Winding Down The Road

As 2012 begins its inevitable walk to the ‘Exit’ sign, and 2013 lingers outside the Entrance waiting for the bouncers to accept its credentials and admit it into our crazy, rockin’ psyches, I’ve got to grab a moment of retrospection about the road the karma truck has traveled since I first turned the key in the ignition in early January of this passing year.

I had no map – as you now know, it would have proven useless anyway given my challenges with geography.  I was just going to drive with an eye to the sky and an ear to my heart.  Such spontaneous, free-formed initiatives were new to me.  You don’t work within the confines of a white-shoe, professional service firm and ad-lib your actions too much (though I certainly did my share – after all irreverence can be a good and freeing thing).  But again, I digress..

I agonized about hitting ‘publish’ for the first time, returning to my computer obsessively to see if anyone had stopped by.  I learned relatively quickly to leave the ‘stats alone, and to let go of any fantasies of becoming one of those bloggers that arrive at notoriety with equal parts serendipity and timing.  And as with most illusions that are suspended, reality became a far more incredible experience.

David Kanigan (davidkanigan.com)  who writes’Lead.Learn.Live’ (read it read it read it – you will look forward to his posts daily, and feel a bit bereft if for some reason he gives himself a break to take a vacation or something) was my first ‘follower’. Lori, a writer by profession with prodigious creativity and warmth (and a fabulous gift unto herself) posting at donnaanddiablo.wordpress.com, was my second follower.  Andy, my sister Deborah and friend Joanne followed thereafter.  And now a year later with over 600 followers and 31,000 views, I still have no clue where the karma truck is going.  What I do know is that it is traveling with an incredible entourage of people who openly share their thoughts, encourage me to keep the gas tank full and forgive me some of my lamer efforts (like yesterday’s post – a non-existent YouTube video – yes, I need more Apple therapy).

There is no question I would have continued writing, for there is someplace I’m heading with this, and I am hoping that one day you all will help me figure that out with your suggestions and ideas.  But for today, as I look back I can’t ask you for anything more.  I can only thank you for all that you’ve given me.  Friendships that have grown out of invisible threads that somehow connected us – we each picked up an end.  We have shared the stories of life – marriages beginning and ending, lives changing and morphing like shape shifters in a sci-fi novel, hearts exploding with pain and/or exuberance, illness and the new breath that arrives with the spring, questions with no answers and answers that are equivocal.  We have been silly and we have been considered.  These conversations have been some of the most fulfilling and instructive and delightful exchanges I have ever had.  You let me risk tipping a hand that I have held close for a very long time.  And you graced me with showing me yours.

I’m not sure what 2013 holds for the karma truck.  I do know that I am incredibly grateful for the friendships that I have come to cherish, the absolutely crazy-with-talent people who I follow, with perpetual open-mouthed awe and an ability to be as irritating as a relentlessly circling mosquito.  Thank you for your patience and encouragement.

I hope 2013 brings joy and good health, the courage to risk and the freedom to dream, long walks and endless possibilities.  I hope you feel lighter and less inclined to contort yourself into something you are not – for you have shown over and over again how amazing you are without such unnecessary effort.  I hope friendships deepen, love visits us all generously and often, and that we’re smart enough to relish its presence.  And I hope what we put out into this world meets the threshold of kindness and grace that allows for only goodness to be returned.  Here’s to next year.

(ps.  David – if this doesn’t work, don’t tell me..;-)

Have I Said Thank You Lately?

I want to thank David @ davidkanigan.com (Lead.Learn.Live), Renee @ positiveboomer.net and Ivon @ ivonprefontaine.wordpress.com (Teacher As Transformer) for according me the Blog of 2012 award.

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

David wrote me this morning and suggested I read the rules, because I wanted to nominate him.  Apparently I can’t do that.  This is yet another clue to my personality – I live within the spirit and intent of the law, though I can’t confirm that I always follow it to the letter.  Call it petulance, a throwback to my pseudo-hippie years, or just a desire to expand the lovely opportunities in the day as widely as possible.

This is my way of telling you that I am bending the rules slightly, and I hope you’re all cool with that.  In January, I will write a post about how I have been impacted by a year’s worth of experience in this community.  For now though I’d like to just quickly mention that it has given far more to me than I have arguably given.  Were it not for David and Lori (donnaanddiablo@wordpress.com), I would probably have not continued.  I’m not in their league –  I know it and  I’m ok with it too.  I’m not a writer, I will never publish…I’m just a woman trying to figure stuff out.  David and Lori, in their personal and unique ways have somehow managed to keep me going each time I wanted to stop.  I’m not kidding you – each time.  Call it karmic connection, intuitiveness, generosity of spirit – it nonetheless continues to amaze and humble me.  Perhaps we truly are connected by some thin red thread that quivers every time one feels like falling.

To me, this award is for those who have such talent, perspective, humor, aesthetic sensitivity, etc that I return to their blogs with eagerness and curiosity.  What is Anake going to show me today, what pearls will Susan string together while forming her poetic necklace,  has Bonnie been prompted by some life experience that resulted in a posting both thoughtful and intuitive?  How will Misifusa lift me up today?  Will I feel the need to opine about John’s perspective on leadership?  You catch my drift.  There is so much talent out there, I’m still a neophyte.  At best I am a wondering soul with a decent vocabulary.

So without further comment, I nominate the following people for this award.  They inspire, amuse, delight, challenge and do so with such consistency that they truly are the bloggers of 2012.  The bad news, which I am fretting over, is that I’m sure I’m going to miss someone who I admire equally.  I am hopeful you know that this is an error of oversight, not intention.

Cathy @ largeself.wordpress.com

John @ johnrchildress.com

Misifusa@wordpress.com

Paula @ stuffitellmysister.wordpress.com

Kristin @ letlifeinpractices.com

Bonnie @ paperkeeper.wordpress.com

Anake @ anakegoodal.com

Laurie @ passionateperformance.om

Deanna @ deannaohara.com (Redemption’s Heart)

Susan @ susandanielseden.wordpress.com

Elizabeth @ almostspring.com

Russ @ russtowne.com (A Grateful Man)

Bill @ drbillwooten.com

There are more…and this is where I am feeling the most anxiety – for I have been more enriched by this august cyber community than I ever could have imagined.  I promise you this, I will have the opportunity to acknowledge all of you before the karma truck finally parks.

 

 

The Perfect October Song

Arguably not the most original of posts this morning, though the morning is clearly exceptional.  It’s our first emphatically chilly morning, the smell of oak trees pervade the air,  Archie is trying in vain to catch every falling leaf only to be confused by their trajectory and the sheer volume of movement around him (the purpose of being outdoors for his morning ‘business’ is completely forgotten).  Teddy is stopping to smell the mums and I am inspired by the sounds and sights of the morning.  It’s a wonderful day to take a slow walk into life..

You’ve Gotta Laugh..

..because otherwise, your facial expression would be far less attractive.

I received an email last week alerting me to the fact that I was going to be “Freshly Pressed”.  It was the ode to the stink bugs that piqued the interest of  the perusers of posts.  I was excited and more than a little surprised – I never expected to be selected and I certainly would never have expected to be selected for a short little ditty about my passionate disdain for this particular insect.

Anyway – it’s up on the Freshly Pressed page now.  And do you know what it’s under?  “More Entomology”.  Not “humor” – which may have something to do with my blog on occasion, not “life” – also not an unreasonable category.  Nope – I am now infamous for “more entomology”.  I’m sure this will drive my readership numbers through the roof and the sheer volume of people trying to read my blog will crash the system temporarily.

Oh well, it’s cool to be Freshly Pressed, I guess – though it’s a bit of a bummer to think that that little square on their page will be of no interest to anyone except those who are blogging about bugs.  The picture below is for all those who find these little guys fascinating.  I must admit, I liked him too.

To everyone else – I’m just going to keep writing about the things I always do.  And thank you for hangin’ out with me – without any reference to entomology.

Acceptance Speeches

When I was a teenager, I fully expected to win a Grammy, Tony, Oscar and an Emmy at some point or another.  I used to practice my acceptance speeches in the shower (typically after singing for the shower tiles, who as I have mentioned in the past, were always so appreciative they would sweat with enthusiasm).  Certainly I would look fabulous (proof enough that this was fantasy) and make sure to gracefully acknowledge everyone who contributed to the moment.  And I’d be witty and brief (further proof that this was self-indulgent make-believe), ensuring that I wouldn’t get cut off by music or a commercial.

And though I still tune in when an award show airs, I now find them to be almost as good as an Ambien.  I fall asleep after the first “Thank you so much!  I can’t believe it!!”  I’m sure some speeches are sincere, others may be funny – most are simply disingenuous.  And most of the recipients can’t move their faces any longer,  which makes it difficult to determine whether or not they are feeling anything at all.

I on the other hand have the joy of accepting awards that are given with far more generosity and sincerity.  This virtual community supports its members with acknowledgements that come from a lovely, honest place and I get pretty ferklempt (look it up in a Yiddish dictionary – ‘very emotional’ is probably close) when I am graced with one and permitted to pay it forward.

Renee@positiveboomer.net was kind enough to nominate me for two awards earlier this week.  I am very appreciative and grateful and a little embarrassed.  The embarrassed part is just me – you can just ignore that – it doesn’t diminish my thank you.  Renee and I share a slower, longer learning curve than most of you when it comes to anything technical.  And we both love Twinkies.  I love the joy in her posts – from the simple advice to the thoughtful expositions, the title of her blog suits her perfectly.

I’ve never been part of a Sisterhood before – though I have been asked to join the Sisterhood at our temple.  I have a sister who just rocks my universe, but in a family of  two sisters, I don’t think we had the numbers to qualify.  And I have a sister-in-law who I love very much..hmm..Anyway, I am now part of a larger Sisterhood and that is very cool.  I do wish though that the name of  this award could be changed so that it included men – for some of my favorite bloggers are men.  “Personhood” doesn’t sound very inviting … Something to think on..

Anyway, I believe the following bloggers are definitely Sisterhood material..

Deanna@deanaohara.com – her blog is titled ‘Redemption’s Heart’…

Paula@paulaacton.wordpress.coom

Laurie@passionateperformance.com

Amber@wordsaresuperfluous.com

Joanna@momentumofjoy.com

Jill@universalmusings.com

Susan@susandanielseden.wordpress.com

Maureen@magnoliabeginnings.org

As for Inspirational?  I don’t see myself that way, and it is incredibly humbling to be so considered.  If something I write gives you a smile, or provokes a thought, a nod – I’m beyond happy.  To me the real inspiration is found in the friendships and conversations that seem to uniquely define the special group of people who I’ve met through this blog.  And I am to list seven…

David@davidkanigan.com – one of these days he is going to acknowledge an award from me.  Well, he may not, but he was the first person I started to follow when I began this little journey, so he’s just going to have to deal with it.

Rhoni@help-me-rhonda.com

Anake@anakegoodal.com

Cathy@largeself.com

Bill@drbillwooten.com

Bonnie@paperkeeper.wordpress.com

Elizabeth@almostspring.com

Simon@simonmarsh.com

Andrea@thehandwrittenlife.com

Please give yourself the treat of reading these wonderful blogs – and then you will know why I can’t seem to step away from my laptop.  I guess I went on longer than the two minutes accorded most acceptance speeches – thanks for not giving me the hook..