Category: Uncategorized

This story has nothing to do with fish. Bear with me.

I’m going to tell you one of my favorite stories about the power of a positive attitude. But in true ‘me’ fashion, I have to tell you a separate story first.

When I was 20/21, I worked at a camp in the summers. Specifically Boy Scout Camp. It was awesome. I was the Waterfront Director (canoeing and rowing), and later the Aquatics Director (Swimming, Lifesaving, BSA Lifeguard). I loved it. I got to work with a great group of people and got to help train young scouts in how to not die in the wilderness. The staff also doubled as court jesters to keep the young hooligans entertained. It is important to keep a group of a couple hundred boys between 11-17 focused and happy. 10/10 recommend to reduce chaos.

Camp songs are an essential part of camp. No matter where you went to camp (or worked at camp), you learned songs. They’re silly and fun and to this day I occasionally break out into one of the old dittys. Of course, when staff are alone, those songs frequently get re-written to be wildly inappropriate. That’s part of the fun of camp staff. Also hypothetically accidentally broadcast to the whole camp because of a handheld radio incident. But that was Jim’s fault, not mine. Hypothetically.

The song I need to tell you about today is the Fishing Song. I could do a video with the actions, but I won’t. Not because of any dignity related issues (seriously, not a problem), but because it would take more energy than I have this morning to figure out how to do that.

Here’s the lyrics (must be sung with great gusto):

Have you ever gone fishing on a bright sunny day?

With all the little fishys swimming up and down the bay.

With you hands in your pockets and your pockets in your pants.

All the little fishys doing the hoochy-coochy dance.

Da-da-duh-da-da. Da-Da-Duh-Da. DA-DA-Duh-DA-DA, DA-DA-Duh-DA.

With your hands in your pockets and your pockets in your pants.

All the little fishys doing the hoochy-coochy dance.

I have no idea who wrote this. But that person is clearly a creative genius.

Ok. now you know about the song. Now, the camp I worked at was beautiful. The ranger and a ton of volunteers kept the whole place clean and maintained. During camp season, however, lets just say we put a little extra strain on the ecosystem. Adding 300-500 people a week (150-300 of which are teenage boys) will do that. The whole staff pitched in at the beginning and end of camp to make sure everything was clean and well-maintained (it was part of the job – to be perfectly honest we weren’t necessarily doing it just because we loved the camp). There was also a list of things that needed to be done every Saturday when the troops left. I mostly didn’t do any of that because I was a ‘responsible adult’ and also was required to vacuum out the pool with a vacuum that weighed approximately 1700 pounds.

Which leads me to my actual story. One of the responsibilities of the staff was to check the campsites and clean out the latrine pits.

You know what a latrine is, right?

Sometimes, a latrine is also called a pit toilet. Not to be confused with a Sarlacc-Pit toilet. . . .

Note to my husband: Yes, I am trying to figure out how to get one of these.

So, a latrine is basically a toilet seat on top of a concrete stump with a whole in the middle, leading to a pit underground.

Can anyone spot the difference between a and b? No, seriously – can you? Its bugging me.

So your poops fall down into the pit and eventually someone pumps out the whole thing. If you do this small-scale when you’re camping you just bury your hole.

The latrines at our camp were actually pretty decent. There were stalls for privacy, and running water to wash your hands. And functioning toilet seats.

Why are the toilet seats important? Because otherwise the wildlife go exploring, and its kinda yucky down there. Also a pit. So they die.

But, more important to the point of this story, kids are the worst sometimes and throw garbage down into the pits. This is a problem because the pits are designed for pees and poops and papers, and that’s it.

So, someone’s job every week was to ‘fish’ the latrine pits. We had a long pole with a hook, and a long pole with a cup. With those, you could pretty much collect whatever garbage was down there.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, this was not a popular job. Typically we would foist it off on a younger staffer because it was fun and we could. I say we, but I wasn’t really involved. I always knew I was headed down to the pool to wrestle the giant vacuum.

Then, one Saturday, one of the staffers came to collect the hook and cup. He was about 18 – younger than us ‘old people’ who were 21, but older than the junior staffers. He could have passed on the job, but he didn’t. He propped the poles over his shoulder and walked out the door, singing.

And what was he singing? The damn FISHING SONG. Scroll back up and read it again. It was, to this day, one of the most beautiful things I have every seen in my life. It might sound minor – but it was quite literally life changing.

At that moment, I realized something. He was voluntarily doing one of the icky jobs. And instead of complaining about it or dreading it, he was staying positive. I guarantee that job sucked a lot less that day.

I have used that image and that thought 1000 times since that day. Its gotten me through a lot of tasks that could be seen as unpleasant. Its reminded me to laugh when something unexpected makes a mess of things.

I’ve said before that positive thinking isn’t about ignoring the negative. Its about changing how you see the negative. Sometimes its about EMBRACING THE NEGATIVE. Life has ups and downs. Some of those downs are huge, and sometimes the positives to find are tiny in comparison. Sometimes all we can manage is a watery chuckle in the midst of our tears. If you can’t see any positive in a situation – that is ok. Just breathe and do the next thing and get through it. Some situations are like that. Sometimes we only see the positives (like that friend who made us laugh when we didn’t think we ever would again) looking back.

Sometimes the only positive I can find in situations is that it has made me a lot more compassionate. Suffering tends to open the eyes. So, if by dealing with the hard stuff, I have become kinder and more able to help others, I’ll take it. If its taught me that sometimes I just need to breathe and let the world take care of itself because its not my job to fix everything, I’ll take it.

That day, it taught me that singing a jaunty little tune doesn’t make the poo go away. It doesn’t make it stink less. But maybe it makes you notice enough other things that you don’t mind so much.

Take care,

Kim

If you enjoyed reading, please like and share!

Uncategorized

So today the sun is shining, but also feels like an Antarctic wasteland. The children had a late start again, which makes it approximately 187 years since they’ve had a full week of school.

I’m grouchy. I don’t normally get overly grouchy. I can get a little cranky (which is different – trust me) about specific things, but this kind of grouchy is reserved for late February (which sometimes extends to mid-May, depending on the weather).

Its not seasonal affective disorder – I know it is for many people, but for me it feels like claustrophobia. I want to go outside. I want to breathe air that doesn’t hurt. I want to walk the dog without fear of death on sidewalks coated in 2 inches of ice.

I want to win the lottery and move to Key West and make pocket money gluing googly eyes on sea sponges and calling them puppets.

But for today, I just gotta make it through. And since I don’t really see the point in getting through the day feeling like this, I’m going to try to make it better.

Better is often about the little things. I’m going to see how many I can come up with. Feel free to add your own.

A brand-new pair of thick, warm socks.

A new sweatshirt that has never been washed.

The smell of fresh baked bread.

Hell – the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!

The smell of wood smoke.

The first day you can see a haze of green on all the trees in the spring.

The first time you feel the warmth of the sunshine again after winter.

That first crisp breeze in the fall.

Puppy snuggles.

Newborn sighs.

Baby belly laughs.

That feeling when you kid had a rough day and the only thing they want is to sit and cuddle with you for a bit.

Sharing a great book with someone you know will enjoy it.

Reading out loud (and doing the voices).

Having a friend say ‘thank you’ because you showed up when they needed someone.

Telling a friend ‘thank you’ because they showed up when you needed someone.

Making handmade gifts for those you know will appreciate them

Designing and building something.

Taking something old and tired and making it fresh and new and interesting.

Hearing someone say you brightened their day.

Doing something nice for someone in secret.

Deciding to get good at something, and then doing it.

Kitten fur.

Manatee videos.

A husband who looks at you like you are miraculous when you feel like a potato.

Someone who holds on whenever you need it, and never makes you feel like you owe them anything.

A really good burger.

Two-day free shipping.

Dinner parties in sweatpants.

Whole conversations made with only eye contact.

A hot bath with a good book.

Kayaking.

A day in the woods.

Really good sushi (but only the cooked stuff).

Finding something really awesome on a really good sale.

Yelling ‘who are you and how did you get in the house?’ when your kids come into the room.

Kitchen dance parties.

Realizing you got all the cleaning and prep done before the people came over.

Singing broadway show tunes really loudly.

Singing other stuff, also really loudly.

Farting with abandon when no one’s around.

Laughing at how funny you are.

Realizing how glad you are some of your past wishes and prayers did not come true.

Standing outside at night and listening to the earth breathe.

Watching the bats catching insects at sunset.

The otters at the zoo.

Sitting with someone when they realize its been 5 years since they were hospitalized.

My bed.

Eating something you normally don’t eat and allowing yourself to enjoy the hell out of it.

Painting.

Key West.

Harry Potter.

Books. All my precious darlings.

Writing – even when it drives me mad.

Dark Chocolate.

Well. What do you know. Its just a little bit better now.

What’s on your list?

Take care – Kim

Uncategorized

I had a great conversation recently with someone about the current trend of positivity. And how its kinda stupid.

Ok – let me be clear first off. Positivity is GOOD. It is. Positivity is important and it is the foundation that I have built my life upon.

Like most things, the movement to educate people on positivity, and positive thinking started out good. There is good research there. Shawn Achor is one of my absolute favorites, and one of the people leading the charge, using research he’s gleaned from years of practice and scientific study (at Harvard). Here’s his absolutely fantastic TED talk. I watch it about every 3 months when I need a recharge (then I watch Glennon Doyle Melton’s TED talk. You can watch both in about 30 minutes and I really think you should).

Hey – I figured out how to include a link for you guys. The least you can do is go watch it.

Shawn Achor has several books available – I have the first two, ‘The Happiness Advantage’ and ‘Before Happiness.’ They are not only extremely informative, but FUN TO READ. I have talked about them so frequently that my husband had no choice but to get on board. He has stolen borrowed my copies and they now live at work with him. He uses them for team presentations.

Plus, one time I commented on Shawn Achor’s Facebook page and he commented back, so we are friends now.

Ok. Let me make my point here, before I get too far down the rabbit hole.

POSITIVITY IS GOOD. However, like most things American, we have oversimplified it in an attempt to make it quick, cheap, and easy. So the study of positive psychology and real happiness has been dumbed down to ‘just be happy all the time and always find the good in things because everything happens for a reason.’

First, I totally disagree with the platitude that ‘all things happen for a reason.’ Totally disagree. Tell that to someone who has lost a loved one. Or is facing a devastating diagnosis. No, not all things happen ‘for a reason.’ This is the way we attempt to avoid hard emotions. Instead, try this on – ‘you can create meaning out of any circumstance.’ What I mean is this – we have agency in our own lives. Good and bad things will happen – and we can choose to create meaning from those things. The meaning we create shapes our lives (check out Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl – one of the pillars of modern psychology and the father of existentialism). One person with a terminal diagnosis might devote themselves to raising awareness. Another might devote themselves to living their best life for the time that remains. Or a hundred other things. They create meaning from their circumstance, and whatever meaning they choose shapes their life. One is not greater than the other.

Second, positivity has nothing to do with being happy all the time.

Tal Ben-Shahar was one of Shawn Achor’s mentors. His books are also good, and I recommend checking them out! Gotta love research-based ideas!

Ok – so I have established that ‘being happy all the time’ is the WRONG takeaway from the positive psychology movement. So what should we take away?


Ahhh. Now we come to the crux of what I mean. True happiness and positivity is about fully experiencing the world around you. The good and the bad. But more, its about how we process that world.

When I found out my job was being eliminated, I was devastated (even though I was also totally burned out). My safe, steady life was gone. Ahead was all this uncertainty.  For many of us, uncertainty is the worst possible outcome. Worse, even, than the bad stuff. Bad stuff we can prepare for. We can take action against. Uncertain is a threat.

But, I am also a firm believer in positive thinking and have put that belief into practice for years. So, after giving myself time and permission to feel all the feelings, I took a deep breath and said ‘In two years, I will look at this as the best thing that could have ever happened.’ As it happens, that was just over two years ago. It was the best thing that could have happened. I was burned out and was physically breaking down. Does that mean everything was easy? Nope, nopity nope nope. It’s been two years of watching the budget really closely, of cutting out non-necessities, of being more worried about money. Its included the stress of starting a business and learning to be ok with some uncertainty. However, by making the decision that this was going to be a good thing, it freed my brain from the energy of worrying about what might happen, and allowed me to focus on making it a good thing. That’s positivity. Its standing knee deep in sh*t and remembering to laugh while you keep firm in your mind the picture of the way it will be.

There’s no ‘right way’ to do this. Its not about being correct or doing things ‘the best’ way. Its about finding resources from many places. Its taking the bits that resonate with you and leaving the parts that don’t. Sometimes I will read a whole book and take away one thought or idea. That’s worth it to me.

So honestly, you can take your ‘be happy all the time and only pay attention to the good stuff’ and strap it to a rocket filled with C4 (I have been watching a lot of Mythbusters).

Pay attention. Life is happening around you and you have to take it all in. Then you decide how you give your energy out. That’s the real key to positive psychology – making an active choice how to experience the good and the bad. Both ‘Before Happiness’ and ‘The Happiness Advantage’ talk about ways to train your brain. They are simple and straightforward ideas as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for each day (different things) in order to train your brain to scan your surroundings for the good. Its reducing the ‘noise’ (Before Happiness) and focusing our energy on improving by paying attention to ways we are successful.

Be cause of COURSE I was going to include Glennon – she’s my favorite!

So, I guess what I’m saying is live REAL. REALLY see the people and things around you. Feel whatever you feel about them. Sometimes the thing that breaks your heart is the thing that spurs you to greatness.

When I take all this in, here’s what I come up with. Real happiness is standing where you are supposed to stand in the universe. So many people are so unhappy – and are not doing anything to change that. Maybe unhappiness (not to be confused with sadness or grief – which are different)is nudge to make a change. Maybe its a constant reminder that we aren’t where WE want to be. But – like unhappiness, real happiness is contagious. When our light shines out, it lights the path for others.

Sometimes the path to happiness is through uncertainty. We need all the lights we can get.

Take care. Let’s light things up.

LIKE AND SHARE!

Kim

Uncategorized

Curious things sometimes happen in a house with children and pets.  Particularly a house where additional children also visit.

This particular curious thing happened in the place where all the Legos live.  Sure, I could be referring to all the Legos in our house, but in reality I think at this point its just ALL THE LEGOS.

Which leads me to a tangent (surprise!).  You know how all the jokes in the world revolve around parents stepping on Legos and it being the worst thing IN THE WORLD.

See the Legos actively plotting

SEEEEEEEEEE.

And of course, the requisite:

Do you get it?  Kids play with stuff and leave it everywhere and parents step on it and it hurts their feet.  GET IT?

Now, despite us having ALL THE LEGOS at our house, we do not have an issue with them being on the floor.  Why?  Because of a nifty little parenting rule known as: ‘Any Legos on the floor not being actively played with AT THE TIME become property of MOM and will forever and henceforth belong to MOM, in their entirety.’

Works great.

Now back to the curious situation I found myself in recently.  As I was heading down to check the downstairs bathroom to see if it was tidy (the kids had friends over to play recently.  Also the kids live here) and I spotted it.

What is that!  OH GROSS, ITS A POOPIE!!!!!  The dog doesn’t come downstairs (and her poopies are the size of Swiss Cake Rolls.  If you stack 6 of them together).  DID MY CHILD LEAK A POOP NUGGET???  DID A VISITING CHILD LEAK A POOP NUGGET??

I must take a closer look. I mean, its not like I can just LEAVE it there.

Total mom thought: ‘Well, at least its not a mushy one.’  But – WHY IS THERE A POOPIE?

Oh for . . . . False Alarm, folks.  This is not a poopie at all.

Just Olivia leaving her hair lying around.

My hair now.  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

 

Its the law of the land.

 

 

Uncategorized

To be fair, I don’t really feel like writing my autobiography.  It would be pretty awesome, but I would probably get distracted by how much awesomer it could have been, and then would get off track.

Instead, I decided to write the Table of Contents for my autobiography.

Enjoy.

Chapter 1: Fat Babies are the Cutest – right?

Chapter 2: Potting Soil Does NOT Taste Like Crushed Oreos.

Chapter 3: The Unfortunate Combination of Clumsiness and Cacti.

Chapter 4: Fun Fact – Hot Dogs Make Me Projectile Vomit

Chapter 5: So Does Broccoli.

Chapter 6: Santa’s Handwriting Looks Awfully Familiar.

Chapter 7: Which Contains the Embarrassing Incident of Incontinence.

Chapter 8: I am the Butt of Many Jokes.

Chapter 9: Middle School and High School: a Haiku

Chapter 10: Sorry That Sounded Awkward.  I am Awkward.

Chapter 11: What Happens at Boy Scout Camp Stays At Boy Scout Camp.

Chapter 12: I Realize I Have No Idea About Fashion.

Chapter 13: I Watch a Lot of ‘What Not To Wear’ Because I am a Problem-Solver.

Chapter 14: [Chapter Missing]

Chapter 15: I Win My Future Husband’s Heart by Telling Him About the Time Harrison Ford Had Diarrhea.

Chapter 16: Building Tiny People!

Chapter 17: Can This Wait Until I am Done Pooping?

Chapter 18: I Convince My Children That The Reason Chapter 14 is Missing is Because I Was a Frog For a While.

Chapter 19: Why is Everything I Own Covered in Hair?

Chapter 20: In Which I Buy a Purse and Solve My Existential Crisis.

Chapter 21: PLOT TWIST!

Chapter 22: I Go Insane and Make SO MANY CHICKEN NUGGETS.

Chapter 23: Licensed Medical Professional (Insert Maniacal Laugh).

Chapter 24: Kim 2.o

 

If you Enjoyed this – please Like and Share!  Follow me on Facebook at Quirk and Logic and I will try to write a bit more often.

Kim

Uncategorized

Time for a new feature!

I call it Irrationally Strong Opinions.  Now, children, comes the time in our show when I share a personal opinion which is really much stronger than the situation actually warrants.

It seemed only reasonable to start with Irrationally Strong Opinion Category #1: Harry Potter.

(Not to make you all jealous, but I colored this.  By myself.)

See, I’m kind of a fan.  Like, kind of a know-my-official-house (Gryffindor), know-my-official-wand (chestnut and phoenix feather), and know-my-official-patronus (dragonfly – wtf?  That’s a irrationally strong opinion for another day.)

Ok folks.  What do you people have against Ron and Hermione being together, huh?  The majority opinion (probably opinions of a completely rational strength) seems to be that Hermione should have ended up with Harry.  I DISAGREE. I DISAGREE MOST STRENUOUSLY.  I love Ron and Hermione together.  I love Harry and Ginny together.

The biggest thing seems to be that Hermione can’t possibly be happy long-term with Ron, who is not as smart, driven, or ambitious.  And who sometimes says or does stupid things because he has a slightly narrow and comfortable worldview.

Here’s the thing though.  That’s totally logical.  Love isn’t.  Hermione needs Ron as a reminder that simple is often good, necessary.  While its important to fight for what you believe in, to push for better; its equally important to have a home base.  Ron is home base.  He’s not really ambitious.  He grew up in a big, noisy, messy home where everyone loves each other and torments each other.  Where achievements are honored, but are not necessary for acceptance.  A home where money was scarce but family was plentiful.

I’m not saying everything will be easy between them, but it makes perfect sense to me.  And they mean enough to each other to work through the rough patches.  When I first read Harry Potter I was 21.  I saw myself in every aspect of Hermione.  My parents are even dentists! (Ok, that is a total lie, neither of my parents are dentists).

Now, I am older than 21, and have been married for nearly 12 years.  To Ron.  Legitimately.  He’s so Ron.  Doesn’t have red hair (doesn’t have a whole lot of hair anymore.  Sorry honey.).  Does come from a big, loud family where people genuinely like each other.  Being a farm family, during my husband’s childhood there was time when money was somewhat scarce.  But family was strong.

He’s my home base.  I’m the ambitious one.  I’m the driven one.  I’m the take-extra-classes-do-all-the-things-find-extra-hours-in-the-day one.  The under-it-all-still-insecure-one. He’s the reminder to slow down and sit by a bonfire on a summer afternoon, to read a book on the couch on a rainy day, to appreciate the hours in the day instead of trying to find more.  He is not threatened by my intelligence, my ambition, or my drive.  He understands my insecurities. He has his own thing, and he knows its not less than what I have.

So, yeah. Ron and Hermione will be just fine.  Perhaps if Ron remembers to TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE LIKE HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO YESTERDAY, it would help.  Hypothetically.

Since we’re on the Harry Potter kick, here’s one more.

Can we stop with the ‘I want to find someone who loves me like Snape loved Lily.’  No.  Just no.  Because what you are saying is ‘I want someone to love me obsessively but disparage important parts of my life to others when I’m not around.  I want someone who loves me selfishly without concern for what actually makes me happy.’

I can sort of see how that would appeal to a 14 year old.  Let’s aim a bit higher ladies.  Find someone who loves you like Arthur Weasley loves Molly.

 

I’ve got more (so many more).

Stay tuned.  Like and share (then go to my facebook page and like and share that!) to be sure you can stay up to date with my rantings!

Uncategorized

I wrestled with this for a while.  I wasn’t sure what to say – whether to say anything.  The reality is, though, that to hide is to be ashamed, and I won’t be ashamed.

Today is Day 1.  For the first time in my adult life, I am unemployed.

I had the good (?) fortune to have known this was coming since late October.  Time to get my head around it.  Here’s the short version: Reorganization, eliminated position, opportunity to apply for a position that was truly not a good fit for me.  Hit me like a freight train.  Then this occurred to me.  When my husband was laid-off about 8 years ago, we look back on that as the best thing that could have happened to him (although it certainly did not feel like it at the time).

Well, this doesn’t feel so great either, but I have decided its the best thing that could have happened to me.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote a letter to the universe.  I really didn’t think I would publish it here, but I have decided to.

Dear Universe,

 Is this a test?  Because it kind of feels like you are testing me. 

I think about the last five years or so when I started to feel like maybe I needed to move in a new direction.  I think of opportunities that fell through.  When they did, I put more energy back into my work, seeking a way to make more of a difference.

I started feeling dissatisfied with the limits on how to do that work, like the demands of others (reasonable or not), restrictions of funding, and others.

I took on new challenges and learned new things.  I still felt that itch, but I was doing good work.  Then the itch grew bigger and became more insistent.  Another opportunity fell through.  And I knew.

I knew it was time to make the big change.  To leave organized employment and set out on my own.  Not yet, though, because I still didn’t know exactly how to do what I wanted to do.

I wanted to help people heal.  I’d spent two years at that point researching trauma and its long-term effects.  I’d seen first hand the struggles of those who had not gotten sufficient support.  I was beginning to explore energy work.  I liked talking people through finding creative solutions to problems.  Yet, I knew becoming a licensed therapist was not my path.

Somewhere along the way, my inner self had gotten tired of being pushed aside to make room for logic, the world, and everything else.  My inner self started speaking up, and for once, I started listening.  Within 2 days I had made the decision to become a massage therapist, open my own business, and develop a protocol to reintegrate touch to those who struggle with it due to trauma.  I could use massage to help anyone who needed it, to calm the body and mind.  I could do energy work.  I could be a life coach.

It all fell into place.  I could take classes part-time for a year and continue my full-time work.  Work I was good at.  Work that paid bills and allowed for a few extras.

I had to wait a year to begin classes.  The timing was just a little off. So I waited, and though the itch continued to grow, I did my good work.

I started classes.  I juggled.  I stretched.  I was tired and a little overwhelmed.  But I managed.  I am good at managing things.

I figured I would graduate next August and start to build my business on evenings and weekends.  I would be tired and a little overwhelmed for a while longer.  I would juggle.  I would keep doing good work at my job and I would build my new career.  My new purpose.

I figured maybe by the following January, if I was lucky (and worked hard enough), my business would be viable to go full-time.  If not, I would continue a while longer.

Here is where you stepped in, Universe.  You see, I am really good at planning.  I need to plan.  I don’t like unknowns.

Then I was told there was no more job.  Not after the end of December anyways.  There would be a different job, and I could apply for that if I wanted to.

Except I didn’t.  That inner self looked at me and said, ‘please, no.  This is not our path.’

I felt like I was standing on glass over a deep pit.  A safety net had been offered, a chance to continue earning a steady wage.  It was the safe choice.

And it was the wrong choice.  Wrong for me.  It wasn’t the work I was driven to, that I had been pouring myself into.  It wasn’t work I felt good at.  It wasn’t work I felt I could do and be well.

I waivered.  I crave safety and predictability.  I need it.  Logic and order. 

But now safe and logical didn’t feel safe.  It wasn’t ‘safe’ to my inner self.  It was a sacrifice.

I’m willing to make sacrifices, to make hard choices.  But this time it felt like I was sacrificing the well-being of my innermost self.  And I stopped.  I couldn’t do it.  I wouldn’t.

I went ’round and ’round with ‘but what will happen’ if we step off the safe and predictable path.

And that’s when I felt it.  I felt you, Universe, grip me by the shoulders, and with a little shake say ‘Will you just trust me this one time.’

You know, trust is not something I naturally do.  I thought back to the single other time I decided to let go and trust you Universe.  And I married him.  And he is the best man in the world.

So ok, Universe – if this is a test – Challenge Accepted.

Let’s do this.

 

So, today is Day 1

It is Day 1 of my new career and my new business.

It is Day 1 of my future.

It is Day 1 of me learning to love and honor myself.

It is Day 1 of me learning to listen to that ‘still, small voice’ inside.

It is Day 1 of me reminding myself that life is not a dress rehearsal.  We have one chance to make it count.

It is Day 1 of the next chapter.

 

Carpe Diem.

Uncategorized

Hi,

 

I haven’t been writing much.  Not for a year.  That seems like such a strange thing to say.  I haven’t written anything worth reading in a year.  Its not entirely true, but true enough for here.

I haven’t written anything I thought I could put here in a year.  I always envisioned this space for fun and foolishness.  I haven’t felt very fun and foolish in the last year.  If writing is sunshine, I have been in a shadow.

That’s not to say I haven’t written, because I write a weekly blog at my big-girl job, and I have been proud of what I’ve included there.  Its intended purpose is to inform people about Trauma-Informed Care (which is a big deal in its own right), but I mostly focus on empowerment and self-care.  I realized that there was a sort of light there too – one more like fire than sunshine.

So, I’m going to write again.  I’m going to try not to worry about the number of ‘likes’ a post gets, or anything like that.  I’m just going to focus on the fire I have inside to write, and put those words out.  Some of it will be fun, because I believe that fun is powerful.  Some of it will have other focuses.  Like kindness, acceptance, and love.  I’m going to call this section ‘Life Logic.’

I hope you’ll come along for the journey.  I’ve started a new pathway for myself this week that I will expand upon at some point.

Thank you for reading what’s been here so far.  I hope you’ll like what is coming next.

 

Take care,

Kim

Uncategorized

I swear, I’ll try to make this funny.  I will.  The truth is I feel pretty crummy.  I said good-bye a couple days ago to a very special friend.  A companion.  A big goofy dog.

My dog.

You see, I’ve had this dog since right after my husband and I got married.  I’d been wanting a dog for years, but I knew it wouldn’t work in an apartment.  But hey – we bought a house, game on. I had grown up with a black Labrador named Lacy.  She was the best dog in the whole world.  Smart, loving, and satisfactorily quirky.  My dad got her (technically for my brother) not long after my parents got divorced.  I was 8 at the time.  I’m not going to go into details, but we’ll go ahead and call this ‘a difficult time.’  Every time we had visits with my dad, though, I loved the chance to hang out with the little black furball.  Lacy passed away when I was 24, at the very ripe (for a large breed) age of 16.

I really wanted another Labrador.  They are just really good dogs.  I know what many of you (assuming ‘many’ applies to whomever is reading this) will say ‘why not rescue a dog?’  Considered it.  Can’t say I’ll never do it because I probably will someday.  Let’s just say there are a lot of reasons, and my choice was to get a lab puppy.  I had standards.  I abhor puppy mills, and won’t support them.  I also have no interest in an overbred dog with ‘standards’ I don’t care about, and don’t want to pay for.  I wanted a good dog.  I wanted a family on a farm who just happened to have a litter of puppies.  I promise, I’m going somewhere with this. So, house bought – check.  Fence built – sort of check (it was scheduled!).  Saw an ad in the paper and talked the hubs into going to look (just to look! I promised).  We drove the hour south, and met the family.  Daddy dog was laying out in the yard with a cat climbing on him – I thought that just maybe he was kinda laid back.  Momma dog was also hanging around, and generally being a sweetheart.  Then, the human person said ‘here, I’ll show you the pups.’  She opened the door of the shed, and I saw a hay bale across the entrance.  Then. . . . .

Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop

Up came nine little faces.  I turned to Matt and muttered ‘oh crap.  Let’s go choose.’  There is no turning away from nine puppy faces if you are even sort of considering a puppy.  So much for ‘just looking.’  We picked a spunky little chocolate lab, despite planning to get a yellow.  We named her Wrigley, because Matt was a big Cubs fan, and being a new wife, I still wanted to show him how cool with that I was. The first time we took her for a walk (the day after we got her – she was 7 weeks old), she made it a block.  Then she planted her butt on the ground and looked at us as if to say ‘you want this walk to continue, you will carry me.’  We did.

About a week after we got her, she was conked out on the kitchen floor, so Matt and I decided to make a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie in the living room.  We had a split level, so we went down and settled into the Lovesac (Not a product placement – we just have one).  All of a sudden, we hear this scrambling.  Wrigley woke up, ran under the kitchen table, dove through the railing onto the couch, springboarded onto the floor, then bounced into our laps.  She landed in our laps with her face in the popcorn bowl.  She ate quite a bit before we recovered and stopped laughing enough to stop her.  Popcorn was always a particular favorite of hers – her entire life.

We got her a stuffed chocolate lab toy, that was just her size (for a week), and we called it ‘Dog-Dog’ because my niece who was about 18 months old at the time called dogs that.  Wrigley loved Dog-dog and took him everywhere.  We have pictures of her sleeping with her head propped on him like a pillow.  Then one day at about 4 months old, he must have insulted her mother or something, because we came home to find Dog-dog in little bitty pieces.  As it turns out no cloth was safe.  That nice blanket we gave her?  Ate it.  The OTHER blanket we gave her?  Ate it.  And when I say ‘ate’ I mean ‘consumed’ not ‘chewed up.’  This required me to chase my dog around the yard when she was trying to poop because all that cloth got bound up and we had to pull it out manually.  I’m sure the neighbors thought we were super classy.

Speaking of eating things.  Wrigley was obsessed with tissues.  And Q-tips.  Napkins.  Toilet paper.  You get the idea.   She routinely went on treasure hunts through our trash.  You would always know she had something because she would take off with it and ‘hide’ (badly).  One day, we discovered that our new roll of toilet paper was only a half-roll of toilet paper.  How did we know?  Because it was half a roll.  By width.  The roll had around 2 1/2 inches of width left, all the way through.  We found some very interesting compact white poops out in the yard shortly after that.

We were very good doggy parents.  When my son was about 2 (Wrigley was about 4) we got the news from the vet.  She was fat.  Like, 96 pounds fat.  We were told to put her on a diet until she lost at least 20 pounds.  We did.  To help her with the fact she was getting less food, I provided her green beans and carrots.  She gave me the dirtiest look.  I could almost hear her thoughts ‘What is this and why is it in my bowl?  Did we get a rabbit?  Could I just eat the rabbit?’  She did eat it, because – hey, food!

Once, when she was only a couple years old, we dog-sat for a yorkie.  They were a little ‘mis-matched’ in size, but Wrigley was entirely non-aggressive.  The yorkie, however, had a little Napoleon syndrome going on.  We let them play together in the back yard.  Wrigley must have had a little ADHD, because she would look over and her face would say ‘Look!  A Dog!’ and she would run over and play.  A minute or so later she would wander off, and a few minutes after that ‘Look!  A Dog!’  This went on for an hour or so.  The Yorkie decided to press his luck and boss Wrigley around.  Wrigley took this as an invitation to play, and ‘high-fived’ the smaller dog.  By high-five, I mean she squashed her flat.  Needless to say, Mr. Yorkie did not choose to boss Wrigley after that.  (No pocket-dogs were harmed in the creation of this story).

After we had kids, and she was a few years older, we figured she’d mellow out a bit more.  Labs tend to keep their ‘puppy-ness’ until they are around 4.  Wrigley did not get that memo, and just a few months ago I found myself reminding her ‘you are an old dog! Stop eating the Legos!’  When she was about 5, she still had a small collection of toys out in the yard.  Rubber toys – nothing with any cloth or fur (tennis balls – I’m looking at you.  She would gnaw off the fuzz, then – you guessed it – I would have to pull stuff out of her butt).  There was a certain rubber dragon she’d had for about 2 years.  She completely ignored this thing.  It was out in the yard for 2 years!!!  All seasons!  One day, we came home, and found a small dragon piece.  Two days later we, uh, ‘found’ the rest.  Matt and I figure it went down like this.  Wrigley: ‘Oh, there’s that dragon.  I’m gonna get him.  No! Nope, he’s looking.  Dragons are scary.’  (another day) ‘There that dragon is, today’s the day!  No!  Not the day, dragon’s are scary.’  (months later) ‘I’ll sneak up on him from behind.  No!  Nope, I think he’ll hear me.’  (finally, as she accidentally steps on him with her huge feet) ‘I got him!  I got him right where I want him.  I will eat him.  I am brave.’

Fast forward a few years.  Last year, Matt and I got a fire bowl for the back yard.  We love to sit outside in nice weather, after the kids go to bed, and enjoy a little fire.  Wrigley always joined us, though we are convinced she was trying to light herself on fire.  I thought animals had an instinctive fear of fire.  If so, Wrigley skipped that instinct.  We constantly had to rescue her tail – thankfully successfully, as we never once had flaming-dog.  In all reality, I could write a whole separate post on lab-tails.  Like the time when she was 2 and we had to take her to the emergency vet because she couldn’t sit down – only to find out she had sprained her tail (called Lab-Tail or Swimmer’s Tail) and just needed some doggy Advil.

She was a really good dog.  Very sweet, very friendly.  She loved attention and would shamelessly play up to anyone who might give her some lovin’.  She was a Labrador who didn’t care for swimming.  A relatively smart dog who still managed to be a complete idiot sometimes.  She loved peanut butter.  She did NOT love baths.  She loved to be outside and inside.  She refused to go into our downstairs for any reason.  She was constantly being tormented by squirrels, and never bothered to chase the bunnies or chipmunks out of my garden.

She was the best dog ever.  She was my dog.  I was not ready for this day.  I’m not going to recount what happened – she just got very sick very fast.  We promised her when we got her that when that day came, we would make a decision for her, not us.  I know that’s what I did on Tuesday.  I know it was the right thing to do.  I know it was fair and loving.  And I still hate it.

The kids want another.  Momma needs a little time. If you have a furry friend at home, give them a little extra loving tonight.  I may need to borrow a cuddle sometime.  These are just some of the memories we have.  Each is bittersweet, but will grow a bit sweeter with time.

I’ll try to be funnier later.  I have a great story to tell you all about sweatpants.

Uncategorized