1. I can begin anywhere. Every day. Any day. I can start again. I can change. My hair. My attitude. My clothes. Each day, each minute – I can begin again.
  2. I know the only thing I am an expert in, is me. And to be honest, I am not an expert in that every single day – and that’s okay. But where any other topic is concerned? I can always learn a little more.
  3. I choose to be grateful for my health. Everyone should be. Some day – one day – one moment, your whole world can change. You can forget who you once were, and have to find yourself again. If that happens, and you have a ‘new normal’, enjoy the hunt.
  4. I choose to I love unapologetically. I don’t love everyone. I don’t even like everyone. What I will do though, is try my best to be nice to everyone. If you are someone I love , I am loyal to the death. I see that as flaw, to be honest. It sets you up for heartbreak. I’d rather be heartbroken, though – than not be loyal.
  5. I will longer struggle with acceptance, because I accept myself. I have had to learn to accept my flaws, and realize it’s okay if everyone doesn’t love me.
  6. I choose to forgive, but I don’t forget. I forgive everyone who has need of forgiveness but I can never forget what was done. Forgiveness isn’t forgetting, forgiveness is accepting and moving on.
  7. I choose to be the best mom I am capable of. Being a great mom means letting your kids know where they are screwing up, too – not just telling them how great they are. Find balance.
  8. I choose that I will no longer be ashamed of my past mistakes. I learned from them. They aren’t who I am now.
  9. I choose to smile more, share more, drink good coffee. I am going to listen to others. Really listen. Like with my heart. I am going to share more. Grow my blog. Keep working on my book. Keep the negativity at bay. And, frankly. I am gonna kill it. Not in the “murderino” type of way. In a completely positive type of way. (And yes, If you get the murderino reference, we could possibly be best friends.)

Love Fully. Live Fully. Sat nam.

I look tough here, right? I mean – A welding, helmet – that’s intimidating.

Well, well, well.  The time has come for me to make a proclamation.  Internet Gangsters- our society has no need for you. 

Thanks.  End of Blog.

Kidding, obviously. I am gonna write more about it.  Let me start at the beginning.  Being a writer is hard.  Actually, putting your craft out in a public forum is hard.  So if you don’t do that – read and learn.  Because everyone, in some form or fashion, does something – that others could make fun of. But not everyone, does something in the public eye. Especially, the very public eye on the internet. Every time I put up a blog post, I run the risk of being ridiculed.  Anytime, a  You Tuber posts a video, they are putting their craft out there.  An artist showing their work.  A singer posting a video or sound cloud of them singing, everyone becomes a Simon Cowell. Now, do we know that we are putting ourselves out there to be reidiculed? Of course. But we do it anyway. Why? Because we are sharing.

And that, my friends, is courageous.  Any time someone is vulnerable, they leave themselves open for ridicule. And choosing to be vulnerable anyway, well, that’s freaking awesome to me.

And what I WILL NOT DO – is ever, never, ever – make fun of someone being courageous.  Why would you?  Aren’t we all humans doing this life thing, together? 

Here is what I do with  opinions that are different than mine- I keep scrolling.  If I see a video that I don’t like?  I keep scrolling.  And let me get this really clear – I am not talking about people who have a different opinion, profess it eloquently, without just being mean.  I am talking about the people who literally just say things to be mean. 

If you read this blog, which I guess you do since you are here, I have it set to where I have to approve comments.  I do that, because years ago, I didn’t.  Someone left a comment, and although they were being super sweet, they used language that I wasn’t a huge fan of. I mean, if you curse you curse – I ain’t judging. I just don’t want it typed out on my page. My momma and kids read this blog. 

I digress.  Well, on the blog post about being a widow, I got a lot of great feedback.  I receeived so many sweet comments! People sent me emails of encouragement. They left super amazing comments and asked for advice on Facebook.   And I also got the internet gangster comment.  This obviously, was deleted by me.  But now, I wish I hadn’t.

It said this.  “Widowed young with kids, huh?  I wonder if that is really true.  You are probably just another pretty face hired by corporate America where someone else is writing this bulls*** to make money.  And if it’s true – and least you had f-ing kids and f-ing family.  Some people don’t have anybody.”

Hmmmmm.  Insert blind rage right here.  FYI – they were “anonymous”.  Chicken.

Anyway.  I cried for a minute.  It hurt my feelings.  I thought, how in the world, when I am trying to help people, can people be so ugly?  I mean, obviously, what I write is true.  Google me, jackhole.  It’s not rocket science.   And then it hit me.  So this part, is for that person.

Dear Internet Gangster,

Thank you, anonymous.  First, I appreciate the fact that you called me pretty.  A really talented photographer took the photos you see.  I am so grateful for his skill and showing what I wanted the world to see!  Second, thank you for being so mean.  If I have people that don’t like what I am doing, that means I am spreading my message outside my regular folks, and my comfort zone.  That is a sign that I am succeeding – and I am so grateful for that.  Third, although we all say, you can’t please everyone – I think a lot of us still want to.  So this was a big lesson for me also.  And I realize now, I can’t please you. And that’s okay.  Fourth, a couple years ago, that comment would have made me quit writing.  Now, I just used it for material.  And yes, internet gangster – I have called you names in this post.  Why?  Because, well – I am still human.   You are still a bully.  And it was rude.  And, I thought calling you names would make me feel better.  It really didn’t.

That being said.  You are hurt, and I see it.  So now, I am going to do the thing that is for real the hardest for me.  I am going to pray for you – and the other Internet Gangsters out there, who are struggling like you are.  You are obviously lashing out in anger, in a forum of being anonymous – because maybe,  you don’t have people to talk to.  And if lashing out at me makes you feel better?  Bring it.  I can take it.  I mean, read my blog. I’ve been through worse.  A lot worse.  I am also a lot stronger and a whole lot braver than you gave me credit for.  So, good luck homie.  And keep your anonymous comments coming.

Love Fully. Live Fully.  Shine on.

Sat nam,

Kristie

So there we have it.  Donezo.  Now, if you are part of this cruelty culture that we apparently are cultivating on the internet,  think about if you would actually say it in front of the person.  You might would.

Think about this. If you wouldn’t want them to say it about your work, you, or your family – think again before you comment.  Then ask yourself, why do you feel compelled to comment?  To belittle another  human? To make yourself feel better?  What is the reason?  If it isn’t for personal growth of that other person, then don’t.  I am all up for positive critiquing.   Even a well-spoken opinion.  But if you are doing it, just to make yourself feel good an/or belittle another human – Well, grow up.

Some of us, want to bring others happiness. Be part of that culture.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On. Sat nam.

Ok. This isn’t a post about manifestation. But it could be. In one of my previous posts I wrote about how I wanted to make my house more, homey. I made a list. (If you haven’t read that post, I suggest ya do.) Well, Number six on the list – was my kitchen table. Can I just say, I hated my kitchen table. Like I hated it with a passion. And I wish that I could say that my ex bought it, picked it, or it was forced upon me and someway. NOPE. That sucker was all me. And when I bought it – I was so proud! I really was! But, about 5 days after the purchase – I knew it was a bad idea. I denied it. But I knew it was bad. I shall now insert a photo below. So you can see the prettiness. Then I will explain why it was a bad idea.

Industry Place 5 Piece Dining Set, In all her advertised Glory.

So there she is. Isn’t she lovely? I mean, I saw that table – and I saw modern. Edgy. I saw – MYSELF. (Ok, maybe it’s a little dramatic for the table. But, I was pretty pumped about it. ) I loved the finish. I loved the metal. I loved that you can arrange the height of the table and stools. I loved that it looked like it could be in a Chipotle near you. I. LOVED. IT.

My kids loved it too, at first. But what we all forgot, was that the littlest child (at the time of purchase) was 7. EMMM. MMMM. You know what you don’t want with a small child? A spinning table with spinning chairs. You wanna know why? Did ya work super hard and get dinner on the table? One hard spin equals dinner on the floor. Tears ensue. Mine and his. Did I mention I have ceramic tile floors? Corning ware against ceramic tile? Tile wins. There IS a lock for the table. Did you know that a seven year old can undo said lock, with his toes, without disturbing the table at all? It can be done. It has been done.

Death trap.

Industrial Place 5 Piece dining set (For the rest of this post, I am going to refer to it as IP5), can also double as a playground. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why. You know those spinning wheels of death that are probably now banned across playgrounds everywhere? Well, in a pinch, the stool from said dining set, can also double as this fine piece of play equipment. Picture it: A laughing eight year old. Spinning face down on stool. He jumps up. He’s dizzy. He’s down. He’s bleeding. Ugh. This all happening while I am screaming, “You knew better! I am not paying a $350.00 co-payment at the emergency room because you weren’t thinking!” (Yes, I literally said that. No, I didn’t mean it – well, I sorta did. I’m not perfect, we know this. )

IP5 had other drawbacks. When the four of us sat down to dinner, the table would wobble everytime someone touched it. Also, our plates were really super close. IP5 was lacking on it’s radial length. And once IP5 got about 7 months old, randomly a white haze would form on it. It would happen with moisture. But it would show up when I would clean it. Then it would go away. Freaking weird, I know. But ask my kids. I swear it happened. I knew I needed a new table. Tables aren’t cheap. IP5 cost me almost $500.00 when it was said and done. That’s a lot of money to me. So me, the kids, and IP5 were in an unfulfilling relationship together.

But, then, the miraculous occurred. I got a phone call from a friend of mine. And he said,” My mom is getting a new kitchen table – Do you want her old one? It’s over 20 years old and needs some work, but it’s solid wood.” Sir, you had me sold at the word solid. Do I ever! And let me tell ya – my happy self went to work the next day, asked my brothers to borrow the truck, and I made arrangements to pick that sucker up that Saturday. Saturday rolls around, and me and my crew (which is me and the kids, FYI) head over to her house to pick it up. We get there, load it up, give hugs and say 1000 thank you’s, and head home. She also gave us some cream parson’s chairs to go with it.

I get home, and I get to work. Now, once he told me it needed work, I put a budget in my head. I didn’t want to go over $100. I have to do budgets. Or I get too creative. LOL! Luckily, I am the son that my daddy never had – so I tagged around quite a bit in his wood working shop as a little kid. So on hand, I have a belt sander, and rotary sander, and some sanding blocks. And I get to town. Yes, the table was 20+ years old. But the top, well it shocked me. It didn’t take much work to get it down to a smooth surface, little scratches and nicks out. She took super great care of it. Same goes with the base and the legs, but they were a bit more difficult. They had been painted for the different styles of the times, so it took a little more work. Still though, I had them stripped down in about three hours.

Now, here’s the fun part. I decided I wanted to do it in like a modern/farmhouse/chic/girly/cool finish. That took some googling, due to the fact I can be indecisive. I decided on a deep gray color, with a coffee/mahogany top. So, off to make the purchase to fix this table. I got the stain at Lowe’s ($12.16 with tax). I used the Minwax PolyShades – because I love the ease of the one step. For the legs, I wanted to do a subtle milk paint. I love milk paints, chalk paints, and whitewash. Those are my favorite paint styles. I think that I gives such a soft finish. And by soft, I mean, it looks like it would actually feel soft. I couldn’t find what I wanted at Lowe’s. So off to Joann’s I go. PEOPLE! I got the milk paint on clearance for $4.17 and I had a 20% off entire purchase. I got two. So… $7.12 later, I’m set. Our grand total for this table at this point is $16.33.

I do the table and I floor myself at my own work. I am super proud of this table. There is only one problem. I had three chairs, and need more seating. So I start looking for seating ideas. I needed to redo the chairs, and wasn’t sure how. So I decided on upholstery spray paint in charcoal and stone. Now this stuff is pricey, to me. So, I implement my tribe – Joann’s and Michael’s Coupons. I got it down to 5.14 a can. I needed five cans, for three chairs. I still had a 20% off coupon thanks to the app – so grand total there came to $21.20. Now, if you go this route, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT OUTSIDE AND DO NOT SIT IN THEM FOR 48 HOURS! They are still gonna be tacky for a couple days, and you don’t want to ruin that hard work. And when it says to shake the can for a full minute – DO IT. That isn’t a suggestion, it’s needed or it will come out all weird and yucky. We are now at $37.53. And I still need another seat.

My budget for another seat is $62.47. I decide I will get a bench, and stain it to match. I can find a standard wood bench for that amount, right? No. No I can’t. Not even close, guys. So, guess what I do? Google. That’s right. I found a design to make a bench. So, a trip to home depot, $16.80 later, we got the fixin’s for what could be an amazing piece of carpentry. Then, I get to work. And guess what ya girl did? She made a frickin’ bench. That’s exactly what she did! I’m not even gonna lie. It seemed simple. But I thought, it can’t be that simple. I mean, it wasn’t totally simple – but it wasn’t hard either. And I have had four grown folks sitting on it – she is sturdy.

The Bench in Progress

I tell you all this, one – to help. Two, to proclaim how grateful I am for this table. I despised my other table as a dinner table. Now IP5 is in the corner as a board game/homework table. Perfect life for IP5. And this table that was given to me, means everything to me. One, a dear friend thought of me and asked if I was interested. Two, my brothers let me use the truck to make it happen – how awesome to have the availability of a truck! Three, I got to spend some time with a sweet lady, help her out, and you could tell she was so happy that it was going to good use. Four, I made something that I am proud of. Five, it has been a rough year and this was a great thing to make me feel at home. I can’t even begin to explain how blessed and grateful I am.

So, it’s set up. I want a centerpiece. Because, well – I have room for a centerpiece and a plate. And I didn’t before. I decided to hit up Marshall’s, and low and behold – I found the base. A two-tiered swivel thing. Specific, I know – you’ll see. I put a Rae Dunn mug and juicer I had in the cabinet, some greenery I had, and got the letter’s at Joann’s for less than a dollar a piece. On the center piece, amount I spent was $21.21. The piece itself was 14.99, then there was a candle from the dollar tree, a couple little pots, you see. But there’s the total. At this point, I haven’t finished the third chair yet. So, one of IP5’s stools is on one side, which actually looks pretty cool. But the rest, is below. I am so happy with how it came out. I am super happy that there is a story to it. I am proud of my effort. I am grateful for the vision. I am grateful for the sweet soul that gifted it to me.

I. Love. This. So. Much. And… Grand Total – $75.54. Still under budget and that’s including the centerpiece and placemats. (Placemats aren’t permanent – I just happened to take this picture with them on the table.)

And let me tell you, we have sat there. And eaten. And laughed. We had some company over, and we were all able to sit at the table. It was awesome. So here is my take away…. One, put it out there and let it be known what you need. And just watch. Two, be grateful for what you have, even if you hate it. I know that doesn’t sound possible, but it is. I am in a phase of my life where I am closing old doors – and trying to build new things. It feels good to see things happening. And… If you like this – please subscribe and share. Let’s get the word out and be happy. Stay Inspired!

Xoxo.