Following a Folded Dream

My dad was of the mind that a job’s only purpose is that it pays your bills, whether you like the work or not. Well, he was an architect and one does not pursue that career unless he enjoys the creativity of the work. I believe he followed a dream and the end result was, “BAMMM! Architect!”

I have always enjoyed hard work…physically hard work. It kept me in shape and by it’s nature (no ledgers or contracts or personnel issues) my mind was free to wander and daydream. My favourite job was working on a truck terminal…a 400′ terminal…loading and unloading 41′ semi-truck trailers, mostly by myself. 8-10 hours a day. 6-7 days a week.

I’m here to tell you that I was in marvelous shape, both physically and mentally. I ate like a horse and slept like a baby! Working a truck terminal wasn’t my dream job, but I¬†loved it…for twelve years.

We don’t all have the luxury of finding a job that allows us to follow our dreams – where we can go to work every day and return home with a calm mind. I’d say most of us must unwind from working a job that is so stressful that it affects our health.

Thank God for meditation, yoga and Tai Chi. And fireplaces. And windchimes. And paths that meander through the woods.

Hmmm… ūüėĆ

Mine have always been artistic dreams:

  • Painting, pencil sketching and portraiture
  • Fabric painting and crafts
  • Wood and stone carving
  • Clay and wire sculpture
  • Singing, and…
  • Writing

I have followed each of those dreams, either in the course of (or in spite of) any employment…and accomplished enough to satisfy my ideas of success.

Though I’ve always been a writer, it is only now, in my retirement, that I have begun to follow my dream of becoming an author – writing more than articles and blog posts for a company.¬†I started by writing…and publishing…a book.

Folded Dreams – the Beginning was published last December (2015). The follow up novel, “Folded Dreams – to the End?” (working title) will be published before this Christmas, hopefully.

This¬†two book series is good. I’m not an award winning author – yet – but I am my own worst critic and even I think it’s good for its genre (metaphysical/visionary fiction). In fact, the first book has received 4 star reviews from people who don’t normally even like this genre.

What has this to do with balancing your life? Everything!

At my age, the biggest worries are fixed income and health, with mental accuity rating top of the list.

Working on these books (and the next four or five) has excercised my mental faculties in crucial ways. After several mini-strokes affected my short term memory, I had a difficult time finding my words – they just got lost. I need words in order to write…so I have to work at it – even now. Hard.

Also, 62 years is just not long enough to share the memories of a life that has been so full of adventure, crazy experiences and drama, with all my fifty-plus grandchildren.

The fact that I continued to follow my dreams into old age is my legacy to my family. These books, starting with Folded Dreams – the Beginning, are my legacy to them.

My mind is clear, my health is fair – my spirit and body are balanced. I’m good.


If you would like to read a bit of Folded Dreams – the Beginning, you can find it on Amazon; try the “Look Inside” feature for the Kindle version.

A rough draft (3rd edit) of the first 4 or 5 chapters of the upcoming “Folded Dreams” novel (and the ¬†first chapter of my newest novel, “Waking Up Dead!”), are here on Goodreads. I’m sure you’ll find both of them…interesting!

You can also enter the Goodreads Giveaway (below) to win 1 of 10 copies of Folded Dreams – the Beginning.

(by the way Рyou can follow my author blog, The Old Fossil Writes, catch me on Twitter @PLKirkby and Instagram @pearlkirkby_author.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Folded Dreams by Pearl Kirkby

Folded Dreams

by Pearl Kirkby

Giveaway ends October 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/200767

Breathe…and Share

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You will notice that I’ve added a new category: “Shared Posts”. There are a lot of wise people out there, who have some really great blogs along the lines of “Balance the Circle…” and I’ve decided that I should share them with my own readers and do my part to promote their efforts.¬†“Balance the Circle…” will still have original posts, but to not share would be just¬†self-centered, which in turn, is completely¬†counter-intuitive to the whole concept of this blog and the way of life so many of us pursue.

This week I would like to share the blog with the goal of promoting “science-based practices for a meaningful life…” “Bay Art“. Now,¬†while¬†this is a blog that is attached to a business, there are such wonderful posts and articles about learning how to meditate, breathe and calm the turmoil in your life. I will not be making a habit of promoting any business, but because I enjoyed the non-promotional posts that I found I will, this one time, make an exception!

Wow! Has it been that long? UPDATES

Books7

I cannot believe it’s been so long since I posted here on “Balance the Circle…”! And oh! are there ever Updates…at least for this category of Journal of Journalism!

Has it really been that long…8 months??

Well, be that as it may, here is the latest news on my writing endeavours:

  • “Mama Always Said…I Love You More!” – children’s book: text complete…illustrations: not so much.
  • “Folded Dreams – the Beginning” – (very) short story: published 5 December 2015. Lovely little book; available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both paperback and Kindle, Barnes & Noble (paperback only) and other booksellers worldwide.
  • “Folded Dreams”, the novel: in-progress…about 1/3 finished; tentative release – late November – mid-December 2016
  • “Waking Up Dead!” – a novel; in-progress. Should be completed next year, 2017…cannot give a closer estimate!
  • “Prosetry & P’ose and other little ditties” – a compilation of simple poetry/prose: compiled selection of works from 2001 – 2015. Simple. Uncomplicated.. Nothing “dark”. Compilation in-progress. Should be released some time between Thanksgiving 2016 and Spring 2017.
  • Tomatoes & Babies…who knew!” – compilation of Sermon Topics from 2003-2014: Book 1 of 2. Compilation in-progress.
  • “More Tomatoes” – Compilation of Sermon Topics: Book 2

And there you have it…all the updates (I still can’t believe it has been that long!).¬†This will be my last direct post in the Journal of Journalism category; future posts will be re-blogged from my author site, “The Old Fossil Writes”, which I hope you will visit.

Glass Half Full?

I’m really tired of moving.

I mean, where’s the “glass half full” part of life when you have a combined 120 years worth of stuff to deal with?

Well, the moving part itself¬†isn’t so horrible as a general rule…except when it comes to packing that¬†120 years of stuff and considering that as¬†a broken-jointed, ruptured disk, cartilage-less knee’d, 60 year old, old fossil I¬†had to climb up and down steep stairs twenty times each day for¬†six days, carrying boxes that weighed 30-40 pounds, on average. Of course, my disabled husband helped, as well as¬†my two youngest sons and youngest daughter,¬†all of whom work nights, who¬†spent¬†two days¬†(when they should have been sleeping)¬†doing the really heavy lifting and carrying.

Either way you look at it, though, by the seventh day I was completely worn down to the bone, physically. But, man, oh man! I’m so happy to finally be able to give up living in a second floor apartment¬†and going¬†into a single story house!

I think the worst part of moving this time is the unpacking. Who would have thought that finding places to put your stuff in a larger house would be more difficult than when going from a larger home into a smaller one?

Which is to say…I’m really tired of moving.

It’s easy enough to get discouraged when you’re exhausted. You want to simply kick your feet off…er, up…and put a cold cloth on your head, lay down in a cool, quiet dungeon somewhere, step off the world for a week or so and ignore that there’s anything you have to do. But you can’t, because some things just have to be done whether you’re¬†tired or not.

Like unearthing your kitchen boxes that wound up in the bathroom, or your bathroom tissue that somehow, at the most inopportune time, wound up in the shed. Almost makes you want to break down into tears.

Really.

But even with all the aggravation, frustration and physical discomfort one suffers during a move, you want the experience to leave you with the positive feeling. This is a new beginning after all and how often does someone advancing in years find themselves in the possession of such a treasure?

So, I see my life as half over but the other half is ahead of me. Therefore, still, is the glass half full.

american-gothic

Flibbertibibbet

THE FLIBBERTIGIBBET’S, “POST PITY PARTY LIST” FOR THE NEW RETIREE

So here I am. It’s Monday, September 23, 2013. Got laid off earlier this month. Loved my job, but really missing the social life I’ve had for two years at a great company with awesome co-workers.

To quote an oldie but goodie song, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!”

Poor, pitiful me.

Now although I must admit I’ve enjoyed the “Time to Relax” part¬†(even though I got bored by about day 11), my allotted two weeks¬†for¬†a¬†“Semi-Pity-Party” is¬†finally over and my new life as a retiree has¬†now commenced. Sort of.

Today is relegated to making a list, or schedule if you will, of how to proceed.¬† Oh yes…and cleaning the guinea pig cage and changing the cat litter, but that’s neither here nor there!

Yes, I know¬†it sounds kind of stupid, but only to those who don’t know me for the quintessential list maker that I am (is that a dangling participle??). Some would say, “What list? You know what needs doing, so just do it!”, right?

Wrong.

My brain doesn’t work like that. Unless there is a deadline, my mind will skip merrily around like a curious puppy…sniff a flower here, chase a rabbit there, watch a swarm of bees, spot a favourite chew toy (puppies have teeth, you see )…in other words, I’m the epitome of what Mother Superior refers to Maria in The Sound of Music: “A Flibbertigibbet“.

You see, in my world there is always such a wondrous choice of things to do that, when I start on one task, I’m very easily distracted into pursuing another one.

With me, it’s all, “Ok, I need to do this…no wait! Let me do that first…but no! I have to¬†take care of this other first, THEN finish that and¬†THEN I’ll do this….aww, shoot fire and save matches…wait, dang it! I need to finish this thing before I get to that thing and THEN I can do those other¬†things!”

BUT FIRST I need a cup of coffee…

Yeah.

Today is list making day…

You all have a great day doing whatever YOU do!

www.richardcrossenphotography.co.uk/

Life and Health Can Be Easy Like Sunday Mornin’!

Many thanks to Richard Crossen,¬†Pembrokeshire, West Wales, UK…photographer extraordinaire, for his kind permission to use his photos on this site. To see his wonderful collection of nature photographs, you can visit his gallery or his blog site

I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of person. I¬†rarely worry about what I don’t have¬†because I’m¬†too busy being¬†thankful for the things I do have. Well, except when¬†my gas tank¬†has only one gallon in it¬†the day before payday.¬† If I had to define my thoughts on the subject, I’d say my outlook on life is “…easy like Sunday mornin’ ” (that’s a song from the ’60s for those who wouldn’t remember that era!).

A lot of times, when some great, blue funk or another tries to overtake¬†me,¬†my Granny¬†comes to mind. I remember¬†her always trying to¬†teach us that God takes care of His own, regardless of how hard we try to screw things up. She was good at backing up her beliefs with scripture, like “…behold the fowl of the air” or “…consider the lilies of the field” as a way of showing the difference between what we need and what we want.¬† Yes, I learned from an early age¬†to¬†see the best in every situation and to¬†find the¬†most positive¬†things¬†inside of¬†the worst possible scenarios.

This is what¬†true balance is all about. It’s taking life as it comes and striving to make each moment count for something positive. You know the old saying, “When life hands you lemons, learn to make lemonade!”

It’s easy enough¬†to fool yourself into feeling miserable simply by¬†wallowing in misery,¬†but by the same token it’s equally simple to fool yourself into being content, regardless of¬†how your life has transitioned. Finding something good either in¬†a situation, about¬†a situation or what good thing can¬†eventually happen because of¬†a situation¬†is the key to distracting you from¬†whatever¬†hardship you might be facing.

Your health is as much emotionally as physically based. You must learn to¬† b r e a t h e¬† when you feel stress creeping up on you. Find something relaxing to do whether it’s meditating, reading a good book, writing a letter to someone you love…or even just stopping your day and thinking deep thoughts!

Biofeedback, which became a ‘craze’ back in the ’60s,¬†has been¬†used to teach people to regulate their body rhythm and has¬†proven that they¬†can learn to¬†control many “automatic” physiological functions, including slowing the heart rate and lowering¬†blood pressure and¬†respiration (then again, so does yoga!). Considering that even these three functions alone can cause health problems, being able to control them can help you to avoid stress related¬†health conditions.

There are also simpler routes to controlling the “mind over matter” part of your health. You can schedule an at-home regime of relaxation, including meditation, aromatherapy and exercise using techniques designed to produce and¬†release natural endorphins, an opium-like hormone.

Also, if you don’t already belong to one, a¬†lot of spas and health clubs¬†offer¬†incentives for new members and specials for current ones, that may include anything from¬†deep tissue massage to¬†yoga classes¬†or¬†whirlpool spas to herbal wraps.¬†These great benefits¬†¬†can come by means of contests, filling out surveys, trial memberships or redeemable coupons.

Coupons for such things can be found in the newspaper or even online. The internet is a wonderful resource for finding the best deals in your area. You may even find purchasing clubs, such as Good Deals 24/7or Groupon that can help you save money on anything you need for health and beauty aids or even travel deals for a relaxing vacation.

Don’t wait until stress overtakes your life and creates illness and dis-ease (as in ‘un-easy health’) in your body. Even if life can be difficult it needn’t be hard to adapt to or accommodate its uncertainties. Learn to roll along this bumpy road with grace and acceptance. After a bit of practice, it almost becomes easy. Easy like Sunday morning.