Live. Now.

Instead of getting in line to buy a toaster oven at 4AM on this day after Thanksgiving, we slept in, had a leisurely breakfast with family and friends, and just returned from a peaceful stroll at the museum. Trust us, it was the perfect antidote to yesterday's chaos!  It also reminded us about the simple pleasures we discuss in our upcoming book Bitches on a Budget, and about an exhibit we recently visited at the National Portrait Gallery.

One of the few, happy by-products of our current economic times is we have time to reflect on what really counts in life. (And it isn't a new toaster.) We need to remember to enjoy the moment, live in the present, seek pleasure in the everyday and the simple things. These times are a wake-up call: pleasure and purchase are not always synonymous. While the economy is tough for so many, money can be re-made, purchases delayed, expectations managed, but time can never be renewed or replaced. 

As you repurpose how you use your time, think about celebrating the arts. Great art can make you happy, sad, calm, enraged. So much pleasure can be derived from viewing the old masters or seeking out new performers and artists.  We love to track–the up and comers– as they learn and perfect their craft. We've found reasonably priced access to talent (whether watching a community theater company or attending an opening at a local arts center) and we've learned ourselves by tracking budding performers and artists as they develop.

One such talent was our dear friend Rebecca Westcott. At age 28 she was killed changing a flat tire on the side of the road by an impaired driver (enjoy your libations, ladies, but never, ever drink and drive). We’re telling you this because a retrospective of her work is now hanging at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

It is awesome.

Just weeks before this tragedy, Becky won a prestigious Pew Fellowship for art. She was one of the youngest recipients of this award.  Just imagine what she could have accomplished had she lived to reach her full potential.

Her husband Jim Houser, another young, cool, talented artist, commissioned a series of Becky’s portraits to be reproduced as prints. They rock.  You can see them at the gallery that represented Becky and Jim at the beginning of their careers, Spector Projects.  At the very least, with the long holiday break approaching consider visiting our nation’s capital and heading over to the National Portrait Gallery. (Which by the way, even before they had the good taste to exhibit Becky’s work, was one of our favorite, and free, museums in the entire world!)

You can read more from Bitches on a Budget at: www.bitchesonabudget.com

 

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