Celebrate life

My motto has been: “art, fitness, helping others.” These days that could be any order. As long as I keep a healthy outlook and strong spirit, I’m  going to find that good in whatever I do. Here’s a few thoughts I’ve had lately on birth, aging, and art.

Birthdays: Mid-October I happened to be away on “my day” riding with friends along gorgeous sandy beach fronts in Southern California. The sun’s warmth and our fat-wheeled effort enticed us to stop at a local brewery, who also happens to be a sponsor of our cycling club. Cool! We pulled in via bicycle and settled on a cold one. Over cheers I blurted: “this is the best birthday!” We continued to celebrate the impromptu joy of just being in the moment. It was a great gift. All the more fun because it was unplanned.

This past week I had a nagging feeling about a certain date. The day was Tuesday, January 26, my mom’s birthday. She died from breast cancer, 42 years and 5 months ago, at age 42. It’s so far in the past now, yet I think of her all the time as though it were yesterday. On this particular Tuesday I decided to make brownies for my class. Those born in the month of January got to make a wish then we all indulged in chocolate. I love the simple gesture of lighting a candle. I’ll continue to do so for each months celebration. Thanks mom!

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Mom with me on my birthday

Birthdays were big events in my childhood. The family gathered around the table with cake and little party favors and silly hats. Sometimes the neighbors kids came. Wonderful memories dear to my heart.

Aging: Our birthday arrives and we become another year older. If we’re lucky, it continues for a long time. I personally try not to “think old” and have learned to adapt to my bodies physical changes, and all that comes natural (or not) with the aging process. The hard reality in life, is death. We go about the day doing for ourselves, then try to be present for others in their time of need. We cope with end of life care and the many unexpected situations that require our presence and compassion. To grieve loss of family and friends is profoundly sad. While cancer has tested my own strength and resilience, I continue moving forward, happy making every day and year count. Always search for the positives.

Art and aging: I believe the creative process has a powerful impact on our well-being. Engaged minds are kept busy in a positive way, sometimes helping through difficult times. It’s a very different experience for each person. Having worked with cancer patients in creative arts, I have a better understanding of the important role we can have in transforming lives, in any way, even if only for a time. As an artist, I continue to teach in group settings because I know the worthiness of introducing others to the joy of art making. Creating is part of life, however way you choose to experience your process. We are like a new blossom–we slowly open until full, then the cycle begins again.

My journey is to greet each day, spread art, and be kind to others. And ride my bike! Thanks for reading. xo Robin

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Happy Birthday to you

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