Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Monday, March 19, 2012

Around The Corner...Spring!

We had rain, rain, rain all weekend.  If it wasn't raining, a very cold wind was blowing.  At times, both were happening.  Meanwhile in Massachusetts, and elsewhere about the country, the weather was glorious, in the 70s.  Spring bulbs were blooming and it was a visual display of Easter just around the corner.

This morning I woke up to blue skies and sunshine.  It reminded me of how good life is.  Sometimes I get caught up in the bad news, the high gas prices, life struggles going on within and without the family, and my own trivial worries.

I forget - momentarily - that good news and bad news come and go.  A steady diet of either wouldn't be good.  Too much bad and we become beaten.  We lose hope and do stupid, hopeless things.  We lose our joie de vive, and our ultimate goal focus.  Likewise, a constant diet of happy, good, easy news isn't always good.  We become complacent and lazy.

Our survival tools become blunted and dull.  We forget how to solve problems, and/or look to everyone else to solve them.  Much as I hate to admit it, an ebb and flow between the two is probably best for our learning, strength building, and growth.  Not that we have much control over the darn thing.  It's a constant struggle to find the balance.

The lucky thing is that our own individual ebb and flow varies from others around us.  It's lucky because it gives us the chance to help a friend or family member who is struggling when we're riding high.

  And when we hit our low point, there are so many outstretched hands, and ready hugs.  It's inspirational no matter what point in the ebb and flow you're in.  The hard part is remembering to look around you to take notice of who could benefit from a little dose of you.

Or, if you're struggling in the shadows, remembering to look around for that friendly face and ready hug.  That someone who would love to help you or be your friend.

And it's interesting how, so much of the time, it isn't the person you'd expect.  But that is one of the many, many things that keep life interesting and rich.

You never know when there will be a treasure waiting in the next moment, the next life drama.

That shiny gold thread woven into your tapestry.  It's exciting when you stop to think about it.

When I look back on my life, and see the multiple missed opportunities, bad judgements, and times when I've just plain old screwed up, it makes me really sad.  Discouraged.  Despondent. But I know that we are not to wallow in self loathing, and self pity.  It's toxic.  I've had the thought that, with most of us, the worst mistakes we make stem from a common character flaw.  With me, it's fear.  Fear of what people think, fear that I'm not good enough, fear to try because I might appear stupid.  Fear.  Of many things.  For others, it could be something else.  We all have our demons.  And that's the thing I've realized that has helped me: we all have our demons.   No one is exempt - even those who always seem so together and complete.  So I try to cast my fear aside, and become fearless.  It doesn't always work.  But more often than not, it does.

When I struggle, I try to remember that so does everyone else.  And for some reason, that imperfect human factor makes me a little less afraid to reach out to others, or to ask for help myself.  We are all touched by sadness, by inadequacies in one category or another, by imperfection.  But as long as we keep trying,

 keep picking ourselves up and trying again, those imperfections don't get the best of us.

Oh, and by the way, it's good to help your friends and family dust off when they've taken a header.  There's nothing worse than slipping on that banana peel and completely biting it, and then watching everyone pretend that they didn't see.

For heaven's sake, help them up and at least share a laugh (or a cry) over a Diet Coke.  That is being a friend.  Taking that fear of falling away and showing that life goes on, life will get better.  The booboo can heal, and we can fly again.

And that's what Spring in all of it's glory reminds me of.  That ability we've been given to have many many chances to make good and do better.  Once fallen, not always in a messy heap on the ground.  We can rise up and learn from mistakes.

Even bad ones.  We can learn, we can grow, we can change for the better.  I love that.  It fills me with hope and happiness.  It makes me anticipate those beautiful spring bulbs that come up year after year.  The new leaves on on the trees.  The hint of warmth in the air.  It may rain from time to time.  It may even be a proper storm.

But Spring always comes, my friends.  Always.


  1. This is such a WONDERFUL post- loved it! And, I absolutely love the pictures- simply gorgeous. It's so good to see the blessings in life instead of just the hardships.

  2. You are so right on all accounts. We forget and it's refreshing to be reminded. Thanks!

  3. Your family is so beautiful and so are the thoughts you've shared today. It's always easy to look at others and think they have no troubles but we all know that's not true. We all have flaws and it's OK..that's what being human is about and letting the good help us and others is what being spiritual is about. I hope your weather improves and I hope ours stays nice!

  4. That was a beautiful and happy post full of HOPE!
    I think you are so right - you worded it just perfectly because we do have to have the ebb and flow of good and bad to learn and grow and appreciate life.
    I love the cute pictures you put in between your thoughts.
    Glad you have your sunshine back!
    Yayyyy spring :-D

  5. Beautifully expressed, little "k." I am reminded of the tree expert who recommends that you take a baseball bat, wrap newspapers around it and give all your trees a good trunk thumping every spring. The tree reacts to the invasive blow by waking itself up and pumping nutrients that promote vigorous growth, fruits and blooms. It's a great metaphor, don't you agree? We need to take some blows in life. We need to be tested to avoid becoming soft, lazy and complacent. We all have demons. We all have fears. Some people allow fear to conquer them. Others choose to conquer their fear. Conquering fear does not necessarily mean eradicating it. You can achieve great things while still embracing your fear.

    You have a keen mind and a kind heart, dear karen (small "k"). Thank you for an extraordinary blog post!

  6. Good thoughts and wonderful photos...my favorite is the little sunshiny yellow girls on the sand.

  7. I love the photos. Also, I think everyone struggles with fear. Fear can be almost debilitating. Some people can never overcome it and therefore they often don't do what they were put here to do.

    Good post.

  8. Dear Karen,
    This is my favorite post. It's so wonderful that I've decided not to read any other blogs today, just so I can savor your words without them all mushing together with the others. I needed so much to read this today. And the pictures of your family express everything so perfectly.

  9. I only had a few minutes to read blogs today and I thought, "karen always had good things to say."

    I'm glad I picked you today!

  10. A lot of wisdom here, and such wonderful, amazing pictures!

    This is one of my favorite posts you've ever written. Just loved it.


  11. LOVE this post! It was fun to see all the old pics of so many good memories too :)

  12. Your words and photos in this post are beautiful. There is a lot of food for thought in your words. I recently had a discussion about mistakes. And its not the mistakes you make, its what you do about it.

  13. I meant to ask, did you shoot these pictures? Also, what did you use to do the sepia photos? Just curious.

  14. The pictures are from a variety of sources: I shot some of them, other family members and friends took others, but the vast majority were shot by my daughter. I think the sepia ones you're referring to are hers. I'll have her answer you here.

  15. Oh Karen, I am just overwhelmed by this post. You have always had a way with words and are truly a great writer, but this post was so outstanding.........it is absolutely my favorite post of yours and you have written some mighty fine ones. I absolutely love the pictures too. Such adorable chilren, all of them.

    Life is great, all of it, the good and the bad. We need to experience both to be a rounded person. Thanks, my dear Karen, for this loveliest of posts. What a treasure!!!

  16. This was such a beautiful post, Karen! Life is beautiful--both good times and hard times.

    p.s. Your family could be in a magazine--SO gorgeous. Beautiful, beautiful pictures!!

  17. What an artist you are - what a beautiful posting - thank you!

  18. beautiful beautiful words. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I needed to hear it.


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