Monday, June 13, 2011

guest post: Karen @ "Life with Karen"

Several weeks ago I discovered the practice of guest posting, where you host a writer on your blog and/or write something for theirs.  I liked this idea, and when Karen asked if anyone was interested in being a guest, I got in touch.  You can read my post on her website, Life with Karen .  I asked Karen to write for me as well.  Please give her a warm welcome, and congratulate her on her new Stylish Blogger award - woo hoo!  I'm so pleased with this post and its honesty as Karen talks about the changes, not always welcome, that come to us in life.  Her post reminds me of a quote I've posted before; one that Karen and I can both relate to:

"Carole wanted to organize every moment of the future to within an inch of its life, while Jude was comfortably content to let events come to her...." Simon Brett

Going with the flow has never really come natural to me. The last three months have taught me, though, that if you don't go with flow sometimes you get swept away. We can't always control the direction life is going, and to be flexible IS a certain kind of strength.

A year ago I started a blog called Karen's Healthy Lifestyle. I was beginning a new chapter in my life, and I was going to use my blog to stay committed and accountable. I started posting my eating and gym habits, and I started doing research on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise. Although my blog was somewhat personal, I wanted to stay focused on health.

One day I decided to share a little more personal information with my readers, and I started getting away from the strictly health blog that I had been writing. I found that I enjoyed sharing bits and pieces of me. I joined a meme here and a photo challenge there, and suddenly my blog took on a whole new look.

Then tragedy struck. Well, it wasn't quite that dramatic, but to me it was. I came down with shingles. I had extreme complications from that episode, and I've been sitting on my couch ever since. You can read more about that situation on the "About Me" tab at the top of my blog if you are interested. The short story is that I have nerve damage. The functionality of my feet has been affected, and I get headaches every day. To say that my body just doesn't work right anymore would be putting it mildly.

With nothing better to do, I picked up my laptop and started writing. Reading blogs has been a window into the outside world on days that I literally couldn't handle life outside of the four walls that make up my home. Writing has been a lifeline that has kept my spirits up.

My blog slowly stopped being about health and started being about me. I found a voice through blogging, and I was able to bust out of a shell that was holding me back. I took a huge leap of faith and shared one of my short stories with the public. When that went well, I shared another, then another. I found that I LOVE having people read my writing, even though it terrified me at first.

One day I looked up and realized I hadn't written a diet or exercise related post in over a week. I noticed that I was telling my readers more about me because I didn't feel comfortable calling my blog a health blog when I wrote mainly about my illness. It seemed somewhat ironic to me that what had started as a health blog had evolved to the point I wouldn't have recognized it as my own.

The only logical choice to make was to follow the path I was being led to. I changed my blog name to Life with Karen, and I allow myself to write what comes to my heart. My hope is that I am reaching people on some level. Someone out there, somewhere, needs to hear what I have to say. I don't know if it will be through a meme or a challenge. It could be through a short story. What I know is that my writing is not just a way to kill time. It is a way to show others that life may not go as planned. It's up to each of us to decide how to handle that.

At first I was resistant to the changes life had thrown my way. I wanted to be in control, and I wanted to resume the activities I enjoyed. I have, however, given in. I've climbed into the life raft and am ready for the ups and downs of this journey. I invite you to join me as we see what's around the next bend.


  1. Thank you for having me as a guest poster! I hope you and your readers have a great week.

  2. Karen, your post is so poignant that it brought tears to my eyes. Way to hang in there! Your positive outlook is a real example of the human spirit at its finest, and you are an inspiration for each of us. Thanks for sharing here on Earth's Crammed With Heaven-I'm heading over to read Kerri's post now! :P