52 Card Pickup

I’m a little late for both 5 Minute Friday & my own Lovely SundayI wanted this piece to fit into that Lovely Sunday mode, somehow, but I don’t think it does. So, I think I will attempt that one a week late (along with my #WorkItWednesday, which I am once again late for.)

Below is my post for #Gather (5MF)

GO

I quite enjoy playing cards.

It's not about letting go, it's just about finding ways to move forward.
It’s not about letting go, it’s just about finding ways to move forward.

My collection began when I was young, and honestly can’t remember well a time in my life when there wasn’t a deck of cards near me.

I have collected a deck of cards from almost every place I have been, as well as places others have been and brought me one back as a gift. I have quirky cards, casino cards, Christmas decks, an M&Ms deck, and others. Something about them speaks to me.

For much of my life, there has been a deck safely hidden in my backpack or purse, after all, one never knows when boredom will strike, right?

When I was younger, during my anxiety and depression, I found a way to ground myself. I would often sit on the floor of my bedroom listening to music and shuffling cards over and over. When kids ask me now how I got so good at this, I resist the urge to say “I spent so much time being depressed and anxious, I needed a way to calm my nerves” and simply say practice.

In high school, there were a few people who called me “card girl”, knowing I was the girl to go to when class got boring. I have found ways to integrate them into my therapy with the teens I work with, and I even made a “getting to know you” deck that the Airman & I used on one of our dates (lucky for me, he was a game guy, so he appreciated it)

Another lovely thing about these cards is that they are great for art works. I am currently playing with a deck: how to make it look distressed, what I can turn it into when I have the look I want – art to be displayed. I’m also working on a shadowbox art piece with playing cards, probably Alice in Wonderland themed by the time I’m done.

And, as in the above picture, a new project I’ve begun to help process the losses I have experienced in life: a special deck for those close to my heart. Something I can pull out, shuffle, look through, process when my heart is so broken from missing them that I feel it won’t stay in my chest. Now, it will all be tucked safely in a tuck box.

Lately, though, life has felt more like a game of 52 card pick up than anything, and recently, as I have been overwhelmed with school, work, practicum, and life in general (some days, I’m not handling this whole single & no children thing well…), I have found myself turning once again to these lovely pieces of coated paper/cardboard to help with the stress and anxiety.

One of my professors reminded me that if you have a way to keep yourself grounded, use it.

So, I shuffle. I throw the deck & gather them back. And then I do it all over again. Because, each time I gather another one, I feel as if I find a piece of my sanity. Another piece of peace of mind.

Each time I pull out a deck, whether new or old, I am reminded that there is still quiet in my heart. There is still strength and skill in my hands. There is still processing ability in my brain. And there is still art in my soul.

And, as I gather the pieces of me, much like I would those cards, I find myself breathing a little easier. As I count them up “1, 2, ,3, 4…” I know that I will find my way to 52, each bringing me closer to the full deck. And, as I shuffle it all around, I will find them in the order they should be.

Because, at some point, life won’t be a game of 52 card pick up, but become once again a big game of BS or War or, if we’re lucky enough to get to act like a kid again, we might find ourselves in a game of Go Fish or Crazy 8s.

So, for now, I’m just gonna continue to pick up the rest of the 52 around me…

STOP

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