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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: anniversary bliss

19 years ago today I married my wonderful hubby. I weighed 183 (and I'm only 5'3"). He married me anyway. I had a history of dysfunctional relationships. He married me anyway. I had a tendency towards depression. He married me anyway. I had no money. He married me anyway. I had a son who wasn't speaking to me. He married me anyway.

I had such low self esteem I couldn't understand why and for the longest time, didn't trust his love. But it never wavered. Today, I am 50+ pounds lighter, have healthy friendships, depression is fleeting if it comes at all, I still earn no money, and I have a very close relationship with my son. In addition, I have the opportunity to do two things that fill my soul with joy--sing and write.

What if I hadn't listened to the voice of wisdom that whispered to me that I should give this man a chance? My whole life has become about tuning into that wisdom and listening. Sometimes I am successful. Sometimes I'm not. But more and more, I am trusting this journey called life. And on this particular day, I am celebrating 19 years of marriage with a man I am so lucky to call my husband.

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Musings: clean bill of health

I saw my cardiologist Tuesday for my 3-month check up after the ablation procedure. I don't have to see him for a year. He took me off all the meds, including the blood thinner. I am so happy. The only thing is, I am still having heart fluctuations periodically. He said he wants to know if my pulse is regular during those episodes, so now I'm monitoring that, trying not to be nervous about it. The report inspired me to get moving again. Still hard to make myself do it, but I am doing it nevertheless.

Feeling the need for a retreat. A writing retreat. No distractions. Not sure I can make it happen, but I'm going to try. Need to get this re-write going with some renewed energy.

Tomorrow is our 19th wedding anniversary. Never thought I'd find a partner where I feel so loved and nurtured and cared for. I am counting my blessings for the life I have.

In the meantime, what's going on in your world?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Learning to be a good wife

Hubby loves trains. That is putting it mildly. He is a train fanatic, er, buff. He has been collecting train memorabilia and antiques for years. Now that the pool table from his childhood is the focal point of our living room, I reluctantly agreed to let him put train stuff on the shelves in the room and on the walls. It made him so happy. That touched my heart, because this man only wants my happiness and has done nothing but go along with things that will make me happy for 19 years now. It's my turn. Now I get to do something that makes him happy, even if I don't necessarily like it. And I get to do it without being cranky or snarky or irritable or anything but loving.

I'm not saying I've been an unloving wife. I do lots of loving things for him. But this one is hard because the space around me is important. The other day I heard a couple who had been married 60 years interviewed. He said, "it's all about compromise, but not 50-50 comprise. It's 100%-100% - all the time."  Hmmm........

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Musings: updates

On the writing front:

    I now have 10,000+ words on the re-write of Part III of my novel. I can't tell yet if it's better than the original, but I know I got a clear message that it needed to be re-written. Oy!
    I have arranged several interviews for the nonfiction piece I began four years ago.
    I was felled by a flu last Wednesday and lost the rest of the week but today is a new day and I am ready to go.

On the home front:

     I am getting used to the new arrangement of our home, with the pool table in the living room. I really like the new living room, which, depending on the moment and my mood, I am calling the parlor or the den. It's cozy. The room is much smaller than I thought and several pieces from our original living room could not fit. So of course, now we have to have a garage sale. Which, of course, we can't do until we go through the other rooms, trying to eliminate clutter.

On the travel front:

     My hubby is not much of a reader, except for train magazines and Harry Potter. He loved the Harry Potter series and has been wanting to go to Universal Studios in Orlando since the Harry Potter exhibit opened. We have a special friend who is graduating high school in May and she also wanted to go see this particular exhibit. She will also ride roller coasters with hubs, which I will not do after the last time I went on the Cyclone at Coney Island and nearly had a heart attack. So we are taking her for her graduation present. Can't wait.

How about you? What's going on in your world?
Blessings,
Karen


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Clearing space

I am clearing space, both internally and externally. I feel such an urgency to do this. I don't know why. But as  soon as I decided to make the changes in our house, a creativity energy began to flow more freely inside me. I am someone who cannot stand to have things out that don't have a place for them. But as time goes on, you begin to run out of space and things get way too cluttered. We have bought so much on our trips together. Now we are going to begin sorting through, asking ourselves whether we love something, whether it has sentimental value. If it doesn't, my hope is we'll get rid of it. Wish me luck. My hubby's a pack rat.

How about you? How's your space? Too much stuff? Don't mind the clutter?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday Musings: Making changes

Guys, I feel sorry for you if you are with women like me. My poor hubby has been working all weekend to make the changes I felt compelled to make in our house. We have a pool table that was in hubby's family home growing up. It means a lot to him. It makes him happy to look at it. Doesn't matter that you can't really play pool well because the room it's in is too small and the cue sticks hit the wall. So it's been used to pile crap (er, things) on top of it and below it. A piano is also stuck in that too-small room, thus, the room is unusable and it made me crazy.

Sooo, I got this hare-brained idea to make our living room, which is a much larger room, into a game room. Weird that when you walk into our house you will now walk into a room with a pool table, a piano, and a card/game table and the former pool-table room, which is in the back of the house, will be a cozy living room/den/. It took us all day Saturday to take stuff out of cabinets and bookshelves, shampoo the rugs and put stuff in the garage we don't know what to do with now. Tomorrow, the moving guys are coming to move the furniture. we didn't want to risk hurting our friends' backs.

All because I decided I needed to clear out space, both internally and externally My poor poor hubby.
Are you like me? Are your significant others like me? Oy!

Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group - February

First of all, I can't believe it's February, 2015. Time is just flying by. But because it is the first Wednesday in February, it is time for the monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group post, created by our intrepid Alex www.http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. To find out more and to meet Alex, if you have been living on some other planet and don't already know him, check out the link.





I am jazzed about re-discovering a project I began 4 years ago. I am not ready to talk about it just yet but when I reread what I had done, I thought--damn - this could be really good! There, I am not feeling insecure about this one at all.

Now, my novel. That's a different story. I am re-writing the entire third part of the book. I haven't had much time over the last month because of my friend's death and being executor, yada yada yada. But that's not the whole reason. It's because it's hard. And I have to really take myself to a meditative, deep place to allow the real story to come through. And, although I know I will do this, it's hard to make myself do it.  And there's always that niggling voice that doubts.

So, wish me luck, just as I wish all of you luck with your writing insecurities.
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: time

My new motto isn't working so well. The one I talked about a few weeks ago - there is enough time for me to do everything I want and need to do. I am still anxious that my age and my physical stamina are not going to allow me to finish my novel, publish it, and write and publish a nonfiction book that I am very excited about as well. And dance (for exercise). And keep doing Sugartime (my singing duo that performs at retirement communities). And have time for hubby and friends and family.

But if I stop and allow myself to breathe and take a time out, I know that I can do everything if I just focus on one baby step at a time. Not think about all the projects. Just one part of one project at a time.

Ahhh. Tummy calms down. Heart beats normally. Brain doesn't feel fogged. Energy flows freely through my body.

How about you? How do you manage time?
Blessings
Karen

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Musings: updates

I got an I Pad and so far, I love it. Haven't tried writing on it yet, other than emails comments, but next week I plan to start interviews for my new nonfiction project.

Things with my friend's estate are moving along and are not totally overtaking my life any more. Whew!

I started dancing around my living room several times a week (notice I am NOT calling this exercise).

I think I can now safely say my heart procedure worked. I feel so much better than I have in two years. Now I just need to get in better shape!

I am aching to get back to re-writing Part III of my novel. I am hoping I can carve out some time next week.

What are musing about today?
Blessings,
Karen