Karma and the perfect chair

Karma and the perfect chair

Karma [Wikipedia] …refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. When we moved into our new house in Blue Ridge, we knew that it came with some furnishings. Not as many as was highlighted in the real estate listing, but that story is for another day. (Although, as this is a story about karma, I can’t help but add that the agent that did the bait and switch on some of the furnishings shown but not included – surprise! — will surely have his own “karma” moment one day, too. One can hope.) Anyway, back to my story. Our home came with a really cool kitchen table–that I absolutely love–but alas, no chairs for the table. Fortunately, it didn’t take me too long to find chairs that were a match to the two kitchen bar stools that served as our only seating for the first few months. The perfect match chairs were a find, for sure, but they came with a price tag that, when multiplied by four, caused drops of sweat to bead up on my brow. Ok, I’m exaggerating slightly, but at $200 a chair, it’s one of those purchases you just have to be sure you love, with a capital L. Love. And even though I did Love those chairs, I just couldn’t bring myself pull the trigger. Or, hit the Buy button, as it was. I...
What to do when nothing fits

What to do when nothing fits

The last few months have been pretty much a blur. One minute we’re tossing around the idea of moving to the mountains one day and the next minute, we’re trucking down the highway in a Uhaul. What??? It was barely three years ago when we purged more than 75% of our belongings and moved from our big house in the suburbs to our small condo in the city. The last of our kids off to college, we thought we’d spend the rest of our years exploring urban life. Sidewalk cafes and neighborhood pubs. Live music and festivals in the town square. Public transportation — and a high walkability score. Truly, we thought Decatur, Georgia was everything we wanted. We thought it was a perfect fit… and then, well, then it wasn’t. So, here we are, now – living in a log cabin in the woods. Where just a month ago we were flanked on all sides by neighbors, now the nearest home is barely visible through the thick curtain of green. Life is brand new. And so very different. What “fit” in our Decatur townhouse didn’t really make sense in our log home. I mean, there’s a moose head hanging smack dab in the middle of our new living space — need I say more? While unpacking yet another box of stuff from our condo that just didn’t fit anywhere in our new home, I completely lost it. I had caught some packing paper under a fingernail and sure, it stung, but that did me in. The weeks of frustration–of trying to fit this thing here and that thing there — I was spent....
Being Gigi

Being Gigi

Being a mom is hands-down the most rewarding–and difficult–things I’ve done in my life. It’s such a huge part of who I am, even now that they’re all grown up. I really didn’t think anything could match it. But, I was so wrong. When you’re raising kids, there’s no time to stop and reflect. You put one foot in front of the other, and if you’re lucky, you find a nice bench somewhere and you sit for a minute. Your main focus: do what you need to do to keep them safe, and (fingers crossed) try not to mess them up too much. And then this happens: You’re teaching one kid to ride a bike and another to tie his shoes, and you lean over to wipe the drool off a third kid and, when you turn back, they’re all grown up. And that full-time job you’ve held for, oh 30 years or so — the one where the pay sucked and the hours were long  — yea, that job has been phased out. Your services no longer required. Sure, they tell you, they’ll call you if they need you, but don’t call us (too much) — we’ll call you. C’est la vie, right? So here’s what I know about life: When you get to the point where you think you’ve figured out what your life is — what it looks like — something comes along to shake it all up. And for me, that rattling came in the shape of a newborn baby girl. And then another. And then, you guessed it, another. I am the proud grandmother of three...
Singin’ in the rain

Singin’ in the rain

“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb If you’re reading this blog post anywhere in the world where you are within earshot of other people, stop and listen. Chances are it won’t take too long for you to hear the complaining. We complain about the weather. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. Too windy. Too dry. Too… fill-in-the-blank. We complain about our jobs. Our joblessness. Our lack of time. Our lack of money. We complain about traffic, misplaced keys and red lights that take too long to change. We complain about our weight, our friends — our family. Yes, I am writing today to complain about the amount of time our society spends complaining. It’s so easy to get swept up in the negative stuff, right? There’s so much solidarity in it. A connection formed by a parallel annoyance. That “You feel my pain” thing is pretty powerful. When we planned the first two weeks of April as the best time to have our mountain cabin stained, we didn’t think about the “April showers.” Sure, they are great for bringing May flowers, but not so great when you have a (very tight) 14-day home renovation project and three of those days are literally washed out by storms. We got to the cabin Sunday night and by late Monday afternoon, my phone was blowing up with weather alerts with warnings of tornados;  flash floods; and monster winds that promised to take out trees, knock down power lines and, I’m assuming, easily sweep a crew of painters off a...
On Finding Your Passion

On Finding Your Passion

The recipe for happiness, according to the volumes of self-help articles and books and blogs out there goes pretty much like this: Follow your passion. Find your bliss. Do what you love. Just find that one thing that you’re passionate about and do that for the rest of your life and you’ll be happy. Sounds simple enough, right? But here’s where that “follow your dreams” mantra gets a little wonky for me. When I was a kid, I loved to sing. My sister and I were both passionate about our plan to tour the world. A singing duo following in the footsteps of other family singing greats like The Carpenters, The Osmonds, The Partridge Family. We just knew that singing was our future. And then–probably not even six months into our journey to fame — we closed the lid on the portable record player and were on to the next passion. For me, it was making macrame plant hangers, and for my sister, I think it was catching tadpoles to see how long it took for them to turn into frogs. And then I wanted to be a stewardess. And then I wanted to be a teacher. And then I wanted to work at a newspaper. And then I wanted to … and then.. and then… But that’s not-so-uncommon. As kids we bounce around from one idea to another, trying out different “when I grow up, I want to____ (fill in the blank.)” And, by the time we’re finished with high school, we’re, umm…we’re supposed to have that blank filled in. What is our life’s passion? What in the heck ARE...