Family, Humor, Life, Minimalist

Thirty-One Universal Things

July was full of Universal things, lots of crazy happenings, and just things I can’t explain, quite honestly. If you had foretold me that my July would have involved my bird going missing and one of the members of The Breakfast Club emailing me, I would have said YOU ARE SHITTING ME.

I bought this book on Amazon in the middle of July:

 

I originally bought it for Anna to take to college with her as a going away gift. She has been talking about manifesting things all summer and I thought it was a fun little gift for her apartment in such a dark time. But after it arrived and I paged through it, I realized that she most likely wouldn’t read it.

 

She would be busy with a heavy course load, moving into her first apartment off-campus, and of course, seeing friends (SIGH). I realize that we are in a pandemic but she hasn’t seen these friends since March and let’s be realistic.

She also took three online classes this summer, bless her heart, so I knew that my child who wasn’t a real big reader, to begin with, wouldn’t be doing much recreational reading once she got back to school. So I took the book for myself and thought I would do the Universal homework for the two of us.

One Sunday in July, I sat on the couch and read several chapters while my beautiful white parakeet sang her songs in the cage next to me. I underlined words I loved like, SOUL FAMILY (swoon) and dog-eared pages that I would most likely need later sadness, scared, pain, etc..

 

I began a minimalistic challenge set forth on the Instagram page of The Minimalists; a lifestyle that I have adopted and love, that I mentioned to you earlier in July by getting rid of or donating the exact number of items each day per number of days.

So for example, on July 1=get rid of one item, July 2= get rid of two items and so on. I knew it would most definitely be a challenge by the end of the month, with the thought of getting rid of 31 items on July 31st looming, I had no idea how I would be doing that but thought I could save things like paperwork, or the garage, shed for the big days, maybe? Little did I know that something would be making itself gone for me.

 

I had a friend on Instagram say something very interesting to me while I was talking about this project.

She said:

removing clutter makes space for something new-not necessarily something material-more like growth or change in some aspect of life.

 

 

 

It was within the month of July that I began getting clarity to write my book seemingly out of nowhere.

As I was clearing the clutter out of our bedrooms, closets, basement, cupboards, that my mind, which had previously been so foggy with medications for migraines as well with the lack of estrogen from my impending menopause, my mind was finally crystal clear with words.

The less I had on the surface of my world, the more I had underneath if that makes any sense.

 

Slowly throughout the month of July, even in the midst of migraines here and there, I was still getting in amazing writing sessions. I was able to get in over 20,000-plus words while working on my book. Words that at times, I HAD NO IDEA I EVEN KNEW EXISTED.

I am not even kidding you right now. I even wrote that into the book.

And let me tell you, this book is one thousand times better than that screenplay and it’s not even close to being done. As much as I loved creating the screenplay, the book is SO much better, full of amazing little stories about my life, about being a woman, about empowerment.

But there were lots of other amazing Universe stories going on behind the scenes while this was going on; so much amazing, that I had to write all of what was happening down in my phone to keep track of it all. Stories that I will keep inside my head and heart. Some of which happened to people outside of my home and those people know who they are and know of what I am talking about.

I am not sharing these publicly because some are too personal for the blog, but let’s say that there are people just on the other side, always watching. The Universe and karma ARE REAL. If you think they aren’t, you are mistaken.

 

 

 

Then, sadly, Joy literally left our home on July 23, when our beloved parakeet flew out of our house and out of our lives. To say I felt defeated was an understatement. I couldn’t understand why the Universe would do this to me, why when I listened to it so closely, followed it so intently, why would it do me so dirty?

I was so defeated.

For three days, I was sobbing on and off, walking around my home in a daze like a crazy person.

Over a fucking bird.

 

My girls couldn’t understand why I was so upset. Their normally “together” mom was falling apart at the seams over a parakeet and honestly, I couldn’t understand it myself.

I mean. my GOD, I love my pets but I wasn’t this upset over our beloved 14-year-old goldfish dying.

 

 

Even as I was struck with grief, I still was working through the Minimalist challenge, dutifully getting rid of or donating the number of items needed each day, then heading to Goodwill each Sunday to give away the items I had amassed by the end of the week.

I had told Mike that I had no idea how I was going to find 31 items to give away on the 31st and he would joke about how I would find 29? How would I find 30? Somehow I never fixated on those numbers, always only focused on 31 items on the 31st.

 

This is the cabinet where Joy’s cage used to sit. I now keep this plant on here to remember her.

 

Over the past couple of months, I have made sure to check in on my fellow writer friends here and there. I know this pandemic has been tough on a lot of people and I feel like writers take the brunt of it because we are writing for an audience who is really overwhelmed right now. Famous writers get encouragement (and discouragement) in the form of social media and comments, but bloggers and less famous writers, don’t always get that even though their words are just as important.

So I have made it my passion to be that encouragement for my writer friends right now because I am overprotective of them during this time, so I have checked in on several of my writer friends when they’ve gotten quiet over the past few months. One of whom is Ani. I love Ani a lot, she is an amazing writer but also a lifter upper of me and my blog over the past few years.

So here is the cool Universe twist: she is also the person who encouraged me to write the book I am currently writing. I was actually writing (within my book) about her encouraging me to “write the book, Kari! Write the book!”, the morning of the day Joy flew away.

The day after Joy flew out the door, Ani (unaware of her influence on any of the above) messaged me on Facebook asking me a series of questions that would lead to a message on the following Monday morning:

 

 

Ani was checking in on me because this time, it was me who was the one who was quiet.

The video she was referring to was a Cameo she had ordered for me from Anthony Michael Hall, talking to me.

In the video, he gives out his email address so I wasn’t too comfortable sharing it. I’m not sure it’s public knowledge or not but I am NOT going be the one to share it. BUT I did take screenshots of my reactions because it was too good not to share with all of you.

My sweet friend Ani had sent me a video of Anthony Michael Hall telling me the following things after she had told him about some background:

That I am a soulful, smart, and talented writer…..

 

 

He wished me all the best for my book project (the same book project that she had encouraged me to write).

 

 

And then he asked if I could email him my screenplay so that he could send me some notes about it. The screenplay he is written into.

Ani had asked for someone to video me watching it because she really wanted to see my reaction to watching it but the fact that she had said, ” I wish someone had recorded me watching it” was so special to me.

When you have women in your life, who are just as happy for you about things that aren’t even for them? That is the most beautiful fucking thing ever.

 

 

It was such a good moment, I wish you could have been there. But you know what? Actually, you all were.

Such a pure Universal moment. Such a JOY-ful moment.

I even said to my mom later that day, “I feel like Joy had something to do with this”.

I love how my Universe was so full of Ani and Joy and all of you guys and connectedness on this day. I felt so surrounded in the best possible way.

I shared this video on my personal Instagram account and later that day, a friend of mine commented on the hat I was wearing. My Chasing Joy hat. I had purchased it (also in July) purely on “accident” at Hobby Lobby while getting a birthday present for a friend. I simply loved it and didn’t connect it to my sweet bird child. I just liked the saying.

But as the month went on, it changed completely. It made sense in a deeper sense.

I was wearing my hat on neighborhood walks looking for my bird, literally Chasing my Joy.

 

I emailed Anthony Michael Hall (do I use all three names?) a few days later and emailed me right back like the gentleman he is. He was quite lovely and he plans to read my screenplay (gasp!) and give me notes on it. I just love this whole exchange. I told Ani that even if it doesn’t go any further than this, this whole thing has just been so much fun and given me so much life. This year has been so heavy to carry, this week alone has given me the gas I need to get through the rest of 2020.

 

I HAVE “EMAIL ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL” ON MY CALENDAR

 

 

A few days after Joy went missing, I said to Mike that I feel like the 31 things will be all of Joy’s items. I think that she knew she had to go, I think the Universe knew too. I think it was destiny and that she was only meant to be in our lives for so long.

He thought that there was no way she had 31 things but I told him I wasn’t yet ready to count them. That if she wasn’t home by Friday the 31st, my closure needed to be to donate all of her things. If she were to return, we will just get her new things.

But I needed that closure.


A week to the day that Joy went missing, I came to a realization as to why maybe it was so hard for me to get over losing her.

The night before that, Anna was in her bedroom watching High School Musical. We had just gotten Disney Plus, because of a blog post that Ani had written, ironically (although I feel like nothing is ironic any more). She was in her pajamas, eating a snack, looking like she was 12 years old all over again and I said to her through heaving sobs, “I know I shouldn’t say this to you, but I don’t want you to leave, I wish you could stay forever”.

I wanted her to be a little girl again and keep her in her little girl’s room and protect her from every horrible thing.

 

 

And then it hit me.

Spreading wings is so scary right now.

Maybe that is why when Joy spread hers, it was harder than usual to get over.

Too many parallels I guess.

 


I miss this bird so much.

 

 

A few days after the exciting video, I counted Joy’s items and there were 31 items.

I counted them five times just to be sure.

Yep, 31 fucking items.

Joy was making way.

Spreading her wings, for extra joy in my universe


 

34 thoughts on “Thirty-One Universal Things”

  1. I’m in tears.
    I can’t believe HOW many signs the Universe sends to you, but then again, maybe we are ALL getting signs but you have to be receptive to them.
    I love SO much about Ani inspring you to write and sending AMH your way. And then for AMH to want to read your stuff? He’s going to love it, I just know it.

    Joy. *sigh* 31 things? *sigh*
    That adorable hat? And your elated face? LOVE!

    There was so much in this post, it’s going to take me all day to process. (I’m slow I tell ya!)

    I’m so happy that such a shitty July ended on such a good note for you. You deserve it my sweet friend.
    XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read this to Mike yesterday in the car on the way to get custard (it’s different than ice cream, not sure you guys have it down there?). I said to him I wanted him to hear it before the public does.
      I cried when I was done.
      The night I saw Anna in her jammies eating that snack, watching her old shows, I realized that I just don’t want her to go into the real world right now. I want to keep her in our bubble.
      Seeing Joy fly into the world right now just feels scarier. Like I wanted to protect her more than normal, you know?

      Thank you, friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is BEAUTIFUL. I mean, just beautiful. I am sitting at my desk in a puddle of tears. I’m crying for a daughter and a bird that isn’t even mine.

    That is a talent.

    You are an amazing writer, Kari.

    That book is going to be a best seller.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Man oh man. You make it hard to be a nonbeliever. And I don’t say that lightly. I used to believe in signs, and the universe, karma, and God. More and less of each with time. But I believed. I felt connected.

    And then I didn’t.

    And I didn’t for a while.

    Darkness feels so much darker when you feel completely alone. And I had been in darkness for some time. Then I started writing again. Really writing to share myself. Not to sell products, or appeal to some superficial mommy blog audience. And then, I found your blog. And through it, I found so much more.

    I know it’s a lot to put on you, but you opened more for me than just the space to write in a way that was honest. I saw you do it, and you did it really really well. I thought, what is it about her blog that I love so much, and how do I do it? On top of writing, you helped me plug myself back into the universe. You helped me shake off the debris and get back to it.

    There are a lot of things that make us who we are. And there are the people who help us become who we will be. You are one of those things and one of those people. I am grateful to have met you and to have a line in your story, as you have one in mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s so much in this, Kari. I can’t respond to all of it, but I want to say that I understand everything about your daughter and your feelings about her leaving. When mine came home in May, one of the first things she did was order Disney Plus, and then she re-watched every single episode of Hannah Montana. Somehow, this past week, it has really been hitting me that I am going to have to let her go all over again. It was so hard the first time, and I wasn’t releasing her into a pandemic, to go live on another CONTINENT. And then there was the terrible accident at Pendleton, and I just feel like all I am doing is holding my breath, all the time. Maybe I need to get her to watch Frozen with me and let it go.

    I am so glad that you’ve had the month you have. I am SO GLAD you are writing. We do all need your words and stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SO DID ANNA! I was going to mention that too. She re-watched all of Hannah Montana too. I think I will re-watch it too after she goes back.

      We need yours too like I said on your blog this morning. Don’t you EVER stop.

      Like

  5. You have always had such a keen awareness for finding signs. I remember we’ve talked about this in the past and I realized I needed to be more aware. I still have a lot of work to do on that. I love your idea of clearing out the physical clutter. I truly believe that physical clutter clutters up your mind. All that clutter is symbolic of what’s going on inside. I can think of a couple of people off the top of my head (a good friend, a relative) whose houses are cluttered with STUFF. It’s overwhelming to me when I walk into their houses, so imagine what it does to them? Interestingly enough, both these people are disorganized and always saying how overwhelmed they are.

    I MUST order that book on Amazon! Happy early birthday to me. The one part I saw in your photo…”You can expect your pain to transform into portal (not sure if there was a word before that that got cut off in the photo?) where the right people will always show up at the right time” really struck me. I have always strongly believed that God/The Universe puts certain people into your life for a reason. I can even take you as an example. 😉 I met you by “chance” at that small blogger’s meet-up years ago. We connected. There was only one other person at that meeting that I “connected” to. Why is that? I can only speak for my side of our friendship, but I feel truly blessed to have you in my life. You encourage me, you make me laugh, my heart somehow feels pulled towards yours. I feel uplifted after I’m with you.

    I cried when I read what you wrote about Anna, about how you wanted her to be a little girl again and to keep her in her room, safe from every horrible thing. I feel the same way about Tim – and he is 29! Our children will always be our “babies”. He is currently going through some awful struggles and I just want to rescue him and keep him here and make everything OK, but I know that’s not how life works. He has to figure things out on his own. That’s what’s so painful as a parent, isn’t it?

    I CAN’T WAIT TO READ YOUR BOOK. And yes, I’m shouting.

    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES, YES, YES…” she was heard exclaiming while reading her friend’s comment”. LOL

      So I was just telling my parents the other day about how when you enter a person’s home how you can feel the energy when you walk in the door. Or the lack of it? When I enter a home whom you can tell if they just don’t care about it? The energy stops at the door. I don’t even want to go any further. It’s not like I am being a snob, it’s simply my energy not wanting to connect with theirs if that makes sense. It has nothing with the way they decorate but if they have no respect for their space? It is sad because that is where you spend most of your life.

      I feel exactly the same way about you. I remember the exact moment I met you when I was with Jen. I remember the room of the house where we met at the blogging meetup. Then I remember when I was in Santa Monica with Anna and how I was filled with inexplicable sobs while walking the pier? And you said that some of Phillip’s ashes were there? Then I knew why I was supposed to meet you at that moment. YOU ARE MAKING ME CRY AT 11:30 ON A MONDAY! I mean, it’s not the only reason but one of many. I believe in these things. Soul family…..when I read those words, you popped in my head. 🙂

      YES to the kids. I have a neighbor/friend whose daughter just moved to Florida this weekend. She will be 24 this fall and she is like family to us too (she watched Ella as a baby and has been like another daughter to us as well); she is a nurse and will be working at a Level one ER in Florida. Well of course her parents are worried sick but she is an adult and she needs to make those decisions as does Anna. She is almost 21 and a college student. It’s not like she is going down to go shopping for nine months, but it feels so unnecessary right now. It is such a hard time in our lives. Who knew that college would seem so unnecessary during this time?

      SIGH.

      I can’t wait to read it either LMAO. As I haven’t been working on it for a solid five days. It comes and goes in spurts. I run into writers block here and there but I am told that “good writers have that problem”. I hope that’s true. 😉

      Like

  6. I love the messages in this book. How timely?! I got the minimalist video yesterday and really enjoyed it. I think it is great that you are tuned into the universe and open to what comes your way.

    31 items? What? Amazing.

    Anthony Michael Hall . . . love that story, love seeing the joy in your pictures. How exciting! It makes me so happy that connections through blogging has inspired you to try something or consider something and these things have sent you down an incredible path that will undoubtedly lead you to new adventures and rewards.

    The universe IS speaking- glad you are listening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you liked the video. I watched it again a few weeks ago and learned some new things I didn’t pick up watching it the first time. It is definitely not for everyone but I do love the way it has changed our lives for the better.

      The Universe IS totally speaking. 🙂

      Like

  7. Wow! I love your reaction– Ani is incredible isn’t she?! Like how does she even know Anthony MH and why did she think to bring you up and how wonderful to connect you two together!!! I love both of your blogs so much and this friendship you have for each other is fabulous.

    I just can not even believe that Joy had 31 things! That is definitely a sign and not just a coincidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She is so incredible! I love that we all have connected each other. Thank God for blogs and blog reading through this pandemic. YOUR blog has saved me as well. You have helped me immensely in homeschooling, I don’t know how I would have gotten this far without you.

      RIGHT? The 31 things is too much of a coincidence!

      Like

    1. She really is. That thoughtfulness is still with me today, a week later. And I feel as though it will be with me for the rest of the year. ❤️

      It powered me through July, honestly. My migraines were sapping my energy all of June. There were days in June that I don’t even remember and that makes me so sad. But this challenge, the book, all of this, just SAVED me.

      The more I got rid of, the better I became. 🙌🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  8. In a puddle over here over all of it.

    I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist…yet; but the freedom you feel as you let things go is amazing and yes, does leave room for something new. It’s kinda goes hand in hand with feng shui. You’ve re-energized my lagging project of getting rid of all the stuff we don’t need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I love the art of feng shui! I remember studying it in the 90s when it became “popular” even though it has been thousands of years. We can learn so much from Asian cultures; such gentle people and such purposeful ways of living. Minimalist living seems to be something they’ve started and we are just now catching on to here.

      I feel so much lighter physically AND mentally since beginning this. I wish this for everyone. 💕

      Like

  9. I’m not sure how I missed this post, but I am tickled for you! I was wondering last week about your screenplay and now I have an answer (and I wish, too, that you had sent him that alternate ending, because I love the idea of it as well.)

    I’m hoping this means August will be a better month for you (in as much as any of this shit time we’re in is good).

    I don’t think much about minimalism – I just know my ADHD brain does not function in clutter. And while I feel like I’ve wasted so much of these 5 months at home, it hit me just how much clearing out I’ve done over these 5 months, and how much better I feel for finally getting it done. So THANK you for that, friend.

    (And I’m buying that book. Not that I need another “read this daily” book on my desk, because I have enough of them, but I need a little manifesting in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is such a good book, I definitely recommend it! I haven’t revisited the book in August, though. But I have been busy writing my book, so I am happy about that. I haven’t been getting rid of anything so far in August because the challenge is over but I have plans to do that in the basement after Anna goes back to college next week because I need a distraction. 🙂

      I noticed that Ellie (and my) ADD brain reacts so much better when we have structure in our home, so it was my mission to keep that in our home no matter what. It has served us well throughout the years. The Minimalist lifestyle and ADHD go hand in hand in the best possible way.

      Liked by 1 person

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