Where Forgiveness Finds You

With a rather dark anniversary in my life approaching, much of my group discussions have centered on peace and forgiveness. As I explained, I expected a washing over of divine peace and all the good feelings when I said aloud the words “I forgive you”. Yeah, not so much.

Fast forward to the good stuff. It didn’t come. No butterflies appeared. No washing of anything. End of post. Haha you don’t get off that easily. Seems I was mistaken – don’t tell anyone – when I thought it was the end of my journey into forgiveness. Granted it’s been an almost 25 year process, but surely it can’t last forever, right? Right?!

Though not forgotten

Doubts begin to creep in regarding my ability to forgive my dad for his actions surrounding his death. I think the fallout and unanswered questions were more hurtful. I remember running on the treadmill in/around Dec 2018 and stopping mid-run because the tears wouldn’t cease. It felt like everything I’d bottled up was exploding from me (again). Maybe it was because I had finally experienced a profound love in my life; maybe it was destined to happen then. Who knows. But I somehow knew I had finally found forgiveness for the man I only knew for 10 short years.

It was miraculous. Life changing even. There was an inner smile, a light no one could extinguish. But all lights eventually go out. Time went on, patterns changed, and although I found my own forgiveness of him that day, every day since has been a battle. My heart gets heavy, I retreat inside myself, and I vow never to feel that type of hurt ever again. News flash! Hurt happens regardless.

Without a true sense of closure, I imagine I’ll live with this until I die. Little reminders will always trigger me. Dates in November and December may have me crying, unable to express the loss I feel, but dark days don’t last forever. Peace is found in the little things; He who watches over me ensures sorrow is replaced with light.

I believe it, if only by faith.

_____________________

I ask you –

Are there dark times/days in your life?

Have you ever intended to forgive someone?

If you or anyone you know is considering suicide, please call 800-273-8255 or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the Home link below. Your life is important!

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Reflect and Deflect

Anyone else feel like October is running them over? Oh great, it’s just me.

my version of Bridges of Madison County

Maybe it’s the change in weather – love! – or the promise of new races – or not – or the upcoming UFC battles – we call them debates – or all the activities I somehow committed to – what were you thinking, Kel? Probably a small bit of them all. Either way, I’m tired and we’ve only just begun.

I’ve packed my calendar to the very edge of its sanity and mine; now I’m having second thoughts. It can be tough keeping the same momentum there was when I first said ‘I’ll do it!’

Now I sit here in the quiet stillness of the morning, drinking liquid joy (have you tried vodka in a coffee cup? recommend!), evaluating the schedule in front of me. Quickly I remind myself to be thankful I’m able to have this moment before the whirlwind that is my mini awakes and off we go again.

And I hear a whisper. There’s some new wine in the cabinet.

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I ask you –

Is October a gear up or gear down month for you?

Do you have a habit of overextending yourself?

Funny thing is I rarely drink. It’s just fun to make jokes about it.

Whole, but like an Orange

Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin
caterpillar -> butterfly

A few nights ago, there was a discussion on wholeness and what it meant. Granted each person can go a million directions on this one word alone, but a similar premise regarded growth. As buzzword as growth seems to be now, I haven’t found an adequate replacement yet. And so it begins!

For all the darkness, uncertainty, and confusion this year has worn like a shroud, I can honestly say my life has been overwhelmed with growth. Though it may be easy to overlook it’s definitely not lost on me. My inner strength has multiplied! Of course there have been tough times. But overall I’m better off now than I was in 2019.

Responsibility has not been mine alone. Let me rephrase – I take full responsibility, but wholeness is the sum of many parts. Not too long ago, I shared how something(s) were missing in my life. More so inside me. Disjointed pieces unable to come together, like several puzzles accidentally mixed up. Not only did I not feel whole but I was bordering on the edge of simultaneously feeling everything and nothing. Only recently did I accept how dangerous that place is. When you continue to chase a high, it always takes more to reach it.

(neighbor’s yard)

A friend used these words: if you’re not growing, you’re dying. If you came here today thinking I’d have funny stories, sorry to disappoint! Without continuing to seek growth or, in my case, sort out those puzzle pieces, there will be a point you, and I, can grow no more. All downhill after that.

I encourage you all to keep growing. Find the things to facilitate wholeness, whatever it looks like for you. Never forget we all struggle, but one person’s struggle is another’s time to grow.

_________________________________

I ask you –

First impressions of the quote I used today?

Are you feeling growth or stagnancy in 2020?

Name your least favorite buzzword! Balance. That’s mine.

New Plans – New Goals?

Indeed I love sharing my plans on this platform. However, I’m always afraid of what could happen once I post it here: what if I fall short, what if I decide not to do it, what if this, what if that. Who cares, at least you tried. If all else fails, at least it’s the final day of September and what more could go wrong this year?

Fall makes me excited! There’s pumpkins and cooler weather and races and lots of coffee. Thanksgiving, leaves falling, no more mosquitoes, and extra blankets. Shall I continue? No matter how basic you may think I am, fall is hands down the best season.

Notably this fall I am not racing; however, I will be training for a race early December. Surely I’ve mentioned it, ohhhh, 5 times. December is winter, not fall, no matter where you live. Except on the other side of the globe. I made my race plan, consulted with no one, and intend to dig deep for approximately 8 weeks. It’s not long. Could be my demise. So we’re just gonna wing it!

Morning? Night? Same view

While everyone else is soaking up the final hours of daylight, I’ll either be lacing up for a post-work run or going to bed early to capitalize on an AM run before the world wakes up and ‘needs things from me’.

Bring on the gloves! It sucks when my fingers are cold.

____________________________

I ask you –

Do you, too, enjoy pumpkins and leaves?

Who else has perpetually cold hands/fingers?

Why are people so needy?!?

Welcome to the Show!

the shit show…

Let me tell you about my friend. She’s with me all the time and has known me my whole life. As an integral part, I’ve had to accept her shortcomings, her nuances, her idiosyncrasies. For some, she’s the only one they know. Her name? Kel.

from deep inside

Did you know many writers have an alter ego or, at the very least, an ability to ‘become’ their characters? It’s true. No more weird than a child pretending to be a dog – there’s a ton of psychological and growth patterns in these behaviors. But I imagine when an adult says this, it prompts some uneasy stares.

Not to worry – there’s nothing overtly wrong with my psyche – that’s what I’ve been told anyway. Truly I’m going out on a limb just sharing it here, but I think if we were all truthful with ourselves we’d realize everyone in our lives receives a certain part of us. Lucky for my readers, you are invited to the party between Kelly and Kel.

Allow me to explain. Anything in italics is Kel. She’s my sarcastic, funny, no bs, speaker of the heart. Kelly though? I’m forced to be what is expected of me, what society can dictate, what so many only know me as. Kel’s the fun one. Interestingly enough, there exists a handful of souls who give me an opportunity to merge both sides of myself into the true me, if you will.

I promise I don’t suffer from any personality disorders or the like. Some have even said I’m normal. Probably paid to say this, but I’m not complaining. My goal here is to explain what I think most people, if they dive deep, will find within themselves: a merging of characters due to life events. Surely I’m not the only one! Kel has been around for a very long time, but I didn’t really understand her role until I was much older.

In speaking to a very amazing woman, she regaled us with tales of her 3 or 4 “children”. These children represent different chapters in her life: childhood, adolescence, etc. It was explained that anyone who has gone through any type of trauma may develop the practice of naming and “unboxing” (my word, not anyone else’s) different parts of themselves. To be brutally honest, when I first heard this woman’s descriptions I was very resistant. I thought perhaps this wasn’t exactly what I had signed up for and maybe I should move on. But the more she spoke the more I realized I had done the same. Don’t forget about me! I even acknowledged how peaceful it feels to recognize this part of me.

a seamless combination

So there you have it. To be called Kel is actually a very personal part of my life. It’s rare and treasured. I can count on one hand how many refer to me as Kel – it’s not an invitation, rather I believe when it happens I am being seen for my true self. It’s a pet name, a private nickname, a word of adoration and understanding. She is me and I am her. And if you have the chance to be invited into this world, consider yourself lucky. Really though – I’m the lucky one.

_________________

I ask you –

Are there any other parts of you?

Did I go too far in sharing this post? Religion, death, and psychological topics: very taboo.

Tell me what you refer to yourself as: full name or a nickname!

Infamous History and such

Took another shot at the downtown Farmer’s Market. It appears okra and squash are still growing strong. Get it, get it. Busy as ever (clearly I mean the market, not me), I knew exactly what I was looking for this time so no wine samples. Oh the travesty.

Courtesy of The Odd Duck Coffee Co. and BCocoa

Since it was a beautiful 80° out, coffee in hand, I walked around some in search for other treasures.

Chocolate shop silliness

Wichita Falls has much history and artifacts to be explored. Trains are fascinating to me because, much like ships, it’s hard to understand their magnitude until you get closer.

Unidentified tourists (with permission)

Unbeknownst to many, WF is home to the world’s littlest skyscraper. Could be worse, I guess. Standing an astounding 40 feet tall, built in 1919, the story behind this ‘skyscraper’ is quite fascinating. Knowing my own storytelling abilities, I’ve included a link so you can read for yourself: https://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/news/local/2018/06/19/wichita-falls-story-behind-worlds-littlest-skyscraper/715470002/

Officially on the map

I also stumbled upon not one but two local shops to return to with my mini love. Peddling their wares of cupcakes and gelato, respectively, October is sure to be an exciting month!

_____________________

I ask you –

Anyone else have a vested interest in downtown character?

Is your city/town known for such an obscure reason?

Name your favorite local coffee shop!

Snippets of Comedy

Whilst typing a work email, I wrote “1 bird, 2 stones” and if that doesn’t epitomize my whole year, nothing will. Then I laughed very loudly out loud which warranted a puzzled look from my boss. You remember him? The one who didn’t fire me? Always pressing my luck.

On the (short) drive home, I passed a home with a tall ladder leaning up against an even taller tree. First thought: this f*ckery isn’t going to end well. Spent the next few days watching the news for his (because it must be the male species) coverage. I guess everything turned out well. Maybe he was a professional.

Everyone is safer when I’m teleworking

Discovered the bliss that is non-padded bras and if you see me fondling myself, then just ignore it. Ladies, you get me. I birthed a human and breastfed that human for over a year…pretty damn proud of this body’s accomplishments. My boobs may not be worthy of pornhub, but they’ve done everything I asked of them.

I almost forgot! Another work-related fail. A few days after the email snafu, as I was driving into work, my ID abandon ship’d it out the window. Granted I was already at the gate, window rolled down, preparing to gain access, but nonetheless it flew from my fingertips and landed behind the very kind Airman (who was very much not amused) while I laughed. Because what else was I supposed to do? I apologized profusely, but his expression was one of ‘why me?’ I still don’t understand why he didn’t think it was even a little bit funny. Oh well.

1 hr of free play

And, finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for = Ta-Da!! I successfully received my daily Gummy reward for 365 consecutive days! Gummy addiction anonymous hired me. I’d like to thank my patient friends and family who….nevermind. No one cares, but me. And I’m happier for it!

____________________

I ask you –

Do you regularly scale ladders in an attempt to do should-only-be-done-by-professionals work?

Have you ever thrown your ID out the window? I recall a story of a concert ticket seemingly disappearing out a car window…

Go ahead; tell me. Do I have a gaming problem? It doesn’t interfere with my life so I’m saying no.

Remember the Apple and Tree?

It’s been awhile since I regaled you with tales of the 4-year-old princess who rules my home. Home?! Haha you mean your whole life, Kel. Below are just a few more examples of the hilarity that ensues when I’m on a 50/50 work from home schedule. Please take a seat. Grab some tissues, too.

A true princess

So she overheard a television program use the phrase “salty as hell” and I can only wish she’ll wait a few weeks to share this gem. Namely when she’s with her dad. Because I know she will use it properly, I almost can’t wait.

Her nose was running and a green, yellow-ish mucous was emerging from her left nostril. After many tissues and a dose of Zyrtec, a miniature piece of popcorn (kernel and all) was extracted. I was secretly appalled yet impressed.

Her love for fishing and ability to be completely impatient are equally charming. 5 mins – no fish – I’m out.

For about her whole life, she won’t eat the breakfast I make. It could be her favorite things; she will only pick at it and tell me she’s full. Finally the truth was revealed when she said these exact words: “Mommy puts stuff in (whatever we’re having)”. When her Papa asked what kind of stuff, he received this answer: “Yucky stuff, like peppers and spinach”. Then they both had a good laugh. Truth of the matter is I do put those things in eggs (come on, I know you’ve read my blog); however, I don’t put them in hers! Never have! Yet somehow this is the reasoning behind her not eating what I cook. At least I have a reason now. My feelings weren’t even hurt. From now on, cereal is a safe bet. Clearly I’m the baker. And that’s the extent of my cooking skills, where she’s concerned anyway.

At least we agree on ice cream

AND THEN!!!! I was offered a sugar-covered butter cookie (which I don’t love, but I try them every single time). Since I didn’t eat the whole thing, I graciously gave the remaining portion to the very fruit of my body who then crinkled her nose and said “No, I want a whole cookie because I don’t want slobber in my mouth.” Freaking unbelievable!

Where has the love gone and when will it return? Her sense of humor, eye for design, and personal space issues are just a small reminder I’m paying for everything I’ve ever done. Ever done. Seriously. Ever. Most days I believe the look she gives me is this: You’re supposed to know these things, lady. Geez.

I give up.

***Hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day!***

___________________________

I ask you –

What are my chances she will use the “salty as hell” phrase with her dad? Batting 70/30 here.

Do you think she’ll get funnier as time goes by or will she become obnoxious and angry?

Your best children’s story of WTF. Go!

Never Too Old to Learn

Around mid-February, I became involved in a “group project”, if you will. Typically held 2x/month, we would meet and discuss very important subjects related to life, military, and anything else that came up. Our host served as a mediator of sorts, but there was no syllabus nor direction to our meetings. Throughout the past 6 months, give or take, we battled our group being involuntarily disbanded, technology issues once reunited, and an assortment of other small decisions impacting our ability to meet in person vs remotely. Shaky at best.

Looks different under bright lights

Now we’ve come to the end of our project. We tacked on a few extra months because the world went crazy. The question was posed what will we each do with the time we’ve spent devoted to attending? Suddenly we all have 90 mins back in our life – decisions, decisions. Perhaps I’ll write more or include an extra workout per week or solve world peace. The options are unlimited! Each of us has our own answer, but I think I might continue to make this date with myself. It’s already on my calendar. I could work; who does that? This time has already been carved out and I’m my best project anyway.

Now the sappy stuff. Without this project, I feel confident I would have eventually gotten to where I needed to be, but it wouldn’t have happened as efficiently. I certainly wouldn’t have made new friends. Although they may balk at my use of the word “friend”, I consider them such. Believe me, it’s almost impossible to share very intimate and uncomfortable details of my life with strangers and not consider them friends at the end.

K, a seat just for you

Dear K – Thank you for being raw and unapologetic. From day 1, your candor was refreshing. I will never know what it’s like to walk in your shoes, but you wear them so well. The work you’ve done in your life, the self reflection you employ, and the take-no-shit attitude you developed drove our group forward. The path your life has taken put you in this moment, I believe, for many reasons. Your heart is so big. The rescuer in me wants to take away the pain you experienced, the unfairness of giving many years to the military that eventually took so much, but you are strong and brave and I am honored to have met you.

DW, this sign led you here

Dear DW – Thank you for having the courage to join us. I have met many strong individuals, but you represent this project for those who often don’t come forward. There’s a deep appreciation of your work in recovery and the lessons you’ve shared with us. I’ve heard your stories of overcoming loss and navigating anger. These experiences paved the way for my own self-understanding. When you speak, I know I’m not alone. I have appreciated from afar what you stand up for, the grace you give your children, and the listening ear you provide to us. We began as strangers; I will never forget you.

Because of the two of you, I owe you each so much of me. My heart will continue to heal, my soul can sleep in safety, and the uniforms we served in will stand up for what we, and others, deserve. We are not victims; we are survivors.

In a turn of events, there will be no asking of you, my dear readers, for feedback on this post. I welcome your comments, but I choose to honor some amazing individuals in this moment. There is no question I have met some of the bravest our country has ever seen. For this, I am truly thankful.

Why Thank You! Love, a Clown

A great friend said this: “You’re a fun writer. You lend your voice and perfect brand of sarcasm to your writing and it makes me laugh a lot.” What a compliment to receive! Of course anyone who reads this blog would think I’m funny. I’m basically Betty White. She said drinking wine, not taking shit from men, and making people laugh are what keeps her young. I think that’s what she said. If I was Betty White, that’s what I would say. I was also recently told I was agreeable; they stated it was refreshing. The disagreeable list is extensive. Regardless, another compliment in my book!

I flipped off my boss the other day and didn’t get fired. Hey, I did it with a smile and my smile melts hearts. Or at least it helped me keep my job. Then I had the period from hell and burned the holy f-word out of my hand whilst making cookies to curb the cramps. Not sure if you know this – you’re about to – but ladies who had a period during August experienced the worst headaches, cramps, mood swings, and (insert other PMS symptoms) than any other month. I took a poll. Believe me!

Cookies and aloe vera – an unlikely combination

Since we’re on the subject of complaining, since we are now, these migraines are getting worse. A headache every day for at least 5 days is not normal. For some reason, antihistamines seem to lessen the pain but they make me exceptionally sleepy. Surely the heat doesn’t help – makes me want to find a cold, dark place to hibernate. Wake me up when it’s fall.

But because I can’t leave this post on a sour note, it is slowly getting cooler during the overnight hours. Mostly mid-60s, but there’s been an occurrence of low 60s…I couldn’t be happier! Not one to let opportunity pass by, I got up and finished a run long before the sun rose.

Only the shadows, and fabulous tan lines, accompanied me

I sent an email to the marathon race organizer: no response. In the meantime, I’ll continue half-ass training because I have nothing better to do. My sweet mini will be gone in September so time is irrelevant. Train, eat, repeat.

Supposedly there are people who live vicariously through my writings. Though flattering as it is, may I remind you, I’m just a clown with a platform.

____________________________

I ask you –

Do you know any famous quotes?

Have you ever been fired for insubordination? No, but I probably should have been!

Tell me about your fall plans!