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Life is short

Life is short.  We hear it all the time.  When we’re young we think it’s only short for old people.  Then we get older and don’t always realize that the rule now applies to us.  When we’re young we dream a million dreams. We grow older and do our best to make some of them come true.  Eventually, we let certain ones fall off the “attainable” list – one’s like “someday I’ll marry George Clooney”.  We move on.  It’s only natural.  Some never leave us.  They hang there like bats in a cave.  Occasionally they kick us to make sure we’re still breathing.

A few months ago an acquaintance was diagnosed with Lue Gehrig’s disease. I don’t know him well but it’s a small town and we have mutual friends.  What I do know is that he is my age, strong, active, artistically inclined, and he surely has some dreams of his own that are rapidly falling off of the “attainable” list.

I took stock of what I had.  I took more stock in what I didn’t.  My glass is half full, and I want it to overflow.  Not so much with the things money can buy, but with the things it can’t. I weeded through all of the unnecessary clutter that my life had accumulated. Anything that drained my time or my energy, that didn’t involve paint or my family, was eliminated.  Most of my friends understood.  Some didn’t, and that’s OK.

The dreams started kicking a little harder. They were the same old dreams, nothing new. For me, there is no greater freedom than to wake up with no agenda, other than to paint the world as I see it and meet some of the genuine souls that inhabit it.  Not only is it freedom, but it is also exhilarating. When I was a younger, single, eager, interested, vibrant girl I traveled all through South East Asia and all through Europe discovering anything and everything available to me.  The news of this man’s struggle shut down my patients for dreams on a waitlist. It was time to be vibrant again, in a way that only I could orchestrate.  I went online and began to research painting residencies in Italy.  One screamed out at me. A small school accepting resident artists for a four-week term, a modest place to live, my own studio, an old hill-top village in an Italian-speaking community, and 3 meals a day. I applied. I was accepted.  I leave on Thursday.

I will miss my kids.  I will miss my husband.  I will have the time of my life.


15 Responses to Life Is Short

I’m excited to follow your blog Mama. I know you will have a wonderful time.


Posted by Aidan Sullivan · via · 140 months ago

Here’s to your vibrancy! I hope you have a wonderful time. 🙂

This was beautiful and moving. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Posted by Sarah Marie Lacy · via · 140 months ago

Congrats Kelly. I am jealous. I will be making my third trip over there next June to Pietrasanta to do some more sculpture. I wish I was going now; I can hardly wait.
Besides enjoying your art work take some time to enjoy the people, the life style, the culture too. Sightseeing is always fun but sometimes just sitting in a piazza watching the world go by is the most fun of all. Enjoy all the great food and wine you will be consuming for the next month…..there is nothing like it. Try and look for a white wine called Vermintino which comes from Sardinia,it is delicious.
I look forward to following your blog and reading all the exciting experiences that you have.


Posted by john heine · via · 140 months ago

Yes, you MUST be who you really are and follow your dream! (You are a role-model for your children. You are being real and adventuresome. They will follow your lead.)

Posted by Ginny Fry · via · 140 months ago

Congratulations and enjoy every minute Worked in Pietresanta tears ago, will be near Chiusi soon painting, and all with a family. They all grew up beimg adventuresome and considering the world an adventure to be lived.
Happy painting!

Posted by Cathy Ferrel · via · 140 months ago

Well looks like someone’s living the dream instead of just dreaming. I too see lots of friends falling and often wonder about my own future and if my dreams are attainable. I just feel so privileged to be able to express and create my works of art. Painting was also a dream once upon a time and I managed to make it a reality. The next goal is to do it full time.
Good luck in Italy, enjoy your time there, bring back some good stories and some good wine!!!

Posted by Demetrios Papakostas · via · 140 months ago

That really is seizing the day, Kelly. The painters you have inspired will share your glorious month in Italy.

Posted by Diane Woods · via · 140 months ago

I know you will enjoy this experience as much as all the life experiences you have faced. It does show in your growth as a woman,mother and artist!Leading by example gives your children the courage to develop their own “joie de vivre”.
We’ll enjoy living this experience through you. So,Go-o-o,Kelly may God Bless and Protect You!

Posted by Judi Keefe · via · 140 months ago

At 54, I too received this important message. I don’t know where it will take me, but I’ve given up my regular job. I hope I am brave enough to love my life this much. Good luck and love along the way to you, and thanks for reinforcing my faith.

Posted by Mary Pickett · via · 140 months ago

Your strength and determination inspires me.
When I think of you I see a beautiful women who has the courage to reach for her highest goals.


Posted by Aunt Jackie · via · 140 months ago

eat love and paint inhale slowly and feel all the senses, i’m happy for you send pictures so i can dream too

Posted by susan · via · 140 months ago

Thanks a lot…

Posted by JeanVictor · via · 140 months ago

Very poignant. As a surgical oncologist, I see all too many people that put off living until something terrible happens and then it is too late. Brava! I started painting lessons only 2 1/2 years ago (age 55). I’m loving it and approaching some “competency”. I hope someday I become good enough to paint what I see and feel, but for now I’m on the steep part of the learning curve. But what a fun curve it is. Have fun in italy.

Posted by Rick Orr · via · 140 months ago

Wow! I am so happy to have come across this blog post today. I recently decided to go back to school for a painting degree. When I’m painting, there is no passage of time. As a 39 year old mother of 5 young children, I’m stepping out a bit and excited by the thought that I too could some day experience something like the adventure you’re on (could I really travel abroad and leave my family for a month? Yes!) I’m eager to follow your blog as this trip progresses. Thank you for inspiring me.

Posted by Elizabeth Snyder · via · 140 months ago

I am proud of you! It is important to do what you love and gift the world with it. Happy trails to you. All my best, Theresa

Posted by Theresa Andreas-O’Leary · via · 140 months ago


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