Have you ever had one of those days when it feels like everything just goes your way?
Every now and then I will have one, I notice I feel a little better when I wake up in the morning, everyone seems a little happier, and the day goes a little smoother. I go to bed at the end of those days and feel really good, I sleep better, and dream of another lucky day.
This visual journal page focuses on one such day. It just felt like a good day. My students were working hard on their various assignments, I got a lot accomplished, I had zero discipline problems or major mishaps. I even got out of work just a little earlier than usual. It was one of those days when I got in my car, and rather than turning on NPR and relaxing on the way home, I turned on my music, and sang along, very loud, unless I was at a stop light next to another car.
My drive from my former school was very long. It only took 40 minutes, which really wasn’t bad, but I had to drive 35 miles one way to get there. It involved winding through my many neighborhood roads, until turning left onto Memorial, right onto Candler, battling light after light until I finally made my left turn onto I-20. The way home was worse because I was stuck with all of the other people battling to get home. People seem to become more grumpy as the day wears on, and by the time the 4-5:00 range hits, everyone on the road is in a bad mood.
However, on this particular day I wasn’t going to allow my afternoon commute to put me in a foul mood. I was jammin to my tunes, dancing in my car, it had been a good day. I-20 is typically a breeze, so when I zoomed past town after town, it felt like just another drive home. In contrast, the turn onto Candler Road, the anticipation of light after light, stop-go-stop-go, can put a damper on my day. But not today, I wouldn’t allow it. Without even thinking about what was to come, I breezed of I-20, coasted down the ramp, and approached my first light.
What luck! It was green. No big deal, it does happen from time to time, although I still basked in the good feeling of flying from I-20 directly onto Candler. I approached light number two, green again, light number three, green, four, five, six, green, green, green, seven, eight, nine, all green. They were all green. I was making record time home, I couldn’t believe what luck I had on Candler, until I approached my left turn onto Memorial.
As I rolled down the left turn lane and approached my first solid red, my left turn signal cued, and yet again I cruised through. It was a commuters miracle, not only was I going to make every single light on Candler, but it was also going to happen on Memorial. I would actually get home a little early, I would be able to see at least thirty minutes of Ellen today. It was the perfect end to a very perfect day.
In general I am a happy person and positive thinker. I believe you get back what you put out, and being kind to others will make you feel better about yourself. This personal belief is one of the many reasons why I love Ellen so much, her mantra, “be kind to one another”, hits home with me. I try my best to be kind to people, to attempt to make their day a little better, and in turn improve mine. Positive thinking and kindness can go a long way in life, and I believe my lucky days are a direct result of that belief.
I don’t believe occurrences are random, I believe in fate, in meant to be. I don’t believe my green light journey home was based solely on luck. I believe it was what I needed on that day. It was the icing on the cake of my good day, perhaps a nod to me for trying to change my attitude at work, for finding a piece of happiness amidst a stressful year.
If you are negative it will be a battle to find happiness in everyday life. Paying attention to bad thing after bad thing will suddenly turn your focus to every little think that goes wrong. You begin to transform into the “life’s not fair” person, the “why does everything happen to me?”. Guess what, life isn’t smooth, things go wrong, but if you never take a moment to enjoy the small things in life you are causing yourself to miss out. You are being unfair to yourself for not giving life a chance. Why waste time moping around when you can enjoy fall days, good books, and warm fires? Perhaps thirteen green lights in a row isn’t a miracle, but it’s a small blessing, and the little things add up to a lot more happiness in life, so pay attention.
- Visual journal
- Rubber cement
- Book pages
- India ink
- Paint brush
It had been awhile since I did a full page magazine collage, and I decided it was the perfect technique for this page. As usual I started by getting a very large stack of magazines, and began ripping out any page with blacks, grays, greens, and blues. I always start with organization to make the process easier. I divided my ripped out magazine images into stacks according to color. Once I felt I have enough to get me started, I began ripping them up into small pieces, using only the colors I need from the image. Again, I kept the ripped of piles of magazine images divided by color. I always kept my eyes peeled for a nice skyline image, to signify my drive home from country to city.
When collaging, especially full page collages, I always start in the back and work my way forward. I began gluing down my blues to create my sky, and mixed in old book pages to create yellow, antique looking clouds. I followed with my skyline cut out, being sure to place it in front of a “cloud” area to help it stand out. The contrast between the dark skyscrapers and light clouds worked better than black against blue. After that I took a pencil and quickly sketched in the shape of the road, and began gluing my green pieces around it to create the grass. Next came all of my grays for the road, with small ripped up white pieces of book pages to create the lines in the road.
Once my collaged scene was complete it was time to begin on the details, my lovely green lights. On a separate sheet of paper I drew out five sets of streetlights, going from large to small to show perspective and emphasize the idea that the road was going back in space. I painted them in using water color, and to emphasize the green light I blew the blob of green water color once I painted it in, to create a splatter. Once dry I went back in with India ink to outline the details. I carefully cut them out, and glued them down on my page. I used India ink once again to paint in the power lines and posts, however over time they have faded and rubbed off. Often times wet materials will have trouble sticking to shiny coated surfaces, such as magazine pages. Try to avoid doing this if possible.
To complete the page I wrote “Some days I feel like things just go my way” across the furthest back power line. My good luck page was complete!
Give positive thinking a go. Get a sheet of paper, give it a fun title, and make a list of all the little things that make you happy this week. Think small, sleeping in five extra minutes, your dog being sweet, getting a Christmas card, or smelling something nostalgic. Create a visual journal page about one of the things at the end of the week!
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