1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Zentangle Diva Challenge #309 — OCD Edition

by Suzanne Fluhr on March 28, 2017 · 29 comments

(Zentangle? Who? What? Start here.)

This week, the Zentangle Diva challenged us to use a new tangle from the Mother Ship, in other words, an “official” tangle, called Noom.

I know I have a few, mostly controlled, perfectionist tendencies and Noom brought them to the fore. Some people just share their first attempt at the challenge (which might even be a rule–except there are no rules, yada, yada, yada, or is that there are no mistakes—-whatever).  Not this time. I spent far too many hours unsatisfactorily “Nooming” on little pieces of scrap paper and even on expensive-ish paper before being satisfied. To make matters worse, I did this while binge watching cable news (how un-Zen is that!) and “navel gazing“, processing such thoughts as:

  • Do I have a purpose on this planet (now that our offspring are fully sprung)?
  • Should I stop being a recovering lawyer and officially give up my law license (probably prompted by running into a former colleague while walking the dog)?
  • Should I go to the Women in Travel Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, thereby spending money I’m not personally earning? (This would kind of be like spending $26.07 in Blick’s Art Supply store on Sunday afternoon—only a whole lot more self-indulgent).
  • Why do I feel unworthy because I don’t have a real job even though I had one for 35 years and Mr. Excitement seems happy enough to pay the bills?
  • Why am I procrastinating about calling that personal trainer whose number I have?
  • Am I too boring for the dog?

Finally, just about the time The Rachel Maddow Show started, I was satisfied enough with my Noom. I realized that doing the tangle with a line as a guide helped important bits end up where they need to be. So, I got to this:

Zentangle tangle Noom

Gasp. I then realized that I had messed up the pattern I planned for the second ring from the center. After all that work, this almost unhinged me. But, I took a deep breath, and decided to make lemonade out of lemons. (Actually, I made myself a gin and tonic which I find more inspiring than lemonade). I turned the mistake into a random pattern N’zeppel. How’s that for appropriate Zentangular thinking?!

After that save, I decided to push the envelope even farther and I used some of the metallic makers I had purchased during my art supply retail therapy expedition.

Drum roll – Tah Dah!

The Paradox and Diva Dance are colored with Prismacolor pencils. The other colors were done with Crayola metallic markers I picked up at the check out counter at Blick’s. Excellent merchandising technique. Devils.

I’ve managed to improve my mood, but the dog still looks bored.

What do you do when you feel yourself descending into a funk? (If this never happens to you, I know a dog who may be looking to live with more exciting people.)

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

The Creative Miss L March 28, 2017 at 2:12 am

Suzanne, I haven’t dropped by your blog for a while. Sorry about that. I do love looking at your art and reading your stories. Maybe your purpose in life now is to share your art, make your dog happy and take time out from the 12 hour days? You can’t give to other people (or dogs) if there’s not much left in the tank.


Suzanne Fluhr March 28, 2017 at 4:37 pm

The dog thanks you. 😉


ria matheussen March 28, 2017 at 8:03 am

Dear Suzanne. We only have one life and how older we become, how better we know ourselves and understand that time is so precious. Everyone has good and bad days. I try to accept that. After bad days, always come better ones. I don’t compare myself with others anymore. I did that a lot when I was younger and I always wanted to be perfect, that is impossible and gave me a lot of stress. Just follow your heart, it knows the way…
About this zendala: it is a real beauty with splendid colours, I love it!


Dyanne March 28, 2017 at 9:30 am

What do I do (when I feel myself descending…)? I know it sounds corny, but I honestly just remind myself of my many blessings (also, why I recently had the word “Agradecido” tattooed on my forearm). That and… definitely unplugging from any and all electronics (i.e. “binge watching cable news”? – now THAT’s a sure-fire, one-way ticket on the “funk” train).

That said – nice save on that “N’zeppel” ring! 😉


Suzanne Fluhr March 28, 2017 at 4:41 pm

I also feel very grateful, but sometimes that then makes me feel guilty for feeling down or unproductive. The cable news binge watching definitely has to stop. I love the idea that you have added a tattoo—but shouldn’t it be “Agradecida”. 😉


Dyanne March 30, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Agreed – the ol’ “Eat your peas, there are people starving in Africa!” doesn’t cut it. But I just find that often actually itemizing (esp. writing) even the smallest blessings, helps me to refocus on the positive, and lifts me out of my funk. lol, I also have long made it a rule to never feel “guilty”. 😉

And nope – Agradecido” is correct according to my Ecuadorian native-speaking tattoo artist. (I also replied to your question in the comments on my Tattoo post).


Laurel Regan, CZT March 28, 2017 at 10:16 am

I love the recovery, Suzanne! And the end result is so very pretty.


Joyce March 28, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Absolutely beautiful Zendala, great job!!

Please don’t tell anyone, but I make mistakes in Zentangle. Yup, sure do, but, shhhhhhh, mum’s the word, ok?

I have a depression support group that I post with for those times I’m sliding into the pit. Reading helps a lot, and NOT watching the news, none of it, ever. Never. Seriously, don’t watch the news. It is scary and depressing, and I can get scared and depressed all by myself without any help at all, thank you very much. And of course, tangling helps the bad days, and working with bright colors. And finally, just remember, “This, too, shall pass away.”



Suzanne Fluhr March 29, 2017 at 1:00 am

Thanks for your advice, Joyce. Watching TV news these days is definitely a non-yellow brick road to the abyss. PS: Your Zentangle secret is safe with me. 😉


Trudi March 28, 2017 at 1:57 pm

I have to say I agree with Joyce you’re watching way too much news. I was watching The View today and they talked about the very thing you said, people are getting so grumpy and annoyed and it’s all because of what’s happening in the world today, too much bad news (if it was good news they wouldn’t bother to report it!). Enjoy where you are in life now because as you get older the problems and health issues are likely just to increase. I right now have a little bit of arthritis in a finger that I use very seldom use but feel if I watch much more news I might feel compelled to feature on more occasions. Love your Tangle btw 🙂


Suzanne Fluhr March 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Thanks for the advice, Trudi. I have a little trip to Washington, DC for a long weekend coming up. Hopefully, that will pry me away from TV news.


Wendy March 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm

What a beautiful job you’ve done! Love the words, love the picture!


Jean Chaney March 28, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Some days we just need to wallow in despair. It’s an okay thing to do as long as you don’t stay there. Sounds like you might need something new to do so each day is looked forward to. Perhaps experimenting in ethnic cooking , finding a new author or style to read, learning calligraphy, studying philosophy, volunteering at a free legal aid center. Zentangle is good for stress relief, but stress isn’t always a bad thing if you are pushing yourself towards an enjoyable goal. I think we all benefit from stress.
Anyway, your tile is quite beautiful 🙂


Suzanne Fluhr March 28, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Thank you for your advice, Jean. I’ve thought about learning calligraphy although I’m not sure that might not feed into some of the aspects of my character that I’d like to de-emphasize.


nan @ lbddiaries March 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm

WOW that finale is BEAUTIFUL! I can’t help you with the dogs but I know you do more than sit around and Zentangle. Alpha Hubby explained to me that me “being home” now, I still do things so he doesn’t have to!! What I want to know is that with all our freedoms and women supposedly supporting women, do we still think about being as if we aren’t doing anything? Even if we aren’t doing anything, isn’t that our choice?? Bah – a conundrum!


Suzanne Fluhr March 28, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I think one of my problems is that having had a demanding career for so many years, it seems to be hard for me to just — be. Sometimes I don’t think I have the energy to do much more which I find upsetting. PS: I’m also immensely grateful that I can just “be” and there is still a roof over my head, and food on the table, and a man who more than tolerates me, and a dog who provides unconditional positive regard even if I bore him. 😉


Maggibee March 28, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Hi Suzanne, I found it v v v hard to adjust to retirement from a responsible post and saw myself as having lost value/worth in the eyes of the world and in my own. You know what? It’s nonsense. Your worth/value/purpose… don’t revolve round a job, or earning power or position. Make a good job of being the best YOU you can possibly be. As for the news, it’s like alcohol and chocolate – acceptable in moderation. Don’t let it turn into an addiction.

And then there’s the Zentangle. Now there’s a positive addiction if you want one.


Suzanne Fluhr March 29, 2017 at 1:02 am

Thanks for the pep talk. Some days I can convince myself of that (self worth) and some days—-not so much.


Melissa March 28, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Beautiful tile!!


Leslie in Oregon March 28, 2017 at 9:17 pm

This posts resonates with me in several ways. (1) I too feel like I am boring our dogs when they spend my workdays with me. And in fact, I am. Taking your dog out on adventures of just about any kind can be very spirit-lifting, as a dog can make anything more fun. (2) To prevent or avoid worsening a funk, one thing I do is to steer clear of is TV news, which is at best so cursory and geared toward “entertaining” that it is entirely incomplete, jarringly sensationalistic and almost always inaccurate in at least some respect. Watch news commentary by informed people if you wish, but not the TV news broadcasts. Get the rest of your news from reading the much-more-considered and thorough pieces about current events that you can find in the newspapers you value, in magazines and (even) online. Taking these steps has allowed me to be informed but not overwhelmingly depressed by “the news.” (3) Last, I often wonder if I am indulging myself by continuing by active bar membership, when the work I do (arbitrating employment and labor disputes) does not require it. Having worked so hard to get that license to practice law, however, I remain loathe to give it up. That step would close a door that I may want, or have, to re-open some day (without going through the uncertainty and pain of the readmission process).


Suzanne Fluhr March 29, 2017 at 1:12 am

Thanks, Leslie. I am really glad we have a dog who has to go for walks because it forces me to leave the house. We’ve moved to an apartment I call “The Cave” where I can’t see out to a street (it’s on a courtyard) and where the sun hardly penetrates. Silver lining: it’s quiet.

The last time DT referred to the NY Times as “fake news”, I purchased a digital subscription, so I read that. I also read to keep myself out of the bubble. I’m not willing to slosh over to Breitbart for that purpose. I also read some political articles that float into my consciousness from my Facebook feed. However, I do listen to cable “news” talking heads too much. I’m sure it would be much more salubrious to listen to music while I tangle rather than Wolf Blitzer.

I’m signed up for 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education courses in April and soon I’ll have to decide about my law license again.


HeidiSue March 28, 2017 at 9:48 pm

mmm, so pretty! It’s like a rose window in a cathedral in the ocean depths. A shrine to Neptune, god of the sea. Because…sea shells and pearls and twisty stuff like seaweed. And the colors are just yummy. Very nice!


Suzanne Fluhr March 29, 2017 at 1:13 am

I want some of whatever you’re drinking. No, seriously, thank you for your comment. You obviously took a good look at my mandala. 🙂


Annemarie March 29, 2017 at 2:42 am

First: I love your zendala and from me you will absolutely get a drum roll!
Second: I read most of the comments above and I have to say, the advice of Jean is what worked for me. After a few years just being home retired and all, I found myself feeling sort of useless more and more. That’s when I decided to try and do what I wanted for years but did not do because I thought they (who the hell are the ‘they’ in my mind?) would not want me because I was to old (68) and have no experience in working in care. I went to the local hospice last august and now I really found out that this volunteer work is more satisfying then the payed work I did before. So …. follow your heart and try to find something (whatever that is) that gives you satisfaction!


Suzanne Fluhr March 29, 2017 at 5:37 am

Thanks for sharing your retirement story, Annemarie. Now I just have to figure out what gives me satisfaction and not let “perfect” be the enemy of “good enough”.


Carmela Claessens-Soro March 29, 2017 at 11:24 am

Very beautiful zendala whit and whitout the coulors.


michele March 29, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Your zendala is gorgeous! I completely relate to being unhinged by a “mistake”…happens to me all the time. Kudos to you for that graceful save. Thank you so much for this thought provoking post because I relate to so much of what you struggle through. All of the responses have been quite helpful, but mostly knowing that we are not alone;-) I’ve been taking cooking classes. I’m a pretty competent cook but it’s good to get out of my kitchen and engage with others over a professional kitchen counter and then sitting down to a meal and a glass of wine (and someone else cleans up!!!). I always learn something new. I live alone and become even more introverted and anti-social as I get older. The classes take me waaayyy out of my comfort zone but I always feel better afterward;-)


Lorna Roberts April 1, 2017 at 7:47 pm

A happy zendala in spite of your possible funk. For me, keeping a pm journal helps so much. I list accomplishments, things grateful for, things that are going well, nice things that happened today. Just that at the end of the day before sleep. It snaps me right out. Om shanti!


alice June 2, 2017 at 4:59 pm

gorgeous! I like how you turned your boo boo in to a lovely ring of ‘nzeppel.


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