My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1131: Reflections

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-18-2013 11:14 AM 1093 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1130: Some Time Away Part 1131 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1132: To Market, To Market »

The past week or so has felt rather strange. I find myself lost in thought (more than usual) and trying to evaluate the ups and downs that life seems to throw in our path. There were difficult times, as one would expect when losing a loved one, but there were also times of deep reflection on what I am doing with my own life and what I am accomplishing and how I affect those around me. I think that is a natural part of the process of grieving.

Those of you who know me through this blog know that in general, I am a pretty positive person. I think the scars from my past have taught me to appreciate even the smallest things in my day and not take them for granted. I think that for the most part I do that, and I live my life in a state of contentment because I am grateful for all the good things that come my way and I try to focus on them and live my life feeling happy. It isn’t that negative things don’t happen to me, but I find that the more time I allow these negative things to occupy out of my day, the more sad and miserable I feel.

It is easy to get caught up in the tough parts of life. Difficulties are all around us. Unless we have the presence of mind to realize that we are allowing these thoughts to dominate our thinking, it is hard to focus our attention elsewhere. Like many things, once we are caught in a certain current of thought, stepping out of it and changing our attitude without making a conscious effort to do so is not something that happens automatically. It takes some time and effort and most important – our own awareness, as usually we are somewhat oblivious that we are even in this cycle at all. We only know we don’t feel good about things.

I think that is where quiet time is good. I can only speak for myself, but I know when there is much happening around me and I am extremely busy, I soon start to feel tired and overloaded. Not the ‘good tired’ that you feel after a full and productive day, but the weary, frazzled, unorganized type of tired that disrupts your sleep and causes your anxiety levels to soar. Sometimes it begins a cycle where we are always doing ‘something’, yet we still feel very unproductive. It is not a good place to be.

When that happens to me, I find that the best thing that I can do for myself is to unplug myself as much as possible from the world. Some may accuse me of sticking my head in the sand, as I try to avoid as much input and information as possible, but I look at it as taking time out to think and sort through things and in order for me to successfully do that, I need to buffer myself from things for a bit.

Like others, I don’t always have the luxury of doing that. I have a business to run and deadlines to meet and a ‘life’ that doesn’t stop just because I want to get off for a bit. I think that the best I can do is to be selective with what I choose to allow into my world and try to regain some control of things one issue at a time. It is easier said than done, I know, but even being aware of it helps me cope with things a bit better. It is certainly worth a try.

I used to not like being alone. I liked constant activity and people and felt that being busy and having lots to do was the way to a full and happy life. But as I got older, I began to realize the importance of spending time alone. Time to contemplate things and time to relax and allow yourself to just ‘be’ without expectations from others or even yourself. I find that these quiet times are like medicine to me when I am feeling overloaded and anxious, and I am getting to the point where I recognize the time when I need time away from things to think and rest. Perhaps it is just that I have lived long enough that I have finally understood that I need this from time to time. It seems to be an essential part of my life that keeps me happy.

I realize that everyone is different. I would never expect others to follow my path exactly. We each have our own paths to travel in this life and I understand that what is good and necessary for my own happiness is unique to me. I certainly don’t expect it work for others.

Life is a journey. Some of us have clear destinations, and some of us do not. I think that for many of us our goals and destinations are fluid and changing, depending on where we are in our lives and the ever-changing circumstances around us. That is human nature and I believe it is a healthy way to live.

I am slowly getting back to feeling like myself. I am still not quite there yet. I expect it will be a while before I am in full swing again. Just too many things to think about right now.

But that is OK. I am not going to punish myself for having feelings about things. I am going to allow life to happen and see where it will take me next.

I have thought a lot these past several days. Many of those thoughts I have wanted to keep private. It isn’t that they are bad or good, but I feel no need to share some of them. Part of me wanted to write them down but I couldn’t figure out the reason why, so I didn’t. I think that for now anyway, they are better left as just thoughts.

It was rather odd coming back to writing. While I missed writing each morning and my interaction with all of you who read, I knew that I needed to stop for a bit and take time for my own reflection. I did get some work done yesterday, and with that accomplishment, I felt myself getting back into my routine. That included writing here. And while it may not be the kind of post you usually expect from me, it is a step back to ‘normal’ for me and I feel assured that it is part of the healing process.

So thank you for bearing with me. And thank you all for the many, many emails that I received in the past week. There were too many to answer you all, but every one of them meant a great deal to me and I appreciate them.

Onward we will go from here.

“Just as one spoils the stomach by overfeeding and thereby impairs the whole body, so can one overload and choke the mind by giving it too much nourishment. For the more one reads the fewer are the traces left of what one has read; the mind is like a tablet that has been written over and over. Hence it is impossible to reflect; and it is only by reflection that one can assimilate what one has read. If one reads straight ahead without pondering over it later, what has been read does not take root, but is for the most part lost.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

8 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1553 posts in 2126 days

#1 posted 09-18-2013 01:10 PM

I feel sympathy for you in your time of grief, but I’m quite certain that your artistic mind and wonderful craftswomanship, along with the painting will quickly bring relief. Just enjoy your quiet hours and recognize God as he shares solitude with you.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3079 days

#2 posted 09-18-2013 01:29 PM

Time taken for careful thinking and meditating is necessary, the windmills will still be there tomorrow. Thank
you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2913 days

#3 posted 09-18-2013 03:26 PM

Thank you both for your kind words. I have really enjoyed meeting so many people through the posts I have made here on Lumberjocks. Our mutual love of creating brought us all together and I look upon my fellow woodworkers here as an extension of my family. I do miss you all when I don’t write.

Things will get better, day by day. Sometimes it is just good to take a breath. I hope to have some new things to talk about within the next couple of days and I am sure it will be good to focus on positive things.

I appreciate your friendship and kindness. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2066 days

#4 posted 09-18-2013 05:22 PM

“You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails” I love this quote that is on one of my scrapbooking stamps. It has helped me through some difficult times along with walks in solitude on the beach.
Take your time to do what you need to journey through this phase of life. Losing a loved one is never easy.
Thanks for sharing your journey.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2913 days

#5 posted 09-18-2013 07:04 PM

Hi, Anna. Thank you so much for your kindness. I love that quote also and it is very true. We can never predict what will come our way tomorrow, but being able to adapt and adjust is what will help get us through even the worst of times. Looking at the positive things in our lives helps us keep a good perspective on things. I know that I am very fortunate for all the good I have, and I continue to try to focus on that in the times that are the most difficult. It does help to have a good attitude and to accept what is dealt our way.

I hope you have a wonderful day. I appreciate your friendship and support very much.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 2956 days

#6 posted 09-19-2013 12:53 AM

Hi Sheila:
From my past experience I can tell you takes time (My words) “to get back running at full speed”. Living through a experience of losing a love one takes time. You will be doing better each day and you now have a better understanding of taking one day at a time.
Bless you

View CFrye's profile


10186 posts in 1833 days

#7 posted 09-19-2013 01:25 PM

Welcome back Sheila. We all need to take time out occasionally. Even in your ‘time off’ you were here, appreciating the works of others and offering encouragement. Focusing on the good and beautiful. Again, welcome back.

-- God bless, Candy

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2797 days

#8 posted 09-20-2013 12:11 AM

There will always be ups and downs in our lifetime. It’s what you do with them is what makes you who you are. I’m here to say, you are a wonderful person, Sheila. God bless you, Keith, family, and friends.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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