Why I Am So Grateful


When I was a full time art teacher in an elementary/middle school I strategically mapped out “Connie Days” at the beginning of each new year using my ten sick days.

For five years straight, these secret little holidays were the carrots I dangled in front of me to get through the public school system that drained the living life out of me.

I also believe that Connie Days were how my heart and mind began to craft the creative life I live and have now.

Most Connie Days were spent painting in my studio, writing for hours in a coffee shop, or taking an inspiring day-trip to Sedona all alone.

Though no matter what was on the agenda, Connie Days always felt good. Like all the way to the marrow kind-of-good.

Connie Days didn’t just fill my well so I could go back and be the best teacher I could for my kiddos. Connie Days were the well.

These secret “sick days” were my fullest expression of who I was and who I was becoming at the very same time.

Simply put, Connie Days were sacred.

Today is my first Thanksgiving in the US in three years. The last two years I spent this national holiday in Oaxaca, Mexico and I would be lying to you if I said it doesn’t feel weird to be back in the US. Believe me — I would do anything for a pumpkin tart from Boulenc right about now!

Though when I woke up this morning everyone was still sound asleep. Even my sweet doggie Rocket was curled up in a tight ball.

Surrounded by morning’s soft darkness I threw on a headband, didn’t bother brushing my teeth, and snuck out the door with my laptop tip-toeing down the stairs like a disheveled ballerina. Praying and fingers crossed that I wouldn’t wake up anyone — especially a little boy who would be asking for breakfast no matter how early it was.

I made it out unscathed. Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop. Bob Dylan is playing in the background. I gotta admit, I feel like a beatnik. Gawd, I’m even wearing a black turtleneck — someone hand me a cigarette.

Though all I can think about is how beautiful life is. Even with all its twists and turns and mysterious ways it creates and destroys and creates itself again.

All of it and so effortlessly it seems.

But the artist path is far from predictable and I tenderly chuckle at my younger self. Oh how she believed that she could strategically follow a dream. Strapped with a mission, a half baked plan, and ten annual Connie Days marked on her calendar she could — she would — accomplish anything.

It’s been ten yeas since I actually had a job-job. Ten years since my secret Connie Days were a thing. Ten years of learning and relearning that I have very little say in anything if I’m doing things right — if I’m staying true to my art.

As always, I am grateful for a long list of people, places, and experiences that have enriched and supported my life with incredible love and grace. I am blessed for my family, my friends, my inspiring students. I am blessed for the million ways life has been so good to me.

Though as I sit here — having a secret “Connie Day” for just a few hours — I’m grateful for all the ways my younger self stayed steady as she stumbled and tip-toed, danced and blindly blazed her path — steadily making her way to this beautiful artist life I am so grateful to embody and live.

And a big, warm thank you to each and every one of you for being a part of my creative community all these yearsHappy Thanksgiving! I love you truly!

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