Before I quit drinking, I would visualize my perfect life. I would be an accomplished pianist, a talented painter, a master gardener, a zealous reader, and a wiz in the kitchen. In order to fulfill all of these talents, I collected the tools necessary for each. I would download sheet music of pieces I was sure I could master on the piano. I purchased canvas, brushes, even an easel. I tilled a small plot of dirt and filled it with herbs and flowers. I drove to the library weekly to check out books, and I subscribed to Allrecipes.com – collecting hundreds of scrumptious dishes that I never cooked. I have a beautiful Pinterest page with 20 boards of creative, beautiful ideas. Haven’t tried a single one of them. Instead, I sat with my glass of wine and visualized my perfect life in front of stupid repeats of Law and Order.
Now, 38 days sober, I have all of this time on my hands and all of these tools in my closet. What to do?
I wandered into an art gallery yesterday, thinking it was simply a store to buy art. Instead I was surrounded by lovely artwork of local artists and a small studio in the back with easels and brushes and canvas and a darling women who talked with me about how she started painting 3 years ago and is now selling her work.
I saw an amazing self-portrait of a striking woman hugging the face of a glossy black horse. There was an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper taped to the wall close by. The paper began, “Art should be not just what we see before us but what we see within ourselves. Face your fears, have a passion, love deeply, try to have fun with your life, and make each day count.” She told of how she and her husband rescued this horse that was abused, neglected, and left alone in a pasture. She knew nothing about horses, but the animal lover in her could not leave it. They acquired the horse, learned how to care for it through google, and helped it to regain its health. The last paragraph on this paper read, “The message I am trying to express is make the best your life has to offer, have a passion for something you love, fulfill your dreams. Don’t let life pass by you…whether it is in the arts, writing, playing with children, running a gallery, opening a business, or facing your fears. Don’t make excuses and live with regrets. Have a purpose, have a passion, and make a difference.”
Needless to say, I have brought out my tools and will begin working on my “perfect” life this weekend. Now I have the time.