So, why the blog?

You might think that this should have been the first post. Not so inside my mind and my “system”! The first post went exclusively and only to my husband, Peter and my daughter Lia who may be mentioned more than once in the course of my blog writing. I had to figure out the technology first and try it out on a non-threatening audience with some objectivity and a whole lot of love. Then I had to brave the exposure of my thoughts on a page that would be out in the very big, very public realm of the blog-o-sphere. Watching a video blog this evening with a state legislator reminded me that I needed to get on with it and get over all the fears of “just doing it,” really! Peter and Lia were very supportive on that first post, by the way.

This blog will be My Musings for anyone interested in reading them. They are the points between the conversations I have with people in my life; the ideas that don’t make it into a conversation, but are inspired by it later, for better or worse. When I became more serious about writing, I was moved to action by a book by Miriam Roach Smith – The Memoir Project. She has a sense of humor, is able to write and teach from her human-ness and talent and she actually got me moving. One point she made was, to paraphrase, if you aren’t ready to start the novel, start with a chapter or an essay or a blog. But start. I am thinking about the novel, am working on a chapter and am posting this blog.

My daughter’s blog for Wild Bull in a China Shop is something I have come to wait for like a wonderful magazine or newsletter. I am mindful when it is near the date for her posts and I read them like they are nourishment! She writes well, creates art well and lives well and she inspires me. That first blog of mine was about inspiration and while she was not the centerpiece of that post, she is one of the people who come to mind when I am searching for support, amazement, joy, reality and every other important aspect of being alive and present in life. I will write more about that when I write my Musings about being in life with someone with whom you find you form a wave; at once the ebb and at another the flow – while still one. Likewise, getting into blogs was most compelling while my husband traveled in Suriname. I couldn’t wait to read about his experience in his words and photos. He not only photographs well, but he creates images of his doings with delightful humor and perspective. We Skyped often, but the blog was still something new about what he was doing, somehow, and I looked forward to the posts as much as his calls.

For me, the blog is a sort of journal. When you get the idea or thought you get to write it out and post it and those who are interested can go to it as they please. But it is there. It is a piece of personal reality and mindfulness and adventure. It makes the social part of my world/our world a bit bigger. It offers us a place to share more than we would be able to do otherwise. I like that!

So I will send this out to all my friends on my e-mail list and invite any of you who are interested in the musings of others, to share in some of mine if you have the time and inclination. And with that thought, I will look through that list of growing topics in the “Musings” note cards in my filing system – somewhere between the “Language Practice” note cards and those for “Things I Want To Do When I Grow Up” note cards. I still (and will most probably always) love 3×5 file cards and have then stuffed into real notebooks, hoping one day I will convert completely to going electronic (maybe,) but for now it remains my working system – and I have made the leap to electronics and the cyber world in this blog. One small step for cyber-kind, one giant step for Kim!

Thanks for joining me.

Kim

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Changes and Challenges

Inspiration So my blog starts.  Time to “just do it.”  It is a place to share my ideas and reflections.  Writing connects me to my process.  If it reaches anyone else that is a bonus. I have a growing list of “important” things: Friends; What to Be When I Grow Up; Getting Older, Really! and of course Gratitude.  So here I go. I was recently inspired.  That kind of inspiration that shifts your own view of your life.  Not the “bolt” kind of inspiration that strikes you off your horse and gives you a new name.  It was the change that comes with breathing in deeply in the presence of someone who just connected to a wordless place inside me.  She was a woman I met on a vacation trip to see my kids.  Her name is Angie.  She is 80 and I am 70. I had been feeling out of balance since signing my retirement papers this past June. Doing this meant I would never be able to go back to work in the place where I had worked – albeit more irregularly than regularly – for about 20 years.  I acknowledged the intellectual reminders I was being given about how there would be a shift in my psyche that comes with this transition.  My work was physically arduous and my days were long.  It seemed timely that I should cut back but that was not really the ultimate motivation for my decision to retire.  It was actually the fact that, even having worked with so little consistency at a “regular” work schedule, I had somehow accumulated a bit of retirement money.  In order to accrue it I had apparently worked for 5 consecutive years in a permanent position.  Most of my years were actually spent as a “contract” worker within their system and that does not qualify for retirement deductions.  The amount is a pittance by US middle class aspirations, but it would be a lump sum that could most surely find a way into the work that remained to be done on our home and our land. I signed on the appropriate lines and walked away with a mix of joy generated by the dollar value on the change, but was aware, at the same time, of an unsettled feeling that was nestling against those dollars.  I became quite cranky to live with and could find fault with the sun rising!  A couple of discussions with my husband and a few other friends dealt with some of the immediate issues – like yelling at everything and most everyone.  I was festering! I pulled out some sewing, some quilting, some ongoing work for our business that I could now do with more focus.  I could start that writing I always talked about.  I am a doer, so I decided that my husband needed to get on board with the restlessness and we needed to find some new things we could do together that we had long talked about.  We joined a few Meet-ups together:  the humanists gathering and a group of writers.  I wanted to see us together with fresh new ideas and a prism that was different. Our 30 years together provides intimate awareness of one another, but some of the rhetoric has become repetitious. Then, time arrived for us to go for vacation with our kids.  My festering was at a lower ebb, but it was not gone.  I had talked with my dearest friend about the shift in my sense of self worth now that I was not going in to work.  About how much I had come to rely on what I did there for affirmation and adulation.  And now it was gone.  On a nice long walk in the early morning with my husband I told him more about how I was feeling.  It cleared the air between us, but still there was a lingering sense of a need for something more. Then, during this same visit, we were to be treated to a harbor tour in a small skiff with a friend of my daughter-in-law – someone she knew from her childhood there.  On a comfortable, blue-sky evening, a bit before sunset, we packed up some white wine with crackers and cheese and headed to the dock just up the street from the kid’s house.  Angie came out of her house and we were off to the boat.  She began to apologize for her exuberance, saying that she was just as “high as a kite.”  Her eyes literally glittered.  This was no ordinary drug-related high.  She was completely under the influence of an abundant endorphin release!  I knew she was a nurse so my interest was already piqued.  We weaved in and out of our conversations as we drew ourselves into the late afternoon beauty of this serene harbor and eventually her story came out.  She had found a venue in her nursing that diverged from what she had ever practiced before and it had been brought to a dimension she had not expected.  She was” breathing” what she had done in all her excitement and enthusiasm.  All I wanted to do was hear her talk.  It was a flow and I wanted to jump into it.  In the next 2 days we got to add to our conversation and we exchanged e-mail addresses. Angie was doing what I needed to do.  She was rediscovering herself.  I am in awe of many people I know and love, especially my children. Redefining myself, however, in terms of their energies was something I knew I couldn’t and shouldn’t be doing. I realized in talking with Angie that I needed find my inspiration in someone whose energy was closer to mine. Someone whose view of life had been etched in a lot of years and experiences.  Our similarities seemed obvious.  She was renewed by the experience she had that day I met her.  I realized that what she had was exactly what I was looking for.  I needed to search it out on my terms, but I needed to keep trying.  I needed to sort through my passion and match it with the energy I have now. Coming home, filled with the image and experience of her joy, I realized that the festering had stopped.  I am not sure where I will end up, but I know that I am on a healthy path.  I have fresh eyes.  And there is really nothing to yell at! I thank you Angie, and so does everyone else in my world!