Beyond Blessed

Today I am feeling overwhelmed with joy…and I wanted to pass some along in your direction.

I have a place to sleep, and it’s filled with people I love.


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My kiddos don’t notice if I cut my hair, much less if I “do” it or put on any make-up. They don’t want me airbrushed in photos. They love me for who I am.


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My husband is one of the most patient men on the planet. I’m convinced. Don’t try to dissuade me. We’ve stood together, ready to tackle the ups and downs of life for many years–and I’m looking forward to an eternity of more.

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I have a cupboard full of food, cabinets overflowing with pans, and a recipe box stuffed with the roadmaps to create our favorite foods. Plus, if I don’t feel like cooking, I have frozen pizza in my freezer or a car with gas to grab take-out.


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I have amazing friends. Need I say more?

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I can listen to favorite songs on demand. Wow. That is so cool.

(See the Spotify Playlist in the sidebar.)

Clean running water, warm showers, and painting my toe nails rock my day. 🙂

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I can smile…anytime. Anywhere.

Karin

What are your favorite blessings right now? How do you celebrate gratitude in your everyday living?

Bike Wrecks and Broken Teeth

The sun pierced through the canopy of trees above, painting irregular polygons in less regular patterns across the asphalt. I had lived but a decade and received a Blue Angel banana-seat bike for Christmas only months prior. My thin legs and long feet pushed and pushed and pushed the pedals in turn, racing my running friends along the road back toward the cul-de-sac, back toward home.

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I will probably never know what happened next. Somehow my bike stopped suddenly while my body lurched forward over the handlebars with the inertia pushing me airborne and flailing through the newly warming spring air.

My face collided with the pavement, leaving small chunks of rock and gravel imbedded in my skin.

As I rose to my feet, hesitantly, I surveyed what I couldn’t see but could only feel with fingers and tongue. The road claimed half of my front tooth as it’s own victory for the battle, leaving me with a busted lip and broken nose as my battle wounds.

My Blue Angel was relatively unharmed.

Panic ensued in what was a blur of faces and friends inquiring about my well-being.

“Karin, are you okay?”

I was bleeding not only from nose and lip but also from elbow, hand, and knee. Still, I half-ran, half-hobbled down past six or seven houses to my own door step. My mother met me there with a mixture of shock and amazement and welcomed me into the kitchen to press my face with cold paper towel compresses and whatever ice she could find. She was already phoning the dentist.

A same-day appointment was scheduled, and I made the first of many trips to fix my broken tooth. I wish the dentist could’ve mended my heart as easily as he cleaned the root with mixtures that smelled of bleach and the chewable calcium tablets my dad made us eat each day to ensure our bones were strong.

I wasn’t sure if my lip would ever be un-swollen. I knew my nose would never be the same. I preferred walking to the speed and wind-blowing-in-my-hair feelings of riding my bike. I stayed inside for many days. I grew tired of recounting my adventurous encounter with the road. I became a little more cautious.

More years later than I care to count, those feelings continue to set patterns for my practices. I am more careful than I would like to be at times–longing to let the wind blow in my hair and break free of the monotony of my everyday. But then, I am back on that bike, pounding the pavement, and flying over my bike all over again. I want to call to that girl and tell her that she will heal, that no one will notice the nose, or the tooth, or the scars years from now. I want to tell her that she will have what she needs and most of what she wants. I want to tell her to ride.

Ride into the wind.

We can always pick up the pieces later…

together.

Deadlines…

So, I’ve been working on a project that entails several components…and the process has been a bit slow at times and brilliantly filled with energy at others. (Such is the creative process, eh?)

Well, I’m on the last leg of this…and the most-involved…and could use a little positive energy to send me whirling through this last step before I say goodbye to this part of my journey. 🙂

While I’m here, though, let me share a few points I’ve learned through the process:

1. Feedback is not only appropriate, it is beyond necessary and extremely important.

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2. Friendship and family support are invaluable.

Friendship Day
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3. Inquire. Ask questions. Ponder. Think. Ask again. Find the clarity you seek. Then, move forward with your goals.


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4. We each have individual roads to walk. Don’t judge others on their paths and don’t seek their approval for your journey. It’s yours. Own it.


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5. Feed your body (with good food, fresh air, and exercise) and your spirit (though connection, meditation, prayer, and study).

6. Let go of your past. Conquer your fear. Live in the moment.

7. You can do this.

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8. Be happy. 🙂


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9. Enlist the help of others. They have skills. So do you. Share the love.

How To Love
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10. Keep a positive energy flow. When you start to feel down, pull yourself back up to a place of positivity. Post affirmations; create a mantra–whatever works.


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***Above all, have FUN! Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured! Find your happy place and roll!!!!!***


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Well, I’m gonna get back to work. I have a deadline, you know?

🙂

It’s TUESDAY!!!

At least, it’s Tuesday where I am. And I had lunch with some new friends (complete with free soft-serve and dark chocolate sauce…which was divine, let me tell ya). So, I’m feeling a little lighter…my laundry is done and my anniversary playlist is being tweaked to (almost) perfection…and my house will soon be full of the sounds of papers rustling and turning for homework and bags and boxes from the pantry will leave their shelves of rest in the name of after-school snacks. 🙂 Life is good.

Has anyone checked out the free song on iTunes today? How about new releases in music? I’m always up for a good tune….

And, since you asked, I’m doing well today. I have some busy weeks coming, and I’ve been trying to gear up for all the events that are coming my way. Through all this, I have discovered that I am a social person. I like to be with people. I like to learn more about people, to talk with people, to laugh and visit with people, to help people…and, most of all, to connect with people. Connection is a happy place for me.

Sending out some love and happiness vibes to you, wherever you find yourself in cyberspace today!!!! Happy Tuesday…and may you have many, many more!

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Help a Girl Out…

As I’ve been working on spending more quality time in real (face-to-face) communication, conversation, and support of those I love, I have had a few thoughts.  Maybe because I have been thinking of the many awesome women in my life, and maybe because we just celebrated the connections of mothers earlier this month, and maybe because two of my good friends just gave birth to beautiful baby girls…and maybe just cuz I was vacuuming yesterday (and I ponder through the white noise of the little sucking machine that makes my cute rugs look polished)…but I’ve been thinking of how we need to let go of the catty comparisons and the vengeful feelings we have for other women and help each other walk a little taller.

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Could we do that?

I know I’m guilty of judging others and comparing my own weaknesses to others’ strengths.  I look at other women and wonder, “why can’t I (have/look like/be more)_________________ like so-and-so?”  When I give in to such comparisons, I not only degrade myself but I create contention between myself and another woman.  (And, honestly, she may be saying the same thing about me.)  When we live in Judgementland or Comparisonville, we are never at rest or at peace. 😦

Can’t we just enjoy the good in others…and the good in ourselves…and help support other women in our lives?


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In an interaction with a friend recently, she mentioned that she began saying to the little people in her home, “I love everything about you!”  She said that her little people really responded to those words.  Through her example, I wanted to try it.  Of course, I thought to do it on one of the most disruptive mornings lately…and I was feeling frustrated and felt more like saying to my little people, “I see lots of things you need to work on and change.”  Still, I persisted, trying to find a moment to share this with at least one of them….  I do love everything about them–their idiosyncracies along with their personalities and happiness and even the troubles that come as they learn and grow into who they need to be.

I found a moment with my daughter when we were alone in a room, and I leaned toward her ear and softly spoke, “I love everything about you.”


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She seemed dumbstruck.

So, I said it again.  “I love everything about you.”

She looked at me incredulously.  I affirmed my statement while wondering when the last time (if ever) she would’ve felt that she was completely, incomprehensibly, and absolutely loved.  I have decided to share this idea with her more, along with my other children…and even the other women in my life, as many of them struggle (as I do) with feeling worthy, accepted, and loved.

Are you in this boat with us?  And can we work together to stay afloat and reach the shore and live in the cities of Love and Acceptance together…the way we are now.


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The Product of NaNoWriMo 2012

As promised, I am recording for posterity (and my lovely blog readers) the lessons I have learned over the past weeks since I made a spontaneous decision to enter NaNoWriMo 2012.  (I was serious blogging about whether or not to do it…having done no outlining or anything…and just did it on a whim thanks to the encouragement of a few lovely voices!…& I thank you sincerely Marissa and Darcy!)  Here we go, in no particular order…:

  • Prayer works.  (Not that I didn’t know this prior to Nov. 1, 2012; it was just reaffirmed to me….)
  • Productivity produces energy.
  • Support from those you love is vital for success!
  • Goals can be accomplished…(and a lot more, too!).
  • I CAN WRITE!!!!!
  • Being purely creative is energizing.
  • My family, friends (& I) love me!
  • Even with road blocks (scheduling, sickness, holidays, etc.)~keep moving forward….! (See Meet the Robinsons for more info on this topic.)
  • God is aware of me and loves me!
  • I HAVE A VOICE (and an important one, at that)!
  • I can cultivate creativity…and a writing mood.
  • Breaks are important.  (I took every Sunday off…and a few other Thursdays sprinkled in the month, as well.)
  • When all else fails, have a dance party with the kiddos (…or with friends…or by yourself…)!
  • Have munchies around always.  (I had a Swiss Cake Roll emergency…luckily for me, I did have some left-over Double Stuf Oreos which satisfied the chocolate/creamy craving.)  🙂
  • Buy back your kids’ Halloween candy and use it for NaNoWriMo snacks…and to last until NaNoWriMo is over and you start making Christmas candy.
  • Spotify created great mood music when I needed it…and was a great resource for the karaoke scene I wrote.
  • You can always edit later.

In the past few days, I have listened to some of the songs on Alicia Keys’ new album–and the chorus and several lines of this song resonate with me.  I do feel like a “Brand New Me.”

The only time I recently felt this kind of growth and accomplishment is when I worked and trained for (& completed) a half-marathon with a dear friend of mine…something about measurable success.  Hopefully, though, I will write more novels than the number of races I’ve run…! 🙂

Hugs!

When the going gets tough…

So, last night I was at a loss…or lost…or something…completely not myself.  Without going into detail, let’s just say my world was not rocking along smoothly.  Sure, I had 47,455 words toward my NaNoWriMo goal, and everyone was clothed…well, pretty much everyone since the preschooler removes his shirt often lately in the name of being the Hulk…and we fed everyone…but the clutter of the house and the weight of two weeks of an unhealthy household and people being reinfected (plus little to no sleep the night before) was hurting my heart…not to mention my head.  When I’m tired, I find that my will to be positive is depleted to almost nothing…you?

Anyway, right before I went to bed, I sent a post out to my dear Facebook friends asking for some prayers (since we were doing pretty much all we could of ourselves and needed strength we didn’t possess).  Several people commented and liked the post…even within moments…and the positive energy sent in our behalf brought a lighter feeling to our home and healthier feelings here.

I wonder why I didn’t ask sooner.

Sometimes I wait until I am at the end of my rope to ask for help.  Why is that?  I’m not sure, but I’m thinking about it today….  I know that I don’t like to bother people.  I also know that I feel like what happens is my responsibility and that I should take care of whatever it is.  And, I’m sure other reasons exist.  I will keep pondering….

This song has been running through my head today, though, as I have thought of how awesome I feel when I ask for help from others and they come running.

Just seeing the positive comments from friends has helped me feel that I am not alone in the universe…that people love me…and that together we can get through this life (and enjoy our time here, as well)!

Asking for help empowered others to offer positive energy that I desperately needed.  And, I imagine their burdens were made a little lighter, as well.  🙂

And now, I’m off to more writing and word counting…2 days left of November…and NaNoWriMo…(which I will miss)!