Choice, Chance, Change

“Keep walking as long as you can, then take one more step.”  That has been my philosophy for the past 2 years.  The hardest and most challenging can be the “one more step.”

We all have a choice, to take a chance, to change.  If we don’t change, we don’t grow.   Oh… we can rearrange the proverbial box over and over thinking that we are making some great strides in our life, but really… we are just in denial about things we do not want to face.  To change, we need to take the lid off and breathe new air, new life to our boring tired existence.  Because really, we have just been existing.  Is that you?  Do you know of someone like that?  Sadly I do.

If we want to be happy, we have to take the time to learn who we are.  Most of us won’t waste the time to look into ourselves; to dig deep.  Because if we do, we might not like what we see.  But to grow we need to see the good with the bad.  So… when you take the lid of your box, (you know, the one you’ve been living in) it might be a bit scary.  Not Halloween scary, or spooky scary but scary non the less.  You have to face what you see, experience, feel.  You cannot run away or back into your box, that is the easy way out and what a lot of us do. We let our fears drive us and sometimes define us.   We go back to our comfort zone and we don’t deal with our shit.  And so, there we are again, back to rearranging our box and pretending that we have changed, progressed, moved one; whatever you want to call it.

I know I have made drastic changes in my life.  The lid came off immediately.  I wasn’t going to stay locked up in a box alone.  I knew I had to find myself.  It took time and that “one more step”  many times.   I made the choice, and I took the chance, to change my life.

I find myself at a crossroads again.  I’m still living way outside of the box, but I feel an emptiness in my life.  I need to push through any fears I have and just go for it.  So I applied to teach in Africa; yes Africa.  It is a bit scary, but exciting at the same time.  I feel it is the adventure I need to move even further in my life.  It’s that “one more step”  and as I said, it can be the hardest one.  I will be away for 2 years.  I can come back once a year.  I feel it is the direction that God is wanting for me.

As  much as I would love to share my life with someone, I feel it isn’t in God’s plan right now.  Going to another country, somewhere I do not know, will allow me to find more of who I am.  I trust in the Lord and that he knows what is best for me.

So… if you want to change your life look for the good things God has put in front of you and more will come your way.  You have to find your happiness from within; until you do, you will just be rearranging the inside of the box.

Keep hiking to the top,

Kimberly Rae

A Recipe for Life

Is there a cookbook for life, for parenting, for relationships for tomorrow even??????  Some days I wish there was.  There are just not answers for all  that comes at us.  We have to figure it out ourselves; with God’s help of course:)

I am sitting here in my office, although  I’m not sure I can call it that anymore since my daughter has moved in with me.  The bed has taken over and my desk and chair space have gone to some other office that I am not privy to use.  I haven’t written in a month.  Well, I have written, just on paper.  I haven’t been able to get to my computer.  She has temporarily  come out of the space she calls her cocoon, thank God she has emerged.  SHE IS ALIVE!

So I am in here frantically writing while I have my computer back for a short time anyway.  Life is hard, I know it is, but when your children are suffering you want to help; you want to console them.  I have felt her pain and ache for her.  Her relationship has ended due to dishonesty and cheating.  She now understands what I went through and has apologized to me for her impatience while I was getting over the man I loved.  “It’s going to take time” I tell her, but she has to get up everyday, and make some attempt at living.  We are so opposite in that area.  I have always picked up the pieces and kept moving, slowly at times but moving.  I was excited today, when I saw the door open and a body make a presence in the living room.

My strength, has always been from God.  She doesn’t have him; she doesn’t believe or have faith in anything.  I pray for her everyday.  I don’t know what happened to her to lose her faith.  (prayers welcome here:)

I went to two funerals this week; celebrating their lives of course but sad to see them go.  The friends and family in attendance abounded.  Not that I was surprised by the many who came to remember them.  They were both amazing people and children of God.  I started thinking that maybe I wasn’t doing enough to help others.  I always thought I have touched lives in some way.  I have always put myself last and taken care of others.  So now during the past two years that I have taken time for myself, I seem to be losing friends.  I haven’t neglected others but I have taken back some of that time to work on myself.  Is that a bad thing?  I didn’t think so.  I have one true friend and many acquaintances.  I have to ask myself, is there something wrong with me?  I like who I am.  If they don’t like the new strong, self assured Kim, then I guess they can go on their way.  I’m not perfect. But I smile at those I don’t know.  I walk with a positive attitude, and do my best to walk in God’s light.  I guess if Jesus was persecuted and still stood strong, so can I:)  I know He’s got my back:)
So… there isn’t a cookbook for life.  We just have to make our own recipe’s. Because, the ones we create ourselves are usually the best anyway, right?

Tomorrow’s is, a whole lot of smiles and bunches of positive, and God’s grace all around:)
What’s your recipe?

Keep hiking to the top,

 

Kimberly Rae

 

 

A Bend in the Road

I wrote this back in October of 2013.  Somehow it wasn’t posted. I am posting it now just to show how our feelings from our past can creep in and take over our thoughts when we don’t want them to. 

I’ve come to a point in my life where everything is standing still; the leaves aren’t moving, they aren’t even falling to the ground. The stream is just trickling, and the quick sand is getting heavier beneath my feet; I’m not really sad but I’m not really happy either. So, where in the hell am I?

Why do I feel like I’m in this void tumbling Around going nowhere? 

I dig deep into my thoughts.  I will be very honest with myself and admit, I haven’t fully layed to

rest the man from my past. Not that I don’t want to, I pray to God to please take him away everyday.  So why is he still there? 

The devil enters my thoughts and tries to take over.  I fight him, but sometimes he wins.  I pray and pray  some more.  I just want to follow Gods plan for me, but I don’t know what that is.  I feel weighted as if an anvil is tied to my waist and I can’t move.

The bend in the road is becoming more of a right angle; not as easy to get around.  I want to keep moving forward; I want the straight line back in my journey. I want the lonely feeling to go away.

So, I will continue to listen to God, read my bible, and have faith.   GOD has never let me down yet 🙂

Kimberly Rae

Keep hiking to the top,

Kimberly Rae

Are Your Thoughts Controlling You?

The things we think are the things that free our souls.  If we think on pure and lovely things, we shall grow pure and lovely like them; and the converse is equally true. ~Hannah Whitall Smith~

Did you ever have one of those days where you just were not yourself?  If we’re lucky enough to know who that is:)  Why were you in that place?  What or who put you there and can anyone really put you in a place?  Yes, if you let them or the situation.  We all have choices.  Controlling or redirecting our feelings and emotions are not always easy.

So after a day of blah,  I decided to start taking notes.  What am I doing or who am I with, where am I at, when I am feeling really good.  And then again when I’m feeling low or not so great.

I have a recording app on my phone. I would record when I was feeling happy or sad and talk about where I was, who I was with and tried to find a pattern of why my moods would change from one to the other.  A great little experiment I’ll have you know.

I came to realize that it wasn’t so much about where I was or who I was with as it was my thoughts, a game (as I like to call it) playing in my mind.  Your thoughts can be very powerful and get you going on a path that you don’t want to be on.  Pretty soon you’re looking over the edge and you start falling into that deep, sad, blah kind of place.  And who do you have to blame?  Yourself!  You let your thoughts get away with you.  They will have their way if you let them.  They just kind of creep up on you  and infiltrate your mind like an army out of nowhere.  I often say to myself,  it’s the Devil trying to get to me.

I find that when I am alone at home, my thoughts are everywhere.  I even talk to myself sometimes.  (I don’t answer myself though) LOL.  When I start doing that then I’ll really be concerned.  So I know I have to keep busy.  I write, I read, I work out, and I will watch a movie to take my mind somewhere else.  I listen to music and dance.  I know if I just sit there, in the quiet, I know where my thoughts are going to take me and I don’t want to go there.  So I cut the cord so to speak, in my head and let those thoughts drift away into God‘s hands.  I have begun to train myself or my thoughts to do that when I know I am drifting.  It does help.

With school about to begin I will have less time for my thoughts to drift.  Although I do think it is important to have some quiet time to think and ponder on the things we should be focusing on.  🙂  We need time to process, find our center and know where we are in our life.

Don’t let your thoughts control you:)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, — meditate on these things, ~Philippians 4:8 NKJV

 

Keep hiking to the top,

Kimberly Rae

A Well Ironed Pillow Case

What  does that title have to do with life in general you ask?  It’s just a place I’m in today.  A mixture of feelings and emotions coming from different places and direction.  I don’t hide my feelings/emotions.  I blog about them to show you we are all human.  When we repress those feelings/thoughts, etc… we stifle our growth and ability to change and move on with our life.  So… I express them to you and myself and I take ownership for all of it.  I deal with it and try to understand it, so I can keep moving forward:)

When I was younger, my step-mother would always iron her pillowcases.  Everything had a crisp crease, even the hand towels.  Coming from a home where I lived with my mother with very little (I’m not complaining just stating) an ironed pillowcase to sleep on made me feel like a princess.  I felt luxurious.  The smell of the pink, embroidered pillow case led me to a deep sleep of wondrous dreams.  Kind of where I wanted to be today.  So… I ironed my pillowcases.  It gave me time to process my thoughts and feelings that were dominating my existence this morning.  I managed to iron 6 before reality hit and I decided It was time to stop.  But hey,  tonight will be great right?

So… what brought me to ironing 6 pillowcases?????

I have worked hard on moving forward with my life after my ex left me. I have done my best to stay away from anything he might do or where he might be.   And I am proud of how far I have come.  But when you both have so many similar interest, you are bound to cross paths.  I have many social media accounts and I follow a lot of the same people, books, authors, you name it, as he does, because we are a lot alike that way.  His name came up a few times today as I was on my twitter account.  I find it hard going to my Twitter or LinkedIn accounts because, SHE, the other woman, checks me out often and I have to see her face when I open my page.  Not fun.  His name comes up to connect and I have to see his face as well.  With the way social media works today, it is hard to avoid those you wish not to see or hear from.  Social media is actually how I found out he was cheating.  So really, you can’t hide anymore or even go under the radar.  Someone will always find you.

I still feel very connected to him.  I feel his pain and unsettledness. (is that a word? It works for me.)   My dreams at times are about him and his struggles.  I’ve woken up crying because I feel he is going through something that he is having difficulty handling. I can’t explain this and some of you might not believe it, but it is so real.   I had a shaman tell me a few months ago, that there was a lot of energy between he and I.  We are soul mates and will always be connected.  He is repressing it, I am not.  So she says.  I don’t know why.  I don’t ask for it or want it.  I pray to God and ask him  to take that away, but it doesn’t leave me.  So I have to ask myself, are we supposed to be connected for a reason?  It’s that little piece that haunts me in a way. I send him positive energies and  I always pray for him and wish him well.

I always keep it real.  I don’t pretend that my life is perfect.  My faith is strong and that is what keeps me going:)

I feel so much better after writing and sharing this with you.  Thank you for reading and listening:)

I think I will feel like a princess tonight on my well ironed pillowcase:)

Keep hiking to the top,

Kimberly Rae

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What I learned on My Summer Vacation…

How cliché right?  Especially if you’re a teacher.  I would never give my students a prompt like this or any prompt for that matter.   They should write what they are passionate about not what I tell them to write about.  So I’m writing about what I learned this summer, because it is important to me.  We are always learning and growing as we move on in life.  I’m still discovering who I am as we all should.

As a teacher, my 3 month summer vacation is really only 2 months and then when you take away the week of classes, taking down and setting up, I am left with 5 weeks.  I can’t believe school will be starting in a week and a half.  I have been in my classroom almost everyday since I got back from my travels.  The overwhelmingness (OK, not a word)  of it all is starting to hit me as it does every year.

Before I reflect, I want to preface my awareness’ by saying, I have moved on with my life.  But as you know, I keep it real.  And when you’re real, your true feelings and emotions come out. So many of us repress them and hide them from others.  We are still allowed to remember the past even when we are moving toward the future.

I traveled on some familiar ground this summer; ground I shared with the person from my recent past.  I could tell you every place we stepped foot in and on, what we were wearing, what we said; I felt the laughter and the good times we had in all those places.  I miss that part of him; that easy-going, fun, spontaneous, adventurous person that he was.  The way we were always in sync; the depths of our inner souls that we knew and shared with one another. That is a lot to have with someone else; maybe only a one time thing.  But I also realized, when we came back from our travels that he wasn’t always there for me.  I fought for his attention.  He was in his own world; I was just someone to keep him company when he wanted it.  He put me down more than I wanted to see.  But he would encourage me at the same time.  He didn’t know what he wanted; he still doesn’t, he just pretends.  No matter now.  I didn’t feel the hurt in my gut.  What I felt was joy and peace.  I know how far I have come.  I was weak when I was with him.  He left so I could become who I am.  That I thank him for.  I wish him enough.

 

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I know that my career in teaching elementary is almost over.  I came to see how much I want to be in nature, so I can hike, kayak, write and just enjoy all the beauty that God has created.  I find myself gravitating to those places.  The same places he and I talked about settling in.  I learned that I have always been an adventurer.  I looked back on my life and realized I was always looking for that next adventure.  I just wasn’t with the right person at the time; until I met the last person in my life.  I am more like my dad than I thought.  He always told me to live my life; even the night before he passed away he made me promise to keep exploring life.  Well, I certainly have.

I have overcome fears that I had in the past.  I find myself experiencing things I would have never tried before. (Outdoor adventures, that is:)) Because there is no one saying behind my back, “Oh, she won’t do that.”  I can, I will, and I have:)  So there!

I am finally at a place in my life where I like who I am. I don’t need a man to be happy or to define me.  I have male friends and acquaintances that I value and respect. But I haven’t met the man who I’m going to share my life with; not yet.  Notice I said, “I’m going to.”  My thoughts are positive about where I am and where I’m going. I share my happiness in life by smiling everyday, hoping that it catches on to the next person that sees me:)

I learned that I had to lose a few good friends in order to move on with my life.  I cherish those relationships and will look back fondly on the time I had with them.  I let the negative things go and focus on the positive. Life is too short.

So… as the summer comes to an end for this teacher, I wish you all well enough;  enough life and living to sustain you, enough to be happy.

Keep hiking to the top,

 

Kimberly Rae

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The Spirit of Adventure!

I flip-up the old silver latches that are secured tightly on my dark blue trunk.  It holds the special memories I choose to keep from my past.  My journals compile most of the space along with letters from secret admirers, family and friends; a few artifacts thrown in there to commemorate one thing or another; but all have meaning to me and really only me.

I started journeling when I was 10.  My parents had just divorced and other tragedies seemed to follow; so I wrote.  It was how I dealt with life and all that it  brought.  I didn’t really have anyone to talk to at the time.  I was the oldest and was the protector of my siblings; the pen and paper were my therapists.

As I was carefully pulling things out – I came across my adventure book; a list and pictures of all the things I wanted to do and places I wanted to go.  I was already the mountain explorer when I was at my dad’s cabin.  I knew every inch of that wooded floor.  But my mother had other ideas for me.  So… I walked down the runway and posed real pretty, but I knew that wasn’t for me.  My passion was traveling and exploring the unknown.  I wanted to write about my adventures and share them with the world.  Ohhhh… the dreams of a young child, never lack imagination.

As I was reading through the pages, I realized I hadn’t done or gone to any of the places I wrote about.  About the only thing I continued to do was write.  I began to feel sad that it took me so long to have my adventures; age 49 to be exact.  (Thank you F.A.)

But really, if you think about it, isn’t life itself the adventure?  

My adventures today are more like the scripted pages of my book that I wrote as a child.  My life between then and now was just a different kind of adventure –

Have  I climb mountains?  Yes! metaphorically maybe but I’ve done a lot of climbing

Have I felt that rush of excitement as if I were kayaking down a  raging  river?  Yes!  When I had my children; pain and joy all at the same time:)

Have I walked miles and miles, exhausted but feeling good at the same time?  Yes!  When I got my Masters Degree raising two kids on my own.  What an awesome sense of accomplishment:)

So… my life really has been an adventure.  The kind that has prepared me to live out my childhood book; as I travel and explore all over.  A single woman empowered to forge on to wherever the road takes her.  I am her!

All of our experiences in life bring us to where we are today; good or bad.  My choices earlier on didn’t allow me to be who I was.  But God had a plan.  Things don’t always happen on our timeline But they do happen.  I am so grateful that I am able to explore the unknown, meet new people, climb new mountains, and just experience all that life has to offer.

What does your adventure book look like?  Where have you gone?  or better yet, where are you going?

The journey is the reward, isn’t it?

Keep hiking to the top,

Kimberly Rae

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Tragedy’s in Life

“The roots of tragedy lie in the smallest acts.”    

 

   

I awoke this morning to a message from a friend I’ve known since 5th grade.  Sadly she lost her daughter yesterday to a senseless act.  Her daughter not much older than my own children was a beautiful young woman.  It is heartbreaking when our children have to go before us.  Unfortunately I do know a few who have lost children and have managed to go on with their life but not to the fullest extent. Can we ever really get over losing a child?  Until you have children of your own, I do not think you can fathom the impact it will have on you.

I cannot relate but can only be there for her as she goes through this awful tragedy.

I do think it is times like these that help us put our lives into perspective; it should anyway.

Are you living your life?  Or are you just sitting around making lists and not doing anything to get where you want to go.  Or are you riding on someone else’s coat tails until you get to a place where you can take off on your own?  Have you spent time with your children; quality time that is.  Have you told the important people in your life that you love them?  Have you shown them what they mean to you?  I   believe   one of the most important is forgiving those that have wronged you or hurt you.  I know this is hard for some.  But at the same time so very important.  As I’ve said many times, we cannot move forward with our lives until we do.

I called my kids today and told them how much they mean to me.  I am going to spend the day with them tomorrow.  It is harder as they get older to spend time with them.  They are busy starting their lives, so we as their parents need to make that extra effort to see them.

I am saddened by the message I received this morning.  My prayers are with my friend as she has a long road ahead of her.  I will be there for her to hold, comfort, or to just listen.  As the tears start to flow, I know Jess is in a great place with the Lord above; life goes on.

So… get off the couch, start checking off that list, and live your life!

May you all have a blessed day

Keep hiking  to the top,

Kimberly Rae

Coming Home

I went home this weekend. Up to the mountain I grew up going to every summer since I was a year old.  I have referred to this magical place a few times in my blogs.  It speaks to me and helps me put things into perspective.

I hiked up to my dad’s cabin; just a few miles from my brothers.  I sit here on his deck quietly talking to him.  He lays amongst the blooming irises; their beauty stares back at me as I talk with him.

The wind chimes sing their song as if they are serenading us as the wind blows softly through the pines.

I sit in his rocking swing  where he would sit and read. I feel him next  to me.  I need to let go of the sadness from yesterday.  I feel as if  my dad is watching over me. He’s making sure my tears don’t flow unnecessarily again.  2 years ago today I sat on this  deck numbed by the loss of the man I loved.  As I look back… I see how far I have  come.  Thank you Lord for walking beside me. I made it to the other side; stronger and happier.

The chimes have stopped; their melody has softened.  I hear the birds and the squirrels as they scurry for food.  I remain in the rocker as the sun peaks through the soft white puffs that attempt to blanket the sky.

Peace washes over me; yesterday is gone and I have moved on.

My faith is the bridge to what God has waiting for me!

Let the chimes sing and the wind blow, I have yet to see all that God has waiting for me:)

Keep hiking to the top,

Kimberly Rae

Bullet Proof

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I just returned from my 4 mile run; music in my ears and at least 5-6 dances choreographed in my head during that time.  The curve ball came at me again today.  Not that I let it hit me.  It grazed me a bit, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, not literally of course:)

I have taught for almost 30 years and had planned on retiring after next year.  I have it all planned out, it’s in my head; I’m done.  I’ll miss the teaching part of it all, but not the politics that go with it.  Teaching has changed so much over the last 30 years.

 

Sadly my ex husband gets a portion of my retirement even though he only worked 2 years out of the 10 we were married.  I know, it’s usually the man who gets screwed, so they say.  If he truly deserved it, then I wouldn’t be so indifferent about it.  I worked hard for the money I put in there.  I got my masters as a single parent without any help from him and moved forward with my career just so he could get more money from me?  What’s wrong with this picture?   Well, I can’t live off of what would be left if he gets a percentage of my benefits every month.  So… I worked out a 2 year plan where I would give him a lump sum plus some interest and then I would be able to live off of my monthly benefits.  He agreed.  I was having paper work drawn up to put it all in writing, make it legal and then I was hit or grazed by his backing out of my proposal.    He actually used my daughter to convey his message to me.  What a coward.  Okay, a little cynical there, I know.  I’m trying to be nice here.

This means I cannot retire.  At first,  I cried.  I was mad, angry, and life isn’t fair and all of that.  But as I was running, I decided  I will go to him with another plan.  What I don’t understand is he is in bad health.  If I don’t retire then he doesn’t get any money until I do.  So why not take it now; in a lump sum while he has time to spend it? But all of his “buddies” are telling him that I’m screwing him.  REALLY??? Hmmmmmm.  He doesn’t work and is on disability.  So we are all paying for him one way or another.  His disability is due to his careless way of living.  He is the father of my children and I do not wish any harm on him.  I don’t want my children losing their father at such a young age. I have always treated him fair.  I’ve visited him on many of his hospital stays, I’ve taken care of his house; I’m just too nice.  I thought he would work with me. I guess I underestimated him.  He hasn’t really changed in 25 years.  I’m not giving up yet.

I have prayed about It.  And really, at this point it’s in God‘s hands.  It will work out the way God has it planned.  I don’t want to spend anymore negative energy on him or the situation.  So I will give it a few days and address it again.  God will help me say the right thing:)

So… as the song says, “I am Titanium, I am bullet Proof.”

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I look out my office window and there is my bird.  Singing to me during a troubled moment.  The same bird that sang to me 2 years ago when that whopper of a curve ball hit me square between the eyes.  It seems to come around when things are a little rough.  It’s just about dark out.  Aren’t the birds supposed to be tucked inside their homes?  I’ve always imagined that maybe it’s my father or an angle watching over me.  But what ever he is, he followed me to my new apartment.  So sing away; I’m listening.

 

My faith in God will carry me through.  It always does!

Keep hiking to the top!

Kimberly Rae