Lessons Learned From Someone I Used to Know

There are no big revelations in this list. it’s been said before, heard before, lived before. But have you ever walked away from an experience and thought about what you’re taking away from it? A recent encounter reminded me of these things:

  • Family matters- even if you don’t want it to. They know where you came from. They know who you were.
  • Be careful who you trust. Sometimes you might be looking in the wrong direction and never see it coming.
  • It’s never too late to try and fix things. Words spoken in the heat of the moment might hold some truth, or maybe they are all true, but that still doesn’t mean that things have to remain broken.
  • As much as you might want to slam the door and lock it, it can always open. You have the power to unlock it!
  • Unless you hear the words coming from a person’s mouth, you will never know for sure if they said them. People twist or make up things to suit their own purpose- even people you love.
  • If you don’t want to believe what a person says, look at their actions for reinforcement.
  • There is more than one side to every story. Every person has their own story and your hero might be my  villain. You never know.
  • We all have “stuff” and no one’s is more or less than anyone else’s. It’s just theirs.
  • People can change and often do. We are all shaped by our experiences and each one changes us, maybe in small ways but always in some way.
  • Forgiveness is not a dirty word.
  • Letting go of negative feelings isn’t a statement of denial that something happened.
  • Often the truth is staring you in the face- and you just can’t or don’t want to see it.
  • And sometimes the truth hurts.
  • Everyone isn’t in the same place in their journey and sometimes we need to be patient and wait for the other person to catch up. And sometimes we need to do what we need to do, and know that we will get where we need to be in our own time.
  • If a person is determined to hold on to their hurt and anger and lets it fester and spread, they will remain stuck in that place.
  • Being wrongly accused sucks.
  • Not being allowed to defend yourself sucks more.
  • It ain’t over til it’s over.

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”     

Soren Kierkegaard

Spring has arrived…maybe in name only. Enjoy!

-Kat

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A Wish for 2018

“...I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”

-Neil Gaiman

Wishing you all the best as we begin a new year!

-Kat

5 Things I Learned While I’ve Been Gone

It’s been a long month. I missed most of November, all of Thanksgiving, and the majority of my college kids’ visit home. But in the craziness that has become the norm for my life, I’ve learned a few things.

  • “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. –—Steve Maraboli
  • “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.+ –Napoleon Hill
  • “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
  • “Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.” — Mason Cooley
  • “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do.” –— Eleanor Roosevelt

I’m hoping to be back very soon to catch up on what’s been happening here in Blogging World.

-Kat

Embrace Life

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” -John Lennon

It seems too simple, doesn’t it? I can see you shaking your head. Yeah, Kat, right, all you need is love, love is what makes the world go ’round and all that fun stuff. Maybe loving yourself and acting from a place of self-acceptance won’t solve all the big world problems but think about how many of those problems are most likely the result of people acting out of fear or self-loathing or some other negative place. Too often we are afraid of looking too closely at ourselves.

When my life resembles a roller coaster ride that I prefer not to be on, I try to break it all down into the simplest ideas. I was not raised to be a positive person so looking on the bright side and pushing away the darkness is something I had to learn and practice. I found that by sorting out my feelings, behaviors, opinions and thoughts helped me to see things more clearly. Some of these I could change, others I had to leave behind, and the persistent few I just accepted as part of who I am. I found that when I took the time to really look at myself and where my motivation was coming from, the pieces began to fall into place and I felt better equipped to face the challenges in my life. I also felt a lightness inside me that I don’t remember ever having before.

I realized that I’m not a finished product and probably never will be. My children may be grown ups (or so they think….in my eyes they will always be my babies) and I might not be considered so young anymore (although to a 90 year old, I’m sure I appear quite youthful!) but it’s never to late to learn new things, whether they are about the world and others around you- or yourself!

Being a mom and a person who likes to help others, I found that by looking inward and examining what was going inside me, I was able to offer more to others. What might seem like selfish behavior actually helped me to give those that I love the best that I can be.

This mindset might not solve any of the issues I face but it definitely helps.

path to peace

As I was looking for quotes for the Blogging A to Z Challenge, which begins at the end of the week, I came across these words of John Lennon. Being a big John fan, I was surprised that I hadn’t seen them before, not that I know every single thing he said, right?? I wanted to use the quote as part of the challenge, but was having trouble fitting it in so I when I saw the Daily Post: Elixir today, I knew that this quote fit the bill. 

Have a great day!

-Kat

Where I Am

I’m at a crossroad. I’ve been here for awhile now…..each time I thought I might choose a path, something stopped me. Most recently these were family members with health issues but those have been managed, or as best as they can be. When I saw Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken and Daily Prompt: Ruminate, the two seemed to intersect, leading back to my crossroad again.

I never planned to have a career in retail and it wasn’t what I studied but that’s where I ended up for over 10 years. It proved to be a bad fit while raising three small children. I was blessed enough to have a supportive husband who knew that my heart was at home with our children and by tightening up the purse strings, I was able to stay home with them for their entire childhood.

So much of what I experienced while on the mom road was what I expected. There were school days, some sports and tons of kids activities. Having band kids, I spent as much time driving kids to and from rehearsals and performances as I did chauffeuring them to school. There were endless concerts, shopping for dresses, college visits and finally dorm rooms.

Over the years, the roads took us to some exciting and beautiful places and we created family memories all over the country, complete with all the ups and downs that accompany family vacations.

While I expected grandchildren somewhere along my journey, I did not expect them quite yet. My grandsons have been such an unexpected surprise. They bring me such happiness and joy that I don’t even mind being a young Nonna. To be honest, as I have been camping at this latest crossroad, they have been the reasons that I haven’t moved on. When you become a grandparent, you are able to apply your parenting experience and know what works and what doesn’t. You are able to rock your grandson much longer than you did his daddy because you know how fleeting these moments are and you can fully appreciate every precious experience. You are able to live more fully in that moment because you aren’t caught up in the whirlwind day to dayness of being a mom.

 

desk-solitude 1Another unexpected find on my road has been this blog and returning to writing. I have such admiration for those moms of little ones (and older busy ones) who manage to produce posts. I knew that I wanted to write, but there was never time. As I have been idling at this crossroad,  I realized that there will never be time unless I make a concentrated effort to write. I am learning to acknowledge and work to provide what I need in order to write,whether it is a quiet place, time, or a working laptop and access to Google Docs.

I know that the time to move is approaching and I will be taking steps farther into a new phase of my life. I’m considering classes or a new job or both. I want to spend more time on this blog and writing in general. And I definitely want to have time to enjoy my grown up kids and the cool adults they have become as well as the little guys and all the sunshine they bring.

I’m not sure where this road will take me. I’m a tad bit nervous. But I’m also excited. So much of my life has been spent raising my family- and I don’t regret a single moment of it. I do have to admit that I’m curious to see who I am when I’m not being Mom and where this road is taking me.

mountain path

 

Today and Every Day

Today is the day we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Our children are taught about his dream, his work, and his words. All of a vital part of our history. But he represents more than just a piece of history- a time of civil unrest and injustice. What he began, along with others, remains a work in progress. A marathon. A 50+ year marathon.

I typed and backspaced and typed and backspaced many times trying to capture meaningful words to express my feelings on this day. Let’s be honest. The things that our children are taught, the quotes we share, the talking points of this day are important every day. They should be represented in our lifestyle, our words, our actions. And the most fitting words that I can find were said by Martin Luther King, Jr. himself.

  • “The time is always right to do what is right.”
  • “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  • “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
  • “Love is the most durable power in the world.”
  • “Some things are right and some things are wrong. Eternally so, absolutely so. It’s wrong to hate. It always will be wrong.”
  • “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.”

Peace

-Kat

Daily Prompt- Marathon

On Friendship

Friend and love.

These words have taken on a meaning that, in my eyes, has diminished their importance. Everyone is a friend. We love everyone. The words just glide effortlessly through our lips as easily as “hello” or “how are you?” I don’t use those words so lightly. 

I admit to having different levels of friends. Some might be more casual. Some closer. Some might fluctuate. And before you start thinking that I have some elaborate system of classifying my friends, you can stop right there. (I don’t have that much free time on my hands!) 

I am extremely blessed to have a small group of very close friends- my best friends. It’s strange for me to have more than one friend that is that close. For my entire life, I had one best friend and quite frankly, had no need for anyone else. It was a flawed practice. It isn’t fair to put that much on one single person. And if I’m being honest here, I’m not the easiest person to be a best friend to. (just sayin’…)

Somehow, somewhere along the way, I found myself to have these three awesome people in my life. When I think of them, I’m reminded of a scene from the tv show, Roseanne. You don’t really need to be familiar with the show to understand the scene. Darlene’s baby is being taken off all support and has little chance of survival. Darlene and her baby are surrounded by her mother, sister, aunt and grandmother as each gives baby Harris words of hope and encouragement. The part I’m referencing comes at about 35 seconds in when Darlene’s Aunt Jackie shares a story from her childhood.

“If you feel like you’re, like you’re starting to fall away, then you’re not..because we’re gonna pull you back inside.” -Jackie

These three people are the ones how have pulled me back inside time and again when I’ve been in desperate need. They have been solid and true throughout more than just what I’ve gone through with Kris. That might actually be the least of it and you can bet that no one is more surprised than me to admit that. They have stood by me throughout relative drama, numerous family health issues, and currently some pretty big ones with a loved one battling a major illness and another struggling with a mental health illness (both hitting very close to home).

When you have friends like that, you don’t use that word lightly. Not many people want to even be around someone who’s going through so much crap layered one on top of the next.

They are amazing examples of friendship.

They remind me-

  • to be patient when the other is struggling with something, no matter how big or small
  • to listen and hear.
  • to ask questions for the purpose of helping.
  • to check in…. often.
  • to offer to help out, whether it’s errands, listening, whatever – and do it often and over and over again, even if I’m sure I’ll be turned down.
  • to give them a reason to smile.
  • to let them know how much they mean to me.
  • to let them know they are never alone.
  • to give them a gentle or not-so-gentle kick in the butt, when needed.
  • to never judge.
  • to celebrate their joys and successes.
  • to trust them.
  • to encourage them when they need a little push.
  • to be open with them..
  • to be honest
  • to let them know that I will always have their back.
  • to be kind, when one is being a major pain. (I would be the pain.)
  • that life is short and making time for friends is important.
  • to laugh, cry, vent, tease, love, hug, humor, and be with them.
  • to pull them back inside when they are starting to fall away.

What I absolutely love about these friendships is that they didn’t explode into full bloom over night. One happened slow and steady, building as time passed. One was quiet and constant and just there all along. And the last took me by surprise by appearing at a time when I needed it most. These friendships help me to value all of the new friendships I have made through this blog.

My hope is that I offer something to all of you, my new friends (who are at various levels of friendship in my fictitious friend system- and it most definitely does not exist!). I can say with certainty that my interaction with all of you, whether it is daily, intermittent, through comments, likes, texts, e-mails, messages, phone calls, is priceless to me. And I openly admit that looking at my list above, so many of you have hit the mark along the way. I’m not surprised. Bloggers are awesome people!

I hope as you move through your days and celebrate, whether it is a holiday or everyday life, that you take time to cherish your friendships. (Mind you, I’m not saying to ignore your family, unless you really want to, that is….. you know what I mean.)

Happy Day! Stay dry, warm, cool, healthy and safe!

-Kat