90-to-40: Works of art

Day 67:
Have you ever had one of those days with a recurring theme? Today was one of those days for me and it brought me example after example of how humans can take something that seems bad, and transform it into something good.
In my opinion, it is the truest art form. It requires vision. It requires an extraordinary level of optimism. And.. it requires - and builds - character. Doing it over and over again may damn well be divine inspiration.
I started my day by sitting down with my partner and a legal pad of all of my bills. He was helping me establish a budget. In all honesty, the fact that I have been able to maintain my finances as well as I have over the past few years is indeed a miracle. It was an artform that required robbing Peter to pay Paul - long after Peter was broke and Paul suffocated under a pile of receipts. But, I did it.
Now, I'm too close to the situation.  And like a true artist, my partner simply stood back, looked over his thumb at the canvas, and created a masterpiece. Brilliant ideas hit the spreadsheet where I was previously able to just draw stick figures.  Art! Pure art!
We spent the next part of the day at an art exhibition called, "We the People." The exhibition walked the viewer through some of the most influential groups of people who have shaped America. From Native Americans, abolitionists, and astronomers, to the artists themselves. The varied photographs and paintings turned tragedies into triumphs, the mundane into the miraculous, and horrors into historical bookmarks.

On the ride home my partner and I were inspired to discuss landscaping materials for my recently remodeled house. We want it to be unique and beautiful,  but on a budget. As we talked, we decided to stop for dinner at a restaurant that he hadnt been to in years. When we walked up, we were met by a rustic wall, path and steps made of reclaimed brick. It was exactly what we had been discussing. I was inspired and took pictures. Beautiful!
The theme continued later at home when we watched a TV reality show and tattoo competition. The artists were challenged to tattoo on subjects with gnarly scars - turning the scar from an ugly reminder to a beautiful work of art.
And I - well, I live my life to do that. I turn old doors into headboards. I rehabilitate discarded furniture. I make art out of old cigar boxes. Most significantly, I have turned some of the most painful situations in my life into powerful poems and stories.

At nearly 40, I think it is time to accept that I am an artist. And while not everyone will "get" what I do, it is powerful and healing to use my life as a canvas. From my work... my home... even my writing -  I am fixated to improve everything. I do NOT succeed in this all the time. My idea of "better" is not always shared by others. But it is my task to do so regardless. 

I think that is why I can sometimes be overwhelmingly "uplifting" and "encouraging" and "positive" to other people.  And... I need to watch that. People are not canvases. They are not mine to mold and reform. I wasnt trying to do it, but i realize now that I have sometimes confused it. I must simply be me.. do my thing... and I may inspire someone else along the way.

The moral of the story:

We must each create our own beautiful transformations, however that looks, in our own lives. And maybe... just maybe, someone - someday - will stand back and be inspired in a new way.

My new mantra will be:

My life is my art, and my art is my life. And... so is yours. Now THAT is beautiful.

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