Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Musings

I'm not sure if there's anything much better than hanging out with friends. Friday night, we were invited to a potluck with 10 others, all of whom are close friends. After dinner, we watched a slide presentation of one family's six-week summer vacation trip to Egypt and Israel. Afterwards, we all sat around talking and drinking wine. To just BE, in the presence of people who love and accept you, no matter what, people who can tease you about eating at home before the potluck, people who can ask you if everything is all right because you seem withdrawn and quiet lately, people who care about the answer. It doesn't get better than that for me, because I didn't feel unconditional love from my family.

It is Balloon Fiesta time in Albuquerque. Crowded streets, way more traffic, restaurants filled to capacity. I no longer get up pre-dawn to get to the field in order to watch the balloons launch, although everyone should experience this at least once in their lives. But this year I did go to one of the adjunct events, the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival to support a photographer friend exhibiting there. I am in awe of those with artistic ability. Their creativity is astounding.

Our dog, Buddy, is almost completely blind from cataracts. His diabetes and thyroid are under control, so he is is lovable, somewhat energetic self. But he can't see very well - it doesn't seem to bother him too much, but we can no longer take him to places he is unfamiliar with, which means leaving him home over Thanksgiving weekend. Isn't it funny how we can begin the grieving process long before someone we love leaves us?

I was told a story this weekend about someone who is 100 years old. When asked advice about living, this person said, I wake up every morning saying, "This is the best day of my life."

How's that for a way to approach each day?


The Old Silly said...

"How's that for a way to approach each day?"

I just doesn't get any better! ;)

Tabitha Bird said...

I think it is important sometimes to grief well before someone we love leaves us :)

And I love that saying "This is the best day of my life!" Ho wis that for attitude! LOVE IT!

Vicki Rocho said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend! I often shout "It's going to be a great day!" from the shower. The kids groan, but a positive attitude goes a long way.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love that mantra - may just have to borrow that one! :)

One of the items on the "things I want to do when I retire" list is to see that balloon festival. The pictures I've seen are gorgeous! :)

Jenny said...

I love today's Monday musings. What a great way to start my week. Thanks!

Joanne said...

That balloon festival must be a sight to see, so colorful! And I love the life philosophy going on here, very inspiring. Have a great day, Karen, hope it's the best :)

Karen Walker said...

Hi there Old Silly, yup, yup yup.
Tab, I agree, but I've learned no matter how much you grieve ahead of time, you're never prepared for the impact of the loss.
Vicki, your kids will be grateful for that some day.
Jemi, here's an open invitation to come stay with us for Balloon Fiesta - and you don't have to wait till you retire.
Jenny, you are so welcome.
Joanne, Balloon Fiesta is definitely a sight to see. Come on some time - you can stay here.

Tara said...

Spending time with good friends - there's nothing better!

I am with you on the old doggy/saying goodbye issue. My black lab will be 13 around Christmas, and she's really slowing down. I'll miss her, but she had a good, and spoiled, life :)

KarenG said...

Sounds like such fun, a pot luck with 10 friends! Love the quote from that man, what a great attitude, probably why he lived to be 100.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a great approach to life.
And sometimes just hanging out with friends can re-energize us.

Jules said...

Oh, I do want to see the balloons one year!

You know there is a great deal of scientific truth to that 100-year old :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Lynn said...

This is the best day of my life..what a great way to start the day! The greiving process can start before someone leaves but may they also make the days now with the Buddy the best yet.

Karen Walker said...

Tara, oh yes, it is fun to spoil them, isn't it?
Karen, yes, I do think that is a good part of why they live to 100.
Alex, yes, friends can be re-energizing. I forget that sometimes.
Jules, come on down! or up, since I don't know where you are.
Lynn, thank you. I am trying to make these days with Buddy really loving.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love the idea of waking up each day with that thought! Thanks for sharing the wisdom.

Sorry about poor Buddy. It's good to hear, though, that he doesn't seem much bothered by the cataracts and that his other health issues are under control.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh, I so miss the Balloon Fiesta! I'd be right there at 6am on the weekends, too. Used to shoot 7-8 rolls of film per visit, too.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I can see why that person lived to 100 – it’s a great philosophy

Mason Canyon said...

The Balloon Festival would be fun but crazy with all the people and traffic. Sounds like you had a great weekend. Just being sometimes is the best.


Thoughts in Progress

Anonymous said...

So, two potlucks in two days? Not bad. (I saw you with my own little eyes at the second one). Your hubby's chocolate confections are killer! My mouth waters at the thought of his chocolate pie. Pass on my gratitude, please. And give sweet Buddy a pat on the head (or a scratch above the tail; your choice) from me.