Beginning of a New Decade – A Macro Perspective

I watch

this country

grapple with

staggering events

by joking

and sharing

memes as

another country’s

trying to

gain control of

powerful flames.

Because that’s

how difficult

stuff is

dealt with,

creating light

to process

the heavy

weight.

I don’t

have answers,

I barely

have questions.

I hope

everything will

be okay.

I’m just

not sure

that’s what’s

needed.

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.

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?

Before I Had the Language

Before I had the language 
to understand and articulate,
I just had the feeling.

I was twelve,
sitting in my sixth-grade classroom,
looking down at what I had written.

These words seem to have come out of nowhere,
like magic.

I looked around the room
and realized no one could tell
how I was feeling.

I didn't know anything about poetry
and yet, I had written a poem.

It was about how life is like a game
and you just have to go along
with the surprises you encounter.

I read the poem over and over again,
amazed I was capable of writing something so quickly.

Now I have the language,
to share and articulate
what I was feeling.

When I know I've written something
good that's worth sharing,
I experience that feeling.

My stomach fills with butterflies,
the hair on my arm stands straight up.

I'm reminded why I love writing
and why I must take the ideas that come to me
to express what I'm feeling.

Life is like a game
everywhere you look is a surprise.

I didn't know when I wrote these words
what I was feeling
or that I would become a writer.

I just knew when those two lines popped into my brain,
I had to write them down as quickly as I could,
before they could escape.

Winter Arrived in October

I watch the snowfall for a third time this month.
I can't remember the last time it snowed
three times before Halloween.
But here I am, watching it float down once more.

It stopped snowing in late May,
only to return in early October.

Is this just a weird year?
The new normal?
A sign of how climate change has impacted the weather?
All of the above?

Winter over stayed it's welcome,
and arrived just as the leaves were turning colorful.

While I appreciate the snow
when it doesn't stick to the roads,
I'll be curious to know
how these shifts will impact future generations.