Thoughts After a Health Scare

We get wake-up calls along the way in life, nudges from the universe to pay attention.  The loss of a loved one is a wake-up call.  A health scare is another reminder that life is short.

Let me start by sharing that I work 3 jobs and 2 side hustles.  Most weekdays I work from shortly after I wake up until I go to bed.  This is not something I do to wow and dazzle others with my dedication; it’s a necessity to survive at this point.  Weekends typically involve some work, too, no matter how hard I try to keep the grind to weekdays.

I get my annual doctor’s visits done.  I believe in early awareness of health issues so you can turn them around if possible.  In this year’s visits, there was an “anomaly.” The anomaly led to more diagnostic exams and visits where healthcare professionals were careful not to get my hopes up at any point.  The diagnostic exams led to biopsy and pathology.  Ultimately, there was nothing to be alarmed about, but in the time between biopsy and results, I thought a lot about what I want to be doing with my time.

I want time to read.  I want naps with a pile of cats and dogs.   I need to put my toes in the ocean in the early morning.  I need to walk around in places I’ve never been before, sipping coffee and people watching.  Long brunches and dinners without having to check my phone are on the list, too.  Laughter and music need to be more prevalent.  Writing and sharing what I’ve written is time well spent.  The list goes on and on, things I want and need more of in my days and nights.

Nowhere on my list was the urge to work more.  Nowhere on my list was saying “yes” when I mean “no.”

How do I get there from here? That’s the part I’m still figuring out, but I wanted to write all this down as reminder to everyone I know.  I wanted to tell you that this is it: this is our time.  There’s nothing to wait for…postponing delight for when you retire or when you lose weight or when you get a boyfriend or when you get a divorce is all wasting time.

Risky choices, like the ones I mentioned in a Facebook Live video a few weeks ago, are idiotic, and no, I will not get off my soapbox about it.  The “fun” some people are having that puts their lives on the line every time is beyond my comprehension.  Why would you want to risk never seeing another gorgeous sunrise or never smelling puppy breath or never laughing so hard your sides hurt?  I don’t get it.

We don’t live forever, and the fact is that I can’t tell anyone else what they should or shouldn’t do with their days here.  I can have an opinion, which I clearly have, and I can share it, and that’s it.

I can try to lead by example.  I can keep writing.  I can somehow find my way to the beach for a week and find calm in the repetition of the waves.  I can try to rearrange this life of mine a few more times to cut out all these extra jobs soon.  I can try.  I can be grateful that I am here to write these words with a hope and a prayer that maybe these words will inspire someone to seize this day and the next.

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Did you miss me?

I’m just gonna call a few of you out that know me well. I haven’t written anything anywhere in…ages. Not one of y’all asked me if I was okay. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty; I just want to point it out: when someone stops doing something they genuinely love, something is WRONG, really wrong. Pay attention to the people you care about.

Also, just gonna use this space to say some of y’all owe me money, lunch, books, and various and sundry other items you borrowed and broke or borrowed and never returned. I’m not mad, but you still need to pony up with gift cards and PayPal asap. Okay? Okay.

Now that we’ve resolved those housekeeping items…what else?

I killed off my website KatieMotivates for financial reasons. I haven’t decided yet if I will revive that site or recreate some of the content here…but there was no drama, just a conscious choice to slash the outflow of cash.

I killed off my Etsy page for the same reason. Sometimes, I would make a bunch of sales on Etsy, but paying them month after month when sales were dry no longer made sense. My crafty stuff sells better in person anyway, so bye-bye, Etsy.

There are some newer essays on Amazon. I could have formatted them to be printable in hard copy, but I decided they were just fine as eBooks. It seems lighter, simpler, to leave them as eBooks.

What else? Working on a couple other writing projects. For a while, I was feeling guilty that I don’t write longer works for publication…and so I was feeling like what I have to share and what I have already shared isn’t “worthy” or it doesn’t measure up.

I realized, though, that those feelings are only standing in the way of my writing. There is no rule that I have to write 10,000 words to matter. There is no law that says I must spend five years cranking out a single tome. I was tripping myself up and standing in my own way…so screw the imaginary rules and I will write because I like to write. I will publish because I like to publish.

Kat’s back…and in the immortal words of the Crank County Daredevils: “I’m back just to piss you off.

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something really good

I had to shrug off that negativity I’d been carrying around in order to say that hellllllll yesssssssssssssssssssss, something really good has been afoot.  Specifically, someone really good has been afoot.

The old cliche about doors closing so something new and wonderful can open for you…I believe it to be true.  I had to get smacked with some huge failures in relationships to be able to fully recognize something good when it showed up…something really, really good…like amazingly wonderfully good, like whoa good, like wow good.  I had to do a lot of work on myself, too, to be able to allow and welcome someone good—there were for sure times in my life when I would’ve turned someone good away because of my own self doubt…but now, I welcome him.

I’ve smiled so much.  I’ve laughed so much.  It’s been a gloriously good time so far.

I want to dedicate songs and poems to this one.  I want to shout it from the rooftops how lucky I am.  I want to tell strangers “I AM SO DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY!”  It feels good.  He is nothing short of fantastic.

That’s not to say every guy I’ve ever dated was horrible (you’re so vain, you probably think this blog is about you)…but you know and I know that if we aren’t still together, it was for the best.  It may have sucked at the time to part ways, but it was for the best so you could find your person and I could find my person.

This guy…he’s great.  He’s friggin’ great.  That’s all you need to know for right now.  I’m a happy Kat.

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I wanted to get this off my chest…

…so I can move right along to something more positive.

I thought I’d seen how low someone could go, and I supported their growth and encouraged them to do more, be more and overcome the darkness…I saw the spark, the radiance, the potential of everything they could be, and I tried hard to show them that absolutely everyone is worthy of love and redemption and a second chance…

…only to find out that they still lie, still deceive, as naturally as they breathe.  I briefly considered “ruining” this person, outing their deceit, but I’m not giving it any more of my energy.  Fear not–the love of your life will inevitably be able to follow your sloppy trail without my help…or perhaps your guilt will gnaw at you, eat you alive.  I kind of think, though, that the shadiest characters feel no guilt, no remorse, and that’s what allows them to be repeat offenders.

Fuck off.  Really, just fuck off.

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It’s always a sign I’m struggling…

…when I’m not writing.

When I’m overwhelmed with stress, it’s hard to even sit down and write anything for anyone, even for myself.

I decided with last night’s full moon that I was ready to release the stress, that I would do my damndest not to let the stress overflow into my personal life.  I’m letting it go.  I don’t want it.  It’s not mine.  Not my shitshow.  Putting it down.

Beyond the shitshow, things are actually going exceptionally well in Katland.  Stay tuned.

—-and on May 22, I realized that this article never posted! It got stuck in the “drafts” folder.  oops.

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A weird month

It’s been about a month since I’ve posted. It’s been a weird month.

Some things have surprised me, like the delightful ease of spending a Sunday in the kitchen in excellent company, listening to music and making recipes from the Seitanic Spellbook. Some things have pissed me off, like still being treated like someone’s dirty secret all these years later. I was disappointed, too, by someone completely obliterating my feelings and not even offering an apology of any kind. I was heartened by friends rallying around me when I’ve needed them.

I broke a finger. I buried my oldest dog. I made vegetarian chili. I cried in front of coworkers. I was both bold and incredibly vulnerable in private. I made plans for the future, and I trashed some other plans.    I forgave some bullshit. I was embarrassed by what some people remember me by after more than a decade. I decided not to be embarrassed by what people will think of me for forthcoming choices.

I made some jewelry. I stood by old friends and new. I believed in possibilities, and I took some chances. I let someone else drive more than once. I threw myself in a mosh pit.  I spoke some truthy truths, and I also held my tongue when it wasn’t useful to speak up.

I told some bummer stories. I laughed so hard I peed. I channeled some spirits, and I shut down some energy I didn’t want. I wished a friend happy birthday as I’ve done for the last 20 years without a peep of a response from him.

I gave a lot of fucks. Sometimes I gave no fucks at all. I felt a lot rage, and I meditated my way into peace. Sometimes I meditated myself right to sleep.

I remembered some things I’d forgotten. I absolutely gave up on some people, and I absolutely gave myself over to others.

So much in one month. It’s been a weird month, but it’s been a month well-lived. I have reveled in every day. I have read poetry in the bathtub and sent it to others.

Today’s a new moon, and it’s a day to plant the seeds for the month ahead. I plant the intentions of steadfast commitment, joyous love, satisfying work, and an abundance of laughter. I have gratitude for all that has transpired and all that will unfold.

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Job Change Panic

As the job change draws closer, I am FREAKING THE HELL OUT!

I am not a job hopper, so the change makes me nervous.

What if I don’t like it?

What if they don’t like me?

My back is out right now, has been in spasms for days…some of that can be attributed to flying in cheap seats, unable to move, for business meetings last week.  Some of it can also be attributed to fear of the unknown.  I’m trying to be present and roll with it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or afraid.  I totally am.  I am a bit of a wreck right now.

What’s so weird to me is that I’m telling people I’m a wreck, a total hot mess, and I’m getting “lol” type of responses.  Seriously? Like I’m hanging on by my fingernails and that merits “lol?”

This will pass, sure, as all awkward times do, but the ride is a rough one for me.

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Valentine’s Eve

It’s Valentine’s Eve: the night before the world is covered in floral deliveries and chocolates.  I’ll be working from home, possibly my last work at home Valentine’s for the foreseeable future, so I will be spared some of the smarm.  It will still be all over Facebook, though, and it’s hard to stomach all the smoochiness.  I can be happy for others and still notice what’s missing for myself.

Maybe I have something good in the works.  I don’t want to jinx it.  It seems like I have something really, really, reallllllly good in the works…it has every sign of being something good…but I’ve been fooled before, y’know? But it seems awesome…chock full of laughter and kindness and sprinkled with a hefty dose of sarcasm.  Fun is had and my sass is met with counter sass.  Yep. #winning

My Valentine’s “date” is one of my besties, also single, because we’re too fantastic to sit at home and weep to Adele songs.  We shall go in search of rock n roll, and we will have a marvelous time.  “Gal”entine’s Day where besties laugh and raise a little hell.

Here’s a totally explicit Marilyn Manson video…over the top nasty to rid my mind of all those fluffy teddy bears and bouquets.  It’s raunchy; don’t click if you’re timid.

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Job Change

If I’m not writing often, it usually means I’m stuck in my head, turning over the tiniest details of something over and over.

I got offered a job.  They came looking for me; I didn’t apply there.  The opportunity seems like a good one.

I’ve been so torn over it, because I love what I do for a living now…alas, I earn about what I made 10 years ago, and we all know the economy around us has changed in the last decade.  I wish I could say that money doesn’t matter, and I could stay with the job I love.  I have worried and fretted over this decision.

But…thanks to a really direct and candid late night conversation while watching The Blues Brothers (the original, not the remake), I saw clearly that it doesn’t make sense to stay on where I am.  It was pointed out that in a better financial position, I can donate money or time or both, so I can still be involved in what I love…that I don’t have to choose between the two.  Oh.  Duh.  Seriously, I was feeling like it was an all or nothing scenario, and I needed the proverbial grab by the shoulders.  Grateful that folks care enough to be straight with me.

At the end of February, I will start a new job.  I hope I meet their expectations, and then I hope I exceed them.  I hope to find the happiness under the hood, behind the scenes, at this new gig.  The position is a little isolated, one where I won’t really have a peer, but I think it’s going to be okay.

The biggest downside is I will have to put on pants and go into the world, and I have so loved working from home.  There are times when I don’t leave the house for days other than to walk the dogs, and I love it.  It’s been so good for me to have a 40 hour job with no commute after years of driving all over NC, working crazy hours.

So.  Change is coming.  Change is good.  Change is uncomfortable, but really, nothing exciting ever happens within our comfort zones, right?!

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