Family Fridays~Finding Balance For the Holidays

As the holiday season has arrived, the schedule of parties, events, and celebrations are being finalized.  It can be a challenge for individuals, and those of us with families, to achieve a balance.


We have to decide which activities give us a sense of enjoyment, peace, and happiness, and which demands and expectations only result in high stress and discouragement. Individuals and families can choose to follow past traditions to celebrate the joys of Christmas, or decide they need to create new ones!

Many grandparents and their adult children may face this challenge of finding a balance in expectations and plans for the holidays. Family situations are varied and change overtime. For example, some families live year-round together in the same town or general locale, while other families with grandchildren may live a long-distance away. I believe this article about family changes at Grandparents discusses this topic well.

Christmas is a time of the year that most of us have many memories connected to our families and friends. Because of these memories, we may hold on to certain traditions and practices. But, as time goes by things change over our lifetimes…We can honor the good memories of the past by remembering and creating new joyful times for our present holidays.

Regardless of the schedule, may we all find a way to choose a balanced way to celebrate the holidays…and life…, which gives us a sense of renewal, peace, hope, and joy. Adding to our future…good memories of the past.

 ***Happy Holidays! *** 🙂

In the Studio…& In Life~~Curing Spring Fever

I have had spring fever and very little has been accomplished in the studio!…Not that I have done nothing at all, because I have been gathering and thinking about new ideas–the incubation stage of the creative process.

North Carolina Azaleas, (c) 2012, Joni Beach.
North Carolina Azaleas, © 2012, Joni Beach.

While creative activities such as writing, painting, or quilting need this time, for me there can be a fine line between this stage and procrastination. I have a tendency to generate many ideas without moving on to the next steps of a) selecting one or two ideas, b) experimenting with new designs, techniques, and materials, in order to gradually follow through to c) a final design or piece of art.

As in art, in life we can do the same–think about ideas, research possibilities, and make lists but have trouble taking the next step of trying out one or two options. Our hesitation may be due to a busy schedule, low energy, or fear of past failures. Finding the right timing or motivation can prove to be a challenge. When creating art or writing, I may first put on music, grind coffee beans to make a pot of coffee, and find a comfortable spot. The rhythm and routine of these small actions move me forward…toward the task.

Perhaps in life, we also need some small steps of activity to bring us out of being in limbo. Finding the things which work for you as a unique individual can take some time,

But surely there has got to be a cure for this spring fever!  🙂

Making a Home

Making A Home, © 2012 Joni Beach.

Birdhouses dot the landscape of many people’s yards. The houses come in many shapes, colors, and sizes but share a common purpose—to provide a dry, cozy spot to sleep, get out of the rain, and build a nest for off-spring. In these small houses that birds “rent” for a season, they make a home.

Making A Home, © 2012 Joni Beach.
Making A Home, © 2012 Joni Beach.

Our homes, like the birds, may be housed in any number of styles, colors, and sizes, and also share a common purpose—to provide a safe, secure place to sleep, eat meals, and raise our children. But beyond the physical house, our homes can also be havens for a sense of belonging, protection, structure, and education.

Every family member has a need to belong to others in a group, while at the same time be accepted as a unique individual. A sense of belonging can be felt in a home with mutual respect and caring between everyone in the family.

A home provides protection against the risks in life that the family may face. There are family qualities that help each member meet and overcome the challenges they encounter.

Home gives a structure that can provide a foundation of positive values, love for one another, and a love of life itself.

Along with this structure, each individual in the family can be educated and challenged to grow and develop within their potential. And, growth and development does not end with childhood! Our homes can provide a sense of belonging, protection, structure, and education to the family living there. 

By observing the birdhouses in the backyard, I am reminded that while a house is safe shelter…We can make a home                                                                                                      


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