Inspiration for the week (or longer)

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration 8 Comments

This week, I rediscovered the pleasure in talking less and saying more. So instead of blathering on for hundreds of words, here are barely 300 words — plus a few photos that express  exactly how I feel right now.

Of course, I still have lots to share. It’s just that I’m in a deliciously quiet mood, thanks to a solid week of quality down time. There was even a leisurely morning of sorting through old pictures, which led to remembering and reminiscing…

Wow, did I really do all that? So much change involving both good stuff and stress. I particularly loved a shot from my 2015, 10-day painting trip to France. This is what it reminded me about life:


And after turning 60 a few weeks ago, I also realize this:

60 meme

When images with text overlays go viral, they become memes. Right now, these are just me’s. Social media haikus. Another form of self-expression.

(Note: If you’d like to try making your own memes, I highly recommend online photo editors like, which is super-easy to use, or Both offer free versions but the paid upgrades are much better. For your smart phone, try WordSwag.) 

Another thrill was rummaging through my art supplies, which have been gathering a year’s worth of dust since that trip to France. From there, I wandered into the kitchen and pulled out a bowl that became more than just a bowl.

With charcoal stick in hand, that ordinary ceramic object prompted a meditation on seeing. Dark and light. Form. Dimension. Textures in gray. Feels good to get out of my every day busy head and into The Zone.


And that’s it! That’s all I have to say.

Well, except for one more thing: This week, consider taking care of yourself FIRST. Do something for yourself, even if your reaction is, “I’m being selfish.”

Soak your soul in this most fantastic medicine, the ultimate spa treatment. Everyone, including you, will breathe more freely. Exhale. Go ahead. Do it. xo

Update: So my 20-something daughter saw this post and rolled her eyes. She has a totally different reaction to walls.

wall memes

Of course, there’s room for both ways to view walls. But which do you prefer? And what other options are possible? Reflecting on these questions led to blogging about the challenges of empty nesting and more.  

Comments 8

  1. Thank you Betty for your blog posts. I love them all! I am 58 and happy to have you that much ahead of me cheerleading towards 60. My sister is turning 60 in the fall and I’m forwarding her your posts.
    As a high school teacher i get the summers off. Downtime is so important – I don’t know how people get on without it. I have been doing lots of sorting and throwing out of “stuff” sparking many memories. I’m getting better at discarding the clutter.
    If only our culture would allow us to slow down and proceed at a reasonable pace, but it seems to be speeding in the other direction.

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      Amy, thanks for reading and sharing with your sister. I’m thinking of doing a few more “Sixty is the new (fill in the blank)” memes. So if you’re interested in seeing them, they will probably be on my Facebook page: @bettymingliu

      And it’s nice to hear from a fellow teacher. Took me until this point in the summer to finally feel like I can relax. Enjoy the rest of the summer! Xo

  2. The 20s: Dancing till dawn!
    The 30s: Dancing till dawn and regretting it the next morning
    The 40s: Discovering to your horror that you are not only a grown up, you’re looking at middle age in the not far distance. How did this happen while you were dancing?
    The 50s: You call that dancing? Why when I was your age…..
    The 60s; So, there’s more than one way to dance through life after all!
    The 70s: Slow dancing is more fun than I thought!
    The 80s: I’ll let you know when I get there.

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  3. Hi Betty. Love your writings. I learned to dispense with literal/physical clutter years ago. However, its always great to read someone else’s perspective on down time and uncluttering the mind. I need to do that a lot more. Cheers, Rosina from New Zealand.

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