My ‘old life’ was filled with stress and tension: a long commute to a toxic work place and a daily grind of ‘just get it over with’ as a necessary evil to life with. My body reacted to that constant stress with huge weight gains, high blood pressure, anxiety attack, and a bleeding ulcer. Shedding the effects of that environment took a couple of years, but – even after cancer – I have emerged a different person in a different mindset.
Willow Studios reflects my journey. It concentrates on beauty found in life around us rather than the drama and tension. Good Lord, we have enough of that, don’t we? Willow Studios exists to share a smile, provide a minute to simply take a breath and relax, and perhaps transport you to a mini vacation in your head.
So with this year coming to a close and Willow Studios just beginning, I reflect on my smiles, and appreciate them so much especially as I look back as to where I was.
I photo-captured my favorite butterflies, the Monarch and Swallowtail. I had a wonderful encounter with a blue heron that seemed to pose for me on the water’s edge. I worked through insomnia and battled back on diabetes. I dropped weight realistically and adopted two foster kittens to add to our family. And I’m encouraged as I watch our three dogs investigate the new kittens and the baby steps to integrate into a livable co-existence.
I laughed and giggled as I hadn’t for decades one night in a pretend tent with a sister-in-law, I’ve seen fantastic sunsets, met Kona (see pet portraits) and found her a forever home, and I worked with angels disguised as animal rescuers.
I found comfort in my own skin, but also realize my head and my heart don’t always connect. I’ve come to find a small tribe of women to rely on, and the value of mindful meditation.
I smile every day when I watch the dogs play. I send a quick thanks to the heavens they are all healthy and happy. I relax to the purr of the kittens in between their antics and smile as we make our home theirs.
Finally, my most hearty smile is when I think of my family, who are unwavering in their love and support and my husband who demonstrates love and support daily.
Before I go – I have to say how grateful I am for you, those who read this and flipped through my site. I look forward to capturing more beauty to share, more smiles to give you and as many escapes into that beautiful world as you need.
Goodbye 2021 – Hello 2022