So many people want to know what it means to be seriously carefree? You can interpret that phrase many ways. To me, it means to take your wellbeing seriously.
As adults, we have so many responsibilities. We could go hours, if not days and weeks, before we do something for ourselves.
I prefer doing a few small things for myself throughout the day rather than hope for a whole day to just unwind.
The other day we had a rare snowstorm. I paused adulting to go play in the snow. Watching it collect on the branches and trying to catch flakes on my tongue brought back my childhood excitement and wonder.
I felt energized and renewed. Happy. It only took 20 minutes to change my outlook on the whole day.
Be spontaneous. Seize opportunities like these. Your tasks will be there when you are done, but the opportunity, like melting snow, will be gone.
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In U.S. culture it is popular for people to start implementing new goals on January first.
The plan is set, and they are ready to go with their resolutions. It makes sense. It’s the beginning of a new calendar year, so why not start on day one?
I wonder how many people are more like me. I set my goals January first through approximately January 15th. I use this time to reflect upon the last year, refine old goals, and dream up new possibilities.
December’s many holiday distractions prevent me from deep goal setting. It isn’t until January when I can get a fresh look at my goals. Winter is hitting its stride by then, making it a great time to turn inward.
January is like a pie baking in the oven. The aromas fill the kitchen. The crust turns golden brown. Time to get out the cooling rack and set the table.
It is not time to eat yet. The pie will be undercooked if taken out too soon. It will burn your mouth if eaten before it cools.
Goal setting is the same. New information will be overlooked if you set them using the old energy of the waning year. Details may be missed, deadlines may need to shift, and the goal’s importance may fall away.
It is not to say that you can’t revise things later in the year. In fact, it is wise to revisit your goals quarterly. But don’t rush to set them in December.
Baking is for January.
It’s always a good idea to support independent artists. It’s especially good in 2020.
This gift guide features five female independent artists and crafters: a cellist, a face mask designer, a ceramic artist, an illustrator, and a photographer.
All have faced financial hardships in one form or another this year, but don’t feel bad for them. These situations have fueled their creativity. However, they didn’t create these wonderful pieces to keep to themselves!
Check out their websites and explore their shops. With each description you will see their response to the question “Why are you passionate about your art/craft?”
1. Original Music Recording of Clarinet, Cello & Piano (CD)
Artist: Elisa Kohanski
Websites: GoFundMe | https://www.elisakohanski.com/ | http://www.ionsound.org/
World traveling professional cellist, Elisa Kohanski, is place-bound due to world-wide travel restrictions. (She once played her cello in Antarctica!). She is using this time to record a passion project with her trio, IonSound. “Inspired By" was born out of their desire to commission new music for a clarinet, cello, and piano trio that would be as musically rewarding and substantial as the current core repertoire for this instrumentation. Be part of her latest journey by donating to their GoFundMe fundraiser.
"Although we cannot perform live concerts right now, we can feed our artistic souls by working on passion projects."
2. Custom-sized and Comfortable Face Masks
Artist: Sharon Walter
Business: Your Size Face Mask
Sharon's big heart always seeks a way to help others. She recognized a need for face masks that fit different sized people. And what about those uncomfortable ear loops! Her easy-to-fit designs have a headband instead of ear loops, come in colorful designs and have a removable filter.
“I enjoy that I can be creative and make face masks comfortable and beautiful for the wearer.”
3. Sassy and Sentimental Ceramic Ornaments
Artist: Candace Baltz
Business: Plot Twist Pottery
Where else can you get a flaming dumpster fire ornament? Not what you’re looking for? What about a custom ornament memorializing your beloved pet? Plot Twist Pottery was born when an injury forced Candace to reevaluate her life, rekindling her childhood love for making pottery. She began to heal through working the clay and then realized she could tell stories through the layering of colors, textures, shapes and symbols.
"I think it's liberating to celebrate beauty where we find it in ourselves, each other and the world-- and I hope my work can help others do the same."
4. Hand-illustrated Greeting Cards & Commissions
Artist: Kathleen Costello
Business: Kathleen B Costello
Kathleen revived her love for drawing and portraiture as her work as a principal clarinetist with the Alabama Symphony was reduced due to the pandemic. Her shop contains ready-made, fine art prints and note cards of hand-illustrated violins, birds and artichokes. She also takes commissions for black and white portraits and other custom artwork.
"Finishing a piece holds a concrete sense of satisfaction, and an intimate feeling of gratitude and celebration. If the piece is for another, I cherish the idea that it might deliver a sliver of joy or happiness to their surroundings."
5. Mood-boosting Photographs & Designs
Artist: Danielle Joy Jarkowsky
Business: Seriously Carefree
Danielle was on track to change career paths when the economy tanked. After preparing for five years, she wasn't going to let that slow her momentum. In addition to writing, she launched her photography business. She creates photo prints representing nature, spirituality and whimsy. Photos come on wall art, pillows, phone and laptop cases, tote bags and greeting cards, depending on the image.
"I love sharing photos that spark joy, beauty and inspiration in people’s souls."
Give your loved ones unique gifts while supporting these talented creators. Purchase directly from their websites. If you are moved by their work, please share this post with others.
About the Author:
Danielle Joy Jarkowsky is a Pacific Northwest blogger, copywriter and photographer. The photographs for sale in this post are her own designs. All featured artists are her friends. Follow her blog at SeriouslyCarefree.com Instagram @SeriouslyCarefree and Twitter @seriouslycaref2
That Shirt You Bought Cost You a Free Flight! Words of encouragement for those who can’t choose between airline credit cards.
I’ll admit, I am rather indecisive when it comes to choosing airline credit cards. I’m on the search for the perfect option.
I want to maximize my savings and time and minimize my attention to tracking them.
I’ve compared annual fees, prices to destinations I frequent, signing bonuses, APR -- you name it.
Still, I haven’t found one that outshines the other. Both options seem to have comparable benefits and drawbacks.
Then I realized that sometimes the simplest choice is choosing both options.
It allows you to take advantage of the best deal in the moment, saving your current paycheck.
This eliminates the going back and forth and back and forth in your mind, saving your sanity.
It isn’t hard tracking them; the airlines do all the work.
Yes, it will be slower to amass points on one card, but when you do have enough to use for a flight, you will feel proud of your accomplishment.
Even better — you don’t need an airline credit card to get points.
All you have to do is sign up for a free account and remember to shop through those sites. Southwest Airlines makes it easy by giving you a button you can install on your browser.
Airlines partner with hotels, car rental agencies, and attractions. You can get points by shopping at the stores and restaurants you would anyway.
So be decisive by being indecisive. It does pay off — eventually — and your next outfit could also mean a free roundtrip flight to your dream destination.