“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey
Oprah is a word queen. She gets it, makes it better, and then sends it out into the world for the masses. She somehow manages to make me feel like it’s solely for me, hence her powerful influence. The words above are my exact birthday sentiments. Each year I feel a profound desire to consider and celebrate every gain and growth. Too often, a lack of examination results in feelings of inadequacy or disappointment.
There’s some real truth behind gratitude and its marriage to motivation. Birthdays are markers of milestones. Candles illuminate more than our age. Discovery and delight are found in the smallest and most unexpected corners of our lives. There’s more to celebrate, I know it. In pursuing praise I find presence.
I’m working on a fiction novel, I think. It’s my first fiction novel and ignorance is bliss. I’m going with my gut and relying on instinct. We shall see how it unfolds. But as I wander through this project another one stirs in me. It’s what I refer to as a #passionproject. There’s no lure of compensation or expectation for it become something other an answer to a call. It’s part of my 38.
I’ve been feeling the urge to Facebook Fika for awhile. Usually, I scroll through my friend list to stumble upon acquaintances from 20 years ago or long-lost friends from elementary school. It’s a distraction instead of discussion. These days there’s no need to ask “whatever happened to” because the answer is lurking somewhere in the wild world of social media. So what have I learned from profiles and status updates? I know people who are doing incredible things. I’m not talking fame. And my interpretation of incredible might differ from yours, but in ordinary days there are extraordinary moments. Thanks to social media I’m glimpsing into a patchwork quilt of these moments via friends.
I’ve decided to write about it. I imagine it will be strange for people who haven’t heard from me to get a request for a coffee chat. Hopefully, they’ll see the value in this #passionproject for what it is, which is a chance to connect. The connection I’m craving is because I see the value in celebrating.
I’m spending 37 focused on the possibilities. In a world where problems reign or occupy the spotlight, my rally cry is to celebrate.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” ―St. Francis of Assisi
My birthday is next week. I go big for birthdays. And spare me ramblings and rumblings of “when you’re older you won’t care as much.” Birthdays are my thing.
As I age I confess to one celebratory challenge, which is presents. I struggle on what to buy loved friends. I’m equally perplexed when others inquire as to what I’d like to receive. Throughout the year I keep a running list of fun gadgets or indulgences that catch my eye, but I don’t necessarily label things as gift-worthy. Yes, I need a new hair straightener. True, I am always in favor of Amazon gift cards. And one can never go wrong with pinot noir. But do I want to receive these as gifts? Let me be clear, I won’t say no, especially to the pinot noir. However, the thing I crave most on birthdays and beyond is presence.
Go ahead. Roll your eyes. Give me another, “you’re so cheesy, Katie.” I can handle it. But in these mid to late thirties days, when professional, personal, and everything else under the sun zone collides while tending to tiny humans who demand and delight in every ounce of energy, there’s a real lack of presence.
It makes sense. We’re not as available as we used to be and our calendars and chaos look much different. But I want coffee with a friend. I need adult conversation. I crave history and humility with family.
This birthday I made it clear that what I want is time with my beloved and the circle of people who enrich and enliven me. Here’s to the gift of presence. May we recognize it as a gift wrapped in love and delivered with purpose.
“A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.” ― The Wanderess
I am a wanderer.
Too often we think of wandering solely in a physical capacity.
My mind goes a million places. My heart follows or ferociously finds a place to wander as well.
I have spent the past month wandering. I’ve let wild thoughts appear and multiply, delightful dreams dance throughout my imagination, and dangerous but determined emotional escapades unfold. Seriously, it’s so good to wander.
This adulthood thing can be serious. The world is for sure insane. So living and wandering in a world created by and through my heart is fun and encouraging. Every now and then, it’s good to escape.
But alas I’ve returned. So here’s to all of the things I found on the unpaved paths in my head and heart. And here’s to everything to come. Operation occupy the opportunity starts now.
Is Christmas in July still a thing? Or maybe I should rephrase and ask, was it ever a thing? I’m a big fan of December and all the merriment it brings, and this summer has felt like Christmas for all the perspective and passion I’ve been gifted.
To begin, I’ve embarked on a #60daychallenge. I’ve decided to write more about the projects I’ve been pursuing and the opportunities that are unfolding. I’ve committed to 60 consecutive days of writing, which will undoubtedly challenge and change me in more ways than one.
In other news, the podcast relaunches next week. I’ve had many fikas “off the air,” but I stepped away in June and July so that I could gather myself after I was flooded with interest and inquiry about my side hustle. To be honest, I’ve been more creatively inclined to keep things low key while I plan and plot accordingly.
So what’s the point of all this ambiguous sharing? Trust me, I’m getting to the good stuff.
I’m going all in for the remainder of 2018 and attempting to shake my soul with some life-changing decisions.
- My first big writing project in two years is in the works. With some courage and conviction, I hope to get this in your hands in the next 18 months or so. –Here’s to patience.
- Fishing for Fika is officially headed to night time recordings and daytime editings. Honestly, there’s no benefit to knowing this except that as a mama I am consistently challenged or called upon to discuss work/life balance. There are no secrets over here. We’re slowly losing the morning nap so it was inevitable.
- My favorite fikas are with seasoned dreamers and doers. I’ll be taking fika on the road to retirement homes and/or assisted living communities. There’s a project within a project here so stay tuned.
- I’m “out there” in other literary journals and magazines and making it a bit easier to be found. Check out my newest contributor role here
- My first professional love was and always will be teaching. I’m about to take a little bit of mom mode, mix it into reading and writing, and produce a workshop series for the tired but talented mamas of the world. Again, more on this soon.
I’ve missed writing on this blog, but I gave myself a true chance to gather myself and recognize what’s important, how to best manage my responsibilities, and chase my dreams with greater confidence.
If Christmas in July is truly a thing then let me leave you with this tidbit from my favorite film, It’s a Wonderful Life: “All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.”
Sunday nights are special. It’s my “me” time and I’m grateful for it. In a house that’s rarely quiet, I celebrate stillness. The silence is brief as I’m met with a loudness from within. Words pour out of me. Voices awaken. There’s a story screaming to be written.
I have these incredible dreams of scripts. Titles dance in my head. I fantasize about drafting a modern love story that’s so cliche yet high in demand. But I tend to push these projects aside, not for lack of interest or passion, but because the loudest voices are the ones with real needs, presence, and purpose. I’m drawn to discovery. Where are the authentic and appealing characters? In short, all around me.
I’m surrounded by rich history and quiet soldiers. People battle through obstacles, carve out peace, or challenge authority in every day encounters. Their lives, like our world, are ever-evolving. Their stories, while interesting and worthwhile, are often reserved for the intimate fikas within their lives. How do I get a seat at their table?
It’s this very question that drives my desire to foster fika. So as I sit hear at my table, dreaming of a seat at yours, think about what you’d want to say. What would you want me to write? If you’re interested, let’s connect.
Tonight I made a list of strangers or very far-removed people who I’m determined to fika with and write about. I’m truly “fishing for fika.” Cast your line with me. I’ll be here dreaming. I call it a Sunday special.