Keepin’ it 100

While some of my posts are short and sweet (maybe just a quick thought or short poem), I reached 100 posts and I am proud♥  I am proud of myself for engaging in something I passionately love, writing.  And I am thankful for anyone out there reading this, anyone in this universe (or maybe another universe) that connects with my voice and the words I write.  Those same words that mold my thoughts and feelings into sentences, later paragraphs and stories of my life.  Sometimes I feel like my life is simple and uneventful but as I review my first 100 posts, I realize something – my life is wild and amazing, filled with love and adventure, and my brain is alive and well, pumping with thoughts that are chomping at the bit to be put to paper.  It feels really good to sit and write either about whatever comes to mind or about a topic I have been dwelling on for days.  It feels even better to realize you have found something in life that makes you happy and feel like yourself when you do it.  The definition of contentment, to me, is when I am both happy and relaxed as I dive deeper into a passion project such as this.

So please join me as I continue into the next one hundred posts during this 35th year of my life.  My mind is still brewing up more writing ideas, including one of my larger goals of writing either a series of short stories or a book of the three loves I know of and admire.  The first love story is that of my neighbor Pat and her husband Mark.  Mark, as you may know from my recent updates, passed away from this earth, relieved from his painful bone cancer battle.  The best of friends in every way, Mark and Pat were a beautiful couple who we enjoyed having in our lives for the past eight years as neighbors.

The second love story is that of Hugo’s grandparents, Polly and Bob.  Married for over seventy-five years, they weathered every type of storm imaginable, with both of them living into their mid-nineties (Polly is still chugging along at 95!).  As husband and wife, they traveled, raised their four children into confident, successful adults, and worked in various industries, including Bob’s time in the Navy during World War II.

The third and final love story is my fairy tale with Hugo.  In my opinion, this is the most beautiful love story of all.  We are the best of friends and he is the true puzzle piece to my life.  As I reflect on the three stories, side by side, I can see the common threads of friendship, trust, loyalty, and deep love running through them all.  Stand by for my series of love stories, coming soon to a blog near you ♥

Twenty twenty

Happy New Year (plus three days) to anyone out there in this vast universe that is reading this.  As I always appear to be doing, I continue to marinate on all of the tasks I have left undone, all of the places and opportunities I want to explore, and, most importantly, how I want to devote the remainder of my time here on Earth.  I am about to receive an email from the California Department of Real Estate, that will allow me to schedule my state exam, and I am very excited about that finally happening.  With a new chapter of my life looming in the near future, I am antsy to begin.  Part of me wants to quit my job, jump head first into the real estate ocean, and give it everything I have.  The other practical part, which also has Hugo’s voice of reason anchored at the core, knows I should get licensed and begin working, while maintaining my current career.  Basically, see how it goes before fully committing and risking everything I have worked extremely hard for.  In short, it is tough because I feel this entrepreneurial fire burning in my soul and I am resounding to not grab the proverbial fire extinguisher.

Hugo and I finished out 2019 as strong as ever and that is my most proud accomplishment of the year.  After nearly sixteen years together, we grew even closer this year.  Not an easy feat after so much life together.  He has impressed me since the day I met him but the fact that he continues to age so beautifully, both on the inside and on the surface, is astonishing.  He has a heart of gold and he pours it into everything he does.  He showers me in kindness, care and love in everything he does, from cooking me gourmet vegetarian dishes to listening to me go on and on about my thoughts, fears and goals, on a daily basis.  I am so happy to have met him and even more thankful to call him my husband.

As the year drew to a close, we discussed what our collective relationship resolutions would be for this new decade.  We celebrated how far we have come and expressed the deep love we have for each other.  Love is the most vital aspect of existence and it permeates every culture and all species – we relished in the fact that ours is strong, healthy and meant to be.  He is my soulmate and I am his.  We looked into each other’s eyes and gazed upon the bodies that house the person we love the most.  As we did so, we resounded to continue trying to be better for one another, to communicate more effectively, to finish discussions respectfully rather than destructively engage in arguments, and to always make one another the top priority.  I am so impressed with having a partner who wants to keep growing, both personally and as a couple, with me.  If after 16 years together we have gotten to this place, I am excited to see where we go from here and lucky to be his wife and partner ♥

My hopes for this year, beyond my career and relationship aspirations, include the following items (some of them may appear cliche and to that I say, yeah!…cliche just means that a lot of people strive for similar things and that only makes me feel more united with those around me):  Take better care of myself, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Pursue my dreams of having more animals in our family.  Garden better and more beautifully around our home, for our visual pleasure and for the love of the thriving hummingbirds and others who call our organic acreage their home too.  Explore more of what Los Angeles, the United States of America and our globe has to offer.  Try new activities like falconry (we just discussed our plans for this today).  Visit more museums and read my unfinished books around the house.  And, finally, write more often.  All of my wants are positivity-fueled pursuits that are fun to me.  In fact, over the past couple weeks, I found my brain  dribbling out writing ideas that just kept coming to me – as they did, I jotted down notes on my cell phone, scribbled on scratch paper I have in every room of the house, and typed up email reminders of must-have blog post ideas.  My brain and heart want to speak so this audience better get ready to listen.

I wish the world more of what I am blessed to already have.  Hopefully you can understand who I am well enough by now to know that I do not intend to appear pretentious when I say that.  I only wish love for those without it in their hearts and lives.  Many people are walking alone in this world and they crave friendship and romance.  To them, I wish them a 2020 filled with new beginnings that will lead to love in their lives.  And to those in the world who do not treat others with love, by being unkind, rude, disrespectful, or, even worse, with hate, bias or violence, I wish more love into their hearts as well.  If we could all just learn to lead with love, many of our collective world problems would naturally dissipate into a thing of the past.  Finally, I wish more love onto all corners of our planet because we abuse her with toxic chemicals, deforestation, hurting the animals and ruining our oceans.  As everyone hears every day, we must act now to make significant changes in our world and that begins by loving the place we call home.  Let us all resolve to take better care of one another and our beautiful Earth as we embark on this new decade.

The thing about fights

Writer’s note:  This post was written in late October, 2019, before I took an unintentional hiatus from writing and posting.  After marinating on what is important to me over the past few months, coupled with the fact that I was wrapping up my real estate work, travelling with Hugo for the holidays, and continuing to focus on life in general, I decided to get back into one of my true passions – exploring my inner dialogue and writing on the topics that matter to me.  So here you go and sorry for the delay.

 

Everyone has one from time to time.  The only difference between all of us is the words that are spoken and to whom they are spoken (or yelled) at.  Thankfully, Hugo and I don’t bicker or squabble too severely but we are human and it does happen.  In a funny kind of way, I actually enjoy an argument from time to time.  The mere act of going head to head, like two rams fighting for ownership of their steep hillside, reminds me that we have different opinions and are deeply passionate about them.  It also reminds me that the little things really don’t matter. Of course at the time we feel like whatever minor, dumb topic we are fiercely defending is worth its weight in gold but whenever we turn a little difference of opinion into a shouting (and in my case, crying) match, we normally come full circle, just in time to remember how none of it means shit.

Case in point:  Sunday, early afternoon, 89°, Southern California.  Hugo was washing dishes while I sat on the couch, laptop in lap, working on my second real estate license course.  Meanwhile, the dogs lounged in the air conditioning on their recently-washed beds, enjoying a reprieve from the heat.  Hugo began asking me all sorts of questions and repeatedly interrupting me as I tried to read and take notes – questions about what I was doing and random anecdotes about life.  Now, don’t get me wrong, this is one of my favorite qualities, among many, about him, but on this particular occasion, I was making a real effort to focus and absorb my class material.  Because I was trying to remain focused, my fuse was a little shorter than usual (and let me tell you, my friends, I am operating with a half inch fuse on the regular).  After the fifteenth interruption, I got a little snippy – Hugo tells me I am part ‘snip’ so maybe it is just in my blood.  If that’s the case, is any of this really my fault??!?

I digress.  We talked a little more and an argument ensued over something dumb.  Hugo was asking me about washing his truck and I wasn’t as nice as I should have been.  In my defense though, I was trying desperately to focus on my task at hand.  So, in turn, Hugo called me a liar, over a statement I made about a car wash coupon.  That was his way of pecking at me.  The altercation ended with a few nasty words and some time apart, as Hugo washed his truck and I continued working, in complete, slightly blissful, silence.  As I sit here typing, I realize even more so just how ridiculous this all was.  But like we all do, in the moment it felt worthwhile and we bickered until the point of getting truly angry at one another.

Now, at this point, I have to advise you, the reader, that Hugo and I are all good.  We are better than good, actually, because not only are we chuckling at how merit-less our ‘fight’ was but we are also appreciating the fact that we both engage in similarly annoying behaviors to one another.  And that’s the best and most real part – we are just two people who love each other and are trying our best.

As fire literally rages all around us today in SoCal, it is important to remember what is truly important in life.  We all know that while we are in the moment, the littlest of things can appear monumental.  We all also know, or should after entering adulthood, that life is fleeting and none of this is guaranteed.  While a squabble from time to time happens with those closest to us, let’s continue trying our best to be better partners for one another.  I know Hugo and I are, one day at a time.

 

 

July 13th

It breaks my heart to have the recurring thought that the relationship with my father is actually falling apart.  I don’t want to admit that its the truth but time after time, it proves to be reality.

Here I am, visiting my parents on the east coast, spending nearly ten hours traversing to and from airports, spending hundreds of dollars and traveling thousands of miles, all so I can come temporarily live under the roof of the people who raised me.  As much as I miss them living far apart, there is a reason that I left nearly fifteen years ago.  Part of that reason was the fact that I was growing up and growing out of our small town.  Another part was that I wanted and needed my independence and to decide what direction I would go in life.  And, as I have discovered over the years, the third part of the reason is that I really can’t handle my parents for too long of a time.  After a short couple days of visiting, whether they come to me or I visit them, after day two or three I am ready to return to my sense of normal – Hugo, our lovely, quiet house, the pups and no one else.

It makes me sad to feel as distant as I do from my father.  And most of it has to do with him, despite the fact that I usually blame myself and feel as if I have done something wrong.  I know, deep down, that I haven’t and I shouldn’t feel badly for having moved cross-country.  Regardless of the shadow of blame he casts on me, as if I have done wrong or performed poorly in life, I know I have done well.  Thankfully, my mom, who I am as close as ever to, reassures me of such and Hugo eternally supports me in what I do.

It has been a strange reality coming to terms with being disconnected from my dad.  The relationship we used to have, when I was much younger, has slowly faded away over the years.  That fade, coupled with his distant personality and real lack of interest in what I do, who I have become and the life we are living on the West coast, makes for the great divide I am experiencing.

Sometimes I don’t know if he feels it like I do.  I do know that he has always wanted me to move back to my hometown so I could buy the lot of land adjacent to his and build a home there.  Well, that’s not happening Dad so get used to it.  I feel harsh saying it but rather than focus on the fact that I am not moving back home, I just wish he would support my life as it is.  Maybe show an ounce of interest in where I live, what I do and who I have become.  That ounce would go a long way.

 

 

 

Don’t live as if you have the time

I can’t believe I am about to say this…but…I might have actually taken a very deep learning point away from a cheesy reality show yesterday afternoon.  While watching one of the many Real Housewives sagas, I observed an older couple visiting a cemetery monument store, where they picked out the headstone for the woman’s recently deceased parents.  Both parents died within the prior seven months and during the headstone selection process, the woman talked about hoping she would have another twenty years with her own husband.

I sat and processed the moment.  I reflected on my own life.  Most people are living as if they have unlimited time left on this earth.  Time to be with the ones they love, which usually results in taking people for granted.  A lot of people (myself most definitely included) put off major changes they want to make because we feel as if we can tackle certain issues tomorrow, or the next day, or the next year.  I don’t think I am alone in that but the mere fact that I acknowledge it allows for improvement.  Also, days drift along and we are all sometimes guilty of wanting time to rush by, in order to get closer to a vacation or a promotion.  Sitting here writing, I realize how precious time is.  My most recent reminder came from my neighbor Mark’s cancer battle.  Although he was initially told he wouldn’t live past Christmas of 2018, he is still above ground and fighting.  He is self-admittedly living day by day and I truly believe there is a lot to be learned from that style of appreciation for our loved ones, our experiences and our beautiful planet.

As the woman on the RHOP (Potomac series, the true Real Housewives fans get it) said about her own relationship, I too have the same recurring thought from time to time about having my spouse around for the remainder of my life.  Hugo is the most wonderful person I know and love and I sincerely hope that we have at least fifty years or more left together on this crazy planet.  I can’t imagine what life would be like without him so he better be there to keep me centered ♥

Familial friendship

Just because you are family, doesn’t mean you are friends.

My mom and I have uttered that phrase many times throughout the years.  We normally mention it when we are chatting about the fact that we are such close friends and how we find our tight relationship to be quite a rarity among family members.  Among all of my friends, coworkers and outlying family, none of those people share the love and bond that my mom and I have.  We see a lot of surface-level interactions, where people are cordial, polite and relatively kind to one another, but nothing that remotely exhibits real friendship.  Maybe it is just our family, although I believe these types of things occur in a lot of other family circles, but I see more fake bullshit, jealousy, arrogance and rude behavior than I see genuine kindness and love from some of my aunts and uncles, not only to myself but more so to my mother.

Throughout the years, I have seen several of my aunts and uncles, including my mother’s only sister and her dorky husband, treat my mother as if she was less than in every respect.  Despite my mom being the older sibling, who has always cared for and loved her little sister, my aunt has routinely spoken condescendingly and disrespectfully both to and about my mother.  As my mother’s daughter, I hate this.  I am really sickened by anyone who mistreats my mother, who is such a kind and loving woman.  My mother would give you the shirt off of her back (in fact she has with children in need in South America) and she exudes love and happiness every day that she walks through life.  She greets all those she comes in contact with on a daily basis with a smile, generosity, friendliness and a feeling of genuine realness that is too often lacking in human interactions these days.  I believe that my aunt acts the way she does because she is an insecure person who is unhappy with herself and jealous of the beautiful relationship that I have with my mother.

Despite the lack of relationships that I have observed in both my own family and countless others, I am so thankful for the lovely mother that I have.  From the love, guidance, grace and endless support she gave me as a growing girl, to the friendship and pure fun we have during our visits throughout the year, I am so grateful for her in my life.  As both of my parents are in Poland right now, and I am even further from them geographically than I normally am cross-country, I am sending love to those two wonderful people in my life.  May their bellies be full with fresh perogies and their hearts full of happiness…and should they choose to order the pig cheek from the room service menu for a late-night snack, I hope it brings a smile to their face.

 

*6:59pm update:  I almost forgot.  My intention with this blog post of the next was to make a commitment to write a little more and to truly make this one of my more important and present priorities.  Now that school is done and the pups are getting older, and therefore mildly more independent, I have a little more free time that I want and need to devote to this passion project.  So join me on this journey as I pledge to write more frequently – don’t hold me to it if I miss a day or two though, ok?

 

Thank you and I love you

A thank you letter to the men in my life:

Dad – Thank you for loving your only daughter so wholly and fully, without judgement towards me as a woman or pressure to be something else.  Thank you for allowing and encouraging me to dream big and about whatever I wanted.  Those dreams ranged from being an orthopedic surgeon to being a police officer and you supported all of them in their own right.  Never once did you say that since I am a female, maybe I would be better suited for this or that.  I can’t tell you how much that eternal belief in my ability to succeed and do whatever I wanted has impacted me in every aspect of my life.  I wouldn’t be as strong, independent and proud to be female without having had you as my father.

Hugo – Thank you for loving me as your wife and, more importantly, as your friend and equal partner.  Since joining our lives together at twenty years old, you always look at me as we stand, side by side, as equals.  I was never a woman in your eyes, I was a person who you loved.  As I dreamed of how to proceed professionally in my life, you supported it all, without missing a beat or questioning if I could handle it.  You pushed me to push myself and I thank you for your love and friendship.  As we have watched friends condescend on their spouses through the years, my heart is whole knowing that you have always spoken so proudly of me as your wife and encouraged my success as a strong female in the world.  You are a shining example of how men should treat women and you do it every day without even trying.

To the two men who have loved me for the entirety of my thirty-four years on Earth – one of you picked up where the other one left off.  After Dad raised me, Hugo became my partner in crime after moving out of my childhood home.  Your similarities are great, in that you both have pure, generous hearts, and your love knows no bounds.  I’m not sure how I got so lucky to have the two of you in my circle but I must have done something right in my prior life.

Love, K

You might wonder where all of my thankful, female rambles originated from tonight…well, here is a little back story.  After Hugo and I finished watching The Haunting of Hill House, which is absolutely wonderful by the way, another #MeToo movement moment flashed on the news feed.  We chatted briefly about this never-ending phenomenon and it occurred to me that I have been extraordinarily lucky to have been raised and loved by such genuinely wonderful men.  As I watch so many other women be demeaned, belittled and degraded by those close to them and predators alike, I am grateful for the love and support I have always received.  I only hope that men and women continue to raise their children with a remarkable sense of love, support and purpose.  Then, one day, they can hand their children, now all grown up, off to someone who will continue the good work those parents have done.

With love in my heart and all around me, goodnight ♥