Blogging, Humor, Life, Menopause, My Book, Nonsense, Universe

A Year of Reality

Because of a story I told in one of last year’s tater tot posts, I was looking for a picture of my hair for the April tater tot post to compare hair lengths to last year

Allow me to explain. I wanted to document my current hair length to show how far I’ve come.

I despise selfies.

I’ve written about it before.

I’d even resorted to taking blog profile pictures while standing on furniture.

I stand on my coffee table to get the perfect head shot. Don't you?
Circa 2015

Apparently, it was to get the “good light” or something. Don’t judge, we all started somewhere.

So back to my hair picture, I took pictures of myself (oh, that’s where the name came from) while standing in my kitchen one morning, trying to look less like I’d inhaled two bowls of chocolate ice cream two days before and more like I was this stronger person I’m trying to become.

Whilst in a pandemic.

We are still in it, by the way.

A pandemic.

I know it doesn’t feel like we are, with less and less coverage in the news, but it is still everywhere.

I saw this statistic the other day from CNN:

March 1st, 2020- 89 cases, 2 deaths

March 1st, 2021- 28,614,504 cases, 513,393 deaths

Talk about a reality check.


We’ve seen a lot of reality over the course of a year. Not all of it pandemic-related. My posts about hair lengths, menopause, cream of wheat, and the progress of my book were filler, distraction, and diversion.

Mike and I were discussing the goals I had for my book, as in what is the primary aim of my book? Not for you, my reader, but for myself.

Why am I writing this book in the first place?

I used to believe I knew the answer, but now? I am not so sure.

I’ve been reading too many spiritual books; yes, there is such a thing.

“When you can write your autobiography on the back of a stamp and still have room to spare, I wish to meet you,” the author says in White Fire, the book I talked about last week.

Titles, degrees, and accomplishments used to impress me. After the year we’ve had, I’ve become impressed with different things.

People who check in on each other when they are quiet or those who are the last to leave a hug. The way a person communicates with someone when the public isn’t looking or when that person has nothing to gain from that conversation. Someone doing something incredibly sweet and time-consuming, yet does not desire credit, financial gain or to have it shared on social media. Doing it for the sake of friendship, or kinship, or love?

That right there is the good shit.


When I originally started writing my screenplay, I believed I wanted to become famous. Later, I recognized that it was written as a diversion from perimenopause in order to save me from internal loathing and agonizing depression.

When I started writing my book, I was nearing the end of my perimenopause and I was in a lot of physical and emotional pain. I was writing as therapy and a remedy for all that was wrong with me. When I returned to the book this past November, it was a distraction to help me through different personal struggles that I won’t get into here.

I’ve ripped the book apart so many times that it doesn’t even resemble the book I first began writing last June. I have had a love-hate relationship with this book, and there are many times that I have had to walk away from it.

Like a breakup with a lover.

My cousin Kristy sent this to me recently:

I started writing this book to help myself. Then it turned into a matter of helping others. Then it became a matter of pride for me. Then it evolved into a passion project. Then it was again about my pride.

“I don’t want this to be just another screenplay. I don’t want people to think I never follow through on things,” I would write in my journals.

I should not have told anyone that I was writing a book.

Next time, I won’t.


I took several selfies on a Tuesday morning.

I didn’t photoshop them, and the only filter I used was “dramatic” on my iPhone because this year was very much so.

Dramatic, that is.

This is me. This is who I am. After a year of reality.

My hair is in desperate need of a trim and a highlight. I have worry lines and bags under my eyes because there is a lot going on behind the scenes here every day, as I’m sure there is in your world.

I haven’t taken a vacation in more than two years. I’ve been homeschooling my child for nearly three years. Thank God I’m taking 100 mg of an antidepressant every day.

The sides of my lips are chapped since I recently had my braces removed at an orthodontist appointment. I quietly finished my braces a few weeks ago, but it doesn’t matter because no one really sees my smile anymore. I can’t passionately kiss my husband because he is an essential worker who still isn’t eligible for his vaccination.

All of those things up there would have made no sense to me a year ago, but they are now a part of my existence.

Despite the fact that last year was difficult, I recognize it as an opportunity to look at my life in a new light. It offered me a second chance.

I made changes, let go of some baggage, and gained wisdom.

A year ago, I was less sympathetic. A year ago, I was considerably more self-centered. A year ago, I would spend an obnoxious amount of time on Facebook each day. A year ago, it would have mortified me to share the images above with all of you. I would have sent them to my Pic Monkey editor and altered the hell out of them. Smoothed the lines and the cracks, concealed the age spots and the wrinkles and pretended that it was the real me.

A year later, I am not as bothered about those things. A year later, I am content to simply be. I am flawed and I happily accept it. The lines, the dry skin, and the extra ten pounds I gained over winter. Okay, 15 pounds. All of it I am okay with.

I can admit to failures in my life and not bristle at them.


There are so many layers to the meme my cousin shared with me on Instagram. I felt it might be applied to a variety of other scenarios in life.

How a struggling teenager perceives themselves versus how a caring father sees them.

How a kindergartner views their artwork versus how their delighted mother sees it.

How we see our bodies versus how God/Universe/Creator/something larger at work views our beautiful bodies.

The image on the left closely portrays how I felt on the inside of my body a year ago.

The image on the right is becoming more representative of how I feel on the inside of my body now.

Thanks to an antidepressant, six months of menopause, half a year of soul homework, and an entire year of scaling back on my former life.

Things I felt I “needed” in my daily life.

There are many things I will not return to after all of this is over.

It’s interesting what a year of reality will do to a perspective, isn’t it?

31 thoughts on “A Year of Reality”

  1. I think this past year has forced us to put a lot of things in perspective. It’s been life changing and frankly, depressing as hell. Between menopause, weight gain, knee injury and the normal winter blahs I have days when all I want to is curl up with a good book, or blog like yours. 😊
    As for selfies I have a love hate relationship. When I feel physically fit and am having a good hair day, I like them. Right now? No. Just no.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this. You are real and you are sharing your real, raw self. That meme is SO perfect for so many of us; how we see ourselves (inside and out) vs how others see us. (also, inside and out)
    I need to see if I can save that meme for myself, my friends, my girls.

    YOU are a beautiful person and a beautiful soul. I’m loving your hair too. I remember the hair-intervention. 🙂 It’s really grown a lot. How do you like it? I’m a fan. I know you said you need highlights and a trim, but it looks great. Also, I thought you were a natural blonde. No?

    As far as your book. Do it for YOU. Do everything for YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Save that meme! It isn’t mine! It’s a tweet. I should have said that. The girl at the top of it is the creator. ❤️

      I love my longer hair! In fact, today I have it in a pony tail under a ball cap and it’s the first time I can do that. The last time I did it was probably the 90s!!

      I was a natural blonde but as I’m aging it’s turning dark blonde and gray. It’s this ugly mix and I need to highlight it every so often.

      That is exactly what I am thinking. I can only control ME. That mindset has helped me immensely this past year. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw, Kari. It has been such a privilege and gift to walk with you through the past year. I can relate to so much of what you’ve written here. I think so many of us will never go back to our previous lives. It’s hard to know how anyone could. It’s been, in some ways, such a hard time, but I am also grateful for all that it has shown me.

    Your questions about reasons for writing are ones that every writer has to wrestle with. I found much more peace with writing (and did more of it) once I got clear about why I was doing it and what I wanted to gain from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way about you, Rita. This year seemed so daunting when we were looking at it last March. Your words helped me to ride this year out; through my pain and everything I was going through, I had your words. It never felt like you lived on the other side of the country. It felt like you’ve been by my side this entire time. I have never loved blogging and writing more than I have this year.

      Like

  4. As you well know, a lot has changed around here for me as well. Some good, some bad. But your continued friendship has been some of the good that has helped me along thru a really shitty year. You should know that and hear that. I appreciate you and I enjoy our conversations and interactions, all in the super-cool information superhighway world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This makes me so happy, Brian. I consider you one of the best things about the information superhighway world. I know you are going through a lot and I am praying for you and Kim. I can’t wait to meet both of you someday. 🙂

      Like

  5. I have to admit that I first thought taking a selfie involved physically turning the camera around to take a photo. I didn’t know there was a button on my phone that would do it for me. Imagine my results. I don’t like selfies, but I was taking a photo of me in front of the golden dome to send Coach to let him know how far I’d run after we spent the night at an airbnb. That is NOT a great photo but it is very entertaining.

    Oh, how I love the needlepoint meme. It can be applied to so much. I know this year has been a pain in the neck, but I agree that I think so many of us have learned something about ourselves along the way. I love these pictures of you. So sweet. I think your hair looks great. Nothing makes me happier then when I can rock a pony tail and baseball hat. I don’t think I will go back to short hair. I don’t think I will go back to mascara either. There are other bigger things I have probably moved past too. Thanks for sharing all of this with us.

    I have had some very life-changing experiences that really had nothing to do with the pandemic, but happened to take place this last year. I think my perspective has shifted as a result. Some things are just not worth my focus.

    I love the photo of you in the mirror and the wall with all of the little photos hanging up. I love walls like that. Do you still have your pictures displayed that way?

    I sometimes wish I had never told people I was trying to write a book, because what if it never becomes a book. Ugh – fail. This is specifically why my family doesn’t know anything about it. I feel so accomplished when I get something written and I get a great response from my writing group. That might be all there is for me – just writing and knowing that some of what I write is liked by people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have that wall! It is my favorite wall in the house. I won’t ever change it. ❤️

      I think I originally told people to hold me accountable so I would finish it. It still didn’t help. I haven’t looked at it in two weeks and I fear the longer I stay away, the less I will want to finish it.

      Like

      1. You’ll get back into the swing of it. During busy times, I don’t work on my project either. Sometimes that helps to give a fresh perspective. We talked about that in my class, about working on two projects can be helpful because if you get bored with one you can switch to the other project. You’ve got this!

        Like

  6. Great post. I think we’ve all learned a lot about ourselves over the past year. I’m in the “I hate selfies” club, too. But honestly, I think you look beautiful in yours. You honestly look super young. I can see so much of Ella in you. Or is it you in Ella? Either way, those beautiful genes run strong!

    Aw, honey, I think it’s perfectly fine to passionately kiss your hubby. I mean, he lives with you and both your germs are intermingling everywhere as it is, so…doesn’t stop me from kissing my hubby, and he’s an essential worker, too. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s more to the “essential” part than I can write here but we both can’t wait until we are vaccinated. ❤️

      Thank you so much for the compliments. I am proud of those lines and wrinkles. I’ve earned them. 😂

      Like

  7. Yes, yes. I feel the same way. After this year there are many things and ideas and relationships that I won’t be going back to. I’ve moved on definitely looking older, but feeling wiser.

    Love the quote: “when you can write your autobiography on the back of a stamp and still have room to spare, I wish to meet you.” Would that more people understood this idea. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love what you have written here. I want to print this post, highlight phrases & entire paragraphs, draw starburst Crayola rays of light around the margins and then put your words — your beautiful words — somewhere I will read them every day.

    This is better than a book. This is you. Do you think as you re-work your book, you’re recreating you?Marvelous You – changing and evolving and thinking and listening and learning. You are better than words printed and bound between boards. Next time you see your book-in-progress please tell it Maddie says thank you for helping create kick-ass blogger Kari.

    Okay I’ve gotta go find my Crayolas so I can illuminate yer blog o’ wisdom. 🙂

    Like

    1. I LOVE THIS COMMENT. When I am having a bad day, I will read it.

      The author of the quote I used, Morgan Harper Nichols, has books of poems and thoughts surrounded by art and it is really amazing. My friend Rebecca is an artist and I told her that we should collaborate in someway similar. I don’t know how but after this pandemic, maybe she and I will put our minds together and figure it out. But YOUR comment made me think about it again and I love that so much.

      I love your comments so much, Maddie. I am so glad you found your way to my blog. Never ever lose your way, promise??

      Like

      1. I used to illustrate my letters like this. I used to write letters (!).

        I’m so glad I found my way to your blog, too. Pinky promise to never lose my way.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. So much yes in this post. March 2020 began a painful year of pruning, but I’m seeing some good new stuff from that and it sounds like you are too!!

    Kari, so grateful for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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