let’s begin. again. and again…

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“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”

Mark Twain

For most of January and early February I was terribly scared, concerned, and frantically spinning with fatigue and fear. During those days, I was asking a lot of questions in my head (a dangerous neighborhood to go by oneself, as my dear friend Karla says). Questions like, “How come I’m this sick again?” and “What is wrong with me?”, and sadly, “How can I expect John to stick around if I can’t do anything?” Oh, how quickly I turn on myself.

In retrospect, I realized the biggest error in my ways was in asking all the “wrong” questions. “Wrong” being those things that are out of my control. Focusing on those things will cause you to go crazy, you know.

In response to my turmoil, amidst many tears and much worrying, I have chosen to let go and begin again. And again. Here is what I am choosing to focus on instead:

  • My husbands’ love for me, and his ability to keep me smiling and laughing, and his belief that I am getting better and better. I SO believe in us, and so does he!
  • An affirmation from Louise Hay (I’m not always big on affirmations, but this one feels good to me right now) – “I am enthusiastic about life and filled with energy.”
  • Making really positive morning decisions – meditation, art journaling, drinking water.
  • How much stronger I am than I used to be, and what is most helpful physically to me right now.
  • How cool it is to be learning so much from the incredible artists/teachers in Life Book 2015. You can still sign up HERE!
  • AND, stay really clear about what I value, what brings me joy, and what is most important in my life.

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shOw and tell (one of my favorite things as a kid : )

Last June, in my post titled  lOve, trust and demOlitiOn, I shared pictures of our condo remodel in progress. During one of my daily visits to Starbucks a few weeks ago, I ran into our contractor Tony, and he reminded me that I never posted the “after” pictures of our project. Now that everything has been completed, including my brand new vickiO art studiO, it’s time for the big reveal!

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Our new Open kitchen! Love, love, love!

If you need a great contractor, and live in the Phoenix area, contact Tony Timonte at Accurate Interiors, HERE!

the updated bar/buffet area

the updated bar/buffet area

The pictures really don’t do the space justice, but trust me – the colors are bright and comforting and bring us much jOy. We plan to be here for a long time❤️

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We lOve our new, contemporary, sunlit, loft-feeling place!

And now to my studio! For the artists out there, most of what you see was purchased at IKEA for a very reasonable price. A huge thank you to my talented friend, Lisa Shore, who designed the room and took me to the IKEA store in Tempe Arizona to select, pick (literally pick the products off of the warehouse shelves, load them onto a large cart, and wheel them up to the checkout lane) and purchase each piece. We laughed, lugged, and lunched our way around the place, and the result is priceless!

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I even held my first one-on-one art class here with a woman from Chicago who saw my work at the November art fair! Loving being vickiO!

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And with just a few changes, here it is as a guest room!

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It really helps to use carts and shelves with wheels on them for art supplies. While our guests are here, I just move the necessary pieces into our bedroom, and continue to create and paint there.

February 24, 2015

My life changed drastically and shockingly today. My dearest friend, Sharon Lunde, passed away suddenly. She was my mentor, my teacher, my mother, and my Soul Sister for 32 years. We were the true definition of The Mutual Admiration Society.

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Silly me, I thought I could prepare myself for this day. At least a little, anyway. Not even remotely possible. Mind-numbing, heart-breaking loss. Unknown territory. Beginning again.

Here are a few things I said in her eulogy:

“Surprisingly, Sharon didn’t think she was an artist, and yet, if you were lucky enough to be one of her students, colleagues or friends, she could take the scattered bits and pieces of your broken heart, and fiercely and lovingly weave it back together again, and make you whole.

And she was willing to do that over and over and over again.

The truth is, I loved everything about her – and luckily, she loved everything about me. There was no way to walk away from our time together and not feel important, or seen, or heard. I don’t know what life will be like without her. Only time will tell. All I know for sure is that her love challenged me, transformed me, and saved me, and I will be forever grateful.”

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Created in the LifeBook 2015 online class, taught by Tamara LaPorte. (Sharon lOved this piece.)

Sharon would have loved the Celebration of Her Life that took place last Monday. It was touching and real, funny and sad, moving and inspiring, and standing room only. It was all about her – just as it should be, and just as she would have wanted it to be.

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Seek comfort for your beautiful heart. Hug those you love. Appreciate the goodness in your world.

lOve, vickiO

 

7 comments

  1. Karla

    You inspire me, Sharon inspired me, I hope to inspire those I love and adore. Thank you for always taking the time to write your posts and share them with the world with so much grace and honor. Huge Hug.

    • vickioart

      Love you dearly, my friend! Yes, we will carry on, and inspire those around us. Hopefully laughing, crying, and being cute and fun to be with the whole time! Thank you for believing in me, and inspiring me to be me : )

  2. shorelisa

    I am choked up again at the emotion of your tribute to Sharon. You are not only so talented with your art, but also gifted with eloquence. Sorry this has been a rough go. You are an inspiration to all of us. Your home is so beautiful and I’m happy that you love your studio. Thank you for Mark Twain’s quote. It is a great one to remember. xoxoxox

  3. Carol Wallin

    Loved it, Vicki. I hope you are feeling stronger and a little more at peace each day.

    Personally, I find it helpful to try to stay busy, but oh, do I miss our Sharon. Hopefully, time will heal our broken hearts. Love Carol

    >

    • vickioart

      Thank you, Carol. I’m really trying to take it one day at a time. It feels like such unchartered waters. Feeling numb and shocked – I know this will wear off in time. Missing our dear Sharon terribly. Thinking about you – be gentle and trust your timing. Love you!

  4. Lisa M.

    A post of positives. That’s what stood out for me in this post. Figuring out you were asking the wrong questions, instead of focusing on the positives – like the unconditional love of your husband; the amazing remodel of your condo; including the creation of your inspirational new art studio; and the love and memories of your soul sister, Sharon. You make good use of your “beginning again” – just like making good use of a mulligan! 🙂

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