Monday, June 24, 2013

A Life Well Built



At the beginning of the month I wanted a transformation. I wanted things to be different and by different I meant better. I wanted to be better.

I spend a lot of time wanting that.

I’m a continuous improvement junky and I’m always looking for jump starts, challenges, commitments I can make that will make me better. So at the beginning of June, in search of a transformation, I began the 30X30 challenge hosted by my friend Khara. I signed up for the 30 day Blogathon hosted by Michelle Rafter. I also put myself back in the pool.

Thirty days to transform. Go!

It’s Day 24 and Khara wants us to write about a mistake we’ve made. I made a mistake by planning a transformation.


Here’s what happened this month: my dissertation was rejected by one committee member and I whined like a petulant child to anyone who would listen. Then I went for a run and Nana got my attention. She told me to let it go.

She reminded me to focus on what matters.

Four days later, I had a birthday party for my daughter with a rainbow theme and I out-rainbowed everyone on Pinterest. I had a fruit kebob rainbow platter, rainbow pasta salad, and a rainbow cake (thanks, Caroline!). I assembled a giant balloon rainbow and arched it over the entryway. Yep.

Rainbow Arch Photo by KDW

But better than being “that mom” was how delighted my daughter was and how everyone seemed happy to be there. My Papa came with my aunt and uncle and cousins; my mom and Dad sat side-by-side for the first time in five years; my in-laws all came as did Charlie’s best friend from high school and his best friend from college; and Hollie’s friends old, new, and best.

The smiles were passed from person to person like the flames on hand held candles. Our friends and family told us how proud they were of us and how happy they were for us.  

This past weekend we went to dinner with new friends on Saturday night and then hosted old friends for a barbecue on Sunday.

All month we have been surrounded by friends enjoying themselves and appreciating my family. I would gladly wrap myself in that feeling of security and acceptance every day.

For the better part of 2012 and now half way through 2013 I’ve been building a business, becoming an author, and earning a PhD. I have been networking like a maniac. I’m all bloggered, Twittered, LinkedIn and Facebooked up.

Every day I ask people to like me and a lot of times they just don’t.

Having the new dissertation committee member hate my work sucked. The petulant child in me told the Dean of Research, “You don’t know me.” (Which, incidentally, did absolutely nothing to help my cause.)

We moved here a year ago and it feels like all I’ve done is introduce myself over and over and over again. I’ve been stumping for Clemson Road Creative and I spend a good bit of time with strangers asking them to like me, trust me, and pay me to help them.

This month I was reminded of how many people already like me. I found myself in the familiar easiness of family and friends: people who already know me. Really know me.

And I’m reminded that there’s still time. 

I have time. I’m blessed with it. I have time to show what I’m capable of, to be the hero of my own story, to expect the best from myself and deliver.

I called that transformation-seeking post "Building a Life" but, oddly enough, this month I discovered I already have one.

So I sucked at the 30X30 challenge and the Blogathon in that this is only the fifth blog post of the month, not the 24th, but I have been writing every day. Sometimes it’s publishable and sometimes it’s personal.

I have managed to get in four workouts a week, not every day, but it’s something: in the pool about 2500 yards and on the pavement about four miles. I scratched the burpees off the program completely. Turns out I hate burpees.

I don’t know if I’ve been transformed. I’m not sure I’m much different than I was on June 1. Now, though, I think maybe I didn’t need to transform. I may have just needed to be reminded who I am. 

Tell me you've been there. When did your transformation plan fall through?

4 comments:

  1. Keep at it, Kasie! (Sorry to hear about the dissertation.) It sounds like you took on a lot this month, so even getting some of the goals done is encouraging progress.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. It's always great to see you on Clemson Road!

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  2. Oh my darling daughter when I read this blog, I can only say to you: Yes, I have been there many times and each time I came away with a deeper understanding of what it means to "bloom where you are planted." As your Nana would say, "a life well built is a life in which you have been able to love completely and be loved completely." You, my dear, have a life well built and you are continuing to build that life with Charlie and Hollie Russ. I am convinced you will continue to live a life well built even when some of the building blocks don't necessarily fit where you want them to fit at the time you want them to fit. Once again, you have captured my attention!

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    1. Thanks, mom. Your confidence in me and your continued support mean the world. You're an awesome example for me of the kind of cheerleader I want to be to those I love. Thank you!

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