Friday 2 December 2011

Don't Mess With Me, I'm Successful

Yes.  Don't.  I am successful and I may bite.

I was reading some self improvement books recently and in all of them we are encouraged to think positive and to practice affirmations.  This is the one I came up with, and it feels good.  A little uncharacteristically violent, but good.  I need another affirmation, though, to help me get over anyone who does mess with me, and I am forced to bite them.  That feels scary, so perhaps I am not quite there yet. 

However, I think that I am successful.  My life is very busy, and I run my life on many different levels, mostly, but certainly not only, that of an Artist and that of a Mother.  I have just come back from Birmingham where I took down my A Graceful Death exhibition from where it was showing for the month of November, and I have tied that all in with training to be a Soul Midwife.  My children, all of them, are in the throes of growing up and being both wonderful and ghastly all at the same time.  They are powerful, emotional creatures, tall and blonde and terrifying, and two of them are legally adult now.  Crikey.  You wouldn't know it.  The one who is not quite an adult yet, is being encouraged to do rugby to keep his anger in check, and is going to be nice one day, I am told.  The other two, oh the other two - I love them all so passionately, but they are off in an orbit that only young adults of that age can inhabit.  Whatever happens, it is all my fault;  I was born aged 51 and though well meaning, am very blameworthy at all times.  But, I am successful here too, because all of them do like me and are still alive.  They are ridiculously healthy and full of adventure and opinions.  (Frighteningly so.)  I am successful because I raised them alone and without a leader, as the great Horace Rumpole would have said, and I done, as kids these days say, good.

I am successful as a painter.  I paint well, and I work hard at it.  My success is that I can do it, I know how to paint and I have tons of experience.  People can recognise themselves in the portraits that I do, thank goodness.  And the Angels that I paint are full of love and kindness, which helps people to like them.  What else am I successful at?  Thinking.  Yes I am extraordinarily successful at thinking.  I can sit and think for ages, and sometimes, I can tell you about it when I am finished.  My success here, is simply in the act of thinking.  Like Pooh Bear, I can think think think for hours.  The next stage, what to do with it, is not quite so successful. 

I am successful at making tea.  I know how to make a mean pot of tea and keep it warm.  I have tons of teacosys, the best of which was made by Mrs Smith of fame, and is in the shape of a fancy iced cup cake.  A total genius, is Mrs Smith.  I am successful at drinking tea.  I know how to do that even in my sleep, and no one can fault me on my methods.  A resounding success - similar to the eating cake successes.  Very clever at that, very practiced.

I am brilliant at being nice.  I am so nice I can make you cry.  I like people, I am sure they are all glorious creatures and like me as much as I like them.  Even when I find out that they are not so nice, I am stuck in the being nice groove, and have to continue.  And do you know, they respond, often, in kind?  Not nice people are nice to me.  I am successful therefore, at being nice.

What I would like to be successful with, is making money.  I do not make much money.  It escapes me, I forget about it, I don't understand it and I don't think about it.  I have enough to live on, but I don't have nor think about having, an excess.  Many of my friends are clever about business and making money, they do it with ease and aplomb, but me - I am too busy being nice, and thinking, and drinking tea, and painting paintings, and being a Soul Midwife in training.  I am not that bad, but I do lack the killer instinct.  Which makes the affirmation I chose at the beginning of this blog, quite interesting.  It is about getting in touch with the assertive me, the tough, ruthless and menacing me. The biting bit is about harnessing the missing killer instinct.  The books say that if I repeat this affirmation as if it were a mantra, I will surprise myself and all will go my way.  Even more than it does at the moment. 

The Bognor papers will report that a suspected Artist has been making money from startled passers by in Bognor High Street, after barking Don't mess with me, I'm successful and pocketing the subsequent donations made in order to escape.  Some have reported bite marks on their trousers...


  1. Toni, I'm so glad Eileen introduced me to your blog; you always make me laugh. I think you're also a success when it comes to writing. I'm successful at quite a few things myself, especially thinking, but I definitely share the lack of success with money. Maybe I should take up biting......let me know if it works.

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