November 5, 2012

Life Lessons...

"Looking Back"

Barnes Foundation
Philadelphia, PA
(Self Portrait Project #35/52)

The amazing Stasha over at The Good Life has a link-up that I've participated in a couple of times called "Monday Listicles".  Easy concept here, each week she gives a topic and everyone comes up with a list of ten things that pertain to it.  Some weeks I feel the connection, other weeks I do not.  But today she is asking for a list of "Ten Amazing Memories From the Not Too Distant Past".  Like most everything I do, I like to bend the rules. Today is no exception because MY amazing memories aren't so recent, yet they are life-long...which is why they are AMAAAAAZING (to moi).

Life has been getting the best of me recently.  Hate to admit it but I had a mini-breakdown last week.  Yep, a full fledged, gut-wrenching, under the covers, can't catch your breath, ugly face sob-fest.  I'm pretty sure I scared the Better-Half.  I kinda scared myself.  I KNOW I scared the dogs.  There are just certain times in my life where I want my Dad to tell me what to do, and that everything is going to be okay.  Never mind that I'm 52 years old. At times like these, it doesn't matter because I FEEL like a little kid.  Problem is, Dad CAN'T tell me what to do to make it all better.  Dad hasn't even said my name in over a year now, and some days I don't think he even knows who exactly I am.  But what I realized in the midst of my pity-party was that even tho I yearn for my dad to give me advice and perspective...I don't NEED him to speak the words to me. Throughout my life he has taught me enough lessons that are permanently embedded in my head...if I just stop to listen to them. Memories and lessons that will last a lifetime:

1.  Never embarrass the family (which is why I lead a pretty boring existence during my high school years.  If I had it to do over again...I think I'd embarrass them once or twice just so my dad would know how GOOD he had it with me the first time thru.)

2.  Listen to the voice inside your head,  you may not like what it says...but it never lies (which is why I forced myself to this morning's spin class when I REALLLLLY  didn't want to go, and cursed my inner voice the entire time)

3.  Always wave to police officers, they like to know they are appreciated (okay, this was waaaay cuter when I was a little girl rather than a 52 year old woman)

4. You don't need anyone to tell you what is right and were brought up to KNOW (which is why I stopped waving to police officers as a 52 year old woman)

5.  Respect your elders.  You don't have to like or agree with them...but treat them with respect (now that "I" am considered an elder in some circles...I TOTALLY see the wisdom in this one)

6.  No one said life is suppose to be fair (seriously??!!??  I'm an "elder" in some circles?????)

7.  Speak your mind, but speak it respectfully (which is why I abandoned Facebook for the duration of the Presidential Election.  Obviously so many of my 'friends' didn't have a dad who taught them this particular lesson)

8.  If you are going to do something, do it right (My name is Kathy, and I am a Type-A personality for a good reason)

9.  Know what is in your control, and know what is not (I am still working on this lesson.  But when I do it...I'll do it right FER SURE)

10.  NO ONE cuts the Thanksgiving turkey except dad (and THIS is where it was VERY hard to respect my elders.  But I listened to the voice inside my head, saw the electric knife, and slowly backed out of the kitchen).

I should add a lesson of my own:  Sometimes, ya just gotta cry.  But then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward.  Thanks Dad...I heard ya.


linked to: Monday ListiclesOur World TuesdayInspiring PhotographyTuesdays Around the WorldSweet Shot Tuesday52 Weeks of Happiness,, Tones on Tuesday,, Show Off Your ShotFavorite Photo Monday 


  1. Yep, honestly, I've been having a few of those under the cover sobs myself lately. Hubby has only been around due to work maybe 5 days out of last month, and so to combat loneliness I went out with my camera, ALOT, over 6K photos alot!! Fablulous selfie, very contemplative!

  2. your number 3 - I think if I waved at them now - they would think there is something wrong with me, but as a child it was allowed :)))

    Love your photo!

  3. I've been waving to any power truck I see. My neighborhood still has no power after Sandy (I'm lucky to have a generator) and it's heartwarming to see the trucks from all over the country!

  4. Great list! Just had to laugh at #2 - the voice in my head never sends me to spinning classes! ;-)

  5. Mornin' Kathy, sorry to hear you had the blues. I do understand. Having Fibro one wakes up a lot of days like that and it's not a pretty sight. As an elder (61) I have no wisdom to share, heck I can't even use the wisdom I have on myself. However, I did listen to a great video yesterday by Jane McGonigal. It was a TED talk called "The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years Of Life." It was on Youtube. It really cheered me up. I hope you check it out and let me know what you think of it. Here's a big hug and wish for a
    beautiful day.

  6. It's posts like this one that keep me addicted to your blog (oh yes, there's a Philly connection, too). So real, so to the point, so meaningful.

  7. Love you self portraits. I never would have patience to pull them off like you do. Nice work.

  8. Sorry you had one of those meltdowns, as my Bubbe always said "life happens, and some times it's sucky"

    I am so with you on the waving to the police officers - I always do it!

  9. Those ugly cries are good for the soul. Mine is overdue. You can just feel it clouding over in your head and you know ones in the forecast. It'll be out of the blue and surely scare everyone from the hubs to the dogs. I totally get it. I hope you feel better - I'm sure you do - you already dusted off. Loved your list and self-portrait.

  10. Love your selfie and a terrific list...I have had a "down" time myself there something in the water??

  11. Such a heart felt post my friend. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. Your selfie shot looks wonderful.


  12. Another wonderful self portrait but more importantly is the way you were able to share your feelings. This is a wonderful outlet for you. You have such a gift of writing which keeps all your peeps coming back to your posts along with your wonderful photos. Everyone deserves a pity party once in a while but like you said, as hard as it is you have to get up and dust yourself off. You're doing that in this post! I'm still trying to learn that life isn't fair. My dad finally told me that when I was in my 20's. He always made sure it was fair. Why doesn't everybody. I'm also a perfectionist that just can't seem to do anything right. I don't know if I'll ever learn that I can't control everything and make everybody happy. Life is a bowl of cherries and sometimes we get the pits! In that case we need to learn to spit them out!

  13. I too am 52 (and obviously a poet...or not) and wonder WTH is going on?!?!? Great list! :D

  14. This was so much fun to read…(though I'm sorry for the emotional meltdown. I'm sure you know we all "get it!")
    Glad to connect with you b/c of the monday listicles (my first time linking up! ;)) and will definitely be seeing you more!

  15. This is my first visit to your blog. What a great place this is. I really like your photography.

  16. Calling by from NF Inspiring Photography, a fun post and I like the black and white composition.

  17. oh my. so much to say to this one.
    first, love that image... wonderful in every aspect. (are you using a self timer or a remote?)
    second, i really do love your hair.
    your life lessons are great.
    i'm 47, hormones raging, and trying to control it on my own, knowing better. tsk, tsk on me. i had a pity-party, too, just this morning though. using photography like kim, above, and lotsa prayer to combat it.
    thanks for a great post!

    1. Patty, my hair...I am so lucky to have found the BEST stylist for moi. Love her to pieces :). I will pass on your compliment re: my hair to her for sure. Re: self timer v. remote...haha...I WISH I had a remote. I set the timer for a burst of 10 photos and then run like hell to get into position quickly. It's amazing that you like my hair after the sprints I was doing :)

  18. Wow, what a great take on this week's list. Absolutely love it - so far my favorite :) Love your life lessons, I learned many of the same ones growing up. I'm sorry you were sad the other day, but you know - like you said, sometimes you just have to just roll with it. And sometimes, a good cry is exactly what you need. Thanks for sharing :) I'm thinking that I will be your newest follower.

  19. Amazing how a good cry makes one feel better. Such a touching post to honor your dad. I'm going to go take a peek around your blog now...

  20. Such a blessing that you had that kind of force in your life. I'm sorry your father is now ill. Such a hard situation. And everyone needs an ugly cry every now and then. Ellen

  21. Great post! And wonderful life lessons to know :) Everyone needs to have a mini breakdown in these kind of situations.

  22. How wonderful that you know that we all need to have melt-downs. They are a safe way of expressing our emotions. I personally think the freedom to do that is why women tend to outlive men.
    Thank you for your generous sharing of your self. It's a beautiful gift of grace to others.
    The hardest part of my journey, in my seventy-five years so far, was my mother's dying by inches with Alzheimer's. I am by nature a problem solver, a fix-it, kind of person, but through the sorrow and helplessness of sitting at the foot of her cross, I have learned the difference between need and love.
    Your memories of your father and his gifts to you keep him alive for you and though the contrast with his present is painful, it will heal the sorrow one day. Thank you for your blog. It touches and renews me. Eileen

  23. I love this post and the photograph and your brilliant insight. Kathy, you are so wonderful. xo

  24. Hugs Kathy!! Days like those are few and far in between and you did best by embracing it! Your dad sounds a whole lot like a man that brought me up! It is hard when our parents loose ' the edge'. You are a beautiful writer. Keep spinning;)

  25. Interesting photo! I like the monochrome, and the way the denim of your legs matches the trunks of the trees, both in colour and in shape!!
    As for the episodes - yup, they happen, and then you pick up the pieces and keep going. Been there, done that...