1/12/15 Riding the struggle bus

Credit: the bafiles dot blogspot dot com

Credit: the bafiles dot blogspot dot com

Sarah over at Sarah’s Real Life used the phrase “riding the struggle bus” in today’s post. In addition to a lovely turn of words, she has a supa-cute outfit. Go check her out. I’ll wait.

…waiting…patiently

…what did you think of the background of her pictures?

…too much bling? (I don’t think so)

STRUGGLE – verb  make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction. strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance. engage in conflict. make one’s way with difficulty

 

“RIDING THE STRUGGLE BUS” I’m digging this phrase. I’ve talked before about how my initial reaction to grief, not getting my way, etc. is anger. So if I can have the awareness to think of this phrase when I encounter, difficulty, it might shake me out of myself and help me redirect my energy from anger to productive grief, processing, etc.

So the phrase. First of all, it’s cute. Second, it’s hopeful. Still turning it over in my mind, but here are some initial thoughts:

Riding a bus is a way to get from one place to another. Struggling can take me to a new destination, or take me home. Deeeeeep.

The ride is temporary. So often is struggle. Sweet.

Fellow passengers are also going somewhere. If not the exact place, then somewhere along the way. Maybe I can learn something from them. Or vice versa. If I choose to get outside of myself.

The ride can be pleasurable, frustrating, silent, noisy, solitary, filled with companions or strangers. Many situations on a bus are out of my control, as are situations in my life that cause struggle, but my perspective or outlook can change my experience of the struggle.

I trust that the bus driver knows the route. God, the universe, whatever, has my back. And butt.

Are you riding the struggle bus? What’s your experience? How do you view or handle difficulty? Any other thoughts on how struggling is like riding a bus? Completely different view?

 

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1/9/15 Give me some credit

Credit: bankuptcy blogger dot com

Credit: bankruptcy blogger dot org

My credit card balance will be $0 by December 31, 2015. I will be free of the undercurrent of stress! Here’s how:

1. Relocate: Credit cards are out of wallet and in a safe place at home.  No dramatic card-cutting or freezing them in a block of ice. They are just inaccessible enough for me to access in a REAL emergency (not queso or a dress).

2. Face the music: In an excel spreadsheet, I noted each card, balance, and interest rate. I told my mom, my partner, and a friend everything, including specific numbers. I cried because I felt ashamed. They assured me there is no shame in this; they are proud of me for facing and conquering this.

3. Priorities, b*tch:  I prioritized the higher interest card to pay off first.

4. Make it rain: Paid OFF the first card.

(SCREECH!?!?! WHAT?? HECK YEAH I DID!)

Fortunately the balance on the higher interest card was low enough for me to do this. I pulled this $ from an area of my budget (I already had one–I can talk more about that in another post if anyone is interested) for discretionary spending.

5. Commit: I identified a specific amount each month that I will put toward the other card, including that damned interest. I have (and will continue to seek) freelance work to earn this extra money. It means giving up some weekday evening and weekend activities, but worth it.

Can I get a witness?

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1/1/15 Throwback Thursday: 1987 opening gifts from high school graduation

Katie20

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Tattoos

“I see tattoos as memories. It’s not about something you’re gonna like forever. It’s memories, it’s like a recording of memories in a certain point of time.”

I have two tattoos. I thought about getting them for over a year. On my left wrist is a set of red lips and on my right wrist is the St. Jude Hospital logo, to commemorate my first half marathon (Little Rock Marathon) and my first marathon (St. Jude Marathon). I chose to put them on my wrist so I could see them when I run, or when I encounter anything challenging, to remind me that I’ve persevered to a goal before and I can do it again.

I’d like to know your thoughts on tattoos. Do you have any? Have you thought of getting any? Stories behind your tattooes?

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OH sh*t

“I may have cancer.”

“We had to put Fluffy down this morning.”

“I lost my job because of a restructuring.”

When I hear news like this from people in my circle,  my first reaction is OH SH*T. Not I’m sorry. Or That’s terrible. I may have more eloquent words of wisdom and encouragement in 2 seconds, 2 minutes or 2 days. But the initial reaction is that little phrase.

Fortunately, the people who’ve heard this haven’t been offended, probably because they know my heart.

How do you respond to “bad” news?

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12/18/14 Throwback Thursday: 1991 My first “new” car–thanks Mom and Dad!

KatieCar

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The gay agenda and throwing it in our faces

Recently a road trip had me in the car for 12 hours by myself. My route was a series of rural highways that snaked around Arkansas delta farmland and passed through several small towns, some quaint, some dying.

As is usually the case, my playlist became stale and there were few local radio stations (I don’t have satellite). I happened upon a Christian radio station and decided to listen for a bit.

Before I go further, let me explain that for at least 10 years, I was a regular listener to and supporter of Christian radio stations. I rocked the contemporary Christian music. I spent my formerly long commutes listening to Bible classes and talk shows and the like. In the past several years, I quit listening for a number of reasons, chief being that I increasingly found myself disgusted, angry and sad at the messages that were being broadcast.

But…I don’t want to be isolated, either. I want to have exposure to a diversity of people/opinions/media in my life. So I decided to listen to this particular talk show for a bit.

I don’t know the name of the show, host, or guest because I didn’t listen very long. The topic was how to stand your ground with your convictions and have compassion. It seemed promising. The guest was reasonable and seemed to approach the topic with, well, compassion. But the host became increasingly more strident. As it became evident that the guest would not ramp up the drama/emotion, the host did. The host used phrases such as “the gay agenda” and “the gays throwing it in our faces.” Despite the guest’s attempts to respond and comment, the host interrupted. The conversation morphed from a dialogue into a platform for the host to express his (Christian) views.

After 15 minutes, I clicked off the radio and drove in silence for about an hour. As a communicator by profession, I am fascinated by how people use language, what makes effective communication and what causes talk to devolve into discord.

I hate the phrase “the gay agenda.” It’s general..and undefined, to my knowledge.  What IS the gay agenda? To have same-sex marriage be legalized? Same-sex insurance coverage? To destroy traditional marriage? I’d rather have someone say, “I don’t agree with XYZ and I don’t like how many individuals and groups are pushing for it” rather than, “Ugh, the gay agenda.”

I feel as if this post isn’t fully thought out but I wanted to capture it before it slipped away.

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