October 2008

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alex's life book

  • In early 2006, I began creating a life book for my daughter, Alex. Click here for links to articles describing my experience.
  • And for those of you who are more digitally inclined, in late 2006, I recreated key pages of Alex's lifebook for an article I wrote for AlphaMom, using Scrapblog.

    You can see the final digital result (and leave comments, if you'd like!) here.

what's been on my nikon lately

  • And you can view my favourites here.

if i'm not here, i'm here

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Comments

TWyla

I am currently reclaiming my life back from my job. I allowed it to be come all consuming and every part of my life has suffered since then. So, as I look towared a new season, I am finding a new me too!

Vanda

Every so often my hubby checks with me to see if I want a new wedding. I had new one once when I thought, gasp my "real one" was lost. I've had this one for almost 34 years and I'll wear it until the day I die.

It's batterd, scratched sort of dull sometimes, bright most of most the times, surrived some tough times, and more good times. The birth of six grandchildren and soon to be one great grandaughter. And much, much more.It's closest thing to my heart. Kind of like my marriage:-)

So I loved your story about your engangement righ.

Emily G.

I could be more authentic at work, where I'm miserable and lonely. I need this job for medical school and the health insurance but it's going to be a high price to pay if the current trend continues; I go home crying every month and a half as a result of my boss's emotional abuse.

I've resolved to talk to her supervisor about it, but he's backed her before when I've requested change, so I don't know that it will help. Quite frankly, the idea of trying to fix this situation scares me, but I don't want to be in a job in which I have to deal with someone so manipulative and cruel.

Natalee

My job. I really am beginning to loathe it with every fiber of being. Unfortunately, I can't leave right now. I need the money and benefits too much. And, I don't have the experience or education to find a position with another company at the same level of salary I need to keep myself out of debt. On top of that, because of work/home/school pressures, I decided to scale back and drop out of school this semester when I saw how my grades and marriage were suffering. However, I need some proof of education in order to do what I want to do-what I love, which involves children and literature. It seems as if that dream is so far away, and I become more morose as each day slips by that I am living a life I don't want. If it were not for the love and support of my husband, I don't know how I'd make it through. Sorry to be so down. I admire you, Karen, for finding the path you need for fulfillment and happines, and I hope to embark on my own sooner rather than later.

MamaChristy

I love that you are so sure of yourself. You are such an inspiration and posts like this - ones so honest and self-aware - are why I read you all the time.

Wedding rings are special symbols of a complex inner bond, but they are just symbols. People forget that as long as it's special to you both, the cost of it isn't a reflection of how important that bond is.

I'm so sorry that Indigo Leaf hasn't had as many submissions as you would like. I admire your drive and I look forward to seeing how it all turns out.

Meepers

I Loooove moonstones! I have several neat peices and always seem to be drawn to them, set in silver of course. Now... authentication:

In writing: I am still trying to find my writing "voice". I've been reading to try and fill in the gaps in my reading (Chekov, Nin, etc) and observe things from a writing/editing perspective. We'll see how that goes!

KarenH

I loved your story about the ring. I have a star sapphire in white gold. Very inexpensive, but so dear to me I never take it off.

I don't have trouble being "true to me". I need to work on being a better me to be true to (if that makes sense).

brat

This is going to sound so vacuous in comparison to the responses I read thus far but this is what comes to mind on the topic of authenticity.

I don't like to cook. It's a recent revelation, one that occured as I was pulling measuring cups out of a drawer. I thought, "Wait. I don't like measuring." And I'm not a good enough cook not to measure. Then there's the whole thing with chopping. I hate it. I've sliced myself badly enough more than once, and I don't like the guilty feeling that maybe my cutting board isn't as clean as I think.

I'm constantly at war in my mind as I cook, battling against using the appliances and the utensils with multiple parts because, frankly, I hate washing dishes. Or emptying dishwashers. So, I'm pulling out the food processor with a scowl on my face.

None of the above leads to the enjoyment of the culinary arts.

But there's got to be some reason why, when asked what I like, the word "cooking" falls out of my mouth. Well, I like watching people cook. Food Network is the soundtrack of my life as I bury my head into activities on my laptop. The chefs/actors make me want to cook what they're making. But only if I had some little sous chef running around in my kitchen before I arrive, placing little dishes of perfectly minced, pre-measured ingredients at strategic positions on my counter.

And I like creating. I like to decorate Christmas cookies while watching "It's a Wonderful Life." I like to frost cakes and grill diagonal marks on my meat. I enjoy plating the finished product, even if it's just a tuna sandwich and potato chips.

I like cooking classes. You partner with someone else who does half the chopping and they pay some character to wash the dishes long after you're gone. And there's not all this pressure. If you muck up something, you don't have to rush off to the store to get new ingredients or desperately improvise. They always have more of everything in stock. One time in a cooking class I accidentally caught a dishcloth on fire. At home, I would have panicked. In class, I waited for the teacher to fix it.

Whatever my true, recently realized, negative feelings about cooking, it's unavoidable. As a work-at-home mom it's, well, an expectation I place upon myself. If I'm busy working on a project, or just plain tuckered out, my husband always tells me not to worry about it. He can take care of himself and our daughter. And then she ends up having mashed potatoes for breakfast or a piece of American cheese and goldfish crackers for dinner.

Can't have that. So I trudge downstairs after him and feed the child.

I think I liked cooking better when I didn't so much access to my kitchen, when I was working outside the home. I'd spend hours on the weekend working on a dish I'd seen in a magazine. Now I'm full of excuses.

I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize I don't like cooking. If I think too hard about it, I wonder if it's because I was brought up to believe that real, authentic women cook, and they cook well. Ergo, all the money wasted on cooking classes.

I guess, I could have worst things to dislike. Like not having food at all. Which makes me, again, feel funky about even bringing up the topic. But I'm just being honest, I guess, about being honest.

tonya

I've always felt very similarly about diamonds - so we've made the same agreement (doesn't hurt that diamonds are mined under some glaringly inhumane conditions). And I'm giddy at the dialogue you're having with yourself.. I love when that happens. :)

Re: Indigo leaf - I'm glad you're not throwing in the towel just yet. It's such a beautiful idea and draws attention to creative spirit (and spirits) we all might not have otherwise had a chance to be affected by. But I do know how that feels, to have to pull participation out of the crowd.

Maybe there are some ideas out there to be had - a nice balance. Maybe quarterly is a good start with that?

Happy to help if you need it, as always.

Mir

I knew you had a moonstone, and had assumed it is/would be lovely, but that setting is just gorgeous. No wonder you treasure it.

I'm fumbling my way towards authenticity. I'm so grateful to have friends like you to help me get there. :)

Greg Goulding

Is it me, or is authenticity an ideal that could never really be reached? I feel as if I've gone through so many struggles on what authenticity is, and the more I struggled towards what I Thought authenticity was, the more alienated and unhappy I felt. But at the same time, in a month I'll be starting on the first real path towards a real career that I'm going to care about, so maybe that's my authenticity, for now.

Vic

K-

When my hubby to be gave me my ring, he simply stated that he was unsure it was exactly what I wanted and that there was a "back up" in the event I wanted something else...wanted to know if I wanted to see the other ring...my response was "did you pick this one because you love it and because it MEANT something to you?" His response being yes, I replied by telling him that the heart and soul he put into that choice was more than I could ever have asked for and that I would never want anything other than what he'd chosen. The ring is truly a reflection of the love he feels for me and I will always cherish that, no matter the cost.

As for authenticity, I am a painter, a writer, an artist, and it pains me every day that my busy lifestyle (more specifically my job) keep me from being who I am, feeling inspired. And so I read your blog for inspiration in the hopes that one day it will help bring me back to who I am.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Can't wait to have you in the wedding.

V-

sugaredharpy

I am searching for my authenticity in my writing. My blog voice is always a work in progress but it's a natural progression. My fiction and other writing struggles for a clear voice.

It's why I haven't yet submitted, although directly asked. Which, be sure, I am so grateful and honored.

I am learning who I am. My husband and I started our lives over three years ago by quitting our paid jobs and finishing school. We followed our passions and love our current work. It has allowed us to learn more about ourselves than anything else. And I'm still learning. Thus my writing voice is also evolving and learning, in the process (I think) becoming more authentic.

jonniker

You know, it pains me to read all of these job-related issues, because inherently, most jobs ask us to be less than authentic.

I find myself not having a problem being authentic, per se, but in dealing with others' reactions to my authenticity. For example, I recently moved from an extraordinarily liberal, comfortable area of the country and moved to a conservative, slightly buttoned-up area. I'm the type of person who will bust out with extraordinarily personal details at odd times out of panic ("HI! God, there is too much sand in my crotch! Don't you hate that?")- and out of feeling like I'm not being myself *enough*, because so many people are squished down. Certainly that is something I'd say to my husband, or to a dear friend right out of the gate, but breaking out with it to my neighbor while walking the dog is, perhaps, unwise.

It's hard. I'm dealing with so many people who are so patently *un*authentic, that I am going into overdrive to compensate. They're all so polite and shiny and plastic, but underneath it all, I have to believe that's not who they are. So, I amplify who I am to make myself feel better. Which is, I guess, unauthentic.

This usage of 'authentic' by the way, is one I struggle with, for until the first season of 'Starting Over' (don't laugh), I only thought of authentic in terms of items offered by the Franklin Mint. I told you I was uncultured.

Becky

I've been working on authenticity quite a bit these days - I've been moving ever so slowly towards an inevitable split with my spouse for about 3 years now. This whole process has really helped me pinpoint what it is I need from another person, and what I'm willing to give (or give up) and what I'm not in a relationship. I've come to the conclusion that I'm no longer willing to give up who I am, and what my needs are, even if I still love someone. Life's too short, and I've got a 2 year old who I'm not willing to "stuff" my feelings for - he's smart and he'll figure out that something's up, sooner or later.

Since we're working to sell our house, I've also been really honest with myself about the amount of unnecessary crap I have squirrelled away everywhere. I've moved 9 times in the past 10 years, and if it was never or rarely unpacked during that time, I don't need it! How's 2 trash bags of shredded papers and about 20 grocery bags of recycled papers so far for authentic? ;)

Mary Tsao

Authenticity is a good way to put it. Sometimes I feel that I need to be more authentic with my kids and my mothering. I get carried away with my hobbies and my writing and forget that if it wasn't for them, I'd be sitting at a desk writing software manuals all day. I've been trying to stop more, turn off the computer, and go play, go on a field trip. I'm trying to get in touch with my own inner child, if you will.

lyssa

i thought your story was touching and more people should be like this not careing about a DIMOND ring

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