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, January 31, 2011
How do you know when to go to the doctor and when to let things take their natural course? My left knee has been hurting me now for over a month. I've had arthroscopy on that knee and was told I'd eventually need knee replacement surgery. Well, I don't want any more surgery, thank you very much. I've had tonsilectomy, caeasarian, RK surgery, gall bladder, hysterectomy, ankle, and shoulder surgery. That's enough, don't you think? But what about my poor knee? Should I just take pain meds forever. Sigh!
I have this same problem with colds versus allergy? How do you tell the difference? When do you self-medicate and when do you need drugs? I'm just saying...
Anyone else ready for Spring? Not sure it was a good idea going to the Caribbean at the start of winter, because I so want to be in warm weather again. And Albuquerque is pretty mild compared to what's happening in the Northeast.
What are you musing about today?
Friday, January 28, 2011
This week I finally added new words to my WIP. Yippee!! No daily word goals for this gal, I'm happy if it's just a paragraph here and there these days. I've also gone back to the nonfiction piece I began last year.
I realized that retired folks do community service work, work on their hobbies, and socialize. Well, Sugartime is my community service work, writing is my hobby, and the rest of my life is the socialization part. So I guess I'm right on track, exactly where I'm supposed to be.
It's the not feeling productive piece I still haven't gotten a handle on. Not having every second of every minute of every day filled with things to do. I'm learning to just "be" and it feels so very weird. Nice, but weird. And it's always such a nice bonus when I receive a gift of wisdom from something I'm drawn to watch or read.
So, do check out Elizabeth's new search engine. And keep on keepin' on. I'm singing today at a retirement community so I'l check in with y'all a bit later, okay?
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
It is an online literary magazine with articles and essays that will inform and inspire you. I believe they are looking for writers to contribute, so I hope you will explore it. Yours truly will have a piece in the February issue. I'll post a link here when it appears.
And while we're on the subject of writing, I just finished Sue Monk Kidd's memoir (she co-wrote it with her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor) "Traveling with Pomegranates." I loved it so much, I ordered all her other books from Amazon (except "The Secret Life of Bees," which I'd already read). This memoir is partially about her journey from being a nonfiction writer to a novelist. In it she writes, "the images of bees in the wall that wanted to become a story..." and her declaration during a trip to Greece at a sacred site that she wanted to be a novelist. Kidd had the courage to follow her heart and listen to her whispers during this long journey to complete the novel.
She had no outline. No plot idea. Just an image of bees in a wall. I am grappling with a similar situation. Just an image and a voice that came to me in Ireland asking me to tell its story. I got about 10 pages written and now it's stalled. Mostly because I allowed my life to stall due to circumstances and emotional pain.
I am declaring right here, right now, I want to write this novel.
How about you?
What is your truth today?
Monday, January 24, 2011
It used to bother me that I felt like an outsider most of the time. Outside of my family of origin -- they were so dysfunctional I wished I had been adopted, outside of friendships, outside of my marriages (until this one, that is, but it took me till I was 46 to choose wisely).
Now, I have come to accept that I'm out of step. I never would have made it in the military. It's really interesting to me to realize how far I've come. Growing up, I was a chameleon who would say or do anything to fit in. Now I'm okay if I'm the only one who likes a movie everyone else hated or vice versa.
How about you? Are you in step or out of step and how does that work for you?
Friday, January 21, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Have you ever been in a space where you question everything you ever believed in? It's not necessarily a bad thing, contrary to what I thought when I first realized that is what is happening with me. Questioning is a good thing because then we can assess whether we've simply absorbed what our parents, teachers and peers believed and it's really not what we believe or not.
Right now the only thing I'm sure I believe is that I am responsible for my own inner well being. What about you?
Monday, January 17, 2011
I've applied to begin receiving social security benefits. I will turn 62 in April. Truly,I cannot believe I am old enough to collect social security. Inside, I feel hmmmm, 17? 24? 35? Certainly not a day over 40. To me, this truly means I am retired. In a way, it is quite freeing, because retired people don't work unless they want to. So whatever writing I get done, that's okay. And if it doesn't happen,which is the way it's been for awhile now, that's okay, too, because, after all, I'm retired. I don't have to be productive in the way I've always felt I had to be. Each day I am trying to be the best Karen I can be in any given moment, to take good care of myself, to be of service wherever possible, and try to figure out what it is I'm meant to do. If that's still writing, it will come. I have to trust that.
What are you musing about today?
Friday, January 14, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I've told many truths here at Following the Whispers over the past year and a half. Most of the bloggers I've met write about writing, or they review books and movies. They do blogfests about favoite things. They create awards. Those blogs are much more fun. I created this blog as part of a marketing strategy to sell my memoir. Then it became something important to me - a forum for me to share my thoughts, feelings, insights, lessons learned.
Today I'd like to hear from you. What is your truth about this blog, about your blog, about your life, about blogging in general, other social media experiences. Here's your chance to say your truth. I'm listening...
Monday, January 10, 2011
This has been a year of needing new things: car, TV, computer. And now a furnace. My new mantra: it's only money. Can't worry about how much is flying out the window or if we'll have enough money to retire. Can only do what we can to ensure those things are taken care of and then have to let go.
Letting go seems to be my theme song. I never studied zen, but I know it's a primary tenet of that philosophy - to let go of attachment to people, places, things. I'm trying to figure out how to remain emotionally connected but not attached.
How about you?
Friday, January 7, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I feel as if I am at a crossroads in my life. I've accomplished so many of the things I've always wanted to do: Write and publish my memoir, sing and dance, be in a loving, healthy relationship, go to Europe, heal broken relationships, heal myself - just some of the major things on my list.
Each year around New Year's, I reflect on the past year and do an exercise by someone named Lakein. You take 3 minutes to write your lifetime goals as fast as you can, without thinking. Then you take 3 minutes to write 5 year goals. Then your goals if you knew you only had six months to live. It has never failed to help me get my priorities straight.
When I did the exercise this year, my six months to live answers surprised me. Here's what appeared: keep singing as long as possible, eat ice cream (I never eat it because I'm lactose intolerant), spent time with hubs and son, write my life lessons in a letter to my son to be read after I'm gone, see Greece and Turkey, and that there is nothing left to do but just BE.
I'm turning 62 in April and will begin collecting Social Security, since I'm not making any money as a writer. Jane Fonda calls this time her Third Act. My list tells me what's most important to me and what my priorities need to be. Now all I need do is BE.
What would your six months to live list look like?
Monday, January 3, 2011
I spent Christmas on a cruise ship in the Caribbean with hubs and two dear friends from Portland, OR. We flew to San Juan Puerto Rico, spent two days, then got on the ship for 8 nights. Each day we woke up in a different port: St. Thomas, St. Marteen, St. Lucie, Antigua, Grenada and Barbados. I didn't think I'd like cruising much, but given the stress of the last few months of my life, it was just what the doctor ordered. After sightseeing all day, it was lovely to come back to the ship and have a great meal, then choose between a show, a movie, listening to one of 5 music choices (piano bar singer, classical guitarist, Latin trio, standards trio, and a fab dance band. I danced like I haven't danced in years (rock 'n roll). Came home refreshed and renewed.
I'm not sure what's in store re blogging this year. For now I will keep to my Monday, Tuesday, and Friday posting schedule. I don't have permission to talk about the thing closest to my heart, but I'm hoping I still have words inside that need to come out in this very public venue. And I hope those words have meaning for those of you reading this.
Please tell me what your holidays were like. I've missed hearing about your lives.
P.S. I'm typing this on a new Apple computer and have been unable to upload photos to the blog. As soon as I figure it out, I'll post some from the trip.