Trying to put the “Carpe” in “Diem”

March 1 daffodils on the balcony of an apartment near the Quai Branly Museum

John Keating: [talking to his students while looking at photos of school alumni] They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary. (Source: IMDB)

"... the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" ~ Dead Poets Society. (Click pic for image source.)

I first saw Dead Poets Society in late 1989 in a Fort Collins, Colorado movie theater when I was 21, a senior at Colorado State University, and contemplating going to China to teach English. After watching I was inspired to “seize the day,” take life by the reigns, and go. (And I did. From 1990 to 1991, I taught English at a university in a southeast province of the PRC.)

DPS is one of my most favorite films. Over and over I have watched this movie for inspiration, and each time I am encouraged to write the verse of my life in the actions I take each day.

I’m more than twice the age as when I first saw the film, but I am not yet fertilizing daffodils and I have not heard any fat ladies singing, so I take it that I still have more to write in my life (literally and figuratively).

What is this post about?

For the past couple of months I have had a post stewing in my head, and it was a comment on the blog JenX/Generation X (this post specifically) that prompted me to go ahead and write it.

It’s been on my mind to write about blogging — what it is to me, why it is that I have felt drawn to it all these many years, and where the future of this blog is going. It’s really one of my favorite topics: blogging about blogging. I know — how “Meta” of me! Annoying, probably, to some. But it’s how my brain works and often I need to write through these things to be able to figure them out. In addition, I have not been able to get away from the questions, “WHY AM I DOING THIS?” and “WHERE IS THIS GOING?” Those two questions have been obsessing me so much that I have had a kind of “blogger’s block” and not been able to move forward past those two questions to just create and write for this blog. I have had a bad case of “What’s the point?” and not been able to really find a good enough answer to the question, nor my groove with the blog for many months now.

So in the post I referenced, Jen replied to my comment, “Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I enjoy your comments Karin! I always click on your blog to see if you’ve written. You should write more!”

It’s always really nice to receive feedback that comments are appreciated — and I love reading and leaving comments on blogs, maybe even more than I love writing blog posts themselves. I love the conversation that ensues because of thoughtful posts; I love the dialogue internal to posts that carry the ideas and conversation further. I love supporting other people and their writing efforts. Maybe it is the former English teacher in me that makes me feel this way: I kind of view people’s posts as expressions to be encouraged and supported. I like to read and find the things to write that will encourage and support people in their creativity.

I was glad to know that Jen has visited here and been checking in to see if I have written, although she finds nothing much that is new. I appreciate her encouragement to write more. It’s true: these days I do not write as much as I did in the first year of this blog (2009-2010). Since January of 2011 I have only averaged about a  post a month, a far cry from bloggers I know who post at least once a week, if not once a day. There was a time when I used to love writing on my blog(s) a lot, too. At various times in my blogging life I have posted daily, or nearly so.

My workspace in the Ghetto Pad (aka my apartment)

Blogging Past

I’ve written before here and there about my blogging history (I’m not even going to try to link up past posts as it would be a very time-consuming chore and I would rather just write, but I think I tagged the posts with “blogs” or “blogging” and have a category here called “Blogging“). Here’s a little recap of my blogging history for the people who may be new to this blog and may not have read past posts nor know very much about who I am and what I write about.

The very first blog post I wrote on a blog of my own was back in 2004 on a now-defunct Blogger blog. I hit a blogging peak in 2006-2008 on the social networking and blogging site Yahoo!360 (also now closed), and then I moved to Paris in June of 2008.

I spent a year floundering in Paris, with agoraphobia (fear of going out of one’s living space), and knowing almost no one except for a wonderful co-worker of Paul’s with whom I started to attend yoga classes and my friend Tess (who appears in several early posts here on AAP), whom I happened to meet on an Internet bulletin board. It was by total coincidence that we both had signed up and been commenting on this bulletin board, and she had just moved back up to Paris from the South of France in December of 2008. I received encouragement from my best friend in near-daily phone calls, and with my “Imaginary Blog Friends” (as my imaginary blogging friend Daisy calls the Internet friends with whom we are very close, but may never have met face-to-face). These IBFs were “living” in various internet neighborhoods after Yahoo!360 closed and were keeping me sane as I wrote interactive journal posts. From them, I received encouragement to start An Alien Parisienne back in July of 2009.

Why is my blogging past important information to know?

Well, it seems that I have been having a lot of conversations with people about this blog — the topic comes up at blogger meetups and with other friends I know and meet with because of this blog. Questions like, “What do you blog about?” are asked, and I have to have a fairly tidy answer at the ready in these meetup situations. Then there’s the fact that I’m relatively silent on my blog these days, especially in terms of writing the personal, newsy and/or introspective tomes I used to write in the past. Not really having a neat and concise answer to the “What do you blog about?” question, and the fact that I have slowed down so much in writing has led me to question yet again, “Why am I even doing this?” It’s a question that has come up for me a lot in the past 15 months or so.

I think that one of the factors in my writing slow-down is that I have been doing this “blogging thing” for a really long time now and that perhaps I am evolving out of the need to blog and especially the need to blog about Paris and my life in Paris.

Yet, I am not ready to fully close the door on this blog, either, and say, “I’m done with it,” although there are days when I have thought about making such a declaration.

In trying to decide what to do and figure things out, I have thought back on my reasons for beginning AAP.

Why did I start this blog in the first place?

It’s pretty simple.  I needed to seize the day. I needed to take care of myself.

My oldest son, Sam, and I, May 2009 at the Arènes du Lutèce in Paris

My son (pictured above) visited me at the end of May, 2009 and stayed with Paul and me through the month of June. His visit forced me to get out of the house, face my fears, and show him a good time in Paris. I had gotten some help along these lines (someone visiting to force me out of my shell) when six months earlier, my good friend Michelle had come to visit for a week. She helped a lot. But my son visiting me helped more because in his case, my “mother lion” had come out to care for him and in so doing I was caring for myself more, too. My needing to be there for my son had allowed me to be there for me as well.

On the day he left, June 25, 2009, on the way back from dropping him off at Charles de Gaulle airport, instead of getting off at Gare du Nord and going straight back home, I took the RER B to Saint Michel instead and went on a walking adventure.  I came upon a book market at Saint Sulpice and went on to visit the Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse.

Saint Sulpice Book Market, June 2009

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medallion, 140 rue du Bac, in the 7th arrondissement

A few days later on the 4th of July weekend, I went to lunch with Tess, then out by myself to the Jardin des Plantes in the 5th arrondissement to walk around and take photos, and on Sunday, July 5, 2009, I started this blog.

Kissing in the Jardin des Plantes, July 5, 2009

Seizing the Day and Taking Care of Myself

September 2011, I was asked to write a guest post on outdoor activities in Paris (it’s linked from my blog here.) I was asked to include a byline/author description, and I wrote the following:

Karin Bates Prescott, resident of Paris for over three years, writes on her blog, An Alien Parisienne, about feeling like an “outsider” in Paris. Gluten and dairy intolerant and often ambivalent about the city everyone seems to adore, she is learning to love and appreciate Paris on her terms one day at a time.

Not long after, in trying to get at this question, “But what is my blog ABOUT?” I came back to this byline and the last sentence: “she is learning to love and appreciate Paris on her terms one day at a time.”

As a result of creating this byline, I changed my Twitter description from “Chick in Paris” to I’m parisienne by location but americaine by birth. I am alien, regardless of location. 🙂 I have multiple food intolerances, love books & try to Carpe Diem” and this led to my changing my blog description, too: “Trying to put the “carpe” in “diem” in Paris”

A dawning realization…

A few weeks ago when thinking about “What’s the point of my blog?” I suddenly saw what had been before me all along: my blog has always been about seizing the day and taking care of myself. It was the original mandate from my Imaginary Blog Friends, “You’re living in PARIS! Seize the opportunity! Don’t just sit on your ass and fester there! So Paul is not interested in going out with you to see Paris? Then DO IT YOURSELF.” (At the time, Paul, having lived here for almost 20 years, had cooled in his excitement about seeing and doing things in the city. I wrote about some of this in this post here, “Paris is Often Not My Kind of Girl.” I just skimmed it, and hilariously enough, I address many of the same things I do in this post. I guess I have a need to continue to ruminate about what the hell this “blogging thing” is, haha.)

Maybe some of you have read the classic self-help title Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie. In a nutshell, Beattie’s book is for people (“codependents”) who have developed a pattern of letting “another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior” (p. 34, second edition, the one I linked in the title there). Beattie goes on to write on the same page that:

the other person might be a child, an adult, a lover, a spouse, a brother, a sister, a client, or a best friend. He or she could be an alcoholic, a drug addict, a mentally or physically ill person, a normal person who occasionally has sad feelings, or one of the people mentioned earlier [i.e., having a relationship, personally or professionally, with compulsive, troubled, needy, or dependent people, page 33] .

But the heart of the definition and recovery lies not in the other person — no matter how much we believe it does. It lies in ourselves, in the ways we have let other people’s behavior affect us and in the ways we try to affect them…

Beattie’s book suggests many ways to get oneself out of a codependent vicious circle and one of the best things one can do is detach and take care of oneself.

Detachment involves “present moment living” [emphasis mine] — living in the here and now. We allow life to happen instead of forcing and trying to control it. We relinquish regrets over the past and fears about the future. We make the most of each day (p. 61).

Beattie teaches that “undependence” — to learn to be independent of others and dependent on ourselves — is how we move forward to focus on our own needs, wants, feelings, and life, not to be wrapped up in and controlled by the needs, wants, feelings, and life of another (p. 107).

Basically, it comes down to seizing the day and taking care of oneself.

That, my dear blog reading friends, is what this blog boils down to. It’s taken me two-and-a-half years to figure it out and see the obvious, but this is indeed the emphasis of this blog.

This blog is not really about Paris, it is about how I, Karin Bates Prescott, choose to seize the day, and how I try to take care of myself in the process. Writing blogs here has kept me accountable in this process of trying to seize the day and take care of myself. Some of the ways I most love to seize the day is by getting out there and seeing stuff and taking photos of it all. A lot of how I take care of myself is by coming to my blog and writing introspectively about how it is that I do these two things: seize the day and take care of myself.

In the past 15 months, part of seizing the day and taking care of myself has actually been to NOT post on this blog! Part of my life is that I now do quite a bit of babysitting and a little tutoring, as well as going out and meeting up with people I know because of having started this blog. Part of seizing the day and taking care of myself has been about getting AWAY from the computer and living life — stepping away from social media activity and reading books for the book club I go to, or writing a draft of a novel (one that I have started working on the revision process this month).

It has meant reading some of your blogs less, and spending time doing things like going grocery shopping to buy special foods and cook them from scratch, because I still have a lot of troubles with digesting food and experiencing side-effects from food sensitivities (sometimes the side-effects appear as incapacitating fatigue, which also means stepping away from the computer, resting, and going to bed).

Conclusions

So there you go. That’s where I am at these days. Part of me wants to write more for this blog. I still take a lot of photos with the intent of  writing posts about them. But time gets away from me, I get busy with the process of living life, and pretty much blow off this blog. It’s the main reason I don’t write more here: I am busy seizing the day and living life.

Sometimes it’s because I am spending more time over on Facebook, Google+, or in reading up on things people link in those two places. Sometimes that’s all I can handle in a day: vegging out on social media sites and going on auto-pilot. Sometimes I need to be offline altogether. I’m blowing off the blog because the influx of emails, articles, blog posts of others to read, and so on is overwhelming. I’m not alone in my need to “unplug” from blogging and social media and set about doing other things.

There are several articles and blog posts I have read which have contributed to my thoughts in this post. I hope that you will take the time to read through some of them and do your own introspection about the things I address in this post like, “Why do I blog?”, “What is my blog about?”, “Is my blogging helping me or hurting me in terms of seizing the day and taking care of myself?”

  • Beth Arnold addresses the need to unplug in her insightful post LETTER FROM PARIS: 28 days (without the internet)
  • Blogger Jennyphoria a few weeks ago on Facebook linked me into an article that really got me thinking about what it means to take care of myself and spend less time online The American Scholar: Solitude and Leadership.
  • This from the Lantern Hollow Press blog, as seen on WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed” page, Losing Yourself and Finding Some Chocolate: Beating the Writer’s Block.
  • Pugly Pixel and the post Sustainable Blogging. I loved the ending to the post:
    “I realize that consistency is a requirement for blog success (whatever success means to you), but consistency doesn’t just mean posting regularly every day. It can mean posting with consistent quality. It can mean posting with consistent excitement and enthusiasm. And it can mean being consistently true to yourself and posting only when you feel like it.” [emphasis added by me — I claim not consistency in frequency, but certainly in being true to myself!]
  • In Over Your head [dot] net and 100 Tips About Life, People, and Happiness. A GREAT list at suggesting some ways to seize the day.
  • Exposing the Truth [dot] info and Top Five Regrets of The Dying. HINT: Wishing they had posted more blogs was not one of the top regrets.
  • The Wikipedia article for Blog. I came to realize from reading this entry that I truly do have an “old school” personal journal, and this is exactly what I want my blog to be. I am not trying to educate or inform you, I am not trying to be an amateur journalist, I am not trying to sell something. I am not trying to show you fancy photos of typical Paris nor make you drool over the plentiful pastries, and so on. There are plenty of those blogs out there and each of them has a unique beauty and creativity to them, too. What I really am trying to do here is share part of my journey in life with you. This particular personal journal of mine is focused on my experiences and adventures in Paris. Sometimes I have been in situations where I have chosen to write about what other people are doing to help make their (and others’) lives more satisfactory, too (ergo the “Special Reports” on this blog).
  • Last, but not least, this post by The Fearful Adventurer called The Trouble with Blogging. This line says it all: “It’s better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you are not.”

I want to leave you with a final image, photos from the pages of dearly-loved book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. These pages from his book remind me that it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, and if I have never walked with ten cats on my head, well maybe I should. I have a lot to live for and accomplish still, here in Paris. So do you, wherever you are. Carpe Diem.

"If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good."

“Live long and prosper!”

says

Paris Karin (an alien parisienne)

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Categories: Blogging, Figuring Out Life, Seizing the Day, Taking Care of Myself | Tags: , , , , ,

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32 thoughts on “Trying to put the “Carpe” in “Diem”

  1. Hello Karin,

    My head is full of so many things after reading your wonderfully wise post. It really didn’t help me to to read the verses from the Dead Poet’s Society. Seeing Robin Williams and those boys in my memory and feeling so moved… I LOVE that film.

    I am wishing that I knew you when you first came to Paris but, I am proud to know you now and call my my friend. You have come a long way, babe. Rejoyce! I relate with your soul seeking because I too ask myself questions about life.

    Just go with your flow and blog as you feel. With your rules. I don’t follow geek blogs or advice on gaining more traffic. I just do my own thing and voilà.

    In friendship.
    xo

    • Hello Barb!

      I’m so glad that I could make your head full (it sounds like in a “good way” 🙂 ). Isn’t DPS just a fantastic film, though? So intense, so sad, and yet so triumphant, in a bittersweet way. I’m glad to know you love it, too.

      I feel relatively certain that people meet when they are meant to meet. I agree: it would have been cool to know you sooner, but better later than never, right? 😉

      Oh the questions, the questions. they just don’t stop! And no matter how many times in life I am *sure* I have the answers, I never do, lol. That’s the only answer I am sure of: there are no sure answers. I have to admit, I like the questions and seeking the answers, though! It’s made for an interesting life.

      Being secure in following my own drummer and beat has been tough in my life, so it follows that it is tough for me when blogging. I think that I am so wired up to compare, and become distracted with questions like, “Am I doing this right?” Of course the answer is just as you say, “Do your own thing.” That’s the only truly *right* thing! I know many people respond to this thing that is mine, so I want to keep on with it. It does feel good when you know you hit a common point with people, no? When people say/write “Oh yeah!!”

      That’s my goal, so I am glad that it hit some common points with you.

      Thanks, Barb.
      xo back atcha!

  2. your blog is meant to be whatever YOU want it to be, a reflection of yourself, your life, your dreams, your fears…. it’s wonderful that you’ve articulated what this blog has been for you in this way!
    (also, we both started our blogs at the same time!)

    • Hi Lindsey!

      It’s so true that a blog becomes a mirror, doesn’t it: of the things we deem important, the hopes, anxieties — all that you commented on. I’m mostly just relieved that I was able to, for the moment, define where I am at with this blog. I just had a hilarious image. It’s not unlike my needing to have one of those horrid “relationship defining” conversations, you know, one of the “What do we mean to each other?” talks. Haha. Yeah, I had to have one with my blog! I’m just glad that this time I got some answers that made sense to me, ones that I can see myself carrying a further distance than I had been able to. It’s nice to figure out what “Theme” or “Topic” I blog about. I’m glad I finally feel like I “grokked” it.

      I know we started our blogs the same week, I think, didn’t we! I am almost positive I found out about yours through Prêt à Voyager, but now I have to go back and think on that. I remember it, though. I remember starting to check in on it that summer. And look at where your blog has GROWN! Incredible. I’m really proud of what you have been able to accomplish with it! (I just totally lurked your older posts. So fun to go back to those! I remember reading quite a few, but not commenting yet. I’m not sure when I made my first comment. It was before you started using Disqus, I think… And yes, I am quite sure it was from Anne’s blog that I found yours! I think she even posted about it… So now I have to go and check that, too. As if I don’t have some housecleaning I have to get on with, haha! A little more procrastinatin won’t hurt while I finish my chai. :))

      Thanks for reading, Lindsey!

  3. Keep putting the Carpe in Diem, babe!

    A beautiful post beautifully written.

    • Thank you, dear Paris Paul!

      I keep trying to stick that Carpe to the Diem. 😀

      Thanks for the props on the writing. It means a lot when you write that something is well-written. 🙂

      See you Diem. (lol)

  4. MJ

    Karin! Oh, you are wise, introspective, and yes, meta. (I love meta). I’ve asked myself these same questions time and again, and the answer has changed every time. Blogs evolve, the reasons we keep pouring time and energy into them evolves, and at the end they paint these really cool pictures of how we’ve changed over the years.

    Love you, Karin, Alien Parisienne! Such a cool one, you are.

    • MJ!! Thank you for visiting me here in the bloghood! I’m so, so, so glad you are down with the meta. The questions when doing “this” are compelling, aren’t they? I think it just must be a part of the writing and blogging process, a way we keep checking in with ourselves and with it to see if we are on the same page, so to speak. Anyway, I am glad I am not alone in asking, and I really like how you point out that it is always an evolution. In your case, you had no choice but to evolve the blogging into a whole ‘nother animal. I also like your metaphor of painting a picture of how we change. Boy is that ever true! Blogs turn into a kind of self-portrait. Ummm, makes me kind of glad that the earlier blogs I used to keep are not “out there,” lol. A lot of them were “meme heavy” and does anyone remember BlogThings? With all the quizzes??? OMG. I used to stay up ’til all hours doing those stupid things, lol.

      I also had some pretty cool stuff, though. Some stories I started in blog form (each post was a chapter of the story & it was interactive based on comments). Lots of interesting posts about the places I was living at the time.

      Love you back, MJ, Ms Moxie. 🙂 And as far as the coolness, well it takes one to know one! 😉

  5. Karin it doesn’t matter the space between posts, I enjoy hearing from you and knowing a bit more of what’s going on in your world! Amy

    • Thank you, Amy!! And thank you for coming back and reminding me to go to your blog, too. 🙂 I have you bookmarked. I’ve now made sure to go ahead and subscribe. I was not keeping track well enough with just Google Reader, and I want to keep up with you, too.

      Be well. You take care in your world, too. 🙂
      xx

  6. I agree with Lindsey, well articulated, and as I always say too, this is your blog and you make it what you want, those who stick around are those who are interested in Karin Bates Prescott, I am certainly am. Personally, I am struggling a lot lately with my own blog. Not feeling fulfilled by what I am putting there and what I am doing in general. I have lost my way a bit and trying to figure out how to get my mojo back. I am not sure that I have always carpe diem’ed when I needed to, I have certainly chased after change whenever possible, definitely something I need to work on myself. Thanks for spending the time to doing your self-reflection “outwardly” helping yourself also helps some of us others out here as well.

    • I am so in love with the way you used “carpe diem” as a verb! (I don’t think I’ve always carpe diem’ed well, either…)

    • Thank you, Andi! I’m very grateful for your sticking around. 🙂 It’s nice to have a tribe of people who return, a core group who feels interested in taking a peek inside of what’s in my head, of what’s interesting me these days.

      In my re-comment to Lindsey I wrote about how it some ways it was like having the “relationship defining” talk with my blog, lol. You know, it is so easy to feel when a relationship is not going well! Including the one with our blog. I think it is important to think about it in terms of “Is this making me happy?” or “Do I feel satisfied with it?” and if the answer is “No” then figuring out where the adjustment needs to be made. I really hope you can find the mojo, too — I know that working through these issues with the blog, with the creative expression, can lead to a new place of creative work. I was just noting that Lindsey is celebrating her 1 Year Anniversary of Franco File Fridays. It’s so great how one interview can turn into a whole new place of writing and of expression!

      Here’s to carpe diem-ing in life, and thank you for letting me know that my introspective process is contributing to yours, too. I really think that’s what it is all about: helping ourselves first and in the process hopefully helping a few others along the way!

  7. Karin–I totally love this post. I haven’t followed the links yet, but will definitely check out a few. However, it’s your writing here that speaks to me the most and echoes what my blogging friends and I discuss. I think that we have ebbs and flows in life, blogging, etc. I could say a lot more, but one thing that bloggers tend to forget because we put so much pressure on ourselves is that readers for the most part don’t realize that we’re not posting all the time. They read other blogs and have lives, too. They’re just happy when we post/check in. 🙂 As I am to hear from you today!

    Shirley

    • Hi Shirley! So great to see you here! I appreciate your coming by and reading. 🙂

      “However, it’s your writing here that speaks to me the most and echoes what my blogging friends and I discuss.”

      It’s so true that amongst bloggers, these questions come up again and again, kind of like MJ writes in her comment. It evolves and so we keep trying to get a handle on where the creative process is taking us.

      As someone who is a huge blog reader and can look at it from the POV of a reader, this is really true: “readers for the most part don’t realize that we’re not posting all the time. They read other blogs and have lives, too. They’re just happy when we post/check in.”

      I think that is why nearly intuitively I have been posting in and around the third week of the month since late 2010, I think is when it really started. The rhythm for me seems to be about once a month (LOL — not going to read TOO much into that, though, hahaha). I have this sense that checking in with people monthly, especially given the size that I usually post (around 3,000 words usually), seems to be about right for this blog. I still have dreams of playing around with the frequency, and fantasize about neat, 500-700 word posts coming up every Friday, but I laugh quietly to myself, knowing me, knowing that it’s just not the rhythm that I seem to keep.

      I’m really happy you checked in with my checking in. 😀 Thank you, Shirley!
      Take care!

  8. So meaningful and inspiring, Karin. Thank you. “Consistent quality…” – what a great concept to keep in mind when we’re considering how we’re going to go about seizing each day. And how we’re going to take care of ourselves.

    It’s incredible that you mentioned the Dead Poets Society – I was going through some of my sheet music and I found the harp arrangement of the theme song from the movie. Sylvia Woods wrote the music – it’s from her books that I learned to play the harp.

    So carpe diem is in the air, in Paris and in Minnesota!

    • I’m really glad that you found meaning and inspiration here, Amy! I am so glad to know that. It’s so affirming, right? You know, when you put yourself “out there,” wondering if what you write is going to resonate or not, and wondering if people are going to respond like you have three eyes only to have people read and go “YEAH. I get it! Thank you!” It’s a huge relief, hahaha. 😀 But also a point of connection with others, of getting down to the bottom of the questions like, “What is my life about and what am I doing here?”

      Oh, how COOL that the music from DPS is from the same composer from whose books you learned harp!!! Oh the music is SO lovely in that film. It’s one of the main things that hangs it all together, I think. How cool that you actually have the harp arrangement for the theme song. Gorgeous stuff.

      Indeed. Carpe diem there in MN, too, eh? ‘Cause wherever you go, there you are. Or wherever you are, there you are. LOL. Anyway, grab today for the rest is not guaranteed & I am more and more convinced practicing it is the secret to happiness. (I bet you know something about practicing, huh. 😉 )

      Take care, Amy.

  9. LIke Barb, there are so many thoughts and ideas swimming about in my grey matter after reading this post. Your writing is a gift–to yourself, and to those of us who read it. I understand there’s a formula of sorts for bloggers who use this medium to further other writing or publishing goals, but on a personal level, it doesn’t matter to me how often or not you post; it’s the content and the thought that goes into each one that matters, and yours are uniformly thoughtful and interesting. I’ve always felt that we writers write because we must, and not because we should. When you write for the right reasons, it shows. (I’m sounding like a nagging mother now, I fear!) My hope for you is that you’ll continue writing when it feels right, when you have something to say that you want to share, and not because you feel compelled to stay relevant in a world that’s fickle, easily distracted, and eager to stuff you into a “What is your blog about?” box. Quality has staying power, and that, my dear, is what you offer!

    I look forward to witnessing your evolution as a writer, mother, wife, Parisienne, and as a creative individual with depth of character and unique perspective. Thanks for your friendship, Karin, and for your generous support of your fellow writers.

    XO

    • What a wonderful comment, Aurelia! Thank you so much. I was just going to quote a couple of sentences from your comment to highlight which part really spoke to me, but then realized I needed to highlight the whole thing, lol.

      Thank you, just thank you. I think that what your comment makes me realize is at the heart of it I am a writer who happens to blog. That’s a nice thing for me to be able to understand more deeply. I’m so glad to know that quality is what underpins the blog here. It’s very affirming.

      One really cool thing for me to know, too, is that you REALLY know what you are talking about, too! *grin* This makes me feel good — to be affirmed by someone who knows of what she speaks.

      Thank you for your friendship, too. I really appreciate you a lot as well, as I hope you know. (It’s getting mushy in here, huh, lol! 😉 )

      HERE’S TO EVOLUTION!
      xx

  10. Dear Karin,

    Blogging is all about nourishing the soul with what you desire to share in the written form. It is an expression of YOU and that is what counts, and why we continue to read your soulful words. No need to define it further.

    Continue to ‘seize the day’ whether it be via your blog, or in the real offline world. See you here… or there.

    Thinking of you!
    Kasia

    • Hi Kasia!

      I really like this: “Blogging is all about nourishing the soul with what you desire to share in the written form.” I can see how that is one beautiful aspect of blogging, for sure. I think for me why I keep trying to redefine why in the world I do this is because I am still trying to figure out what is my expression of me! LOL! I’ve talked to a lot of women who hit their 40s who are all of a sudden looking around themselves and muttering, “WTF is going on?! Who AM I? And what am I doing *here*???” Yup. Indeed. Mid-life crisis or whatever, I guess. So my self-expression here keeps going to the re-defining place, too. It’s like being 14 again, but with a little more experience and, hopefully, wisdom, lol. 😉

      Definitely meeting up with you and other bloggers has helped me seize the day a *lot* — so for sure see you here and “out there.” Carpe diem.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Kasia. I hope that you have been seizing on some of the lovely weather that we have returned to. 🙂 I know it is doing my spirit a world of good!

  11. Kate Boyington

    I have walked with 5 cats on my head, well kittens. Being that my head is not yet large enough for more. We tried, the kids and I, but they kept falling off and plopping in the soft hay. I haven’t milked a cow, but I have milked a goat and made my own cheese! I think farm life is all about seizing the day and making the most out of manure quite literally. You have not seized the day until you have eaten a new potato, or fresh asparagus from your own garden. I wish I could sit you down in my little farm kitchen for a cup of mint tea with wildflower honey gathered from my own wildflowers. I would love to walk you around my pasture and show you how the honey bees are so busy with the new clover. The bees at our farm are very tame and you can pet them! Everything moves at a slower pace here because we are taking so much time to squeeze every ounce of blessing out of each day. We drink in every drop of delight. Life is short. Pangs in my heart and joints tell me this when I over do. But, taking the slower walk, now, I can see things more clearly. Love you.

    • Kate!! Hey!! Thank you for visiting me here again and leaving such a terrific comment. 🙂 I appreciate hearing from you so much.

      I *love* that you have walked with 5 cats on your head and milked goats and made cheese. Way to go on seizing the day this way! I really appreciate this here: “I think farm life is all about seizing the day and making the most out of manure quite literally.” Methinks you are absolutely correct. Living in a bustling city it is easy to forget what it is that grounds us, quite literally on that, too. Maybe I need to meet some farming friends here in France. It’d be trippy to see a French farm! There we go: need to put that on my bucket list for things to do in France.

      I would love to see the bees in the clover at your place. Bees are fascinating. I don’t know how I’d feel about petting one. Both scares me and fascinates me! I’d like to see if I could do it or not, though.

      Here’s to walking more slowly and appreciating every moment. Love you, too, Kate. *hug*

  12. Carole

    I wonder similar things about blog reading: why am I doing this, where is it going. Not sure which amazes me more: the reasons people blog or the reasons people read blogs. Although I don’t blog I sometimes feel hesitant to leave a comment as that in itself is revealing enough! In your honor I am going to carpe diem by the balls, baby!

    • Hello lady! So good to see you here. I hope things are going well for you in your neck of the woods.

      I like how you write about how reading blogs has some pretty interesting reasons, too. It’s also true that commenting is revealing, as much or more so than in writing a blog. I get that. I have often wished I could have kept better track of my comments through the past years of blogging. I know that I have written volumes in comments and some of them would have made excellent posts. Maybe books or at least a novella, haha.

      “I am going to carpe diem by the balls, baby!” WOO HOO!!! 😀 Sounds pretty awesome! You should see the imagery in my head. Or maybe not. It involves a superhero-looking guy dressed in a superhero-looking costume (like Superman) with “CARPE DIEM,” written on the front, and you are grabbing him by the……

      Well. You get the picture. 😉 Fly high, Carole, and hope that you have fun seizing. The day, I mean, lol. Hee hee!

  13. Kamuflirt

    Used to live in Paris as a foreigner myself. Love your blog!

    • Thanks very much Kamuflirt! Uhhh, interesting nickname! I picture a guerilla-style flirting person, lol. You know, “Kamu” sounds like “camo” as in “camouflage clothing”….. Okay, I probably scared you from the blog now. I have a vivid imagination. 🙂 See comment to Carole up there about the superhero named “Carpe Diem,” lol.

      Anyway, welcome. Thanks for reading!

  14. Maria O. Russell

    What a pleasure as usual to read what you write! Your blog enchants so many of us, who wish you always the best! You´re beautiful, kind, talented, warm, sympathetic…as the Bible says you have your hands full!

    Your post makes so much sense to me, it´s so inspirational…

    Yes, absolutely Carpe Diem Madame! Your son is gorgeous!

    Un abrazote,
    Maria

    • Hi Maria!

      Thank you for visiting & reading the post. I appreciate the compliments very much. 🙂 I think it may be obvious to some who have read a long time that self-worth is the thing I struggle with a lot. On the one hand, this makes me a sensitive and caring person (I like to think). On the down-side, it leads to more introspection and navel-gazing than getting out and DOING. 🙂 I guess finding a balance is good for us all!! I am glad to know that what I write comes across honestly and with a warm spirit. That means a lot.

      You know what? My son is gorgeous. 😀 He’s looking so much more mature than even in that picture. I hope this summer to have some more of him to share! He may come to visit again. I hope he can.

      Well, here’s to putting the Carpe in Diem today, Maria! So far I made some vegan, gluten-free cookies and washed towels and stayed on Facebook too long, lol. Now I have to write another post! Part of the plan in seizing the day.

      Take care & bisous to you!

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