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  • Writer's pictureAlanda Calmus

Birthday Reflections

“Age is a case of mind over matter; if you don’t mind it, it doesn’t matter!” Mark Twain

It was my birthday on Friday, I turned 48! How did that happen? Oh well, thankfully it didn’t hurt and I don’t mind so I guess it doesn’t matter.

I had a lovely day in Kingussie with my husband. We stayed overnight at a wonderful B&B, restaurant with rooms. Although a little chilly at this time of year, I enjoyed some time out on the balcony of our room in the Spring Sun with a cheeky wee glass of prosecco.

Birthday Prosecco from a tumbler, very classy!

It was a lovely and peaceful, listening to the birds in the trees and the bubbling river below. These are some of my most favourite things and a reminder to me that I need to be “still” in nature more often.

I’m out in nature every day with my dogs but it’s a different thing. There isn’t much stillness. When I’m walking, the crunch of my boots on the ground and the rustle of my jacket interrupt the sounds of the birds. Also I have rather anti social dogs so I’m always on alert to look out for people so I can reign them in before the barking starts.

There is a place on one of the walks where I enjoy sitting and am able to take in all the sounds around me. Here the dogs are happily occupied, the big one with a stick in the heather and the little one on my knee.

It’s a little off a main track so we don’t often get disturbed and there is a great view. It’s my favourite spot. So nice, that on a sunny day, none of us are too keen to go home again.

Yesterday, Little Dog flat out refused to make the return to the car so I had to go fetch him and pick him up. Here he is doing a poor job of hiding. His Squirrel disguise didn’t work this time!

“You ain’t seen me, right?”

Another year older and what have I learnt?

Well, if the last 2 years have taught me anything it’s that life is too short not to seize any and every opportunity to do what lights you up.

I’ve been saying yes a lot more. Especially to things I’ve not considered before. I’m a bit of a recluse at the best of times and moving out of my comfort zone can be tricky for me but I’m realising that the perfect “easy” options to do what I want don’t come along that often, if ever.

My 48th Birthday

If I want to do something, I’ve got to bloody well go out and make it happen! No one is going to do it for me!

I don’t want to reach the end of my days with regrets of all the things I didn’t do or achieve because I was too damn scared to try. This is definitely a struggle for me but I’m determined to push on through any resistance in myself as it comes up.

Letting go of the past

Referring only to my personal experience here, so take from this what you will. Change is an inevitable part of life and it can be so difficult to adjust to unpleasant circumstances. The ability to accept and adapt has helped me get through some really hard times.

What’s done is done and what’s gone is gone. Moving forwards in my own life means not just leaving the past behind but sometimes building bridges to a new place. A place of healing.

Sometimes life presents us with an opportunity to restructure and create something new.

“Letting go isn’t about having the courage to release the past; it’s about having the wisdom to embrace the present.” Steve Mariboli

Everyone has their own challenges but when change occurs there is no going back for any of us. Letting go is the only way to invite in new possibilities. Churning over what has gone before can only cause further mental anguish and keep you stuck in time.

Sending love to you if you find yourself resonating with these words.

It’s Never Too Late

I’m truly passionate about my art. I feel I’ve been an artist my entire life. I quite simply could never have been anything else no matter what job I did. Painting and art are in my head constantly and I find inspiration in all sorts of things.

My early working years took me, out of necessity, away from my chosen career path, as did motherhood. On reflection, if I had been less ready to believe what I told myself about what was possible for me within these limitations, I might have persisted with painting more and gone further, quicker.

However, blaming myself or anyone else for holding me back would only prove a fruitless exercise not to mention a falsehood. Taking a leaf from my own comments above, I accept the circumstances of my past and thank them all for bringing me to this point.

There are no regrets for what might have been. There is only ever NOW and therein lives infinite potential!

Like the title of one of my latest paintings above, I’m Rewilding My Heart!

For me that means not trying to control the direction of the path to some preconceived destination but instead following my passion and letting the path unfold naturally in response.

I wish to rewrite those outdated beliefs and embrace that child-like state of belief as a magical tool for creation where anything is possible.

Moving On

At midnight last night my Flash Birthday Sale of older artwork ended. I have now removed the Wildlife, Landscapes and Heads and Twisted Tales pages from my website.

Thank you to those who snapped up their favourites over the weekend. It’s very much appreciated and I truly hope your purchases bring you as much enjoyment as I had painting them.

My work is currently undergoing further transformation and refinement as I bring together everything I have learnt over the years to combine my love of nature, with my attention to detail and my new found joy of spontaneity and expressive painting.

Watch this space because even I don’t know what that’s going to look like yet. I invite you to follow me on my journey as I continue to evolve as an artist.

Just Like Buses

I know my emails have been rather like buses lately. You wait ages for one to arrive and then several come along at once!

This was just because of the sale so I hope you haven’t felt too bombarded, it isn’t normally like this.

I do hope to do a bit better with keeping you informed of my studio antics though and show up on video more. All part of seizing the day and being the new bolder 48 year old me, haha!

Hope you are all finding time to enjoy the new life of Spring as it emerges. It really is my favourite time of year. I love seeing each fresh new shoot bursting forth from the ground, the vibrant green buds on the trees, the birds preparing to nest and the animal kingdom nurturing their young. Truly joyous!

In the saddest of times, where the darkness of global politics and pandemics create feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, there is solace to be found in the ways that Mother Nature persists against the odds.

Love and gratitude always

Alanda xx

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