Give thanks for your life, your gifts, your blessings!!!
If you find no reason to give thanks, change your friends. Seriously. One cannot change one's family; but friends, you can exchange. Exchange them with those who will help you find meaning and reason to get up and love life, appreciate the sun or the rain, smile at your brother or friend who constantly tags you with every blurred photograph they post. Give thanks that they consider you important in their lives.
Love. Truly love with all your heart. There is a difference. Love until it makes you quiver, even your dog.
Cry and feel sadness. It is an honor to feel sadness and loss.
Celebrate. Anything and everything. Celebrate especially your loved one's birthdays, no matter how quiet. Honor them and give thanks for them. They enrich your life.
Celebrate your heroes. They inspire.
Say "please" and "thank you." It is that simple.
Parents, love your children. You will affect their lives until the very end.
Make something. Create something. Make yourself useful. Stop fooling yourself with meaningless blather about self-actualization, of empty dreams, of sharing, when you do not do anything useful for the greater good.
Occupy work and industry.
Do not envy.
2011 is a mixed blessing. There was healing, growing, achieving, a lot of struggling and loving. My sister Leah was diagnosed with lung cancer this year. She continues to battle this dreadful disease. Directly below, is my favorite drawing. At her request, I completed that drawing in a period of four days in the Philippines. I drew day and night and while I accompanied her on doctor's visits. She loves that drawing. I gave the 11"x14" pen and ink drawing to her a couple of days before I flew back to the US. Three days after I arrived in the the US, my sister became very ill. I flew back once more to the Philippines. This is the last of my drawings that she saw for she became blind from complications of her treatment. One day while rummaging through a packet of CT Scans, MRIs and x-ray films, my sister Freah found this drawing and another drawing (right) which was my sister's first favorite, tucked between the films. Leah is very much loved by many. To everyone who help us care for her and pray for her, thank you.
The other day, in a group dynamic exercise, the speaker asked us to think of two people, dead or alive, whom we admire. It took me less than a millisecond to think of mine. I think the people who have followed me throughout my blog journey know that there is nothing more important to me than my family and my parents, though long gone, yet continue to inspire and guide me. From my son and daughter, my husband, sisters and brothers, nephews and nieces and the very closest friends whom I consider family, I am blessed over and over again. They make my paintbrushes and pen glide on canvas and paper freely. In the end, the people you love and who love you in turn are all that matters. They help you do things and give them meaning and significance. All the selfish things one pursues are meaningless when one turns around and finds no one or can't think of anyone with whom to share. So love your family or the friends who are your family.
To all my friends and visitors who accompany me on my journey here, thank you for all your kindness. May your life be prosperous, happy and meaningful.
These are some of over one hundred eighty five illustrations I did this year. As you can see I only completed four oil paintings. I am not including the intentionally ugly art illustrations I did earlier this year nor the over one hundred acorn ATC/ACEO I drew and gave away.