Friday, August 19, 2011

My 500th Post - Meet My Inner Critic

I've been blogging since October 2, 2008 - nearly 3 years. But I haven't always been a prolific blogger - and definitely not an every day without fail blogger.

But here I am today, nearly three years later, publishing my 500th post.  And if you are someone who likes to do the math, you'll quickly figure out that 500 posts over just shy of three years comes out to just about one post for every two days. And wow! That surprised me. I didn't expect it to be that high.

So how can I mark my 500th post?  What can I do to make this one special? Honestly, I wasn't coming up with anything exciting. Nothing seemed good enough. I tossed aside ideas about polls. And lists of 500 things. And then I realized... my Inner Critic was being loud and obnoxious and I just needed to hush her up. So for my 500th post I'm introducing you to my Inner Critic. And then, just to spite her, I'm doing a fabulous giveaway.  So keep reading!

I've been aware of my Inner Critic for a long, long time. I think most of us are. But I never really took the time to get to KNOW her until recently. I've been reading a book called Journal Spilling by Diana Trout (I did not realize until I was reading the book, she actually lives about 45 minutes from me.)  In her book, Diana introduces her Inner Critic - a short skinny geek with ugly bug glasses who wears his pants too short and his tie too tight. He's a very cartoonish fellow named Stewie. The lesson Diana offers is that when you get to really know your Inner Critic, you take away his/her power.

My Inner Critic is nothing like Diana's.  First off, she's decidedly female. She is 5'6" (the exact height I always want to be but never reached) and physically fit and toned. She wears the classic never-goes-out-of-style clothing and always looks polished and put together. She never leaves the house without makeup on. She never looks frumpy.

We share an affinity for good food, but she is satisfied with a bite or two whereas I am a certified card-carrying member of the clean plate club.

She is the kind of woman who keeps an immaculate home, makes a living, is a supportive spouse and loving mother, yet still finds time for creative pursuits, and does it all with flair and makes it look easy.  You know... the kind of woman you love to hate?

And because this is all natural to her, she expects it to be natural to me as well.  She scoffs at my awkwardness and discomfort in social situations. She reacts with total scorn at my sticky kitchen floors and cluttered counters. In fact, she is really quite judgmental.  Nothing I do is ever good enough for her. You see, we also share a complete lack of tolerance for incompetence and laziness... and she considers me to be both.  (if you've ever watched the show The Gilmore Girls, she's eerily similar to the character Emily Gilmore as played by Kelly Bishop - see what I mean?)

Honestly, her whole "Martha Stewart" persona and "holier than thou" attitude are quite annoying. In fact, as I've thought more about her, I realized there is nothing AUTHENTIC about her whatsoever. She's just a construct of societal expectations and consumerism. The perfect middle-aged woman of 2011. A total phony. And she's doing her best to peddle her wares on me.  Thing is, I've decided I'm not buying it anymore. It is time to tell my Inner Critic to stuff a sock in it and kick her to the curb!

My no make-up, yoga pants and tee look is far more authentic. My messy home speaks of the real life and real activities happening here. The fact that I am too busy to clean obsessively - I guess that is a good thing!

To celebrate my 500th post AND the occasion of me finally telling my Inner Critic to shut the hell up, I'm offering a give-away!  One lucky blog reader will receive a mixed media canvas art from me (on a canvas panel which can be framed or used as is) designed specifically for the winner.  My Inner Critic is yapping away that nobody would really want my "art," it isn't good enough, the winner will surely be disappointed, blah, blah, blah.  I've firmly clapped my hands over my ears and am singing "la, la, la, la, la, I can't hear you!" at the top of my lungs.  I'm taking the chance and I'm going to do this!

If you would like to participate, please leave a comment telling me your happy color(s), any favorite quote or saying you have, or any other hints that might provide me with inspiration for your piece!  I will choose a winner on Friday, August 26th from all the entries received by then.


MonicaB said...

Wow Congrats on the 500th post! That's a huge achievement. I loved your post and I might have to take a close look at my inner critic and put her in her place. I also love your giveaway - Your truly giving away a small piece of you, your art! My happy colors are blue, orange, brown. Things about me I love Disney, Harry Potter and Daisies.

scrappyjacky said...

Well to start with....I'd love one of your wonderful your IC is definately a fool!!!
Many congrats on your 500th post....and many more to come,I hope.
When I was on holiday I bought a little plaque to stick on my say "a clean house is the sign of a mis-spent life"...thumbs up to that I say!!

alexa said...

Many congratulations! What an achievement :). And I'm thinking that your Inner Critic looks eerily like Margaret Thatcher! Well done on showing her the door - she was never part of you, but an accumulation of other people's expectations of you. She will hardly exit gracefully stage left, but you'll be ready for any dilly-dallying on her part!
I'd love a piece of your art! Colours? I love greens, blues, turquoises - but then again I've developed a passion for lime green, orange and crimson. Favourite quote? "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and sings it back to you when you've forgotton how it goes."

Denise said...

Well, I'd also love one of your fab canvases!- your post has made me think and I reckon I need to have a word with my inner critic too!
Congrats on 500 posts - amazing how they mount up isn't it ?

Amy said...

What an absolutely wonderful achievement Cheri!
I am so impressed with the 'talking to' your Inner Critic has received today, it is so easy to pay attention to the nagging voice in the bag of your head, when, really, she is non existent and just a fabrication of unrealistic expectation.

I am another who puts her hand up excitedly at the thought of having some of your art in my home - it is beautiful, worthwhile and a wonderful expression of your care and creativity. I am a green and blue girl and white and kraft I suppose! The quote speaking to me at the moment is the one about sharing that you had here on your blog last week - I think it is beautiful.

Congratulations Cheri :-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on #500, and it's another winner in my book! I think most of us have an inner critic that shows up at least periodically.

I'd love a piece of your art work. My favorite quote is from Mary Oliver: "Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." And my favorite color is red.

Unknown said...

Congrats Cheri on #500! And you rock in your ability to tell your inner critic to stuff a sock in it, and I'll gladly help you kick her to the curb! I love, love, LOVE your art and it's totally worthy of being in my home... in anyone's home. Whoo Hoo!!

Melissa said...

How wonderful to meet your Inner Critic & know that she's getting kicked to the curb. (I do believe I have seen her twin sister here at my house on occassion!) I'm glad you shut her up because your art work would look loving hanging in my craft room - I have the perfect spot. My most happy color is yellow, with some greens & other lovely colors thrown in.

quiltingfool said...

Congrats on your 500th post! As always, your messages are intelligent, insightful, and beautiful, and always leave your readers thinking. Although I probably should disqualify myself, I would also be thrilled with a piece of your art. My favorite colors are purple, turquoise, lavender, deep wine and eggplant. My quote is "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got".

And have you realized yet that the drawing of your inner critic looks very much like a certain red head you loved and lost?

Keep up the great work, I'm sure all your readers are so happy to have you back on a regular basis. I, for one, missed you a lot. Hope Jay is enjoying his new job!

Ginger said...

Congrats on 500!! I loved reading this post, it is funny how we let that voice keep talking... Happy to hear she's going on a permanent vacation! Her misfortune is our luck, as I would certainly love to have a piece of your art in my home :) I happen to love greens, teals or aquas with reds and bait of yellow for good measure!

Sian said...

Congratulations on your 500th post Cheri! Keep up the good work!

Round here I am known as "The Queen Of Green"..

debs14 said...

500 posts, that really deserves a celebration! Don't listen to that inner critic, she doesn't know what she's talking about, listen to your blog friends instead, we think you're great!
My happy colours are teal, green or duck egg blue.

Jan C. said...

Tell that inner critic wench to shut the heck up, Cheri. She doesn't know what she's talking about!

Congrats on your 500th post, and keep 'em coming.

Jo.C said...

Ha Ha - I got that book on Friday and have to say my inner critic is much more like yours than the one in the book. I really need to get to grips with mine!
My favourite colours are turquoise, blues, duck egg a bit of pink. Your quotes always seem so apt - where do you find them all?
My current fave is laugh often, love much, live well

humel said...

Your inner critic has no clue, see how many people would be delighted and honoured with a canvas from you? :)

My current fave colours are blue and green - turquoise to teal, lime to pale green, and all in between :) And my favourite quotations are probably Bible verses, or anything positive and optimistic :) And I love rainbows!! xx

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Congrats on your 500th post, Cheri, and also for writing this awesome post. I think we share the same Inner Critic, my dear! I actually laughed outloud when I read your reference to Emily Gilmore. lol

As for owning a piece of your artwork, it would be an honor. (At this point I will add that your Inner Critic is terribly wrong on this bit!!!) Let's see...we all know I like turtles...blues and greens and summery colors would be lovely, and any quote you have related to your HAPPY theme. Oooooh! I hope I win! ;o)

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Congrats on your 500th post, Cheri, and also for writing this awesome post. I think we share the same Inner Critic, my dear! I actually laughed outloud when I read your reference to Emily Gilmore. lol

As for owning a piece of your artwork, it would be an honor. (At this point I will add that your Inner Critic is terribly wrong on this bit!!!) Let's see...we all know I like turtles...blues and greens and summery colors would be lovely, and any quote you have related to your HAPPY theme. Oooooh! I hope I win! ;o)

scrappysue said...

Many congrats on your 500th post Cheri, I have certainly enjoyed reading your posts! Glad to hear you are giving your Inner Critic a good telling off; maybe yours and mine could meet over coffee and take a long hike round the world and never come back (they sound very similar).

What a fabby prize Cheri, and how generous, gosh I would love to win too! My fav colours are turquoise, lime green with a dash of pink and black!

helena said...

Love your art and have been enjoying your take on the Big Picture FEstival words.

I love the spectrum from orange through red to purple and love anything containing the word 'create'