Posted in Book Writing, Writing, Zero to Hero

Zero to Hero….Welcome to Katie’s Crazy Life!

Today is Day 1 of the Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog Challenge! I’m making a cannonball in to the blogging pool with the hopes of making a splash as big as my husband made in the pool in Las Vegas recently at the Jimmy Buffett pre-concert pool party at the Flamingo. Let’s just say it was a big enough splash that the life guard, (who looked to be about 12 and really didn’t understand all of us crazy Parrotheads) visited our area and asked my husband kindly if he would refrain from further cannonballs.

The purpose of today’s blog is to introduce myself and describe why i’m here. I’m assuming we aren’t expected to provide the answer on an existential basis…just why we are here blogging versus writing in our journal – not keeping our thoughts/ideas to ourselves and instead sharing our crazy with everyone who might accidentally (or coerced because they are a relative or friend) visit our blog and see what we are up to.

Here goes a short tale of my adventure here. I turned 44 on New Year’s Eve, which has been of interest to me for many months. The concept of 44…the number 44….4+4=8. Eight has always been my favorite number, although until recently I didn’t really understand why. A friend reminded me that eight turned sideways is the symbol for infinity. Ah yes, that makes sense in my constant quest to learn more about the universe and how I fit in to the “big picture.”  Continue reading “Zero to Hero….Welcome to Katie’s Crazy Life!”

Posted in Book Writing, Buddhism, Hope & Inspiration, Meditation, Writing

I Am Breathing…thanks for the reminder

As usual, what I lovingly refer to as my “Spiritual ADD” was in full effect this morning as I picked up another book to look through, looking for inspiration as I write my own book. (I have at least six books in front of me at the moment).  Picking up one of my go-to books when I’m lost, Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn, I got to page 13 and just started giggling away.

The title of this chapter, “Who is Breathing” starts with…

Of course you are breathing.
But let’s face it. If it were really up to you to keep the breath going, you would have died long ago. You would have gotten distracted by this or that, sooner or later…and whoops, dead.

I love it….”whoops, dead.”  It was a great conk on the head this morning that my focus has been off lately. I’ve allowed too many distractions to affect me, finding one excuse after another. I’ve even forgotten to breathe intentionally. Just stop and breathe.

A focus in my life is helping others to feel better; be it spiritually, emotionally and/or physically. I teach that it all starts with the breath. It seems the teacher needed some refresher instruction. The answer arrived perfectly.

I love how divinely answers arrive, just when we need them. The key is being open to seeing and hearing them when they do arrive. So thank you Master Kabat-Zinn, your message got through to me today, and I Am Breathing.

Posted in Book Writing, Hope & Inspiration, Writing

My love affair with Suzy

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Good ole’ Suzy Q.        Thank you to http://www.listenupjuniper.blogspot.com for the photo

As I think back on one guilty pleasure that gets my salivary glands leaking, it would have to be my love affair with Suzy. That would be SuzyQ of the Hostess family of products.

Oh, the crackle of the plastic as I carefully separated the ends of the wrapping, attempting not to smear any of the succulent white filling along the sides. Delicately retrieving the first rectangular chocolate cake with sinfully sweet white icing in the middle,

I ran my tongue around the edges of the middle, collecting up any stray bits of frosting that could end up on my cheek unbeknownst to me. The first bite from the corner, teeth easily sinking through the top layer of light, airy chocolate cake, followed by frosting, then more cake. My tastebuds danced with expectation, my stomach rejoiced in the dance about to occur. The crinkle of the plastic wrapping as I quickly squished it up to be thrown away…to hide the evidence.

Oh Suzy Q….I loved you so

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Believe it or not, that’s a snippet from my book, from the chapter about living in denial. Denial of my diseases and pain…and how I buried my head. One of those ways was food. So many of us use food for everything except nourishment.

Thankfully my desire for Suzy is long gone…but what a run we had.

Posted in Book Writing, Crohn's Disease, Crohns, Living with Pain, Writing

The stories we tell ourselves about #2

Last night in my “Bring Your Book To Life” book writing & coaching class it was my turn to read a piece from my book. I stressed about what to read all week leading up to the class, finding holes in every section I thought about reading. I was so concerned that the day before class I drafted up an email to my book coach Lisa Tener asking her to remove me from the reading option, I just didn’t think any of it was good enough to share. Then I realized, that is the whole point of being in this class – to learn.  I’m at the point where I’m still only writing, not editing. So I know there are a lot of edits in my future. As I read in someone else’s blog not too long ago (I apologize because I don’t recall who it was) she had a great little piece of art that said “writing is when we make the words. editing is when we make the words not shitty” – That pretty much says it all!

Here is an edited version of what I read in class and I am looking for constructive feedback. As Lisa said in class once, “Spare the Reader, not the Writer.” This is just a snippet from my book section leading up to talking to someone for the first time about your Crohns/Colitis/Bowel issues.  Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it!

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When you have bowel disease, you forget what it is like to sit down at the table for an entire meal without ever leaving your chair. I don’t mean getting up to the stove to refill your plate, I’m talking making a mad dash to the bathroom as soon as your saliva starts to work and your digestive system realizes you are about to eat.

Here’s the scenario: You are going out to dinner with a new friend who doesn’t know yet about your inner truth. Feeling pretty good you head out the door, your guts have been quiet for a few hours, likely just laying around noiselessly for once, allowing you to enjoy your day. You are enjoying drinks and conversation with your friend at the bar, then you are told your table is ready. As you sit down you are immediately greeted with a warm loaf of bread and soft butter. It is now, at this moment, those guts that have been quiet all day sound the internal alarm “DING DING DING, she’s about to eat!!” The guts look at each other and start to talk about what might be coming. A discussion ensues if the meal (no matter what it is) will be easy to send through or if they are going to have to struggle with it every inch of the way? As this internal belly conversation goes on, the rest of the world only hears a grumbling tummy and assumes you are hungry. The reality…there is a conspiracy happening inside of you, a decision is being made of how long your food will be allowed to stay inside. Now the stories inside your head start, you can tell just from the rumbling that you will be getting up from the table at least once during the meal. That means it is time to prepare our story or stories for what is about to happen. As you cross your arms across your abdomen in a vain attempt to reduce the sounds of your guts, you choke back tears of yet another stressful outing. Mealtime, generally a social occasion, is one of the most stressful times of the day when you live with the  “Invisible Illness from Poop Hell.”

This part of life with Crohns or Colitis gets particularly tricky when you are out with people who don’t know your story yet. is Just how do you explain why you keep getting up and running out of the room during a meal. There are, of course, several options you could choose from. These few suggestions are of a time old tradition that should work just fine….

A) You saw a spider spiraling down from the ceiling and you are deathly afraid of them, so it was just sheer panic that caused you to get up and run;

B) You could have sworn you heard someone calling for you from somewhere; or,

C) You can also use the good ole’ line “Oh my god, I left the iron on, I have to go!” and then make a run for it.

Those probably work better when you return to the room immediately, which of course you don’t because you are already squatting on the toilet bowl, utilizing the “courtesy flush” in order to not stink the place out as well as not offend anyone else who might be in there.

We get awfully worried about what other people think, don’t we? I’ve created entire scenarios while taking care of business. I analyze possible thoughts of other people, automatically assuming they are sitting outside the bathroom door with a timer giving each other disapproving glances, and sighing as the minutes pass by. I just know they now realize I haven’t dashed in for a quick pee. They know now that I’m “doing #2.”  I imagine what the looks on their faces will be when I finally emerge knowing full well I will be avoiding eye contact with everyone.

In the meantime while you are on your 8th flush, your brain now is considering what story can you tell if they look at you with questioning eyes. Did the toilet not want to flush? Nope, can’t use that since they likely heard the toilet flush 14 times by the time you were done. How about “Gosh, what a line in there to wait on!” could work just long enough to get you away before they realize no one else has walked in there. Of course we just want to slip out quick without anyone seeing us. For me with the long red hair, I’m not so easy to hide in a crowd so I’m pretty sure everyone in the restaurant has tracked my progress and will all walk past me whispering “there she is, that’s the one that was in the bathroom 45 times tonight!”

All of these scenarios take place while still on the throne, so when you finally walk out those people you expected the disparaging glances and whispers from are gone. That stress is gone, but you still have to return to the person or people you left at the table. Now, if it’s your family you left, they know why you did so your worries are over. You can run and poop just as much as your little guts desire. However, if it’s a first date (romantic or otherwise) who has no idea yet about your disease, time to figure out what you are going to say. If the date is already a dud, then having an “upset stomach” is the perfect get-out-of-jail-free card! Problem solved! However, if you think the date is going well and you like this person or people, you have to decide how much you want to share. It’s time for you to decide your own comfort level and how much you want to say and, how prepared you are a question and answer session. If it goes the Q&A route, I recommend taking that conversation outside the restaurant!