Saturday, October 31, 2009

DAY 83 Caturday & The Power To Choose

Hello Journal,

For anyone not a cat lover...quick, hide your eyes!

Missy at Fearless Missy  asked if I had me if I had kitties, so I wanted to show off my furbabies. :-)

They are Dusty and Butterfly, both rescued kitties. Dusty is now 15 years old, and Butterfly is 5. If Dusty were not so set in her ways, I would definitely have kittens running around, too. But she is Queen, and getting on, so I won't put her through that stress.

Here are a couple of pics of them, if you can stand me bragging on my "kids" (click on any to enlarge).

Dusty has one gold eye and one green eye.

Dusty and Butterfly actually DO tie in with my weight loss. They are interconnected to my dreams and passions. A few years ago I, along with other local artists, helped to raise money for our local cat rescue shelter. We painted 3 foot high cat-shaped statues which were then sold at auction, with all the money going to the shelter.

I was so surprised and honored that my first one sold for the highest bid of $1100! And the following year my next one sold for $1000! I have a hard time explaining how much that means to know that people paid hard-earned money for something I painted. They LIKED it! Enough to pay money for have no idea how validating that is to an artist. 

I was able to go to the small Artists Reception in a wheelchair, where I knew some of the people. They were so nice, and affirming. But the auction was held in an old historic two-story elevator. Plus I was feeling self-conscious about my weight then (in 2005 and 2006) and did not want their judgements of ME, the person, to interfere with their perceptions of ME, the artist. I also worried that their judgement of me might affect the auction. I know... self-absorbed and insecure... sigh... but that's the way it was. So I stayed home, and missed these special events.

Instead of posting pics of the cat statues, they can be seen by visiting my Yessy Gallery here (and no, I'm not selling anything):

So when I talk about dreams, goals, passions... this is the kind of thing I'm talking about, and want to participate in...not sitting at home ashamed of how I look. I want to be able meet people at art galleries and receptions. Mary at Chronicles of Meps' Reconstruction  wrote about that...reading her stories (such as here)  and not having to be hindered by self-consciousness due to weight. I SO understood when she wrote that!

I know in this world we just can't help it...we SEE people, and make instant judgements about them by their looks, speech, manner, dress, and attitudes. I guess it is a normal thing to do...I find MYSELF doing it sometimes, as much as I detest it! I suppose that is why I like that Bible verse which talks about God seeing the HEART, not the outward appearance. Considering I have been a person that has been judged harshly all my life due to my size, you can see why I reeeeaaallly like that verse..LOL!

A career in any of the arts is hard enough, filled with people's subjective opinions and judgements, without adding to the mix an appearance that instantly gives them one more reason to have a negative reaction. For that matter, LIFE is hard enough without all that extra junk!

But the good news to me is...this is one area that I CAN change, my size. I have the power to choose, to get healthier and stronger, and get this one out of the way. That's good news. :-)

From Dr Phil's book: "Be very careful not to let others deter you from your task of managing your weight... be sensitive, but let them be responsible for their own feelings."

My verse for today: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever  is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

My quote for today: "Whatever happened on the previous attempt doesn't matter anymore. What matters is what you do now"--Ralph Marston

Enjoy the Journey,



Rebekah Costello said...

Your sculptures are breathtaking! I literally gasped out loud when I saw them.

Mary :: A Merry Life said...

Wow, this post totally hit me hard. I hate that you missed out on that because you felt that way. I've done it before too but its such a miserable feeling to miss out on life because of your size. But you are totally right - you CAN (and WILL) change it. It's your choice and you've made a good one!

Oh, and your sculptures are amazing! No wonder yours won!

Anonymous said...

Wow your art gives me goosebumps. Those are just amazing Retta! Someday I want to buy some of your art!

Anonymous said...

PS my kids were adoring the pics of your cats, they are so cute. We are such animal lovers here, you could post nothing BUT pics of your cats and I'd come and comment daily, LOL

Our pets are also interconnected with our dreams, I have always loved animals (at times, more than people!!) and one of my daughters is now trying to be a vet so I passed on the animal love for sure.

Retta one day you will get to your weight goal...but you will still be Retta. I'm thankful for that!

financecupcake said...

Your cat babies are so cute! Dusty has a strikingly handsome face, and Butterfly looks cuddly and fierce at the same time. I had fun browsing your Yessy Gallery. Small stuff, oils were my favorites!

I'm looking forward to hearing about your futures adventures. Getting out and about is scary but worth it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my! I am so glad I found your blog! I was just about to comment on this post, when I decided to take a look at your art first. Again, Oh my! It is absolutely magnificent! Just breathtaking. As others have said, "No wonder they one first."

Now, the post. You have written what I have felt. I have refused opportunities, have hidden from social events and generally tried to be invisible.

I came across a picture of myself when I was 19y.o. I had lost weight the year before and was weighing 152 at that time. I remember being upset because I was so fat. As I looked at that picture the other day, I saw a sharp jaw line, evident collar bones and thin shoulders. What fat? I had been so used to seeing fat--and believing that normal was 125#s that I still saw "too fat."

I put that face up as my avatar--and had to take it down because seeing it made me so sad. It spoke to me of lost potential and a lifetime of selling myself short. (I'm 57 now.)

So, your post spoke volumes to me. Thank you. And we'll get down this road to our goals--yes we will!


Retta said...

REBEKAH: Awww... that is such a nice thing to say... thank you!

MARY/A MERRY LIFE: Yes, it's hard to look back and realize how much we missed due to the weight thing! I have to be real careful not to get all caught up in the regrets... so I try to focus on the future, and my goals and living my Best life now. And I'm glad you enjoyed the sculptures, thanks! :-)

NANCY: I'm glad you enjoyed the sculptures. So, now I know if I get lazy one day, all I need to do is post kitty pictures...ha ha ha ha!

CINCIMOM11: Yes, I always thought Dusty was pretty, too. I couldn't believe that just because she was a "faded" calico, they didn't want her! And you are right on the money about Butterfly... that EXACTLY describes her, both cuddly and fierce! In fact it is hard to type right now... she has wiggled into the inside of my warm sweater, and I can hardly reach the keyboard...LOL! She doesn't care, of course... just purring away!

DEB: Welcome! I am glad you liked my art... thank you!
I sooo know what you mean about old pictures. I saw one of me Saturday in my old photo album, of when I was about 15... at my lowest weight, not quite "normal", but definitely not way overweight. Yet I remember quite clearly feeling "chunky". What I wouldn't give now to be that small again! Well, in time I will get closer to it. :-) Yes, we will make it!


Julie said...

Ths is by far my favorite quote. Reading more. :o)

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