Tasty Waves and Flying Bullets: Staying Grateful in Reality

It was a beautiful and moody Pacific North West beach day, where the waves were glassy and peeling and the fog was hiding a gun fight.

Happy day after Thanksgiving!  Last week I told you how my head fell off and I needed to go get in the ocean in order to screw it back on.  Well I did that, and it worked in that the stress level surrounding my holiday sale and online pop up shop has been brought down from DEFCON four to a manageable two, however, an active shooter situation on our beach brought the current "gun culture" reality in this country out of the fog, and into broad daylight.

I'm from New Orleans.  The majority of my friends had been mugged, car jacked or held up before high school was over.  How I escaped NOLA without ever really experiencing this is beyond me.  I had a gun kind of drawn on me once by a scared kid who seemed to regret it immediately, and ran off before he had even pulled it fully out from behind him...but that's another story. 

My point is that, being a native New Orleanian, perhaps I was already a bit desensitized to gun violence.  Combine that with the fact that there has been a mass shooting for nearly everyday of this year and I suppose I could sadly say that it's just our new normal. 

I've actually been thinking about my desensitization to guns ever since a New Orleans shooting happened in the middle of my street while I was just standing in my kitchen, sending a text.  I had all the windows open and a clear POP POP POP POP seemed to happen right outside.  I stopped texting and thought to myself, "If I hear another POP, I'm hitting the deck."  The shots stopped and I just returned to my text.  Not another thought given. That was in 2007.  Now, it seems, we are in a whole new reality where we are being referred to as a "gun culture".  Which leads me to my story of de-stressing in the ocean last weekend.

We paddled out early. It must have been about 8:00am.  The waves were the best they had been since we arrived the day before.  It was sunny, but the marine layer was closing in fast.  I kind of like surfing in the fog.  It's mysterious and it usually means that hardly anyone else will paddle out because they, A. can't see the waves from the beach and so have no idea if the surf is good or not or, B. decide that the air temp is 50 and the water temp is 52 and without the warmth of the sun, forget it.

It was just us out there having a blast, when a helicopter started circling above. Then another surfer paddled straight up to me and said, "Uh...I think we should all paddle in."  My first thought was, "There's a big fishy out here", and my husband told me later that he thought perhaps there had been a tsunami warning.  But no, it turns out a cop sent him into the water to get us because there was an active shooter situation on the beach.  

Here is what apparently was unfolding as we were blissfully riding the waves: Crazy dude held up a store 60 miles South of us.  Crazy dude was confronted.  Crazy dude fleed the scene and proceeded to take the cops on a 60 mile high speed chase up the 101.  (If you've driven on the 101, you know how cray cray that sounds on its own.)  Cops deployed a spike strip about 1/2 mile from our surf spot which stopped crazy dude's car. He jumped out the car and started shooting at the cops who returned fire. Crazy dude ran into the office of the motel in front of where we're surfing, barricaded himself in and took a motel employee hostage.

So while we were in the water, unable to see the shore due to the fog, and totally oblivious to all of this drama, I was thinking, "Gosh, it's amazing out here.  I wonder why no one else is in the water".  In reality, the highway had been closed  to traffic for about an hour both North and Southbound and so no one could even get to where we were.

Frankly, we felt safer in the water but a park ranger was waving us in from the beach.  When we paddled in, he met us at the waterline and told us that there was a "guy barricaded in that building right there with a rifle" and with the fog clearing up (which it was), we needed to get out of there immediately.

So there we were, standing on a vast beach with nothing in between us and the shooter but our surf boards.  Needless to say, I started walking very quickly to our van where we pretty much threw our boards in, got in while wearing full, wet, wetsuits (which if you know my husband is enough to give him moldy smelling nightmares), and got the hell out of there. 

As it turned out, the shooter couldn't see us on the beach from where he was, nor did he have a rifle, but a shotgun, and I don't think he ever had a hostage, but I can't seem to get clarity on that from media outlets.  Does any of that make this situation better?  I'm not sure.

A few things occurred to me as we were hanging on the jetty waiting for the police to reopen the beach:

I felt inconvenienced.  Our surf had been interrupted and then the wind kicked up which meant we probably weren't going back in.  The fact that we were bummed about not being able to surf has been messing with my head.  I mean WTF really? A guy has a gun, we thought we were in the line of fire and that he had a hostage and I was bummed about not being able to paddle back out?  Something is wrong. 

My default was to joke about being homesick.  I know it common that many people default to humor when in horrible situations but the fact that I said, "Well, I was just feeling homesick for New Orleans so a guy running around with a gun really makes me feel right at home", is really fucked up.

I didn't feel surprised. When the surfer paddled up to me, and told me what was happening, I thought to myself, "It was only a matter of time" and then I started imagining what the water and sand would look like when struck by a bullet.  Would I hear it or would I see the water splash or the sand spray first?  It was all very logistical.

As my week went on, I thought more and more about it.  We HAVE gotten desensitized.  Guns being waved around is common place in our country.  I never thought it would happen on my beach, but why wouldn't it?  Why would I think for a minute that we were immune to our gun culture?

It's the week to be thankful, count our blessings and hug our loved ones, which I did with enthusiasm yesterday.  But the truth is that we need to do this everyday.  My passion for what I do increases daily because of the hardships that people are enduring all the time.  I figure my role is to keep creating beautiful art and writing my truths because frankly, we need to be inspired right now, just to simply keep moving forward.

My truth this week, is that I'm glad I didn't get shot.  I mean, we could have gotten to the beach just a bit later or had a leash break and needed to get out while a gun fight was happening.  I'm sickened by this being a nearly every day occurrence and I also realize that we only really hear about the instances where people are shot and killed.  Situations like this one where thankfully, no one was hurt, doesn't make the national news.  How many situations like this happen every day?

Damn...I don't want to bum everybody out, but I also refuse to candy coat this shit.  This was my week and so it's on my mind.  I'm going back over to my parents' house tonight for a different New Orleans tradition (I mean...besides ducking bullets) of turkey gumbo the day after Thanksgiving.  Plus, I just want to give and receive more hugs and eat that extra piece of leftover pie without regret.  I suggest you all do the same, because in this reality, you simply never know what will happen minute to minute.  

Frankly, I would have preferred the shark.

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram.   Join me on this crazy beautiful Artventure to receive early access to my December Pop Up Shop, where I'll be offering some paintings from my Reclaimed Hearts series, one of which is seen at top. 

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I Was A Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men From My Past

From the time I was 13 on, I was a promiscuous teen. 

I’d like to say that at some point I learned from my mistakes, but after these last couple of weeks, my past came barreling back into the forefront of my brain and it is clear to me that the behaviors I learned in my teens never really ended.  They went with me into my 20s, 30s, my marriage, how I parented my daughter.  It’s all right there in front of me now.  Like a glaring light that I just realized has been on and blinding me my whole life. 

 

Dear All the Men from My Past,

 

Before your instinct to defend yourself kicks in, it is important for you to know that I don’t blame all of you.  I have no desire to live in anger or point fingers.  That is not the purpose of this letter. 

 

Please read the above sentences twice…a few times maybe.  It’s 100% true.  However, do not confuse my desire to live at peace free from anger as my saying that you are negate of any responsibility…there are many of you who I do blame and hold responsible. 

 

Some of you took advantage of a young girl with a substance abuse problem.  Some of you were older and thought because I looked and acted older than I was, that it was ok to have sex with me.  At least that’s what you said to me:  “You’re so mature.”  Is that how you justified yourself?  Truth is I’m not too sure what would make an 18-year-old have sex with a 13-year-old, or a 19-year-old with a 14-year-old, or a 24-year-old with a 15-year-old.  Does it matter to you what the age differences are?

 

Or those of you who took advantage of me when I was completely inebriated.  Mornings when I woke up in an empty bed without pants on, not even really sure who had been in the bed with me.  Those of you who took me out and drank with me to excess and then thought it ok to have sex with me, leading up to moments of my coming to, alone in a room at a party, not really sure what had happened at all. 

 

Some of you I cared for and was desperate for you to care for me.  Some of you, with whom I shared a mutual sexual desire (or at least as much of one that a young teen can have and understand), I had fun with, only to realize that was all it would ever be.  And some of you actually cared about me. Whatever the case may be, past sexual traumas have been shoved in all of our faces these past few weeks, and many of us are reeling from things that we haven’t thought about in years or maybe just swept under the carpet and thought that it wasn’t a big deal, unaware of the daily emotional strife that has been caused from it.  I’ve heard situations described that I have experienced in my past, now talked about as violations…and it never occurred to me that they were…until now.

 

What I want you all to know is that it is a big deal.  It has had long lasting ramifications on my self-esteem, my decision making, and my sexual and mental health as an adult.  I may not blame all of you for the past, but if another generation of men are raised thinking that this type of sexual behavior is ok, that’s a problem, and one that I do put directly on you.  And if another generation of women are raised not knowing how to use their voices, that’s an issue as well and one that you also have a responsibility to rectify.

 

I was a very confused girl who wanted attention and love.  Rarely did I say no.  Rarely did I push you away.  If I started to say no, I was easily swayed once a bit of pressure was applied.  The fact is, I didn’t feel like I could say no.  That saying no meant never having love.  That it was better to just let you do what you wanted rather than say no.  That the way to get love was to be amenable.  The way to make you stay was to put out.  But none of you ever stayed.

 

The reason I don’t blame all of you is that we live in a society where I unknowingly was taught to please men and where men (perhaps at times unknowingly as well) have an expectation of women being agreeable to meeting all of their needs without argument.  Were my parents direct messengers of this?  No.  But it was all around me.  In magazine images, TV shows and movies.  The realization that one of my favorite John Hughes movies portrays date rape never occurred to me until someone wrote a blog post about it last week. 

 

We are being told about blatant attacks, horrendous sexual violations where women feel their lives are in danger, and this type of behavior is obviously abhorrent in a black and white sort of way.  However, there is also a huge gray area that needs to be discussed, where women may be confused and not communicating what they feel deeply because of social and sexual pressures.  I wanted you to like me.  I wanted you to love me.  I wanted you to be there and “no” just didn’t seem like an option to get to that outcome.  It is important for you to know that I was a terrified girl looking for approval.  Is that sexy for you?  To know that I was most likely full of doubt, self-loathing, and terror when we had sex? I sure hope not.  In your defense, I will say that I never let you know.  I never learned that it was ok to use my voice, and it’s something that as a 42-year-old woman I am now having to deal with. 

 

What you did has had a long-term effect on my life.  I have had to fight back from a debilitating alcohol problem that increased greatly during my teen years and didn’t stop until I was having suicidal thoughts in my mid-thirties.  I still live with daily anxiety battles and grapple with depression at times.  We are now learning that these are all issues that women who live with past sexual trauma are more likely to have.  And think about this: we are also more likely to pass these horrible behaviors down to our own children.

 

So, men, here is what I am asking from you:

 

Talk to your children.  Talk to them about sex. Awkward as it may be, it’s only awkward because we make it that way.  If they are old enough to ask the questions, they are old enough to get honest answers.  Tell them the ways you got it right and the ways you got it wrong. Admit to your mistakes so they know it’s ok to admit to their own. 

 

Tell your boys that if they see a girl drinking heavily throughout the night, it’s not ok to have sex with her, period, even if they’re drinking with her.  Tell them that if she’s under 18 and he is over 18, no matter how mature she is, it’s rape.  Teach them about what actual consent is and how consent can be sexy because it creates trust.

 

Teach your boys that cornering girls in parties and trying to forcibly kiss and/or touch them is wrong…yes, even if the girl has a reputation for being "easy".  Tell them that if a girl says no and then yes, or yes and then no, that there is conflict brewing inside her and that if there is conflict, sex is not an option. There must be clarity in consent before sex.  And please tell them that a proper response to a girl saying yes and then no is NEVER, “can I just finish?”

 

Teach them that it is not ok to expose themselves to anyone unsolicited, EVER.  I didn’t grow up with cell phones but in this case, I am also talking about sending unsolicited photos.  Teach them that while engaged in sexual activity, consent needs to be ask for again before trying new things.  Teach them about healthy sexual trust and that the real way to please a woman sexually from the beginning is by building that healthy foundation.

 

All of these things happened to me, most of them more than once.  I was a troubled girl and that led to me being a troubled woman for a very long time. I drank and didn’t say no, but that doesn’t mean that any of this was ok…and I am slowly learning that it doesn’t mean it was all my fault.  I was a child when I learned these behaviors and they carried into my adulthood.

 

I also want you to talk to your daughters. Tell them that no matter what, having sex, allowing touching, kissing, oral sex, whatever it may be, none of it will lead to love.  None of it will ever make boys stay. That love and trust leads to sex, not the other way around.  Tell them that having sex while inebriated can cause feelings of shame, guilt, and confusion, and to make it a rule for themselves that when they are drinking, sex is not an option. 

 

Tell your daughters that if they ever feel pressure to do something that they are not comfortable with, to use their voice because they hold more power than they may think.  Teach them that they should be as loud as they want when saying no.  That if they feel discomfort in a situation, even if they can’t pinpoint exactly where the discomfort is coming from, that it means something is not right, and therefore it is not the right time to engage in sexual activity.  It is ok for them to leave the situation.  It is ok for them to defend themselves.  That the fact that they “put themselves in that situation” does NOT make it all their fault. 

 

And make sure you are clear that whatever boy makes her feel pressured or uncomfortable is NOT a good person and will never make a good partner because in reality, he doesn't care about her, he only cares about finding sexual release.  And it is of the utmost importance that your daughters hear this from YOU, their fathers.  They can have these conversations with their mothers as well, but hearing it from the most important man in their life will make a huge impression.

 

In my case, having sex never made one of you stay, it just meant that you would tell your friends that I was an easy lay.  I would be so happy when one of you would call and ask to hang out, and I can still feel the desperate humiliation of that translating to being brought to a remote place to have sex in your car.  Time after time I allowed this to happen.  I was frozen in fear.  Is that what you find sexy?  A young girl too scared to move? 

 

The thought of my daughter having to go through what I am now going through makes me want to vomit.  It should upset us all, including you. I pray that you see the problem and talk to your kids.  I hope that you, the young man who took advantage of a much younger and troubled girl, look at your own daughters or nieces or cousins or step-daughters when they are 13, 14, and 15-years-old and think to yourself, “That’s how old she was when I fed her drinks and slept with her”.   Is that sexy now?

 

We all have to take responsibility for our own part.  I have been dismantling my past behaviors for the 5 years that alcohol has no longer been in my life.  But now, over the past couple of weeks, I have relived all of it including an intense deluge of the shame, guilt and humiliation which I have unknowingly been living with every single day since I lost my virginity, drunk at 13, to an 18-year-old. I feel this. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Have you felt any of that?  Have you thought back on your own behaviors and felt a crushing sense of pain?  I’d like to think that some of you have, but I have a feeling that you have not thought twice about it or me, and that has to change.

 

It is time for you to see what this behavior does to women.  It is time for a change to be made.  I have to find a way past the shame, guilt, and humiliation, which has now turned into anger, sadness and exhaustion.  It is time for you to pitch in and do your part.  So, will you?

 

 

Sincerely,

A Promiscuous Teen

Pictured above at 16-Years-Old

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram.   Join me on this crazy beautiful artventure.  

In response to my letter, I created a series of work called Reclaimed Hearts.  

I created the Reclaimed Heart series in response to my letter, which has been clicked on in every country in the world for a total of nearly 200,000 times. I have heard from countless women who told me I was telling their story and thanked me for putting words to feelings that they had not been able to.  Just see some of the comments below.  It has been a bitter-sweet comfort and oh so humbling, to say the least, and I thank you all who have gotten in touch with me.

Each Reclaimed Heart painting has a paper heart, ripped up and then reassembled onto the canvas to signify the power I've taken back and the self love that I have reclaimed. Freedom is ours. Reach out and take it. CLICK HERE to see the series.

Art Show Fatigue: Taking care of myself on the downslide

My locals' holiday sale was a success! But the crash was as emotional as my worst hangover and 3 times as long.

As most of you know by now, I don't drink anymore and I haven't for a couple months shy of 6 years.  That being said. I'm still plagued by a different type of hangover.  The hangover and recovery that comes post art show. I've even had a dang headache all week.  

I hosted my first ever private, locals' holiday sale last Friday and Saturday and for a first sale, IT WAS AWESOME.  I sold 23 paintings and a bunch of ocean inspired note cards, hats and hand made-ornaments.  I also had 20 people join my mailing list, which for me, is the largest number ever at one time.  It was a total success...and yet, I've spent the past 2 days in a depressed mood with about as much energy as a sloth.  

23 PAINTINGS!!!!  That's amazing and I want to give a huge shout out to the collectors. I'm totally stoked about that.  So why, might you ask, would I be depressed?  Well, there are a few reasons.

marigny goodyear art whales reclaimed heartI mean with collectors like this cutie, what could there possibly be to be depressed about?

I told you last week that this show was different for me in that I hosted it.  I didn't work with another business or gallery.  From the work offered, to the lighting and set up, to the marketing, it was all me, and I liked that just fine.  I was less nervous and there weren't as many "what ifs" in my head as there are when there are other people involved. I thought that because of that, my show hangover wouldn't be as bad.  Well I thought wrong.

It's worse.  Amplified by the fact that after the sale, I didn't get to simply walk out the door the way I would have been able to if the sale had been at another business or gallery.  On Sunday, I put the house back together, took inventory and set up my online December pop up shop, all of which only took about eleven hours.

On Monday I launched the pop up to my mailing list, organized and inputted all of the new additions to said list, and started the arduous process of financial reconciliation of the event.  Monday night, I was supposed to drive to the coast but was so crosseyed from tiredness, I backed out of my surf time.  Yup...I was that dang tired.

On Tuesday, I sat on my ass.  I watch first two of The Maze Runner trilogy and ate way too many left-over Christmas cookies (damn you, Trader Joe's!). Wednesday I worked a half-day and finished off the third movie.  

By Thursday, I was depressed.  In retrospect, I'm not sure that going from a hundred miles per hour to zero overnight was the best strategy.  I didn't go for my walk or do yoga.  I chose to eat poorly and sit in front of the glowing screen of death for hours and hours.

I knew yesterday afternoon that I had better get out and take a hike or I was going to get worse.  By the time I got to the trail head, I was filled with doubt about how the sale had actually gone.  Despite the fact I had sold 23 paintings, it some how wasn't enough and I should have sold more. I still hadn't figured out how to most effectively market my online shop. How was I going to make my goal?  Maybe I would never make it?  And just like that, my anxiety brain was off to the races.

Then I started hiking.  I practically ran up and down the trails and hopped over little creek crossings.  It made me smile and my heart beat strong.  It made me breathe hard, all of that pent up energy finally getting out.  

Today I'm a little bit better.  I worked a full day but I'm afraid the cold gray day outside has made it hard for me to get out.  Maybe I'll do a little yoga. Maybe I'll eat more cookies and watch another movie.  I'm in that apathetic part of the hangover where if I were still a drinker, I wouldn't feel good enough to go to the gym, but recovered enough to have a beer. The only good thing I can say is that at least with a show hangover (as opposed to an alcohol hangover), I actually remember the show.  So there's that silver lining...

This is the time in the process where I have to make a decision.  To simply accept the cycle and do what I know I need to do in order to come out the other side.  Take care of myself.  Get daily exercise. Eat healthy.  Get sleep.  Keep up with my to do list.  If I lived on the beach, I'd be surfing, but sometimes I just have to stop and do only the necessities.  

The holidays are upon us.  We need to make sure to take care of ourselves so we can show up on the days when family and friends gather.  So with that, I think I'll go out to the movies instead of plopping on the couch tonight.  At least I'll get an outing and maybe even some inspiration. 

But if I don't, I'm just going to continue to be kind to myself and do what needs to be done to keep the ball rolling.  Right now, a slow roll is just about all I got left in me.  Re-fuel, renew, repeat.  

 

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram.   Join me on this crazy beautiful artventure.  

In response to my letter, I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past, I created a series of work called Reclaimed Hearts.  

Each Reclaimed Heart painting has a paper heart, ripped up and then reassembled onto the canvas to signify the power I've taken back and the self love that I have reclaimed. Freedom is ours. Reach out and take it. CLICK HERE to see the series.

 

 

How Trying New Things is a Great Way to Discover More About Our Fear

Experimenting is not only fun, but a great way to discover the reason behind certain fears.

I am hosting my very own art sale this weekend.  I've never done this on my own before.  I've had shows and participated in holiday sales at galleries, restaurants and interior design firms and found that shows are...well...um...difficult for me.  

In the past, I have done well while preparing for shows.  Creating the work is amazing.  Marketing and contacting media, I actually find quite fun.  Packing up and hanging is also highly satisfying for me.  And then comes the day of the show. 

I'm usually a ball of nerves by mid-morning.  Anxiety builds throughout the day sending me into fits of tears and panic.  Then the show happens, and it all goes fine.  The world does not end (although I usually can't move for about three to four days afterwards).

The experience of setting up my house for a private locals' art sale is a new one for me, but the fact is, that last year most of my holiday sales were from people calling me up and simply coming to my home studio to pick paintings out.  So I figured, why not take the process in house.

It has been a JOY!  Sure, I put on the show day tiara today because no matter what, it is just such a great confidence booster.  But I didn't really need it the way I have in the past, and I know why.  It's because everything is up to me and my responsibility.

Don't get me wrong, I have had and continue to have amazing experiences doing shows with other people and businesses.  However, I am a little bit of a control freak, so there is always a bit of anxiety when it comes to worrying about if others are doing what [I think] they should be doing.  I, of course, know that this is my own neuroses and I think I'm pretty graceful about trusting that others are, indeed, capable human beings.

The other part is the only person that I can let down is myself.  Have I ever let down any other business owner before?  No, I'm pretty on top of my stuff.  But I do have (and have always had) a people pleasing habit and so I feel pressure when there is someone else involved in the process who I want to like me and my work.  (These people also make me tent to blurt out words at inappropriate times a bit louder than they should be, and sometime act like I've drank too much coffee, but I digress.)

This show is all me.  I can't write long because I still have a million things to do.  I just wanted to share that if it weren't for trying things in different ways, I wouldn't know that an extra layer of anxiety is created for me by working with other professionals, many of whom I respect and look up to.  Will that discovery stop me from working with them in the future?  Not likely.  They are great opportunities and I learn a lot.

Because I decided to experiment with this show, I now know what is going to make me nervous in those other situations and I truly believe that the more we know about our own fears, the more we understand ourselves.  That understanding creates compassion for ourselves and compassion will turn a fearful situation into one that can be handled with confidence.  

And I'm off.  Here are some pictures of my house turned gallery for my Locals' Holiday Art Sale.  Still a little more to do and people begin to arrive in 2 hours!  Wish me luck!

Marigny_Goodyear_Art_Tiara_show_day
Tiara time means it's show day!!!!

Marigny_Goodyear Art Holiday Sale Notecards and HatsNotecard and Whaler Hat display with some little 8" Reclaimed Heart Paintings.

Marigny Goodyear Art Holiday Art Sale Original Art RaffleOriginal art raffle at my Local's Holiday Sale.

 

The photo at top is my flock of Reclaimed Heart Paintings inspired by my essay, I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past.

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram.   Join me on this crazy beautiful Artventure to receive early access to my December Pop Up Shop, where I'll be offering some paintings from my Reclaimed Hearts series, one of which is seen at top. 

What To Do When Your Head Falls Off

When there are so many things to do, that I can no longer keep track...well...you know what they say about the chicken and its head?   I'm pretty sure my head just fell off.

I have a list of things to do.  Ok...that's a lie.  I have five lists of things to do.  I am excellent at making lists.  I make a list and then divide those list items into their own sub-lists.  When I finish something that wasn't on the original list, I add it and simultaneously put a check mark by it.  I have a "master" to do list, then my daily to do list, which I make each morning organized into quadrants: important/time sensitive, important/not time sensitive, not important/time sensitive and not important/not time sensitive.

I am a huge dork.

I'm not completely anal-retentive, just a little OCD, and I've made peace with that.  As one who can fall prey to anxiety, it just plain makes me feel better to have everything put into manageable lists.  Oh...and project management software...and I've been known to rock a good spreadsheet out.   So maybe I have more than my share of organizational tools, but hey, it works for me.  

marigny goodyear art quadrant to do listAn example of my quadrant to do list, which I make first thing, every morning.

I am a huge dork that gets shit done.

I'm sure you're wondering where the hell this topic is coming from, so here's a little context:  I had a whirlwind of emotional months leading up to the Kavanaugh hearings which sparked my letter, I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past, which as you are most likely aware of by now, went viral.  The aftermath brought correspondence from people all over the world who shared with me their thoughts on the topic, and stories from their own pasts.

Last week, I told you how I escaped to Las Vegas for a break.  I worked my butt off prior to leaving and finished 35 little Reclaimed Heart paintings, which I'm going to offer during my locals' holiday sale, and my December online Pop Up Shop.

When I got back to the studio last Tuesday, I rocked out 10 more paintings, dealt with the printing of thousands of note cards, and have been working down my holiday art sale check list as well as my art pop up shop check list, my show marketing check list and my media check list (because I'm still trying to increase the reach of my letter)... And then my head fell off.

marigny goodyear art all the lists
Five lists plus project management software = efficiency...until my head falls off.

I am a huge dork, who gets shit done and then needs to stop and cry.

After taking care of the to do item, "print out point of sale check list", and started to work on my inventory and pricing check list, I took a break to watch a video on Facebook with the caption, "a real tear jerker".  Well, that was the end of me.  I was ugly crying in front of the computer complete with gasping and snotty snorts. It was at that point I realized that my head had fallen off about 3 lists ago and I had been on efficiency autopilot ever since, which entails completing tasks now and asking questions later.

I am a huge dork, who gets shit done and needs to stop and cry in order to realize that I what I really need is to go surfing.

I know, I know...I'm a slave to the wave.  It's a beautiful yet sometimes inconvenient thing.  I haven't been in the water for just about over 2 weeks now.  It's about my max before I get squirrelly.  I know myself well enough to know that if I don't stop mid-day for a walk outside, I actually become less efficient in the afternoon.  It's the same with surfing.  I need to get into the ocean and stop the hamster wheel in my head for a minute.  When I get back, I know I'll be twice as efficient, plus my head will be attached, once again. 

Sometimes I just have to take a step back to re-energize and gain fresh perspective.  I can get totally sucked into my lists and can feel like I'm not accomplishing enough.  The fact is I accomplish more in one day than many do in a week.  It will never be enough for me though, so I have to force the break.  (And frankly, going to Las Vegas, while it was an amazingly fun time, is not the same kind of break as being in the ocean...go figure.) 

I am one who works best in spurts.  When I'm in work mode, not much will stop me from completing what I feel I need to.  When I'm in the ocean, all of the lists melt away and the stress dissipates. That feeling of letting go will stay with me for about 2 weeks.  That is just my work flow. As one who is fairly new to working from home, it has taken me nearly 2 years to figure this out and to stop beating myself up about taking a day to surf.  It's just a freakin' day!  

The holidays are a stressful time. No matter how much joy they bring, they can also bring overwhelm.  We need to make sure to give ourselves a break this holiday season in order to practice good self-care.  So, take care of yourself and do what you can to keep your head on. I had a little bit of a hard time finding mine this go round, so I recommend being proactive about it.

The lists will still be here when I get back, plus, I know that there is pie to look forward to next week.  So I'll surf tomorrow and then work my ass off again until Thanksgiving. Then pie...  Then a holiday sale...  Then an online pop up shop... Then Christmas...Ho Jeez.  Surfs up!  

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram.   Join me on this crazy beautiful Artventure to receive early access to my December Pop Up Shop, where I'll be offering some paintings from my Reclaimed Hearts series, one of which is seen at top. 

 

 

 

 

 

Las Vegas: An Extreme Change of Pace and Million Dollar Vomit

After a month of humbling, comforting and saddening correspondence regarding my letter: I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past, I simply needed a break.

Two weeks ago, I was still spinning from the reaction to my letter.  I went from being silent about my own issues as a promiscuous teen to vocalizing my experience to the world.  The response was staggering.  All of a sudden, I became a person that other women felt safe revealing their own secrets to.  I was told of others' similar promiscuous behaviors and stories of horrifying sexual assaults.  

While I was discovering that I wasn't alone, so were many others who read my letter.  All of a sudden, a veil was lifted and I became a safe ear for women to tell their own deep, dark secrets to.  I want to say, that I am glad to be that ear and I will gratefully continue to listen and receive.  However, it was WAY intense and something that I was not prepared for because, frankly, I thought that what I went through was kind of unique.  Man, was I wrong.

I was talking to my husband one afternoon and told him about the turn that all of this had taken.  I told him through tears that I was, "ready to think about nothing but unicorns and puppies for a minute."  His response was, "You should come with me to Las Vegas next week".  He had a trip planned that originally, I was not going to join him.  I'm not much of a gambler but a getaway with my man, a nice dinner and a show sounded like a good distraction.  

And so off we went.  My first discovery about Las Vegas was the amount of incredible art that is there!  I wandered through massive hotels, each one trying to out do their neighbors with spectacle.  I saw works by Henry Moore, Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella and James Turrell, just to mention a few.  The Chihuly installation in the Bellagio took my breath away, not to mention the amazingly explosive fountains out front. Wowsers.

There were so many choices of places to eat that I told my Hubbie that I wish I had four stomaches.  However, the eating came to an abrupt end when I got food poisoning that reared it's ugly head half way through my truffle tasting menu at the very fancy Le Cirque restaurant.  Thank God their five star bathroom is a single stall so no one else was subjected to my five star vomit.  

I must admit that I felt a twinge of guilt not checking my email to see if I had new correspondence from women who might have been waiting for a response. Also, it was very hard to see the billboards on trucks that advertised "Hot Babes Direct to You", rolling by every time I went to cross the street.  All of the women who reached out to me were still very much on my mind.  Now that I'm aware of the hardships that women have to endure, it is difficult to ignore it, especially when it was being shoved in my face on the back of a pick up truck.  

Now I'm back at work.  I'm in full preparation mode, making new art for the holidays and getting ready for my holiday pop up shop.  I can't help wonder if I'll ever be able to go back to just talking about painting and art and surfing and the ocean.  How do I revert back now that I'm being turned to as a person with a voice on the topic of sexual assault?  It seems insensitive to just change topics all together.  Honestly, it seems insensitive to be talking about the woes of Le Puke at Le Cirque.  

I suppose the only thing I can do is to just keep doing what I've been doing which is talking about my truth, my artistic process and the things I do to keep myself sane.  Last week, it was Las Vegas.  This week it's getting caught up on work and next week, hopefully I'll get some surfing in.  I guess I'll just take a lesson from my past and take everything one day and one topic at a time.  In the mean time, here is some eye candy from Vegas.  If you're having a rough day, I hope it distracts you with a brief moment of nothing but beauty and amazement.

Thanks for being here.  I hope I don't make all of this sound like a burden.  It's not.  I'm so grateful to be here with you.  

Marigny Goodyear Art Las VegasJust a HUGE dancing woman aside my hotel. For scale, my husband was standing up beneath her foot a second before this photo was taken.

Marigny Goodyear Art Chihuly Bellagio
The Chihuly installation as you walk in the Bellagio is stunning.  
Marigny Goodyear Art Chihuly Bellagio Las Vegas
Here's a close up of the Chihuly.  It was so vibrant and alive.
Marigny Goodyear Art Vending Machine
Yup...in Las Vegas, art comes out of vending machines.  
Marigny Goodyear Art new york new york las vegas
No, not New York, but the New York New York hotel on the Las Vegas strip.
Marigny Goodyear Art Desert Mermaid
I found the mermaids in the desert.  They greet you when you enter the Mirage.
Marigny Goodyear Art Le Cirque Bellagio fountains. 
Our five star view from our table at Le Cirque.  I got to enjoy it for a second.  The photo at top is me under the big top at Le Cirque.  Million dollar vomit happened shortly after that photo was taken.  So freakin' embarrassing.
 

 

I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram.   Join me on this crazy beautiful artventure to receive early access to my December Pop Up Shop where I'll be offering some paintings from my Reclaimed Hearts series, inspired by the power I took back by publishing my letter, I Was a Promiscuous Teen: An Open Letter to All the Men from My Past.