Faith, Hope and 41

I look smug about this birthday, don’t I?

Last October 7th, when I turned 40, I spent the day tending to my youngest, who was recovering from a, not-so-minor, out-patient procedure he had done that morning. While I would not recommend celebrating your own birthday in that way, I have to admit, it absolutely kept me from focusing on myself, and the fact that I had entered my FORTIES.

I’ve never been afraid of forty. But admittedly, it still stuns me, at times, that I am in this decade of my life.

At that time, I considered writing something about turning 40, but I stopped myself, because, let’s admit it, I was no expert on 40. All I knew was based on hearsay, and emotion, not, necessarily, reality. I was a mere baby in terms of what I knew and felt about it.  I suppose I still am, but I feel a bit more qualified to speak on it now that I’m ‘older and wiser’… *cough*. Or something.

The last several years have all been magical for many reasons, but this year, the year from 40 to 41, has helped me solidify my belief that I am stronger than I ever realized. It’s been a long, hard, winding road getting to this point, but I love going along it. Sometimes, I want to run ahead and know what’s around the next bend, other times, I want to straggle behind and linger in the moment. But I’m always – always – thankful for every moment of it.

Because, I know where I’ve been.

The week I turned 30, my baby girl turned one and we closed on our first home. While there were many cracks already showing, my 30s appeared, from the outside, to be off to a picture-perfect start.

Nearly everything changed from 30 to 40. So much was given and so much was taken away. Sometimes, I feel as though I lived 20 lifetimes in that decade. It was a difficult one, on many levels. I wrote about it a lot on this blog, before the bottom fell out (again), but if you were to go back and look for them, you might not know it. I white-washed much of it. I wanted to find meaning in all of the difficulties, and the suffering. I wanted, desperately, for it to have been for a reason. I needed to find that reason and know it. But, it’s not always easy to see or understand. Sometimes, it just takes faith.

My 30s were built on faith. That was all I had. My 40s are being built on hope.

I am realizing what is meant by older and wiser. I wish it came with a few less wrinkles and sags, but I am trying to embrace those as well.

There are countless variables in life, and I know that anything can happen, at any moment. I see it every day. And that is where the lessons of my 30s, those built on faith, become invaluable. If I didn’t have those, I would be living in fear, because I’ve seen too much happen, and I know what can happen.

But I also know the beauty that can come from those very things; when the wounds become scars.

A wound is messy and always susceptible to being reopened or infected. A scar is where it has healed; a reminder of what was and what is. It does not have to be a shameful reminder.

And that is what gives me hope.

Here’s to my forties.

(linked up with JustWrite)

Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Your Story

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I’m disappointed.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about something that happened in my life. It would be silly to try and deny that I was nervous and fearful about sharing it. I knew it would shake people and ruffle feathers.

For two years I’d held on to my story, afraid to tell it.

Ultimately, on that post, there were two unsupportive commenters (and several people who ‘unfriended’ me). One had a confrontational tone, whose intention, I imagine, was meant to embarrass me. I easily shrugged that one off.

But it was the second one that, months later, I still find myself pondering and tossing around in my mind.

I was told that some things do not belong on blogs and that my post was one of those things.

My story had no place on a blog. Even my own blog.

…insert long pause…

I had many thoughts about that comment and still do, because ultimately, the post wasn’t just about telling that particular story, but about the fear that I felt in writing it.
In telling my own truth.
My story.

And why?

Because… I was afraid that it would make others angry at me.
Or not like me.

{hate me.}

Do you know what?

Out of the hundreds of emails, comments, texts, tweets and phone calls I received, all but those two were able to relate in some way and applaud me for having the courage to write what I did.

Despite my fear.

Some of those people may not have even agreed with what I wrote; I don’t know… But they supported my right to tell my story and didn’t try to make me feel badly about doing so.

Why?

Because it was my story to tell.

From my perspective.
About my own experience.
Through self-examination.

When all was said and done, the story wasn’t even about what that commenter implied and was pissed off about. But rather it was about sharing something so that others could maybe… hopefully… learn from something I’d experienced.

I will always shake my head at that comment. But I will continue to tell my stories.

Despite the feathers they may ruffle or the way people may be made uncomfortable.

Not everything looks pretty from every angle, but everyone has a right to tell their own story.

And you should tell your own.
Without fear.
Without anxiety.

Unless you are making up your stories and selling them as ‘truth’.

In that case… you’re on your own.

photo credit

Give me a way to contact you

I love receiving comments.

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love them.

But do you know how sad it makes me when I can’t reply to you via email when you leave me some comment love?

Did you know that in Blogger, if you have a profile set up with them, there is a place to add your email? Don’t want to add your email for fear of weirdos spamming you? Create a free one on gmail, yahoo or hotmail that is dedicated just to blogging.

Please add your email to your profile so that I can say hey and thank you when you so kindly drop by.

visit Shannon for more WFM.

My apologies to all of my new subscribers

Hi! My name is Karla and I don’t do well in the face of attention. It freaks me out. It means that I have to try harder out of fear of letting people down. And I’m not good with the whole “letting people down” thing.

So if you are a new subscriber and you are wondering what you got yourself into by subscribing here, just hang in there for a minute. I don’t always talk about summer hair-dos and books. I sometimes talk about winter hair-dos and music…

For those of you who found me via ProBlogger’s Twitter about my post on Twitter, rest assured, I do actually talk about the internet at times. Just don’t expect a Tech Geek version of the internet. It will be a Total Geek version of it. Who knows, maybe I will become known as The Lady Who Speaks Internet for The Rest of Us… (or TLWSIFTROU… a mouthful either way…)

Never fear – help has arrived

So… no on has been able to guess this weeks What The photo.

Despite everyone’s cries in pain at having to press your faces against your monitors to see it, I am unable to enlarge my crop for a better view. It becomes pixelated. However, I am keeping it open for guesses, and whoever guesses it automatically, gets a new header! Can I hear a “WOOT, WOOT”?? That’s right folks. No waitin’ around.

This image has stumped the four entire lot of you. But don’t fear – you still have a chance to be entered into this months contest.

 

What does this have to do with it, you ask?

Well, I’m glad you asked. ‘Cause I was just about to tell you.

Last night we had to go purchase tires. That always means a renewal on our Sam’s Club membership, since they have great tire prices.

Whilst waiting for our tires to be ready, we roamed the aisles and lo and behold I encountered this gargantuan-size cocoa assortment. I figured it would be the perfect substitute for my late night out of control sugar-crazed maniacal GOTTA HAVE IT NOW! evening chocolate craving.

My question for you, is: Which cocoa do you think I opened first? AND which one do you think I won’t touch.

You gotta answer both. If you do, you’ll be entered into this months drawing for a new blog banner. (Enlarge the image if you need help reading the names on the boxes)

Drawing will be next Thursday.

(Be sure to take a peek at my LolKitty in the post below)