The Crazy Side of Normal

Crazy you say

I have a confession to make and I must warn you; it might be a little disturbing. Some of you may be wondering what took me so long to see what was right in front of me; how could I be so blind? To be honest, I’ve always known, but it takes a lot of courage to stand up and say my family is crazy!

Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, and grandparents, there is no end to the amount of phobias one could obtain in such a circle. Let’s face the facts: Family will be the first to point out our bad habits, and thank goodness they do, otherwise, I might have sucked my thumb until I was 20! They are the first to recognize our failures, the first to criticize our weaknesses, and the first to praise our successes.

My family is the the most diverse group of people I know.

There are nay-sayers, do-gooders, and ride-the-fencers. There are believers, non believers, and a few that fall in between. There are in-laws and outlaws, free-loaders and farmers, musicians, pilots, and machinists. There are cat lovers and cat haters and meat eaters and vegans, and sometimes the only common ground is that we are all related to each other.

If any of this sounds familiar, but you are too afraid to state the obvious, you can take heart in knowing that you are not alone. Growing up, I was certain there wasn’t another family out there as crazy as mine, but I married my husband and found out I was wrong! Kidding *wink-wink*, really I am.

Now you may be asking the question, “Karen, how can you fit in so well and be so normal?” I have asked this very question myself, and then it came to me metaphorically: I am on the crazy side of normal (after all, I am a writer), therefore I am just another nut in the family tree.

My family has been broken apart and put back together so many times over the years you might think we are weak and fragile. But when tragedy knocked me down, family was there breathing life back into me and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for being strong when I couldn’t be, thank you for loving me in spite of my flaws, and thank you for being just crazy enough to make life interesting!

 

origianl photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/24842486@N07/11970571345/”>e r j k p r u n c z y k</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Advertisements
Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Soul Food

Soul Food

Hungry For Change

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. To be honest, I don’t believe they work. I am the first to admit I don’t really hold myself accountable for a promise I make to myself and possibly a few other people who might be sharing a glass of champagne with me. Instead, I like to do a little soul-searching and reflect on what I have learned about myself or the world around me over the past year. Sometimes it’s a lot of things and other times, very little. But my one goal has always been to change the things I can and accept the things I can’t.

The world is constantly moving. “Duh,” you say? Well, I have to make myself aware of this truth. Sometimes, I dig my feet in and refuse to be a part of that change. Life is easier on my front porch, in my little office, curled up on my couch, etc., but the world is a big and beautiful place, and I can change because I don’t want to hear about an awesome sunrise, I want to see it!

 I used to rearrange my furniture every six months or less and in doing so, it somehow made everything seem fresh and new. This is the longest I’ve lived in one house and therefore my furniture has been in every possible configuration. I gave up and nothing moved for a long, long, time; at least long for me. Now, things are on the move again which makes me think it’s because I either have a problem, or I’m hungry for a change.

Writing is something I enjoy doing. It satisfies that creative side of me that I can’t seem to define. I have this strange desire to create something and if I don’t feed the beast with words, I would be painting, building, tearing down, and rebuilding like a carpenter on steroids. I might crochet an entire wardrobe for my daughter, fill the yard with flower beds, or turn my basement into a spa. Hmmm…  Where was I? Oh yeah, for me, writing is a very personal experience that I share with the world. Those are my thoughts, my words, my imagination, and not everyone is going to like what I have to say, but that’s okay. It’s hard to put yourself out there to be judged and it’s hard not to take criticism personally, but I’m learning.  You don’t have to be my friend to like my writing, and you don’t have to like my writing to be my friend!

Early in the spring season when it’s 65 degrees, I’m jumping into a pair of shorts and my husband is rushing to the lake for an eagerly anticipated boat day. Late in the fall season when it’s 65 degrees, I’m jumping into a snuggly sweater and my husband is rushing to the lake for an unexpected boat day. What I have come to realize is that my husband is always looking for a boat day and I wouldn’t change that if I could.

Off the top of my head and in no particular order, my favorite shows—past or present—are True Blood, The Tudors, Game of Thrones, Vampire Diaries, Breaking Bad, Survivor, Lost, Walking Dead. I’m addicted to coffee, I eat popcorn at movies, I sing really loud and off-key when I’m alone in the car because it feels good, and the taste of chocolate still makes me crave a piece of bologna. What does this say about me?

The past several years I have lived an unhealthy, sedentary life. Time and age is creeping up on me and I have discovered I’m not as flexible as I used to be. Maybe I took my youth for granted which is the way of the world, but now I feel like I’m too young to be this old. I’m moving slower and groaning more. “A body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest” is true! I’m not lazy, far from it. I’m not an athlete either, but this year I kind of want to be. So, I have made a change and boy am I feeling it. Three days a week I am working out with a trainer and challenging myself mentally and physically! When I want to give up in the middle of a set, I think about hiking with my family, sailing in the BVI, skiing, sledding, snorkeling etc., and I push myself to get back to living in the world I love! 

In the spirit of change, I am weeding out bad habits, one of which is nail-biting. I didn’t make a conscious effort to stop, it just happened, sort of. Maybe I learned to chill a little bit more or maybe it was those few days of yoga I did with my daughter right before Christmas, I’m not sure. One day, I went to bite a nail and realized it was too long and the thought of biting a real fingernail freaked me out. Unfortunately, one nail on each hand was still pretty short so I’ve yet to give those up, but I’m working on it. 

I’m afraid of failure but I’m afraid of success and I’m still trying to figure out how to change that.

When my son of seventeen years died in a car accident, it left a hole in my heart. I waited a long time for it to heal, but it never did. I have come to realize that it never will because a part of me died with him. The pain will always be there, I’m just learning to live with it. 

Keeping a positive attitude is a challenge for me and I have to remind myself every day of all the good things. Surrounding myself with energetic, upbeat personalities is helpful and I’m damn thankful I am married to one. I have a lot of great people in my life, and I appreciate every single one of them.     

In my late thirties, I began to notice my age in pictures. I avoided being photographed whenever possible, as if that was the only way anyone could see the fine lines/wrinkles, or that random gray hair that spiraled straight up on the crown of my head. When Justin died, I found very few pictures of the two of us together; it was disturbing, vain, and selfish. I will never have the opportunity to take more. This realization has begun to change the way I see myself in photos. The person I see in pictures is the same person I see in the mirror, and therefore the same person the world sees. If I don’t love me, how can I expect anyone else to? With Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, I have learned to let go of my insecurities and embrace my “selfies”.  It’s one thing to take a funny or somewhat creepy photo of myself; it’s liberating to share it with the world! I recommend at least one “selfie” a month!

With the support of great friends and family, 2014 is the year of moving forward—one step at a time. I am learning to accept help as well as to give it, to love myself and the life I am living, and to find humor in the world around me; because smiles become giggles and giggles become laughter, and nothing feeds the soul better! 

Soul Food 2

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: