Family–and Solo–Fun in New England

With my youngest of four off to Kindergarten, I find myself for the first time in twelve years with actual free time.    Since having kids I have dreamed of a quiet house all to myself, and some days find the idleness that I might have found lonely or boring before, a luxury.  As a busy mom I can multitask like a Tasmanian devil, and give me a few hours with no kids, whew, I can accomplish a lot!   Most days that is, but some days, I must confess, I lose all sense of time management.   I get overwhelmed by all of the possibilities of the things I should be/could be doing with that precious time.   The next thing I know I have fritted away a whole day doing nothing but magazining.   I decided to make a list, of things that I know will feed my soul, for a girl can not live on food shopping, dishes, and laundry in her free time alone. 

The Chihuly exhibit at the Boston Museum of fine Arts. Chihuly’s glass sculpture work is fantastical, whimsical, and like stepping into another world.  Since it is an all glass exhibit, this is definitely something to do without the children. April 10-August 7th

The RISD student/Alumni art sale on Benefit Street in Providence. My inner artist is always inspired by these affordable, creative, and unique finds outdoors on historic Benefit Street.  Find great accessories, jewelry, house wares & art.   There is a sale every Spring, Winter (at the convention center in Providence) and Fall.


April 27th kicked off the season.  I swear this is one of the most magical experiences.  My husband has humored my fantasy of sitting along the edge of the river while holding hands, soaking in the bonfires, and drinking a glass of wine so many times, that he has threatened to push me in the river if I make him do it again.

Wickford Art Festival. July 9th & 10th the charming seaside village of Wickford in North Kingstown, RI hosts hundreds of artists selling their paintings, photographs and sculptures.  Great art deals, and the inspiration of seeing so much creativity gathered in one gorgeous setting makes this a fantastic event.

Green Animal Topiary Gardens Children’s Party. With the feel of an English garden party a la Alice in Wonderland, this one you have to bring your kids with you.   I love the fact that along with the juice and cookie table for kids, free with admission, wine for the grown-ups is also offered.  The topiary garden is right out of Edward Scissorhands, and rolling green lawn leads to a water view.  Bring a blanket and purchase from their BBQ for dinner. Pony rides, a bouncy house, and amazing performances by the likes of the Big Apple Circus and the Toe Jam Puppet band are sure to keep the kids enthralled. July 14th 4-8pm. Get there early for good parking. 380 Corys Lane Portsmouth, RI 02871-1324 – (401) 683-1267



What is Your Passion?

Artsy CardsWhat is your passion? Do you have one?  I’m rediscovering mine.  I used to love to do artwork many years ago. But somewhere along the way I started to believe I didn’t have time to be creative.  I was too  busy being a  mom.  If that thought didn’t get me, the “mommy guilt” would. If I couldn’t even manage a daily task of cleaning the house, how could I take time to do art? Do you know that feeling?  Believing that you shouldn’t take time for yourself?

What I found was that by continually ignoring my passions, I lost them. What I was left with was a feeling of emptiness. I felt disconnected to myself.  I used to have a pull toward something I would like to do but I continually denied myself the pleasure of doing it. So you know what happened? Finally the pull stopped happening.  My creative spirit gave up trying to guide me to my passion. Suddenly I didn’t even know what I wanted.  Not only were my passions lost, but I was too.

I was left not only with a feeling of emptiness but also a confusion about my identity. I considered myself an artist who used to do art.  How long can you consider yourself something when you are not even doing it? Now of course I am more than just an artist. Feed Your Soul I am a mom, wife, a therapist, a friend, a sister, a neighbor etc etc.  But art was a way I expressed my “self”. I love that feeling of having an idea and then bringing it to a reality.  Drawing isn’t even only about expressing, it’s also about discovering.  When I draw an object I discover its uniqueness.  I also draw as a way to connect to and discover myself.  So how could I get past the excuses and get back to creating?

First I had to realize that saying “I don’t have time” is a cop out.  We make time for what we think is important. Wasn’t my happiness important?  Also, what role model was I setting for my kids? Did I want my daughters to believe that to be a mother you have to be selfless and give up your passions? No, I want my daughter to be happy and feel they can take care of themselves while also caring for others.

So what am I doing now?  I started doing art.  To help inspire myself I joined an art motivation group. They meet once a month. The only instructions are to create and build something around a particular theme.  I promised myself to forget the guilt (and any other judgments I would normally have) and just do something. I just wanted to focus on the fun of doing art. Guess what? I did it! Was it the best artwork I ever did? No, but it was a start.

Interestingly enough,  I drew eggs.  Eggs are a start to life. Maybe those drawings were a start to feeling more alive.  Passion to me is something that makes you feel alive.  It pulls you toward something you like to do or can learn from. I had felt that following my passion would be selfish.  But actually following our passions isn’t selfish.  When we don’t follow our passion our “aliveness” diminishes. When we do follow our passion it makes us a more “full” person.  When I am more alive and “full” I am better able to help others.

What is your passion?  Are you following it? Or have you forgotten it? It’s not too late. Just start small. Even 15 minutes a day, week or month do something you love in order to start the spark.  This month is my birthday. I’m making a commitment to myself to do at least one piece of artwork a month for a year. Of course I’m using the term “artwork” very loosely here.  I’m focusing more on allowing myself the enjoyment of the process and not as much focus on the greatness of the product. I’m focusing on the fun.  Each month I’ll post my attempts.  Remember: no judgments,  just fun!

What is something you can do once a month? One thing you’ve been meaning to do but just haven’t gotten around to doing?  Let’s start the pact together.  Let’s reignite our passion and find where it leads us.

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