When Time Slowed Down

When I was a child, time moved slowly. I’d go out front and climb the tree that was in our yard. I felt like I was out there for hours when it was probably about thirty minutes. I was present. I wasn’t distracting myself with my own thoughts. I wasn’t worried about what I had done that day or what I still needed to do.

As I’ve gotten older, the time has sped up. Days go by quicker. Time is so easy to access. It’s in our cars, on our phones, and microwaves. We’re reminded throughout our days where we are in time. The more we’re reminded, the quicker the days go.

The other day, I felt time slow down. I was resting my eyes for an hour. I put my eye pillow over my eyes and settled into the darkness. I was listening to a New Yorker article that lasted one hour and eight minutes.

I probably spent the last thirty minutes of that sixty-eight minutes thinking the hour was almost up. But the article continued on and I kept guessing when would be over. Normally, I would give up before the hour was over because I would get restless. But every time I would adjust the pillow over my eyes, I would get hints of how bright the light was in my room. Then I’d relax into the comfort of the darkness.

For the first time, I welcomed the slowness of time. I trusted that the hour would be up eventually. And when it was I got up and walked to the bathroom to open up my eyes. I felt more relaxed than I had in a long time.

Quiet Mind

I sit in a room with my legs crossed and my hands on my knees. I’m focused on my breath, trying hard to ignore my racing thoughts. The music is relaxing and the yoga teacher is the only one who is speaking. Her presence is calming and trusting. I feel safe. I’m trying to get my mind to feel the same. Halfway through the class, my thoughts halt. I’m left with a quiet mind. It’s a very rare experience for me. After yoga, my mind remains quiet. Everything that captured my attention before class quickly washes away. My mind isn’t rushing or holding onto burdening thoughts. I’m present, I’m relaxed, I’m quiet. I don’t speak. I sit on my bed with a heating pad on my shoulder, taking refugee in these rare moments of solace within myself.

My Favorite Books of the Decade!

Strand Bookstore, NYC, August 2019

Dear Reader,

This isn’t the usual blog post you’re used to reading every week. I wanted to switch things up a bit for my final blog post of the year (and the decade!). Beneath this note is a list of my 40 favorite books I’ve read in the last decade! The organization of the list below is as follows:

Fiction

Non-Fiction

Essays

Poetry

Miscellaneous

I only chose books that were published in the last decade. I read so many amazing books that I had to narrow the list down. I’ve always loved books but my passion for writing definitely reignited my passion for reading. If you do end up buying or reading any of this books, please refer back to this post once you’re done and let me know what you think!

I really appreciate everyone who took some time to read my blog posts this year. It really means a lot to me to have people who read my blog every week! I hope you all have a safe and warm New Years with the ones you love. I look forward to seeing what the new decade has in store!

Best Wishes & Happy New Year!

Kelly

The Best Christmas Gift

Thirteen years ago today, my parents took me to PetSmart after speech therapy to look at the cats. We had gotten a cat earlier in the year who turned out to be kind of a dud. She was sweet but full of nerves (still is).

Little did I know, my parents had been to PetSmart while I was at my speech therapy, looking at the cats that were up for adoption from our local animal shelter. They had their eyes on an orange cat that sort of resembled the neighborhood cat that came around when we lived in Tucson.

Then a four year old tabby cat named Mikey caught their attention. His friendly personality won them over almost instantly. When I met him, he rolled over his cage and began purring. I told my mom I liked him and she said he’s ours. I was shocked.

I was thirteen at the time and thirteen years later, Mikey’s still around. He’s a people cat and only likes our dog. Other dogs, he’s less excited about. He fell out a second story window because of a dog who wasn’t cat-friendly.

He lost one of his nine lives that day. We found him a few hours latter, meowing on our fence. We think he developed wonky front legs because of the fall along with arthritis due to his old age. He purrs through any pain he may have.

Mikey loves the sound of his own voice. He will go into a room and meow just so he can hear the sound bounce off the walls. It’s probably soothing to him. He’s still a lovable cat who will bat your hand if you stop petting him too soon.

For the last few years, my family and I have seen Mikey slow down. He’s had his moments but he’s somehow always made it through. He’s certainly no spring chicken. We love him anyway.

Happy adoption birthday, Mikey.

Brain Reset

It feels like her brain constantly resets. 
That's the best way I can understand it.

To watch the ones you love become
different people is disheartening.
It's the disease they have that causes
them to revert to children or toddlers
depending on how bad it is.

You love them but it's difficult to watch.
It's difficult to hear them repeat themselves
and wonder who they are and why they're here.

It's like their brain has returned to factory settings,
only remember the bare minimum
when it comes to those they love
because it's stored in the cloud of their brain,
which will eventually fade away.

Disappeared

It’s clear to me that seasons no longer exist. They only exist as dates on a calendar, marking the passage of time. The rest has faded away to a time and place the planet no longer knows. We’ve had at least five major snow storms in the last two months. It’s autumn, where leaves are supposed to be falling. Normally, snow begins around the middle of November. But this year, expectations for normalcy have disappeared. We’re left with feet of snow as colored leaves dangle from frozen trees.

Look at the Green Grass

You choose to look at the dead field instead of the green grass.
Why?
The cliché phrase is true, you know?
The grass is greener on the other side.
Someone may tell you to look at the field.
The green one, not the one with no life.
You won't look at it until someone tells you.
But then you look at it and tilt your head.
Looking at something another way can bring change.
The goal shouldn't be to get to the other side.
The goal should be acknowledging it exists first.
Then you can slowly begin to make your way.
It's about the journey, not the destination.
It's another cliché phrase that fits.
We all have things we can look at differently.
It could be something we have no control over.
Or it could be something that you can change.
Whatever it is that's filling you with shame or denial,
Only you can be the one to decide it's time to change.
No more pretending like it doesn't exist or walking around it.
You can control your thinking.
Will you choose to look at the green grass?
Or will you continue to keep your head in the dirt?