Note: I read all comments and respond to most. --- New posts every 10 to 15 days...except when life decides to get in my way by dropping a log into my pond.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slow Time Down, Jam Things Up, and Often Start Over

This morning I felt like my days were getting by me unnoticed, and time slipping right through the proverbial fingertips, when a nostalgic tag line came to mind:

         Like sands through the hourglass, 
         so are the days of our lives.

My memory told me I first heard these words filtering through the air when I was a young child, intently building a house of tiny bricks on our family room floor. But memory cannot always be trusted. Apparently, this statement was first used in 1965 by television announcer, Ed Prentiss, for the dramatic serial debut of Days of Our Lives.  This means I had already taken a big intimidating bite into my teen years when my mom began to faithfully watch that show.

What a vivid picture for my young mind! I did not want my life to just slip away like those sands. Those words were just a simple simile, but I rebutted them as if they were allegorically true: What if some grains of sand were a little bigger than the others, wouldn't that cause them to slow down or even jam going through that narrow opening? And besides, hourglasses are turned over when they're done; you just start over. I knew my life would be different. I would slow time down, jam things up, and often start over.

By slowing time down, I actually fit a lot more into my life. Have you ever had a day where you felt that so much happened, it was like living an entire week in one a good way? When I plan my day way ahead of it arriving, I really do slow time down.

But planning a full day also means things can get bottled up - jammed at the gooseneck, so to speak - when even one part doesn't planned. Have you ever had something take 3 hours to complete, that should've only taken half an hour? Some of those other great plans I had for that day will simply have to be placed on hold. But that's okay, since I know how to slow time down.

Then there's the uneventful kind of day where nothing gets accomplished, nothing happens, and it just seems to go by unnoticed. Ever have any of those? If I have two or more in one week, let alone back to back (yikes!). Well, that's where I've got to just flip the hourglass and start over.

Actually, I love "overs." Overs is like hitting erase, only better. There is absolutely no trace, no residue, from what was there before. Memory? Ah heck, you can't totally trust it anyway.

Both my husband and I *love* to do overs. When it's something pretty serious, we even add a "pinky shake" just to seal our agreement. It's a pretty smooth arrangement that works quite well for us.

When it comes to just me though, I seem to always forget I can do overs. But today?... Today, I remembered. Today was an overs kind of day... just for me :~)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A True Critic

Po Bronson co-wrote the book Nurture Shock, and after reading his Red Room blog of Jan 19, 2011, I’ve concluded that I can’t critique what he’s written. Why? Because I haven’t raised kids myself, where it worked out great, and then endeavored to write about it. 

Doing things the wrong way and realizing it didn’t work, doesn’t make anyone an authority on a subject. Henry Ford observed the way automobiles were being made and knew it wasn’t working. But it wasn’t until he actually came up with the solution of an assembly line method of production, and proved that it worked, that his way became the standard for comparison. 

It’s not until you’ve actually experienced what it’s like to do something right and you've proven what works – where it turns out the *best* - that you perhaps become an authority on the subject. At that point, you’ve actually earned the right to be a true critic. At least, that is what I've come to believe about myself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Of All the Things

The other day I received an email with the following quote:

                    Of all the things I've learned in life, I know that change is 
                    the strongest truth.
                                                    ~Janice Van Dyck 

Briefly I considered the words, then immediately I wanted to change them. I thought: Change is perhaps the one constant in life, but it is not the strongest truth.

Carefully, I reread it and began to acknowledge that she was not talking about me. She was speaking of all the things she herself has learned in life.

But my thoughts grew louder within me: There is a simple principle - a law - the strongest most powerful law in the entire universe. It's the Law of Believing...all believing equals receiving and all receiving equals believing. It is a greater law than all the other laws of physics, because it transcends everyone of them.

I even began to wonder if others would read what she wrote and even...(gasp)... agree with her! At that point I finally realized I was being tempted, to not only pit the knowledge and understanding I've acquired in life against hers, but to do it in writing. And I didn't even know who she was!

Pausing, I asked myself: Do I really want to get into that kind of writing? Do I really want to start picking apart what others say - whether I think it's relevant or true or vital or not?

Without hesitation, I replied: No, I don't. Absolutely not! There's a place for commentary and opinion writing, but that's not where I want to go - not at all.

Logically, the next question is: Then where do you want to go, Kathy? The answer is simple. I have one purpose - one mission:  

I write with the belief to both inspire and challenge the human experience, welcoming criticism, for there is no person on earth who fails to intrigue me, and thereby touches my soul in some significant way.

It is not my intention to cast opinions that tend to judge the relevance or validity of what someone else may have thought or concluded. My desire and goal in writing would be defeated if I wrote in a framework that might tear down the very place another has reached by scaling their own mountain(s). Honestly, how welcoming would that be?

Totally unaware, Janice Van Dyck has touched my soul in a significant way. She has pushed me to reconsider my purpose and to decide whether or not my mission is still real to me - still where I choose to be. And - of all the things I've learned in life - she has inspired me to write of judgments and comparisons that we, at times unknowingly, superimpose on one another.

Although we've never met, please allow me to say, "Thank you, Janice."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Hi all. My primary reason for posting this is simply to say, "I was here." For the past week my thoughts have had to turn to budget planning. Unless I harness both my time and money, I will not have the energy to go where my vision wants to take me.

Meanwhile...written from a poetry prompt just for fun, and dedicated to all cats who demand to be let outside, then refuse to go when they find out how blistery it is:


I would never unlock the door for
Persnickety the cat -
That high-minded, snooty, and snitty,
Double-minded li'l "brat."

Until he learns how to treat me right,
That I am where it's at,
He can just dream from the window sill,
And that's enough of that!

Okay, you've probably already guessed...I don't own a cat. But, since I did at one time, I feel I have "rites of passage" on this one. And besides, I have a dog that when she insists she has to go out to relieve herself, I hook up the leash and escort her out back, just to find out all she wanted was to eat snow! And, of course, by that time I'm about to freeze my you-know-what off. Yeah, I know,...guess it makes me out to be a faux cat owner that's easily faux'd by a dog. Somehow, it seems there should be a lesson in there, somewhere...but, just to be real...I don't see it :~)

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Architect of My Soul - The Rooms

There is a type of house cleaning I would rather avoid, and then there is the kind I actually relish. The first strikes me as a mundane chore; the second, an anticipated delight.

My mother often voiced how much she hated doing housework because it would never last. She would say, "As soon as I get it all cleaned, someone has to come along and mess it up. It never ends!" I was highly influenced by her remarks, especially when they supported my childish whim towards laziness.

Later in life, I had the privilege to learn that when you've cleaned something, it has the benefit of blessing the very next person who comes along to use it. It's an admirable attitude of service that makes the task worth doing. I've also seen how keeping my house clean keeps my health stronger. Dust-free breathing seems to become more critical the older I get. Imagine that.

In spite of these rich reasons for enjoying the work, along with my deep-rooted conviction to work "heartily as to the Lord," my childhood paradigm tends to win over when it comes to housework, and it all becomes a mundane chore.

But, there is a kind of house cleaning that I am eager to take on each week, or at least monthly. I know others who prefer entering its doors only once a year, but it would become way too daunting for me to follow their steps. This house is my own soul, and the doors open wide to each of the rooms that makes me... me. Those tiny rooms that mysteriously weave together, become the very fabric of my being.

Around 500 BC, a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus, concluded that change is central to the universe. Today we hold that change is the only constant in life, that nothing and no one is ever static. This would mean that at any given point in time, I am either growing or dying. There is no space between the two. Each of us can choose which way we want to go. Personally, I think a growing plant is
                                                                     far more enjoyable than a dying one.

I recently came across this quote by American journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning, syndicated columnist, Ellen Goodman:

We spend January 1 walking through 
our lives, room by room, drawing up a 
list of work to be done, cracks to be 
patched. Maybe this year, to balance 
the list, we ought to walk through the 
rooms of our lives... not looking for 
flaws, but for potential.

This is the style of house cleaning that, for me, is an anticipated delight. This is where I can imagine and redesign that fabric because I am the architect of my soul. And, who knows? Perhaps, within the process, I will even discover the room wherein lies the change needed to turn a mundane chore into the exciting.