It is with pleasure that I welcome Karen S Elliot as guest blogger today. With the memory of our January floods still sharp in our minds, I thought it would be good to hear from someone from the other side of the world who knows a little about what we all experienced earlier this year. Karen has been temporarily displaced due to the floods in her hometown in the US but that hasn’t stopped her writing and sharing her expertise and knowledge with a newbie blogger like me (and many others!). Thanks Karen and welcome to my blog 🙂 And by the way, you are very welcome to visit!
My life in a suitcase, my office in a book bag.
Susannah Friis lives in a place that’s on my Bucket List (the great Down Under), so I’m doing a little sucking up – if she goes on vacation, she might need a house sitter.
Chocolate and Charlie Brown – Susannah likes chocolate and writing – no brainer. Susannah maintains two blogs and four publications – she’s crazy – I like that. She quotes Churchill and Charlie Brown. Who doesn’t like Charlie Brown?
Contentment – Recently on her blog, Susannah wrote about contentment, and I’ve been thinking, “What is contentment?” IT is different for every person…
Weight Contentment – I haven’t been content with my weight since 1979 (the year I got pregnant). Since then, I’ve been fighting the baby fat, the love of eating big and well, the onslaught of age. I can bitch about it (while vegging on the couch), or I can get jiggy with it – make a plan and actually work on the plan, get my butt out of bed and walk every morning; I can try to remember that just because The Sun Chips are better than The Chips, I shouldn’t eat the whole bag.
Age Contentment – Now that I’m 54, I realize I’m not content with that. 54 years old. Geez oh man – I was just 24 a couple of thoughts ago! Accept it, revel in the smarts I’ve gathered (most of it since 44), love that I can brag my only child is a fabulous dad, he married a wonderful gal, and I can share pictures of my two cute-as-buttons grandkids (they call me “MoMo” – ain’t that cute?).
What-I-did-save Contentment – I’m writing this in September. Three months ago – June 21, 2011 – I walked away from my apartment home and about 90% of my belongs because of an impending catastrophic flood – clothes, furniture, kitchen wares, wall pictures, my high school Color Guard boots and jacket, the LP collection I’d saved for over 35 years, the ball caps I’d collected through 30 years of travel…but I did save all my books, my family pictures, my genealogical research, my grandmother’s jewelry, and my aunt’s Ella Fitzgerald one-of-a-kind recording of Stardust.
The Suitcase – After months of living out of a suitcase and carrying my office around in a book bag, I realized I was waiting for that perfect moment…that moment when I could again “set up house” and get on with, well, everything.
Realization – And then I realized, “What am I waiting for?” That perfect moment might never come. That perfect day might never see the sunrise.
I might still be waiting to travel to Wales; I may wait a few years before I’m able to see the Great Wall of China or a nice vacation in Australia (ahem), but I don’t have to wait for conditions to be “just right” for what I want out of LIFE.
At times, I’m irritable because I can’t beg, borrow, or steal a motel room or even a dank apartment in Minot (go ahead, try it) to stay near my son, his wife, and my two grandsons. So, as I sit in a crappy hotel room in Bismarck or Rugby or Devil’s Lake, ND, I force myself to consider, “What can I do with today?”
And I am reminded that I have much to be content about.
“Look to the future, because that is where you’ll spend the rest of your life.” – George Burns
Karen was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!” Karen reads punctuation and grammar manuals for fun. Her favorite book is the dictionary.
Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, writer, and grandmother. You can find her at www.TheWordShark.com – new! Find her blog here. Connect with Karen on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Source – Quote – Brainyquote.com