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Oct 10, 2014 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Practice vs. Inspiration

I’m a writer.

It’s on my business card and everything.

So I read books written by famous authors talking about writing. (Yes, nerd alert!) I recently read, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage” by Anne Pachett

story of a happy marriage anne pachett

Pachett describes one book signing where she was approached by an overzealous woman insisting someone write her story for her. It doesn’t matter if it is fiction or memoirs; people think that writers write. That the idea is the hard part, but the mechanics are minimal. That it’s easy. That words just flow out of our fingers as we sit in some sort of trance allowing the magic to happen. (Note sarcasm!) Pachett tried kindly, but repeatedly to dismiss the woman before resorting to  an underhanded technique– telling her the writer at the next table might be interested in her story!

This notion of inspiration is not true in any profession, even ones traditionally thought of as inspiration-based. Composers may have times of inspiration, but only after years of learning to play an instrument and performing repeated scales, learning to read music (a new language!), and training their ears to justify the note, and harmonize well. There are times of inspiration, but they are only useful after proper preparation.

I’m a writer. I do have epiphanies and moments where the ideas come to me. But I have far more times that I sit and work and rework a sentence, use my thesaurus, and ask for editing assistance until it’s just right. I practice writing. I craft sentences in my head while stuck in traffic. I write down quotes in books I’m reading that are beautiful. I’m a writer. I regularly practice writing.

Practice is the prerequisite for inspiration.

What is your craft? How are you practicing to be ready for when inspiration strikes?

 

Sep 6, 2014 - My Story, Uncategorized    No Comments

The Benefits of Marriage

I’ve determined that my grass is thoroughly green. Others help remind me of the joys in my life and some things I take for granted. Sometimes we get so focused on what we don’t have we miss what we do. We need reminders. My friends take the opportunity to remind me of the benefits of singleness and the greenness of my grass.

green grass plant

Might I have the chance to do the same for my married friends. The benefits of marriage include:

1. “Someone saves you a seat.”

There is nary a lonelier moment for a single person than entering an auditorium for lecture, or concert, or sermon without a place to sit. You are left scanning the backs of people’s heads looking for a homey spot. Whereas, the first-seated half of a couple knows to save a seat for the other. There will be a jacket draped over the seat next to your loved one indicating it’s reserved status. Be thankful for this jacket, this seat, and this person.

2. “You get daily hugs!”

It is important to have human contact. We are made for this. I have great friends in my life, but, we don’t often hug in departure. I never feel like my touch quotient is full until I go home and am nearly tackled at the front door by my exuberant, younger-but-bigger-than-me brother! Great hugs are an oft overlooked benefit of family. So when your youngster is annoyingly stuck on your hip like Velcro, squeeze her back and fill your love tank until it overflows.

3. “You have a default #1.”

You have an emergency contact. A “plus one” for every invitation. A built-in roommate. Someone is traveling through this glorious and treacherous journey called life with you. Someone watches out for you, encourages you, picks you up when your down — and needs these same graces and skills from you. You are a team. I am a free agent. Enjoy your team, fight for your team, cheer for your team! And joyfully return your RSVP plus one!

4. “Someone chose you.”

Of all the billions of people on earth, someone looked at you and said, “Yes, this girl, with all her delights and all her quirks, this is the girl I choose — forever!” You are chosen. Please, remind yourself of that at times when your beloved is less lovely acting! You are lovingly chosen, daily and continually. Recall this fact and choose to love in return even on difficult days!

My grass is green! And dear friends, your grass is green! Green grass comes in my shapes, shades, and sizes, all designed by God to be just the lawn we need. Yes, your lawn needs daily tending, and you might never quite feel like it is properly weeded or watered, especially when you glance across the street. But, beloved, know that there is a beauty in your own green grass. Take another look. And be thankful.

What makes your grass the greenest?

Jun 15, 2014 - My Story, Uncategorized    1 Comment

One of a Kind

My dad is one of a kind.

He doesn’t fit the mold.

I can’t ever look at an ad flyer for gift ideas for him. He doesn’t want ties, tools, or trinkets for Father’s Day. He wants time. I asked him via text if he had any specific Father’s Day requests. He responded immediately (which is saying something for my dad’s texting abilities) “I want time with you on Father’s Day.”

I love that.

I love that my dad truly enjoys his family. That he isn’t the archetypical distant father figure, but that he is playful and hasn’t lost the kid side. I think my dad is great and I’m happy to celebrate him today.

Like I said, he truly does stand out, see?

golf cart

golf cart

Jun 10, 2014 - My Story, Uncategorized    2 Comments

Lonely Lunching

I got lonely lunched.

Stood up.

Ditched.

Pranked.

With our schedules at the hospital, it is rare that my coworkers and I can eat together, but once in a blue moon, it can happen. We headed to the cafeteria. I brought my lunch and others needed to buy, so I headed in to get a table. I snagged a large table, capable of holding the 6 people who were planning to join me. I situated myself near a two tables of other friends who both graciously waved me over to join their table, but I politely deferred stating that others were coming to join me. So I sat guarding my find. Multiple people came attempting to snag chairs or tables from me and I had to shoo them away like pigeons. Repeatedly.

Our cafeteria is not always the most efficient and it seemed to be taking a while for my coworkers to get their food.

tick tock

tick tock

I was nearly done with my lunch. Checking my watch. Smiling weakly at the pigeon-people I’d shooed away, apologizing with my eyes and pleading, “Please don’t hate me. There really are people coming.”

Twenty-five minutes later, I felt pathetic. Like the middle schooler who wasn’t invited to join the cool table (even though I had been invited to eat with others!). I felt defensive. I felt conspicuous. I felt lonely.

Lonely lunch

Even though I love my coworkers and have good relationships with them and I trusted that they truly had been delayed in the food line, the loneliness crept up on me unexpectedly. I find that it is never the situations that I expect that stir my loneliness. I am always blindsided by those emotions. I was thankful that this “attack of loneliness” was short-lived, but it served to remind me that we were created to be in community. Our hearts desire to be accepted, to be known, to be loved, and to eat with others! Next time you are lonely lunched (or lonely anything!) look around and know someone else understands that feeling. Lonely lunching serves to drive me into relationships and community — and that is a good thing.

Celebrating Uniquely

This is Tanner.

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Perhaps that’s not his best side.

Tanner is my friend, almost like my little brother. We have a funny connection to be able to carry on a conversation exclusively in movie quotes – one of my favorite past times. We love lots of the same nerdy things including the TV show Community. We even greet each other with Troy and Abed’s secret handshake.

Tanner’s birthday was last month and I wanted to do something special for my friend to celebrate him. In one episode of Community the characters play paintball, in another play Dungeons and Dragons, and still another build a blanket fort. But, over the years of friendship between myself and Tanner’s family, we have already done those things! So I had to keep thinking.

It was then that I saw the Groupon for a magical balloon ride. Ding Ding Ding! Behold Season 4 Episode 9 (Yes they are dressed as muppets for this episode, if you haven’t seen Community before, don’t ask questions or try to jump in midstream!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHeLXhkueK4

I took Tanner on a balloon ride, raised up 500 feet to see a 360 view of Downtown Disney, take some crazy pictures and celebrate my friend. To me, it was more than just a ride, it represented our friendship, shared interests, and sense of adventure. While some on the ride clung nervously to the railings, Tanner loved it and kept repeating, “It would be so cool to work here!”

 

IMG_0523 IMG_0514I was thankful that this gift was my chance to think outside the box and celebrate my friend in a unique way, something that I’ll likely not do for anyone else. In the words of Abed, I think that’s, “Cool, Cool, Cool.”

IMG_0524How can you uniquely celebrate someone in your life?

 

May 4, 2014 - Humor, Uncategorized    No Comments

May the Fourth

Apparently, it’s a holiday today. A new one. Which when I wish you a happy day it will sound like I have a lisp.

“May the fourth be with you!”

may the fourth be with you star wars

(And I always want to follow it up with, “And also with you!”)

Whether you are celebrating coincidences in sounds today, I wish you a happy Sunday of rest!

Apr 12, 2014 - Health, Running, Uncategorized    No Comments

Celebrating Problem Solving

Have I mentioned that I love MacGyver?

MacGyver

It may have come up once or twice.

MacGyver is my hero. I love his creativity and quick thinking and ability to problem solve in the face of trial.

Here’s my latest MacGyver moment.

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I ran a five mile race last weekend (and set a personal record of 56:05!), but that’s not even the crux of this story. After races there are often booths with sponsors and lots of free giveaways. Pens, pins, and Post-Its galore! When I see this I want to sing, “These are a few of my favorite things!” I walked through the tents after just running five miles– spandex-clad, breathing heavily, and attempting to rehydrate — picking up loot until my fingers could hold no more. Items kept slipping through my sweaty grasp and I got tired of it. Often times one of the sponsors gives out bags to hold all the loot in, but alas, at this race that was not in the cards.

MacGyver to the rescue!

I didn’t want to return to my car or miss the award ceremony (because my friend, Jenn, won the race and I wanted to hoop and holler for her!) So I MacGyvered it. I found a discarded NutriGrain box in the trash pile left over from the mound of food set out for the runners and began pooling all of my items into it. Pens were clustered in a coozie followed by paper products and granola bars. It fit perfectly. So I walked around with a NutriGrain box on my hip, thinking nothing of it until my friend, Jenn, who incidentally was the race winner, noticed it and said, “Kelly, you’re amazing! Where did you find that box and how did you think of that?” She glanced in to see just how much stuff I had packed into my container (I am not shy when it comes to free pens!) and then said, “Please blog about this!”

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IMG_1509

Today I celebrate problem solving, creativity, and mental flexibility. But even more than that I celebrate friends who notice and laugh at my quirks and encourage me the small victories in life.

 

Mar 15, 2014 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

A Vast, Unending Ocean

I’m not a beach person.

I’m pale, so the sun and I are not friends. I don’t love sand. I hate crowds. And allowing the world to see me in my swimsuit doesn’t rank high on my list either. I go to the beach slathered in 70 spf lotion and covered up!

kelly beach

But I love the ocean. 

I love the enormity and the constancy of the sea. It reminds me of the love of God. Many days I don’t think much about the ocean and its glory. But whether I think of it or not, the ocean is there. Much like days escape me in which I haven’t pondered the love of God or felt near to him.  Sometimes we are far from the ocean and sometimes we are surrounded by it’s depth and vastness, but the ocean is always there. It rolls ever on reaching for us, wanting to surround us.

God’s love is a vast, unending ocean. 

kelly beach feet

It makes me think of “The Love of God” by Frederick Lehman

Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry;

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.

Reading words like those makes me love the ocean… and even the beach!

kelly beach hat

Feb 14, 2014 - My Story, Uncategorized    2 Comments

Valentine’s Day

It comes every year. But I’m never quite prepared.

Valentine’s Day is rough for me and I’m not sure why. It’s just one day. I know I’m surrounded by love. But  it is not in the way I most want. I have family and friends who send me cards and gifts and think of me on this day, knowing it is a tough one for me. But I want a husband, a boy to find me delightful and think I’m rad. And I don’t have that.

So I get mopey.

My prescription for myself is to get out of my head, stay busy, have plans, and be thankful for all the love expressed on Valentine’s Day — and so many other days. I have a rad family and amazing friends who send me messages like this:

single ladies, carissa

 

My other prescription is to determine to make someone else’s day. In the past I’ve offered to babysit so that a couple can go out together. I’ve sent oodles of cards to people who likely are in the same boat as me, single, mopey and disgruntled. I even buy the old school Valentine’s that I passed out in Kindergarten and give them to all my coworkers. Nothing helps me get out of my own head better than focusing on another person.

If Valentine’s Day is a tough one for you, know that you’re not alone. Make some plans for yourself,  look for the love that is given, even if from an unlikely source, and determine to make someone else’s day. You’ll have a better day. I promise.

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