What You Resist, Do That (Seven Weeks)

I mentioned in my last blog post that I'm pulling a notecard where I categorized my first sobriety journal, in anticipation of three years of sobriety, I'm reflecting on a bit of what I wrote. Yes, I know, breaking the ODAAT rules, but I like how this exercise is forcing me to look back. My past is not where I live nor where I want to put my valuable energy, the shame that brings up throws me right back in fear jail and once again, I am stuck. But I do need to remember how fragile and precious those first days and weeks were, and how I was like a sponge, sopping up every bit of wisdom I could lay my eyes on. The one I pulled today is about resistance.

It says, "Instead of looking what you are willing to do, look at what you are unwilling to do. Look at the resistance. Because if what ever you are doing isn't working, it's time to try something different." When I reached three months of sobriety, I remember very distinctly the extent of my willingness. I felt so different after that short time, I was much more afraid of going back than I was to try something new. That started with reaching out to people I knew that were sober, telling my friends, No, it's not just for tonight, I'm NOT drinking. This was when I started thinking about a 12-step program, and I didn't dive in just yet, but I began to think it could be a possibility. I started asking myself questions like, Well, why not? Is that true? Maybe, perhaps, I could? I took out that very long list of things I'd been adding to for decades, things that I didn't do, couldn't do, wasn't willing to try, Oh-that's-just-not-me and I took a long look at it. I examined every item. I had an inch of willingness and that was all that was needed.

Will it be uncomfortable? 100% of the time. And there is a 100% chance of failure. If you are willing to jump into that ring, only everything on the other side. Don't compare your first attempts at something to someone else's that is way down the road. Instead, let that be something to aspire to. If someone has what you want, set your intention on the path to get there. Name that thing you want and if you feel contempt come up (sounds like: I could never have that, that is just not me, I've never been able to do that before why do I think I could do that now...THAT voice), that is your resistance. And that is your next bread crumb, grab it.


So those words above me there, yeah, written a month ago and sat here unpublished. The same lessons keep showing up, don't they? I could give a million excuses why I couldn't commit to this series, even though the resistance is the obvious one. I've mentioned that working in seasons really flows for me, since I do have several passions that vie for my time. Lately, I have yearned to work with my hands. Writing is such a cerebral activity and when I neglect my hands for too long, I can feel their ache. My biggest lesson (and by virtue, gift) in recovery has been living in the moment. Whatever program you choose, rigid or loose, meetings or mats, I hope it is a program for living because that is all of it, wrapped up in a pretty bow. 

Living, showing up and say Yes has afforded me friends and opportunities that I just didn't have before. Sure, I had friends and opportunities but I always had an agenda, expectations. Now my checklist is much shorter, my first question true to my intention, Will this bring my joy? If there is a check by that question, the rest seems to fall into place.

This brings me joy.

If you live in the Austin area and haven't been to one of my meetups yet, please come! This was a succulent planting party that my friend Jenn was kind enough to host at her beautiful home. My one item list was definitely checked this day. Friends, this is what living in recovery means to me.

If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it. --Hamilton, the Musical

 

 

The Unruffled Workshop: Hand-sew a Skirt or Corset Top, June 26

The time is here! Announcing our first three hour workshop on Sunday, June 26, 3-6pm at the Tiny T Ranch in Garfield, Texas. For this workshop, we will be making either a corset top or a skirt from your own tshirts! So bring some of your fave shirts, ideally your bigger (large or XL) fave shirts and we're going to stitch them up, Alabama Chanin-style!

We'll provide the patterns and all of the supplies you need. I'll even have some extra vintage knit on hand. While our hands are busy, we'll have some time to get to know each other. You can keep your head down and sew, but I'd love for us to share things that we are passionate about and how these things offer solutions in our recovery. And I'll start!

We're going to follow up creative time with a guided meditation and a 30 minute yoga class (teacher TBD), so bring your meditation pillow and your mat! And if you have neither, we'll have both. We'll intersperse these activities with tea and fizzy waters and snacks...and music! And a photobooth! So no worries if anyone feels the need to break out in random dancing! How fun will this be?!

A couple of notes about the day: Tiny T Ranch is located at 3409 Caldwell Lane in Garfield, TX, about 30 miles outside of Austin. It is off of 71, all toll roads lead there and if you get to Bastrop, you've gone too far. 

This is a sacred space we've created to hold our stories. We ask that you do not share someone else's story outside of this space. We all want to feel safe here. I will be shooting photos, for fun and for promotional material, but will NOT show your face to anyone but you (after the event, I'll email you a photobooth photo if you had one taken) unless given explicit permission.

Finally, the workshop is $60 and you can go over to the Marketplace to sign up. If you need another payment option (ex: Paypal), just shoot me an email. Please don't cancel! But if you need to, you can do so up to 72 hours before the event for a full refund. You can also transfer your spot to a friend. Expect a follow up email with details and reminders.

Any questions? Shoot me an email at sondra@theunruffled.com. Share with your friends in recovery! I'm capping the group for this one at 15 so that we can all leave feeling like we made great, meaningful connections and we'll hopefully have made some new friends to share our journey with in the future! Please join us!!

 

 

The Unruffled Live...Soon

I started this site because of another dream I had. The original dream was to have a space where like-minded women in recovery could gather, work on a creative project, share stories, maybe do some meditation, perhaps a little yoga and drink tea. There are places in my city that offer a few of these elements but not all and when they do, it always seems to be very wine-centric. The dream seemed kind of big, I didn't really know where to start, so I wrapped it up in a nice silk scarf and put it away in a drawer temporarily. In the meantime, I thought I would take that idea and give it an online presence because that was something I could do, an action I could take. I would still take the original idea out from time to time, look at it, say it out loud still because I just knew something would eventually present itself. And now, the time has come.

It is very much still in the beginning stages, but I'm happy to say that my friend Spike Gillespie has offered up her Tiny T Ranch in Garfield, TX as a workshop and healing space. The details are still being worked but the plan is to offer three hour workshops that will contain all the things I originally conspired for women in all stages of recovery. It's on a beautiful piece of property about 30 minutes outside of Austin, and all tollways lead there. How fun is this going to be?

Here is what I need from you! Are you in recovery and can lead a creative workshop around your expertise? And you live near Austin, TX? I will of course be teaching a few but I don't do it all well. Examples of this would be Paint Flowers! Or Hand Lettering! Intro to Watercolor! You get the idea. I'm also on the hunt for a yoga teacher or two that are in recovery. This way, we'll all be on the same page, speaking the same language. 

It's like the Universe said to me, "If I give you this idea, I want you to create every detail exactly as you want it to be", and This Is It. I am so excited! Can't wait to share the first event with you. It's all happening!! Big love.

How Sturdy Is Your Tether?

We all have those days, even weeks where we feel like we are floating around untethered. It feels like we are unattached, even though deep down in our soul we know that we are not. We know because we meditate every day and work hard to keep that conscious contact, but sometimes that tether feels thin. Not always the case though. Sometimes, oftentimes,  it feels thick and sturdy as a rope. And then sometimes, it feels as just the wispiest, transparent line that you know in your heart is there, but it feels so unstable. You can't read it away, because there are too many damn books to read. You can't write it away, because there are too many beginnings and not enough ends. You can't sleep it away because suddenly, you're sleeping like shit. Like, really bad. Not quite the same terror you would wake up with when you were drinking, but it reminds you of that because it's that same dreaded hour of 3am and you can't fall back to sleep. You can't pray it away, because you've forgotten all of your prayers. Your many creative ideas can't make it go away because there are so many, you just stare at them all, overwhelmed. Your eyes dart from project to project, you make lists, you stare at your Pinterest board but your brain seriously feels like it may explode. There's like a 70's slide projector flashing slides from a Yosemite vacation in your head, but the clicker is stuck and the carousel is just clicking through so fast you can barely make out each image: There's a mountain! Is that a bear? Old Faithful! Omg, look at Dad's socks!

Until you just scream...STOP!

STOP! JUST DO ONE THING. Just do ONE thing. What do you want to do today? You know, besides all of the other things you do for other people, just do that one thing for yourself.

One day, I decided I wanted to wear a new dress. Perfect. On my to-do list: Make a dress today. So I started. I found a vintage pattern, found a print I liked, something I already had in my stash. Kept it simple. I cut, I sewed, I stayed steady, meticulous and slow. For a little while that day, I felt the slack come out of my rope. It started to feel a little thicker, a little sturdier. This is what recovering through creativity means to me.

I made I little chart for myself as well, for those days that I'm especially out there spinning. This is mine, your's may look different.

PICK THREE:

  • Fitness
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Sew/Create
  • Read/Write
  • Self-improvement
  • Clean/Chores

I have a few caveats, for me, there is rarely a day that family isn't one of the three. Self-care and Recovery are sprinkled throughout this list, but there was a time that Recovery had it's own line. And for me, Work falls under the Sew/Create line, so you guessed it, if it's not chosen that day, I don't get paid. In looking at this neat, clean list, I am reminded that there was a day when Drinking had it's own line too and the days that it was checked, that made everything else a half-ass, no quarter-ass attempt. This really helps me when I'm spinning out. It helps to sturdy my tether. Just pick three. If we just hang on, we have time and all will happen the way it's supposed to, in time.

 

What happens when the newness wears off?

What happens when the newness wears off of a project? A relationship? A commitment? What happens when the newness wears off of a diet, a New Year's resolution, a new year? What happens when the newness wears off of sobriety?

Does this happen to the general population? Are those of us in recovery the Special Adventure Seekers: Slayers of the Mundane? When I look back on my drinking years as a collective, it does look like Groundhog Day as there were no significant changes in my life, no upwardly mobile strides towards potential. But in the minute, day to day, I never really knew how my day would unfold after my first drink. No matter how unexciting it would be in reality, even if I didn't leave my house, it was unpredictable. It was reckless. And it kept me drinking. Do we just especially abhor repetition?

The thrills I sought changed over the years: men, career aspirations, spontaneous dance parties, but they were all in an attempt to change how I felt. Fueled by alcohol, I wanted instant gratification. Be Here Now was never in my wheelhouse but Change This Now was my jam. So what can I do when zipping off my own skin everyday is not an option?

I suppose the most effective solutions would be to hop on a cross-country train with nothing but books and a journal or max out a credit card or have an affair or...drink. None of which are valid options. Next. I'm not going to say meditate and do yoga because (a) duh and (b) going deeper is not what I want when I feel this way and perhaps I'm not a good enough meditator or yogini to transcend this mortal coil, but I'm not. Long term goal noted.  

So this is a non-exhaustive list, all of which I've done, never all on the same day although that is not beyond comprehension:

  • Write myself right. Right about it, just like I'm doing. Hit publish. Make a connection. New connections are just the dopamine hit I need.
  • Drive myself to nature, since it isn't in my backyard, and go for a long-ass hike. Bonus if there are hills/mountains/water involved.
  • Start another fucking creative project. I need this like I need another oozing orifice in my skull but it really, really does the trick.
  • Watch a movie or read a novel. And by that I mean, NOT a documentary or a non-fiction book, suggesting I do life a different way. When I am at this place, I don't really want to be told what to do but I do want to dream about something different. Attraction rather than promotion.
  • Put on make-up and jewelry, fix my hair and go somewhere. Even if it's the bookstore, even if it's the library, even if it's a meeting or a cafe, go somewhere, bring my journal, spy on people, eavesdrop on conversations, make assumptions about other people's lives, observe, take notes. 
  • If all else fails or even if they don't fail, pray. Pray a new prayer, one you haven't used before or pray that same one, but louder, in a more distinct tone so that there is no mincing of words, "You take this, please."

I do know this, always seeking something new is exhausting, and ultimately unfulfulling. I've conducted 46 years worth of experiments and they've all eventually led me to the same conclusion. Sitting with something for a long time is where the real growth comes from. This is a brand new lesson for me and I'm still learning. And with everything we want to change, no matter how we try and circumvent this part, we have to do things differently than we did before. Change is the antithesis to stagnation and it will materialize if we do the work, more slowly than quickly, I've found. This life is new, these lessons are new and herein lies the thrill.

The Music Trigger

I can be nostalgic to a fault, and the fault point can be dangerous territory for an alcoholic. They say not to romanticize the drink, but some fun was had and I have some records to prove it. Aside from the fun records, there are also the break-up records, the make-out records, the dance party for one records, the road trip records, the lay on the couch and cry records, the paint all night and indecipherably journal records and every single one of those musical relationships involved booze, in copious amounts. Of course there are all of the other musical montages of dance clubs, dance halls, festivals, dive shows and arena shows---all booze fueled and duh! It's hard to navigate in early sobriety. Sometimes I think I'm longing for a band or a song and I put it on and then, bam, I want to drink. I've had to re-enter with some trepidation and avoid some altogether. Nothing zaps you back to a time and place quite like a song can. 

I have now seen a few shows in sobriety. A few things stand out, some more obvious than others. Buying a ticket, picking out an appropriate outfit, paying for parking, sitters and a tshirt and remembering the entire show is hands-down, pretty amazing. Not losing your phone or purse, pretty cool. Knowing how you are getting home, also not to be scoffed at in the least. The smaller, surprising nuances were having to leave for the bathroom only once and not feeling a cringe over swaying into someone's personal space during my favorite song. I saw Nirvana, the Nevermind tour in 1991 and I remember the very beginning, maybe one song and waiting in line for the bathroom, my entire music concert history X 1000. I've not been to a dance club or a dance party yet. Maybe it will happen, maybe it will never happen, maybe it's already happened and that will just have to do. To be determined.

I've had this relic since my Grateful Dead days, if that is not obvious. They definitely represent a time when some fun was had, I can remember some flashes of fun. I like to pull them out every once in a while and work on them, add a patch or a scrap, repair another hole, add some embroidery. 

Fun tip: Mexican or South American textiles make the best patches. They are already embroidered, the are thick and durable and are found aplenty at most thrift stores (feel free to correct me if that is just specific to Texas thrift). And embroidery is the best way to pass some time, even if you are doing it in front of some Netflix or with some records spinning. I'll do a more embroidery specific post someday, but easy enough to fall down the Google tutorial hole or use a 1970's craft book, my personal fave. 

 

Some days, it is easier said than done. I have become very good at compartmentalizing and it works. It keeps me from walking into traffic most days. It's those days that I really want to shut that door, slam it even, that the thoughts start spilling under the door like smoke. If I just crack it a little, eventually I'll get used to breathing some smoke. And then I put on some Fleetwood Mac and know that everything is going to be okay. 

Evolve.

Do you pick a word for the coming year? For 2015, I didn't officially pick a word but it picked me and kept showing up in my life over and over. That word was THRIVE. For the first time in a couple of decades (yes, decades), I really feel like I did more than survive, I thrived. I started things that I wanted to start, I did things, actually followed through with action, I joined some amazing communities, in person and on-line and I tried to just raise the tide so others could rise with me. It's really been an amazing year and it's been so long since I've said that. I am marveling at the fact that I can reflect back on an entire year and see every ebb and flow with such clarity. There are no gaps, no missing weeks or entire months gone. I can see it all, big, wide and open. I am in awe and it is nothing short of a miracle. 

In picking a word for 2016, I got a little more intentional, so much so that I thought Intention would be the word. There was also Abundance and that wasn't so much as to manifest abundance but to acknowledge the abundance that already exists in my life. Then there was Supernova! That came to me from Rob Brezsny's astrology forecast for the 2016 Gemini. I could just visualize 2016 blasting the brightest light as my old stories and fears burned out to make way for a new star.  Great imagery, right? And then I went hiking with my family a few days ago at one of my favorite places in Texas. It's called Enchanted Rock and it holds my spirit, this place. We found a butterfly in a grassy enclave in the granite and she chose my word for me. I think she was dying and she was beautiful.

Evolve. Evolve into this new star, this next, new layer of life. Evolve to my better, best self. Evolve this site, the stories I want to share, the community I want to build. 

How will you evolve? Do you have a word for 2016? Comment away!

And if you want some brass tacks, some tactical information, intention and purpose, here it is: I will be adding more consistent content and creative ideas to the blog. I will be featuring more stories in the Meet the Unruffled section, which bytheway, if you know or happen to be someone in recovery who relies on your creative pursuit to guide your journey AND you live in TEXAS (sorry, this is my baby *cough*controlfreak*cough* and for now, I'm the sole photographer) and you want to be featured, please contact me! And I will be adding art/product from featured Unruffled artists in the Marketplace. You will also be able to find more essays from me over on the Since Right Now/Recovery Revolution's amazing site and I'll be on the podcast next week (Ackkk! first of the year, no pressure, right?). Love these guys, love their work, check them out if you haven't. And more, MORE. Big, wide, open, blessed and lucky. Happy 2016! And if you need help recovering, please reach out, you don't have to feel this way ever again. If you extend your hand even one inch, I promise I (or someone) will grab it. Big love.

Collage It Out!

I totally get you guys and your life-changing magic of tidying up. I really do.  But it's not excess if you use the things, right? And how would I while away hours with scissors and glue, snipping cool graphics and type to make ransom note style collage without these?

It's curated! Promise!

It's curated! Promise!

You know those affirmations and platitudes that no one person on God's green internet can resist passing around? Make one. Hang it in your bedroom so you can look at that shit everyday. Make it pretty so it sinks in, becomes an action rather than a nice thought. Especially easy if you have your own curated collection of tidy, well-used magazines. Or hit a thrift store.

You can do this. Anyone can do this. It nicely fills up the witchy hour, and it's a big, fat bonus that you can reap the benefits of this project in one night. Just a couple of hours and you are done.

Then you can put yourself to bed at 8pm with your Passionfruit  La Croix and marvel at your work! Just me?





Baby steps, baby cakes.

We step because we can, right? Immediate gratification is a thirst that still exists in me.  In stepping forward, giving it a little water everyday, I satiate it. Satisfied is better than hurried or stuffed or grap-all-you-can. I like this intentional life and being able to stop and reflect, making sure that my actions are aligned with my intentions feels good. All of this to say, it's coming together! This site, that is, in it's sweet, precious time, is forming beyond my intentions, head and heart. Thank god, because feeling overwhelmed is a useless emotion, amIright?

This is the beautiful Sandra. There will be more of her in photos and words at the site launch. She is one of the steps that is nudging this baby along to help it come together. It's a great time to talk about creativity and going for it, with Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic and Brenè Brown's Rising Strong, there is a hum in the air. I've been in tune to that particular hum most of my adult life, but in sobriety, it is louder than loud. So soon, there will be lots of stories of beautiful, creative women in recovery, beautiful photos, inspiring ideas and oh!...a marketplace. Because we have time for this and we're moving forward.

So with this post, another baby step but soon there will be a JUMP. Because I can.

The Written Bloom.

I have always been a writer, as I have always written words down on paper. The thirteen year old angst-filled, self-deprecating words that were kept under lock and key morphed slightly to insightfully earnest, psychedelic-induced journaling (read: babble) of the college years. Both painful to read now, especially due to my insistence on perpetual uniqueness, but I guess that isn't really a unique experience either. But I wrote things down. And even though I was my only audience, it definitely informed any ability I have today. 

I am an introvert and introverts usually make good writers. I kept with the inconsistent journals and the occasional blogs but unfortunately, I could never take myself too seriously as the impulse to put ass in chair always came after several glasses of wine. Oh how sharp we thought we were. And we are all familiar with the posse of authors that got away with this but, ummm, I was not one of them.

Very insightful. Like Xanadu, right? If only we could read those last few words, I'm sure I was about to say something very important. So writing, just like everything I did, I could only give about 80% of myself, and that was a good day. 

Today, I'm still writing, as you can see. And it's legible! I'm even taking a writing class, although I still don't take myself too seriously. I really make mine akin to storytelling, and if you're brave enough to put your story out there, it can be a "me too" message in a bottle for someone that is isolating and feeling that perpetual uniqueness we've all felt. And still, not even necessary to experience the benefits of writing your story, even it stays under lock and key. Bloom away!

 

What brings you joy?

Time, or lack there of, was forever blamed for my lack of creative pursuits. And although I thought alcohol made me more creative, it really only made me more creative in TALKING about being creative, never in actually DOING the creative thing. I love the saying that you hear in recovery circles, "Sobriety delivers what alcohol promises". How true is that? Do something in sobriety that you couldn't do when you were drinking. Be the person you pretended to be when you were drunk. And it's like turning on the propeller. It helps to keep you on course. Bonus.

So what is that thing? Well, what brings you joy? What brought you joy as a kid? Start with that. Make something. Give yourself permission and don't feel guilty. We've done enough of the guilt thing already, we're done with that. The fact that you are here, that the Universe chose you to not be taken by this disease makes you worthy. Honor that, show up, give something back and do something. It's not just self-care, it can feed you and you deserve this nourishment. And the simple act of doing can often take us out of our heads so we can experience the simple joys of just being present.

My dream is to have a cozy place here in Austin where we can all sit around a big table and tell stories while we sew and sip on tea. And when we're done with our cute things we made, we can glam it up in front of a glittery backdrop and take pictures of each other in our new skirts and our new skin. Until then, let's meet back here and I'll share with you many, many ideas to jumpstart your creative pursuits and get you through any and all witchy hours. Okay?

To be human is to be connected. ---Pico Iyer

 

Hi, my name is Sondra and I'm a...

Multi-passionate. That's a word I use now. Perhaps this is the word I should have always used to describe myself but if I were to be honest, for years I was only passionate about one thing and that was my next drink.  The line that separated 'is this fun' from 'is this really not fun at all' had become blurred a long time ago. Am I doing this to decompress and relax or am I addicted? Does everyone drink like me or do they actually not? These were seemingly benign questions I would ponder when maybe there was still a chance of taking it back from the direction it came but that certainly wasn't the last several years. They were the years of everyday was a reason to drink and one was never enough. It was no longer a question of fun but of necessity. I found a journal entry from over a year ago where I described myself as a reckless fate-tempter, luck-pusher indestructible. And that was it, fun nowhere in sight. 

The voice that talks to you on the day you surrender sounds a lot like your own voice, only way more desperate and miserable. If your's sounded like mine, it probably said something like, "This is going to be your life, everyday, for the rest of your life". In an interview, Sarah Hepola (Blackout) said that she wasn't necessarily afraid of dying, she was afraid of never changing. And even though I was slowly killing myself, that was deeply denied. What was apparent, though, was that I would never change. Those things I loved that filled the hole to make me whole, things besides alcohol, would never get the attention and the nurturing they deserved because alcohol had turned my brain into a flophouse. 

On that day last Summer, I titled my life going forward as My Mid-Life Solution. And while there was no drink I hadn't drunk, no party I had not attended, no random guy I had not made out with (okay, that behavior actually hadn't presented itself in a while), I wasn't quite sure where that left me, but I knew I wasn't going to drink that day. And I didn't and did the same thing the next. Once the alcohol obsessed train leaves the station, it frees up some time. I listened to some podcasts, I took some long walks, I read some books, I read some poetry. I read The Summer Day by Mary Oliver, who told me, "I don't know exactly what prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" 

It doesn't have to be big. In fact, the simpler, the better. But let's plan to do something with our one wild and precious life.

 

 

Late Bloomer

If you just start typing, the words will appear, right? *Ahem* My name is Sondra and I am 45, er 46 year old wearer of many hats, the biggest being wife and Mom of two. I am also a woman in recovery. That felt strange to type but it is my truth and truths are hard things to type out, much less blab to the world.  But damn, is it freeing once they are identified and brought to the surface. I'm also a seamstress, photographer, writer, story-teller, eternal optimist and dreamer of big dreams. So...with that intro, what if there was one obstacle in your life that if removed, could free you to work towards meeting your potential? Give your life purpose? 

Would you feel like you were given a second chance?

Now, I don't want to put too much pressure on this 'potential' thing. Your potential could be mowing your lawn once a week, taking your kids to the pool every other Summer day, or maybe a more creative pursuit. Do you want to finally make the quilt that has starred in your DIY Pinterest board? Learn how to use the camera you got for Christmas two years ago and take a frame-worthy picture of your family?  Maybe you just want to make yourself feel beautiful and confident everyday, have your outsides match your new insides? Write and tell your NEW story?

For me, that obstacle was alcohol. For the last 25 years, I've felt like I've lived in a well. I was alive but my view and space were so narrowly limited, so very small. As I've climbed out of that well, I see the world as so big. I can see so many opportunities and it's amazing. Maybe your obstacle is another dish on the buffet of addictions: prescription drugs, co-dependency, love, workaholism, food. When these obstacles are addressed, worked on and even removed, there is a void to fill. Let's fill it up!

This is still in the very early stages of construction, but I hope you'll join me on this tiny chunk of space that I'm renting on the Internet as we explore and celebrate those creative pursuits that are filling the void.  Please join my tribe, The Unruffled.