I DID IT! (Learning To Take Pleasure In Small Accomplishments)

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Yup. I finally completed relocating all of my original clip art, icons & desktop wallpaper to different servers and updated all the affected posts on this blog. Now there will be no interruption in the accessibility of those files AND the loading time for viewing my blog should be much faster. While it was a big and tedious job involving a few hundred files and over a hundred posts, I suppose that my enthusiasm (as denoted by this post’s title) is a bit pathetic considering the fairly trivial nature of this accomplishment in the vast scheme of the universe, but if there is one thing I’ve learned in my life, it is the importance of finding as much pleasure in the little steps and small achievements as I would on reaching my most important goals. None of us can count on being as capable as we are today (to whatever degree that is), much less have any guarantee we’ll even be alive tomorrow. The odds I face are substantially lower than average, so I’ve spent a lot of time over the years (and especially over the last few months) trying to convince myself how important it is to be pleased with what I CAN do and be proud of myself for doing whatever I realistically COULD do towards reaching my ideals. That’s a tall order to ask of one who has always had high expectations and standards for herself.

Being my toughest critic has largely served me well during my first 57 years as it has motivated me to work as hard and as smart as I could to constantly improve my skills and my usefulness to others. While I certainly appreciate the complements and reliance on my ability to deliver bestowed on me by so many others, I’ve never been able to get away from the feeling that I should have done more and done it better (whatever “it” was). By some theories, such perfectionism is a good thing where it spurs one on to grow and become the best they can be as a person and to reach the pinnacle of their abilities. The downside arises when you’re too slow (or fail altogether) to recognize when you’ve already reached the limits of your abilities, whether due to limitations within you or due to external factors outside of your control. The problems such lack of recognition poses includes the inability to enjoy or take pride in whatever you have accomplished, the stress and frustration of continuing to strive for a goal that, through no fault of your own, will always be out of your reach; and the loss of opportunity to ever feel completely at peace that comes from knowing you did your best. I actually didn’t realize I had this problem until very recently because I had always considered myself to have a fairly well-balanced ego; but what happened was a resistance to recognizing that my seemingly infinite ability to find ways to overcome adversity (both internal and external) is in fact, not so limitless.

While I have surprised (pleasantly) my physicians by having beaten the odds of surviving much longer than expected given all the complications of dealing with the lethal combination of multiple serious, life-threatening diseases and conditions, I have hardly come through this all unscathed. I thought that by having a positive attitude and stubbornly telling myself that I “refuse to die” that I could not only cheat death but somehow avoid the physical and emotional suffering that’s associated with those diseases and conditions as well. In the past, that attitude has made a huge and positive difference in my life in overcoming many physical disabilities and tremendous external adversity. For instance, as a result of having served as a “guinea pig” to early experimentation with brainwave biofeedback forty years ago, I learned to be able to control my brain and body to the extent that I could prevent or stop my epileptic seizures from developing past the “aura” stage almost 100% of the time; learned to be able to stop and restart my heart at will; and could self-hypnotize myself deeply enough to undergo surgery to remove lumps in my breasts and even a root canal without any anesthetic. So I had come to expect that there was nothing in the world I couldn’t overcome. But the years of exerting such extreme efforts and the piling on of one disease or condition on top of another over and over again, and the years of being subjected to the intense emotional stress of 12-year long lawsuit with someone I should have been able to trust and turn to for compassion and help, finally took their toll on me over this last year. It wasn’t until that lawsuit reached yet another brick wall in November 2011 that I realized I no longer had the strength or energy to continue my pursuit of justice, that I finally realized that there simply are things outside of my control no matter how hard and earnest my efforts and no matter how reasonable, fair, or “right” my goals may be. Sometimes, a positive attitude just isn’t enough and sometimes the bad guys “win”.

I’d like to still believe that somewhere along the line G-d ensures that justice will be done and no undeserved pain, suffering, or early death will have been in vain, but I am still working on accepting the fact that I will likely never know if such belief is merely the dream of a fool. Part of that effort is learning not to be so hard on myself and to learn to enjoy even the smallest accomplishment all on its’ own and not taking it for granted or judging it as a failure for being still short of my expectations. I am trying my best to be satisfied with myself for having tried, and for doing whatever is the best I can realistically do at any particular time. In one sense, this requires lowering my expectations of myself, and I am trying to learn not to see that as a failure or to feel guilty that I could not do any better. I’ve never applied such stringent standards to my expectations from others and so just need to be able to be as forgiving and supportive towards myself. That’s somewhat of a culture shock and requires “un-learning” a lifetime of beliefs. It is this revelation and struggle that has lead me to look deeper into the lessons I can take from Buddhist, Taoist and Native American philosophies, as they strike me as being the least influenced by the material world and the most in touch with the unvarnished, true nature of man. I’ll be writing more about my progress in posts to come.

Back to the mundane: Here’s the list of the last group of posts that I have updated, followed by a fresh batch of freebies and some of the latest of my designs at IconDoIt – The Store.

MORE UPDATED POSTS

  1. The Constraints of WordPress.com
  2. Deviation to Green Day & Zack
  3. Escher-Sketch Redux
  4. Art Deco: Icons – OR – Clip Art?
  5. Fox Spokane Art Deco Icons, Pt. 2
  6. Mrs. Hudson & Sherlockian Icons
  7. Freedom Rings
  8. CSI – Mac?
  9. The Morale Chorale
  10. Cleveland Indians & Art Deco Icons
  11. Steampunk’d
  12. A Comeuppance & Twitter Birds

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Aaaarrgh!SparklingScales

Constitutional Law

The Justice FIlesFla Court

What Price Truth?

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE

My Wild Irish Rose Card
My Wild Irish Rose
This St. Patrick’s Day card featuring IconDoIt’s original rendering of a richly textured-looking red, red rose against an antique moss-toned wall is really quite special in its’ beauty and message. The real St. Patrick was more about love than drinking green beer so we believe his day is as perfect a time as any to tell her you love her. And since she won’t be expecting a card of this nature on March 17, it will be far more meaningful and just might earn you that magical kiss you’ll never forget!
Truth in Action (iPad Case)
Truth in Action (iPad Case)
For the consumate legal professional, this hard-shell iPad case features IconDoIt’s original artwork of the Scales of Justice with Benjamin Disraeli’s iconic quote: “Justice is Truth in Action” or swap it out for your own logo. And don’t forget to personalize the text!
Themis Spiral Notebook
Themis Spiral Notebook
Great spiral notebook for the law student, lawyer, judge, or for those who love justice and have extraordinarily good taste! 😉 Cover design is an Art Deco inspired original by IconDoIt.

Internal Combustion (or How I Will Turn the Bile of Betrayal into Fuel for Deliverance)

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There are as many reasons why people may choose to write a blog as there are bloggers. There is no right or wrong reason and readers have the complete freedom to come and go as they please based upon whether a blogger has something to say or offer that is meaningful, entertaining or useful to the reader or not. In my own case, my initial purpose in starting this blog was have a forum to share my original icons and clipart in an effort to give back to a community that had always been very generous with their own knowledge and talents. Secondarily, I wanted to simply share some of my own personal experiences, things I’ve learned, and questions I repeatedly find myself pondering, in the hopes that I might find there are kindred souls out there who can relate to my views and either gain some useful insight that might help them and/or who can impart some differing viewpoint that I can learn from. Although I wish there would be more discussion between more people in the comment sections, I believe that I’ve achieved exactly what I set out to do and cherish this opportunity and the readers who’ve made it so rewarding. I love you guys! 😉

What brings those thoughts to my mind on this particular day, is that I am critically aware of the fact that over the last year, I have been increasingly lax in publishing new posts and that too many of the posts I have written reflect my anguish over circumstances that I’ve not been at liberty to reveal adequate details about so that anyone who only knows me by my posts could have any idea at all what I’ve been so upset about. Between my inability to be specific and my simultaneous struggles due to my declining health, I’m afraid that I have not continued to uphold my commitment to providing uplifting, interesting text to accompany the freebie artwork that follows it. I expect better from myself, even if no one else does, and so have been trying to figure out how to overcome this rut.

One of the serendipities to doing research on a wide variety of subjects in order to find inspiration for my artwork or to help me describe my creations that are offered for sale on my zazzle websites, is that I am constantly being exposed to ideas that send me in an entirely different direction and enrich my knowledge, imagination and understanding in ways I could never have anticipated. A good example of that came up over the last 2 days, when I was trying to discover the identity of a particular woman in a photograph taken by a very talented photograph during the heyday of Art Nouveau but which I suspect was a private portrait contracted for by the woman or her family’s private enjoyment and not part of any commercial intention. In the course of that research, I ended up at a great webpage with a huge list of quotations. Of particular interest to me was the very large section of quotes from artists representing a wide range of disciplines (painting, sculpture, music, dance, architecture, writing, etc.) who lived anywhere from the time of Aristotle to the present, trying to describe what makes artists different from non-artists, what is necessary for an artist to produce their art, and why art is so important to mankind despite the fact that it isn’t listed on the FDA’s chart of our daily nutritional requirements nor specifically called out in Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”.

While fascinating all on it’s own, I ended up gaining some valuable insight into why I have been finding my ability to write more of the type of blog postings I’d like to that has been so hampered as of late. I also realized that the same reasoning explains why I have almost completely withdrawn from personal interaction with family and friends whose love and support and camaraderie I have always been privileged to share and take such great pleasure in. It all simply comes down to the fact that Of Course! I haven’t had a free and uncluttered mind that is so crucial to creativity, because all of my time, energy, emotions, and thought processes have been so weighted down with trying to make sense of a nonsensical situation; expecting loyalty, honesty, logic or compassion from people whom I had no reasonable expectation of them being capable of those traits much less inclined to exercise them in a way beneficial to me; and naively relying on the belief that our judicial system was about ensuring our laws and their own court orders are enforced consistently and justly as opposed to existing to simply quell any discord that inconveniences the system and achieving that aim in whatever manner deemed most efficient and effective without due regard to the concept of fairness or justice. Silly me!

SO with that mystery revealed, I find myself forced to finally recognize the unpleasant reality that our system is irrevocably flawed and broken and there is apparently nothing I can do about it. I am left with being expected to stoically stand silent to yet another slap in the face while the truly guilty party not only walks away relatively scot-free and inexplicably “exonerated” but having to suffer the further insult, harm and injustice of having my good name and honor publicly besmirched based upon another’s lies and the system’s indifference. I am desperately trying now to integrate that reality with my personal view that if ethics and morality have no place in our courtrooms, then there really is no hope for America, no hope for mankind, and no basis for me to even want to live in such a world. And this is coming from one who has always felt like and been known for being the supreme optimist, always believing in the best of mankind, always believing I could help make a difference in this world that would somehow leave it a better place, and who believed that “The Truth will set you free!” was an inviolate promise from G-d and not a cheesy, commercial slogan.

As I stand today (figuratively since I remain confined to bed) I have no idea how I will be able to go forward and resume the life I had before this 12+ year trauma, or at least resume the faith, optimism, and ability to enjoy life as I had before. All I know for sure is that I simply refuse to allow my spirit to be so thoroughly trashed by others that I am no longer able to be myself. SOMEHOW, I will not only survive, but I will thrive once again. And that’s a promise!!

BTW, if you’re interested in the apparent disconnect between our justice system and morality, the Duennes& Russell blog has a great post entitled “Everything Has to Do With Morality” that’s written from the point of view of a current law student who is a deeply committed Christian. Very thought provoking.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Semi-Sweet Justice - NOT!

Justice for All... NOT!

NOW THAT I GOT THAT OUTTA MY SYSTEM, ONTO A NEW DAY!

Friend Files

Project Oversight

Travel Plans

TimeLogs

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Evil? Or Just An Eternal Toddler?

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Everyone wants to be heard; to know that their opinion matters, that THEY matter. But there is a difference between being “heard” (i.e. “understood”) vs. winning people over to agree with your opinion. It’s when people get these two concepts confused that problems arise.

Most of us learn at a very early age that we can’t always get our way, or at least we can’t always get what we want, when we want it or in the exact manner we want it. That’s what the so-called “Terrible Twos” is all about. The reason that you don’t hear about the Terrible Five’s, Ten’s, or Thirty’s, is because the majority of us figure out how to balance our personal needs and desires, with the needs and desires of our parents, siblings, neighbors, countrymen, and the world. It’s that simple but vital skill of Give-and-Take that distinguishes civilization from barbarism. It’s learning to play well with others.

Unfortunately, not everyone successfully learns the lessons necessary to progress past the stage where a toddler suddenly is faced with the fact that they are not the center of the world, and so these Eternal Toddlers [“ET’s”] continue to believe that everyone outside of themselves exists solely to satisfy their needs and desires. When confronted by the reality that they cannot make everyone snap to attention at their every beck and call, the ET ends up feeling constantly thwarted, oppressed, unappreciated, disrespected, and even abandoned. In turn, those feelings lead to intense, never-ending anger at those the ET perceives have come between them and their desires that they ultimately deal with by turning that anger back on others (in the form of adult temper tantrums or worse) and/or on themselves (i.e. self-loathing, severe depression, suicide). This is hardly a satisfying strategy to procure either the respect of others or a realistic sense of self-worth for the ET. As obvious as that equation may seem, ET’s rarely appear capable of recognizing the folly of that mindset or recalibrating their expectations and methods of communication that’s needed to escape the viscious circle they’re trapped in.

It is easy to fall into the trap of judging an ET – especially when you’re caught within the scope of an ET’s rage or continually compelled to witness the dark, disheartening world of an ET who has turned their rage inward. The inclination to yell “Snap out of it”, “Get Real”, “Grow-Up”, or “#!!?@!&!!! You!”, is understandable yet it’s foolish and counter-productive to give into your frustration that way, and can even be putting yourself at risk of great danger. So what can you do when your life crosses with an ET that won’t set you up as their Eternal Victim [“EV”]? The easy answer is to walk away and fuggetaboudit. But that’s not always possible, especially if you have conflicting feelings such as actually liking the person or even loving them, or if you’re stuck with having to deal with them for professional or other reasons. It’s heartbreaking to watch otherwise intelligent, decent people self-destruct and fearsome when an ET has the attitude of “Take No Prisoners”.

Lamentably, we are powerless to make the necessary changes for them. All we can do is try to be patient, to listen, to maintain our self-composure and dignity, to always maintain our self-respect, try to protect ourselves the best that we can, and then pray. Pray for a miracle that forces the ET take stock of themself, gather the strength to face the truth and seek help to turn their life around. Keep reminding yourself you did nothing wrong to deserve the ET’s venom. Forgive the ET, who is undoubtedly hurting even more than you, but don’t forget to take cover. And most important of all, constantly remind yourself that you can survive anything as long as you stick to the truth, never act with malice, and never stop having faith that somehow, somewhere, some time, you’ll finally be free.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Raging

Fury

Mad As Hell

WHAT’S NEW ON ZAZZLE