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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Beginnings – A Ring of Hope in the New Year

"Twigs and Twitters" 11x14 oil on canvas
The bells are sounding, balloons are dropping, fireworks are exploding. A chorus of “auld Lang syne” rises on the crisp air. Couples kiss, and a glimmer of hope glazes every eye. Old things are gone, but not forgotten. The New Year is upon us.

Remembered are the things we’ve done that need a “do over.” The mistakes we’ve made that haunt our thoughts. The angry words spoken now hanging heavy on our list of regrets. Perhaps next year will be better, we think. If I just try harder, maybe everything will be all right.

The problem is we can never get better on our own. No matter how hard we try, alone we usually fail. Some people add prayer to the equation which gives them strength. Others need the encouragement of family or friends. Alone, we may cave in or hold a pity party in our honor. We may sink into depression. Together we become strong.

No wonder groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have a buddy system to keep each other on track. They also look to a higher power than their own. There is no shame in depending on others, especially God. There is no dishonor in failing to achieve alone what you desire.

(First lay-down of acrylic paint on 11x14 canvas) Decided to eliminate egg-beaters!
Self esteem is increased when we refuse to give up. It is strengthened when we get back up after we fall and try again. I’m battling my own problems. My eyesight is not as good as it used to be and the monovision contact lenses I wear make it difficult to see perspective and detail accurately even with the aid of glasses. Arthritis in my hands is making it increasingly difficult to paint or draw a straight line. I don’t have the mastery and control I once did.

We all have challenges we need to cope with and problems that arise each day. The New Year’s lighted torch can inspire us with hope as we overcome discouragement. Like Olympic runners who keep their eyes on the goal, we must keep our dreams and hopes in clear focus. If we falter, it’s usually because we take our eyes off the prize. 

When I give my “pep talks” I’m usually the audience I have in mind. Of all people in the world, I need those words of encouragement the most. If my words can help others, too, then I’m pleased. 

I wish you a happy and successful New Year, dear friends. Don’t give up, because I’m counting on you to show me the way!
(Work-in-progress) More layers of paint.