A new tradition? Probably

My first forays into watercolor produced more “oops” than “ohhhs” !! Still fun, though.

I decided to try painting watercolor Christmas cards this year. Seemed easy enough. The paint isn’t expensive, set-up and clean-up are quick and easy, and it can be done pretty much anywhere. Why not?

Well, because …

It turns out I lack two central components of visual artistry. Imagination and patience. I do use those skills in education and cooking, just not art. And I’m definitely not alone in misjudging a project; these have been missing characteristics in ill-conceived events of all kinds. Think Super Bowl blackout, exploding Barney in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech. Millions more.

But unlike those one-off fiascos, I can probably get this right eventually. (I wound up with an acceptable first try for this year thanks in large part to the glitter! How often THAT’s true!) So, my plan is to embrace the potential, keep practicing, and be willing to adjust my expectations for next year.

Keeping the faith

This is also my mantra for weight loss. Yes, I lost all that weight, fell into a blue place, and put it right back on. But, nicely into a downtrend again, I’m encouraged. I definitely have adjusted these expectations — joined a quirky, friendly, social/support group for weekly encouragement, and I’m practicing imagination and patience toward the (somewhat staggering) goal.

Other areas this year have benefited from this approach. —Editing and marketing Ralls Melotte’s first book; gradually learning how Christopher makes decisions, suffering now through a bizarre, ongoing plot twist from my former school job; coming to terms with my old nemesis Outlook in my new great job; struggling to solve all the usual challenges of old-home ownership by myself; the trial-and-error of seeking enjoyable new projects and friends with shared interests at this age; and so on.

The real magic

In all of those cases this year, imagination and patience have benefited from the persistence women in my family have demonstrated for generations. Their legacy is my strength. And I am cheered by friends, the birds outside my kitchen window, Christopher’s sweet heart and wild passion, and every moment of every day in the serene, spectacular, humbling beauty of nature all around me.

Let’s keep looking Heavenward together this year. And trying new projects when the Spirit moves.

#TakeOffPoundsSensibly, #YearInReview, #SeasonsOfParenting, #BeginningWatercolor, #Don’tQuitYourDayJob


  1. Wow, I’m laughing about “I wound up with an acceptable first try for this year thanks in large part to the glitter!”

    And I love how you are putting imagination and patience together with persistence. May we all use all of the above to travel through life’s ups and downs as it sounds like you are doing marvelously. Thank you for a lovely and inspirational post, DC!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve had quite a year and it has been quite a year in general hasn’t it? I like your first attempt at watercolor Christmas cards DiAnne. I will tell you I was inspired by that plein air group that I’ve met twice, wrote about and I am in their Facebook group and I still plan to join them once I am retired and have time to learn how to draw and then paint. It is baby steps. They are a small group, very nice and after I met them the second time, I invested in some sketch pads/heavyweight paper for watercolors, bought more watercolor paints and several books from Amazon that are spiral bound to stay open. All for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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