2012 Mea Culpa: What I’ve been doing

I can’t believe April is almost over. Seriously. Each year about this time, I do a face palm reaction as I flip the calendar page to mark appointments in May. May is already filled up and I don’t know how I’m going to manage the desire for being creative to the demand of public appearances. Its tough for an introvert, let me tell ya!

Art Shows
We’re busy with production work in the shop. Identifying what might sell vs what will sell at our upcoming show in Bethesda Maryland is really relying on the eight ball to tell us our fortunes. The crappy economy really kicked the wind out of us the past few years and now that we’re getting a stream of orders, its kind of scary wondering if this is going to be continuous or if it’s just a fluke. Either way, I squirrel away funds for new show applications, booth fees, and R&D -not necessarily in that order.

Let me just say that I’m not sure if folks are beginning to open their wallets because they’re tired of not spending money, have a little to spend and now they’re treating themselves, or we’re finally getting noticed for being different and wonderful. We’ve been working hard on the hustle and laying the foundation, so perhaps it’s finally paying off? There are other theories I have but these are the main three.

Guilded Relief
I’m also giving major hat tip to Piedmont Craftsmen. Our acceptance letter seems to have stopped fewer doors from slamming shut in our face. I wonder if by not knocking on certain doors has helped? Dunno. It seems that it’s a credential that gives people confidence that we’re not fly-by-nights. I think if anyone took a look at my web site, they’d realize it, however. The folks at Piedmont are all affable and good natured. They’re dealing with artists after all, so it takes a special kind of cat herder to get us all together.

Additionally, I’ve been quietly depressed about losing Bacchus. The only thing that keeps me from going bonkers after this sucker punch death is that we have Bacchus sitings on occasion. They’re delightful little antics that help me smile through the pain. He’s a ghost kitty who continues to tease me in the afterlife. Crawling on me in bed, rolling toys across the floor, and making appearances in the bathroom while I shower. Sometimes I swear he channels his energy through Cheshire at Splash Time. Cheshire now exhibits quirks (twitchy back) just before Splash is delivered and meowls (meow + howl = meowl) when I don’t provide it fast enough.

I realize that when I talk about him or the sitings or both, people get quiet. I can only imagine they’ve been told, “Sit and listen to the grieving. Don’t judge.” But what they’re not told is how to react or interact when someone begins talking about death and loss. That bothers me.

Pain & Coping: Personal Mechanisms
As an introvert, I will sink deeper into the emotional realm to really work through the anger and depression that’s needed to cope. I allow myself this and prefer to be alone so folks don’t feel the obligation to start labelling me as officially depressed or suggestions of therapy. Been there, done that. I think it’s a reflection of how they’d cope with pain. Some actually get scared of allowing pain to flood their existence (it’s critical to relief) that idea has them running to a doctor to find a cure all. For me, the cure all is a four letter word: Wine. I mean, Life. Okay, both.

When I’m in the midst of coping, I read, research, watch trends, and basically observe. Rarely do I create. Creating is done when I’m excited about something, creating a tangible craft that I can hold and dance on about, “Look what I did! Look what I did! Isn’t this cool!!!” I also watch movies -I specially love science fiction.

Aside from welling up with grief of never holding Bacchus close and hearing him talkback defines agony. Feeding my scifi fantasy is definitely giving me energy to push forward. Part of my self-perscribed therapy is the ability to transfer real pain to a fantasy filled world with a great plot. In the Fall, we began watching Battlestar Galactica and enjoyed talking about it with a couple of our friends who were following along for the their second time. After Bacchus went to college, we went on a 3 week marathon because I couldn’t fracking deal with only 2 frack-to-frack weekly episodes! I needed more. Additionally, we pulled some steampunk influenced movies from the shelf (Hellboy, The Rocketeer, Metropolis, Brothers Grimm, 20,000 Leagues, and of course, Harry Potter) to get lost in. Now that Battlestar is finished, I need a new series.

I know death is part of life (and Christ it sucks) and I’m doing my best to prepare for it in case the bus comes for Andrew unexpectedly. Likewise, I strive to keep my papers in order in case the damn bus comes for me and Andrew doesn’t have to suffer unnecessarily.

Shock Therapy
Another part of self-perscribed therapy is shock therapy. It’s a twist of truth hinged with black humor. When people don’t respond in any way -remaining frozen in their seat- I’ll non-chalantly continue my story that appeases my inner rebel. No matter how depressed, disappointed, or how much pain I’m in, I always find something funny about it. It may be instantaneous or it may take time, but if it can make me snort out loud or smile quietly, the job of satisfying my inner rebel is done.

When I bring up Bacchus’ name (“Oh my God, I hope she doesn’t start crying! I don’t know how to respond, so I’ll just sit quietly until it’s over.”), and quickly finish with the point I wanted to make, I judge their reaction. ‘Frozen? You’ll pay for that.‘ (wink)

“You know Bacchus is in the freezer, right?” This part is true. I’m dragging my feet on this and because he isn’t taking up much room, it’s not a big deal. However, I continue with, “When I miss Bacchus, I bring him up from the freezer, take him out of the box and play with him.”

Ghastly, right? “I just wish Andrew would move his clothes that sit atop the chest freezer downstairs so that I can bring out Bacchus more frequently.”

When you’re dealt with pain and you don’t know how to handle it, transfer it. I do. And it makes me feel a hellava lot better.

Work is Waiting
I have a bunch of orders to fill (a quiet ‘yay me’ is heard from the back of my head) and new projects I need to actualize. I also realize I haven’t written an article for INDIEcreatives in a while -I do feel bad about that. So many articles in draft that need final editing or just one more tip to include. Gah.

Most recently, I’m proud to announce, I just finished a pet project for a call by Piedmont Craftsmen. I can’t wait to share it and dance about -it’s pretty cool if I do say so myself.

Meanwhile, be well and take care of yourself. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and give yourself time to grieve and play. You may have to redefine play while you’re grieving -and that’s okay- just know it will look different and become your form of therapy. If you do create a new form of self-prescribed therapy, share it with us. As long as you’re not torturing children or animals, I’m hip to exploring a few little open-minded paths.


2 thoughts on “2012 Mea Culpa: What I’ve been doing

  1. Debbie Pepper Howard says:

    Lisa- here is my grief therapy: I cry. like a frickin crazy woman. then, i call on my friends that love animals like me…and get them to cry with me. when they are crying- they do the same to me. cry cry cry. i don’t think I’m depressed- i think I am missing my babies. I’m a tad mad. mixed in with sad. My poor H2B…he supplies me with Kleenex and Ibuprofen and we keep frozen gel packs for my puffy eyes. Now, i am rescuing some more of those angels in need- I swore I wouldn’t do it anymore because of how my heart aches, and then realized how selfish i sounded…and well…here I go again. I’ve decided to take stock in Kleenex. None of us are getting out of this game called LIFE alive…so we might as well love on every furry creature and spend all our money saving them…right??? oh, please say YES. 🙂
    Keep on keepin’ on, and hey- if you ever need a cry partner- I’m your gal!


  2. Nanette says:

    Thanks for sharing Lisa. Death of any living thing that is close to you is difficult. I’m glad you talk openly about it. People are weird about the animal thing, but try to discuss the death of a family member (e.g., parent, child, spouse, etc.) to someone who has not experienced that pain and you will get the same reaction. We are taught to put it away and say nothing, “get over it.” Sometimes I don’t think you ever can, it is always close to the surface waiting for that trigger to start the water works. When my Storm died, it took me a year and a half to feel normal again. I learned a lot during that time, but there are still times I miss him terribly. You’ll be OK.


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