Kindness

Kindness. It is in a smile at the grocery store, holding a door for a stranger, or checking on a neighbour who’s been ill. Listening to a friend who needs to talk, reaching out to others just because, and going the extra mile at work are all acts of kindness too. It costs nothing, but is priceless.

We are kind when we give of ourselves when we don’t have to. We are generous when we expect nothing in return. The return on kindness is in being a decent human being. Your reward is knowing it is the right thing to do. The question is why more people don’t know that.

Those who give, don’t give in anticipation of medals or accolades. They are just the shining lights that inspire others to keep lighting the candles of goodness around them. Maybe they were the recipients of a small act that made a big difference or maybe they just inherently know that the only way to be treated well, is to treat others in the same way.

I have had people dig deep to make my life easier in dark days. Others have brightened my day by presenting a pie. A kind word, a thoughtful action; these things help me see the goodness in life and humanity. I try to recognize those acts, those moments, and imprint them on my outlook. It is called Grace.

Life can be pretty sweet if you see it that way.

IMG_20170727_122514945_HDR

 

Advertisements

Pep Talk

Time has a way of ebbing and flowing. Every time I think I am one step closer to ‘making it’, a stumbling block humbles me all over again. Thus it goes in the writing world. I shouldn’t be surprised.

I cannot complain though. Life has been busy with more than just work and having those extra hours to devote to family plans and emergencies is one of the reasons why I have stayed with the job of Freelance Writer. Perhaps my most recent ebb has more to do with the universe knowing I need time to process life?

It really isn’t as dire as I let myself believe at times though. While one client scales back, another is ready to ramp things up in the new year. And while a client is parting ways with the founders of her company, they both look forward to new projects and have asked for my help and insight along the way. That kind of sounds like more work overall, if I think about it that way.

In the interim, I am given the temporary gift of time. As a writer, that leaves me vulnerable to too many time-sucking distractions; ie. Facebook, Twitter, the endless stream of memes on cats and the US election. Ack! It’s a hazard of the job though, when I need to wade through it to fulfil my mandate of content curation for clients. And I still have some who like all my treehugger posts!

I just have to remember my internal pep talk on the days that I falter. You know the drill. I should be writing. I should be editing my novel. I shouldn’t be looking for ways to eliminate grass-stains from my kids jeans, but Oh! I could share the hack to reduce my plastic dependence on a client’s page! Head down. Move On!

It’s hard not to get sucked in, but what I really think I need to do is stop worrying so much. If I need more clients, I need to contact people who might send me in the right direction of some. If I want to write my own independent pieces, perhaps I need to spend a morning brainstorming ideas of what to write about and where to solicit those ideas to. Or perhaps I should recalculate my daily schedule and slate in some mandatory editing, instead of hoping that the hours and whims will strike me at more regular intervals.

I know all of these things, and yet I allow myself to wallow in doubt and self-pity. Take the bull by the horns Katherine! Set a schedule, pencil in a coffee date alone, and with some key contacts. Go for a walk. The fresh air and vibrant fall colours do wonders to melt away worry (and maybe an extra pound or two that dogs you for sitting in front of your computer all day). And whatever else I might do, I have to remember to give myself these occasional pep talks to keep me going.

Time for some fresh air!

p1020697
Inspiration

 

 

 

Solstice

It’s hot.

School is winding down. Our pool has been set up. And not surprisingly, Inspiration is nowhere to be seen.

From the last of the school lunches to the never-ending quest for what to make for dinner, I am struggling. What should I eat, what should I do, what should I write about; all questions I flounder to answer.

This happens every year. Tonight’s dinner is beer can chicken, as it’s too hot to cook indoors and whole chickens were shockingly inexpensive at the grocery store today. As I said to a man grabbing a cheap chicken beside me “they’re probably less than tasteless”, so imagination was in order. Hopefully the coffee porter I stuffed up the poor fowl’s butt will help. If not, there is always a trip to the ice cream company for dessert.

But what of my writing? I grasp at teacher gift memes, strawberry moon selfies, summer solstice themed ideas, and passing fluff (seeds from salicaceae trees) to inspire me. There is only a little better than a week left before school lets out and the girls are home for the summer, and I am jamming in as much writing as I can in that time period. Writing balanced between thank you teas, field trips, networking meetings, and various other goodbye type events. I am scheduling posts like mad to give me a little breathing room for when the kids are home, but I know I will be woefully absent from social media circles in the blink of an eye.

At the end of the day, all this busyness spells summer though. And I love it. I welcome the strawberry moon with open arms and strike another day off to bring us closer to summer break. I’m stressing and crazy busy, but looking forward to sleeping in, lying on the beach, summer adventures, and whatever comes our way.

Happy Solstice!

Strawberry moon on the summer solstice
A rarity; the strawberry moon on summer solstice

We Can Be Heroes

I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture that I was living in. It just seemed like a challenge to move it a little bit towards the way I thought it might be interesting to go.” ~ David Bowie

On the way to take my children to school this morning, the news poured out of the radio. Atrocities in Syria, politics, the weather… But I hadn’t expected the three seconds worth of shock that was squeezed in almost as an afterthought. David Bowie passed away.

“What! What?!”

I was shocked. I couldn’t have heard that right, I thought. But upon returning home the web was awash with the story. Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie, Davy Jones—dead at the age of 69, just days after his birthday and the release of his newest, and last, album ‘Blackstar’.

Celebrity gossip is not usually something I much go in for. The mega-rich and mega-famous live lives so far outside the normal person’s realm that they are nothing more than a fairy tale to me. But this death makes me sad and I’m not sure if I truly know why.

I’ve never seen Bowie in concert. I don’t own any of his albums. I do love his music and am in awe of how well he has transformed himself and his music to stay rich and vibrant through decades worth of performances though. He played up shock and his sexuality in the 70s—I remember my babysitter emulating him and thinking she was just plain weird. He collaborated with artists the likes of Mick Jagger, Queen, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Trent Reznor, Arcade Fire, and many more. Pick an artist and you might find they played together at some point.

Most inspiring though was that David Bowie was always himself. He tried his hand at acting and theatre, played guitar, piano, and saxophone, was a producer, and most notably wrote and sang hundreds of songs. He was a lover of books and by all accounts was an incredibly intelligent individual. Plus, he looked good while doing it.

Some might protest, but style was certainly something that Bowie rocked. Whether he was sporting androgynous outfits, Japanese fashions or tailored suits, he crafted his image like no one could. I applaud the transformations from freak to funk, to fashionista bar none. He inspired people to be different, be daring, be themselves.

Is that why I am so saddened at his passing? David Bowie by example encouraged everyone to be themselves, but moreso, to be their best somethings. You don’t have to fit into a mold to make a difference or an impression. You can find love, praise and/or notoriety, if that is what you’re looking for. You just need to be daring enough to be your own Major Tom and leave the capsule.

Despite his step off to a new journey, Bowie leaves behind a legacy which has touched millions. I feel for his family, who are beginning a grief journey with him at the centre of it. But I suspect they will find comfort in the many ways they can hold onto this incredible legend of a man who was his own hero.

We can be heroes, just for one day” ~ David Bowie

Fare thee well in your travels Thin White Duke.