tossed-overboard hobbies, but nonetheless I have decided to set out on yet another journey.

I’ve always wanted to do sketch journaling, of nature, daily life scenes, travels…I am not artistically gifted, but as I allude to above, I’m trying to ignore the judgy neighbors inside my own head (and tune in to the Bob Ross socks instead*). I’m interested in this journal idea for a couple of reasons. One is to be in the moment and pay better attention to the world around me. Another is to use my right brain more, try to tap into a font of creativity. My friend Ed (whose great new blog Outpost4013 you should go check out immediately) often sketches and he’s one of the most creative people I know. I doubt I’ll achieve Ed-level creativity, but I still think it’ll be a good thing for me.

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Rosé with roses on a warm summer evening.

So I used money I got for my birthday and bought some portable art supplies. I had so much fun planning what to buy and looking at inspiring books (check out An Illustrated Life, which features many artists’ sketches of daily experiences, in various art forms). My friend and fellow gardener, Gilly, who lives in Ireland, sent me the book Botanical Portraits, which arrived a couple of days ago and I am excited to work with things right here in my garden. A timely and wonderful gift!

I have no idea how this latest adventure will go, but am wasting no time worrying about it. Even if I capsize, I’m sure I’ll gain new knowledge along the way. That alone makes it worth it.

* No I don’t think my socks are speaking, BUT, if they were, they’d be saying kind, supportive things, much like this or this Bob Ross account on Twitter).

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5 thoughts on “Like You Just Don’t Care

  1. It is so wondrous that you used “jetsam” accurately! Usually, people just indiscriminately toss it in with the flotsam. I love your love of words.

    Oh Jeanie, as a founding member of the Craft Sluts, you should never doubt your creativity. (Plus, will we see some of your creative writing here? Hello: best 25 word story I’ve ever read.) At any rate, keep going–I’m becoming convinced that quantity is the road to quality. And that maybe the doing of is more important than the result. “Teach us to care, and not to care.”

    And thanks for the shout out (blush).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who’s blushing now? I laughed at the jetsam comment – Iiterally started to use flotsam *instead* of jetsam and then caught myself. You know I am not always that big of a believer in strict language rules in favor of creativity, but I also like being accurate. Plus, toss it in! Ha-ha! You’re always slipping clever word play in, you rascal. Thanks for the kind comments – maybe some “fiction” will make it here someday…

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  2. First, I love, love, LOVE those Bob Ross socks (“paint the fluffy clouds…”).

    Second, BRAVO to you for caring less and less about what people think of you. I believe that’s a major key to happiness. I raise my glass to you and salute your “bizarre mosaic of clothing.” Yes!

    Third, that’s awesome that you’re sketching again. It’s funny because I started sketching again a few months ago, then let it lapse, and just picked it up again this past weekend. There must be something about this 3-day weekend and getting creative. I feel like I’m in good company, knowing you and Edgy are both writing and sketching, sketching and writing. Hope you’ll post some of your paintings/drawings in future blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I want all the Bob Ross socks! I figured I had to get those to help remind me not to be too harsh in my self-criticisms of my doodles. How fun that you were also sketching and took it up again – I agree, there was some creative energy this past weekend – maybe it was just the extra dose of sun & warmth. In any case, I’d love to see some of yours too, if you ever want to share! Do you find it’s helpful freeing your mind up for writing at all? Thanks Peg!

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      • Well, we are solar-powered animals. Maybe the extra dose of Vitamin D helped us all get on the creative bandwagon?

        I don’t know if sketching helps my writing or frees up my mind. I haven’t done it enough on the same days to find out. Have you noticed any changes with your creativity/writing?

        I’d be happy to share my sketches with you sometime. I’d love to see yours too. I’m working on a project with mine, and they will be made public someday. You’ll be one of the first to know about it. 🙂

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