Leaving a Legacy

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the assignment to contemplate my legacy. What would I like it to be? What might my obituary look like? What might happen at my funeral? What is most important for me to leave in the wake of the cessation of my breathing?

Turned out the assignment wasn’t all that difficult for me. At my core is one desire: to encourage.

Encouraging others is what drives me. It is what gives me the greatest sense of accomplishment/pride/joy. It is the one thing that will cause me to set aside all of my own personal “luxuries” to do/be…and I can’t help it.

My funeral: I could ask for no better legacy than for people to come and share how I had an effect on their life. Small actions, large gestures, and everything in between.

But I won’t even try to write much about it because it turns out that there is a Ted talk that perfectly sums up what I’d like my legacy to be: full of “lollipop moments”! 

How about you?

In Process = Messy

Sometimes the biggest problem with a new goal is our own fear of it being messy. We are inspired, come up with a goal, and look forward to that final image; one that is Pinterest perfect in its execution.

But that’s not how life works. (At least not how my life works.) At least, not on the first attempt.

Case in point: I’ve refrained from teaching new knitters how to knit. Many times, people will see me knitting and will lament that they’ve always wanted to learn to knit. Some, even take it a step further and ask if I’ll teach them. Mostly, I suggest that they check out a beginner’s class. On rare occasions, I’ve said yes. The difference in my response is dependent on my instinct as to their willingness to live through the messy period.

This is what they see and wish to do:Garter Dishcloth

This is the reality of what their first attempt may look like, if they are really persistent and show determination (like this awesome beginner!):Awesome Beginner!

I am acutely aware of the messy. 18 months ago, I thought I’d try running. The first day I tried but couldn’t run a city block without stopping to catch my breath….and that was while “running” at a slow jog! Then I heard about Couch to 5k…and the training program worked. 2 months later I ran my first 2 mile race. Since then, I’ve practiced running….three times a week I practice running.

Will I win any speed contests? No.

Do I have trouble getting my butt out of bed occasionally to get my run in? Yes. (Especially this winter!)

Have I discovered that when I don’t run, I miss it? Yes.

Do I find, though it’s occasionally hard, that I WANT to push myself? Yes.

Whether it’s knitting or running or even just getting through the day, we are creatures of habit who want change to be easy (especially changes we don’t want to deal with). BUT whether it’s knitting, running or even just getting through he day, all that we are called to do is to show up and live through the messy parts.

I can’t guarantee that even after living through the messy parts that it’ll get easy. I can, however, guarantee that we each can choose to be proud of living through the messy and showing up to see what the process reveals to us.

What a difference 19 months makes!

 

Goals/Lists/START!

For far too long writing has been something I wanted to do again…wanted to get back to blogging…wanted to get my thoughts out.
Even now, this entry was on my “to-do” list two weeks ago. Even though the thought was rattling around in my skull, I didn’t sit down to write because
-that would mean I’d have to face the fact that I don’t know my way around the new blogging format
-and it’s boring to write without adding photos…and I really don’t know how that works yet either
-and my photos are linked to one of my IDs but my tablet is linked to another ID and I haven’t learned how to combine them into one convenient location
-and it’s boring to not play with photos
-and how would I center them or wrap text or place titles
-and maybe I should resume using my Flicker account
-and 52,745 other possible roadblocks that I haven’t even thought of yet!

That’s the thing about goals. We sometimes realize what we want. We sometimes even manage to write it down. We sometimes even begin to figure out what steps we’ll need to take in order to achieve our goal. And that’s where we sometimes get stuck…as we allow worry, doubt, and the overwhelming-ness of the goal to take over in our psyche.

That’s when we have to remind ourselves as to “why” our goal IS in the first place. My goal to resume writing is not in an effort to resume cataloging my life as I did via my knitting blog krafty1. It was lovely. It was wondrous. It enabled me to build relationships with countless individuals who helped me get through the rough, early days of my divorce. It was my lifeline. It “was”.

It also was what led me to list “return to blogging” as a goal this year. In January, I made a first entry and then thought about a second, but allowed “roadblocks” to stand in my way. But here’s the thing. This time, I know my “why”…. I wish to return to blogging so that it once again becomes part of my routine in order that , like a communique with a friend, my “friend” may accompany me as I go on my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage 18 months from now.

By starting now, and facing the roadblock dragons, when I venture forth to walk 750km across northern Spain my blog habit will be a part of me and allow me to bring any who wish to journey vicariously to do so. (And here is where I’d insert a beautiful scene from The Way…but if I don’t submit this now, it’ll just be another roadblock!)

So that’s it in a nutshell. The thing is goals are good. Lists are good. But then it’s the doing that needs to occur. In the doing we learn to overcome the roadblocks, discover new ones, and feel accomplishment at each new step we take along our journey. My journey is unfolding in front of me…and I’m glad that I’ll have my “friend” along with me to discover it.

No More Excuses

There have been a lot of reasons for my not blogging. But, in reality, most of the “reasons” turn out to be “excuses” when you get to the heart of the argument.  So, this is me attempting to get rid of excuses and embrace “doing”.  It won’t always be pretty…especially starting out…but I MISS writing.  I MISS organizing my thoughts.  I MISS taking photos for the purpose of examining and embracing the world around me.  So here we go.

“Kraft” is German for “strength”.  I remember, as a kid, touring a German sub at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.  I took a photo back then of the engine control.  Auf Kraft is what I remember it saying (or maybe it was Auft Kraft)…full strength.  So, as I remodel and embrace this blog, the name “Morning Cup of Kraft” will stick.

Somedays, “Kraft” will mean “my life”.  Somedays, “Kraft” will mean “the things that give me strength”. Somedays, “Kraft” will mean “craftiness”…whether it be knitting (my first love) or some other craft.  In any case, it’s my morning cup of reflection. It’s about connecting.  I realize the blog world has changed since the time five years ago when it was a daily part of my life…a way to connect with a world of people when I felt trapped and alone yet had no idea that I was.  So, I share the same hesitation as Jamie The Very Worst Missionary.  But her words hit home with me.

I have a new computer.  I have a desire to learn or re-learn or start from scratch since it seems so foreign to me now.  Like: how to I enter photos?  I used to love adding photos an wrapping text in a fun way that the words and images flowed together.  I got a new professional camera 5 years ago…I’ve never learned to use it, much less how to play with the images and load them here.  Believe me, there are plenty of things that I’ve found “reasons” (see excuses) not to use.  Times are a changing.

So here’s a trial photo…it’s even a panorama one…

Well, alrighty then.  I can’t figure out how to get the photo in here.  But, I will.  Just not right at the moment.  So, with that, I will sign off for now.  Don’t worry.  This is only the beginning of a new journey…thanks for being part of it.

And now…when I’m a bit more rested…and have installed an update…voila!Before: Workout Room

Basement workout room: BEFORE

Before: Workout Room

 

Before: Workout Room

Goal: Unfinished Business

Why is it that so much of the time we find ourselves looking for “what’s next” or “what’s new & exciting”? Why do we sometimes find it hard to finish what we’ve started?

In January, I took a look at my Ravelry queue and found 16 pages of queued items. 473 items; mostly socks & sweaters. Talk about BLE!!! (Beyond Life Expectancy) When would I EVER find time to knit all the things that at one point were new and seemed imperative to do? (473 was the count even AFTER a bit of weeding!)

But, my life is much different than it was when I queued up most of those projects. I now work full time. I now exercise everyday. I now get out with friends on a regular basis. And I now live in a house that is nearly 100 years old and always needs some kind of upkeep. Upkeep that I’m solely responsible for (with the exception of the help that I, thankfully, find much easier to ask for than I used to).

I contemplated throwing my hands up in the air and wiping out the queue entirely.  However, that seemed a bit childish, even if it would be freeing.  Instead, I decided to set a goal and track it each month.  Turns out, I set my goal too low and have already achieved said goal.  However, setting the goal actually moved me to action to really take a look at my queue and assess what is truly an item to be “in queue” and which items should actually be “favorites” that if my life changed again, and I suddenly had all the yarn and time at my disposal, then I would revisit these wonderful ideas.

So, at this point, my goal is achieved, but my mission remains to whittle away at the list…whittle away at the unfinished projects…and vow (for the most part) not to add or start anything new that wasn’t in the queue before.  That should allow me to end the year with a more realistic and manageable list…rather than one that is beyond my own life’s expectancy. :-)

Operation House Diet

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The house has started it’s own journey to “fitness”. Okay, so maybe the house can’t do it on its own. But, considering we’re coming up on three years together, it seems high time to begin letting go of items from the old house that are no longer used or needed.

Some items will be given away. Some items will be sold. Some items will be donated. Some items will be trashed. My hope is to limit the number of items that fall into the final category.

There is no hard, fast deadline for this project. But, I’d like to fix up a room in the basement to use for running on the treadmill here at home next winter on nights that are too cold to head outside. Currently, that room is filled with stuff from our previous life and it’s time to finish letting go.

Stay tuned.

Love, love, love


It’s February. Time to start something new…starting with this. It’s something I made back when I was quilting. I made an entire year’s worth for my Grandma one Christmas. She had them hanging on the door of her apartment so we’d always know which one was hers. Now, they are mine. Each month, I’ll share one with you.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Another New Year

Where did the time go!?! Seven months, 2 more major trips, and not a single entry. My how times have changed from blogging ten years ago!! Personally, I blame Facebook and Ravelry for filling in where blogging was the only way to keep track.

Another problem, for me anyway, is just getting started. Grand ideas…and then they wash past as one more thing calls my attention away. Digitally, I think we’re all suffering a bit of ADD.

But, in the end, I miss writing…I miss taking photos…I miss the ability to look back and see how far I’ve come. All those small steps that lead up to one big thing…process.

In the process of not blogging last year, a new activity began that is completely un-journaled. It started with a movie and a desire to travel…neither of those are extraordinary or unusual for me. The movie was The Way. The travel is the desire to take the Camino Pilgrimage in 2015 after my youngest leaves for college. So, I decided that if I want to “walk” 500 miles in a month that I’d better start getting used to walking now!

In June, I started walking. In August, I started tracking my food. In Sept, I started running. In Oct, I ran my first 2 mile race. And then another in November. And another in December! And now, I eat well. I exercise regularly. I’ve lost 35+ pounds. I feel great and want to see what else my body can do while I’m young enough for my body to do things.


Hence, my desire to return to writing. To journal the progress so I can look back on the changes…and see how far I’ve come. I’ve come so far already!!! And am oh so proud!!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Here we go again


That’s right…back at the airport again. This time, back to Madrid…and Young Miss is actually excited that she gets to go along.


Once we arrived, we got to spend a day touring the city together. Young Miss did a wonderful job of managing the Metro! When the day comes that she decides to venture out on her own for international travel, at least I know that she is well versed in getting herself around!!

 

 

 

It’s been fun to take her to the places she heard about from my last trip here. And, of course, we are taking advantage of some new sights to share together. As usual, wherever I go I manage to find water and boats!

…and yarn!


El Gato Negro is the name of the shop. They sell the yarn by the kilo in this shop. Two sad notes…1) no sock yarn here!!


2) So Ruega No Tocar…please no touch!! Can you imagine!?! Don’t touch the yarn!! Say it isn’t so. Yarn is meant to be touched and fondled. How else do they expect me to make a purchase?? So, needless to say, there were no purchases at this particular shop. Still, my hope is to find a skein of sock yarn while we are here. It didn’t happen last time…maybe this time….maybe. Otherwise, here we go again.

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Location:Calle del Padre Damián,Madrid,Spain

Tale of Two Knitters


Here’s what can happen when two women meet at “Knit Camp”…years later, after countless blog posts read by and of each other, they become the kind of friends that used to come from pen pals. And then one day, one of them invites the other to spend time on their sail boat…so she does!

Last summer, after years of keeping in touch with each others lives via our blogs, SailingKnitter and I made plans for my daughter and I to pay a visit while on spring break. What an amazing week we had!!

Of course, being without technology added to the relaxation factor exponentially! But it meant that here I am two months afterwards finally adding a post about the time spent there!


SailingKnitter was so excited to share what she lives with everyday. Can you blame me for coming home relaxed!?! I’m ready to head back ANYTIME!

Location:Roatan, Honduras