When Life Hands You…

Skewers 1

Hello there! Didn’t mean to fall off the face of planet blog-world, but I’ve been off-line more than on lately. In our neck o’ the woods, my only connection to humanity is via satellite; when the skies bust loose and dump buckets, I get no signal. Or as The Man Of Few Words says: “We don’t get rain, we get monsoons.” (Who’da thunk it in Oklahoma?) Anyway, it gave me plenty of time to think, and here’s what I’ve been thinking about.

Nature’s colors repeat themselves.

As I was savoring this tropical medley on the deck yesterday (in between monsoons), a pair of mango-colored orioles fluttered overhead, followed by a strawberry-red cardinal and a kiwi-hued hummingbird. Sheer joy!

And then… a seed got stuck in my teeth. (Sorry for the visual, but I figured you could relate to that feeling.) After dashing into the house for a toothpick to extricate the offender, I meandered outside again to ponder life’s lil’ analogies.

During the past week I’ve felt happiness, despair, joy, grief, love, heartache, laughter, tears, empathy, anger, relief, and concern as the special folks God put in my life shared their hearts with me. These feelings felt very familiar — like déjà vu.

Emotions repeat themselves, too.

Whether triggered by good news or bad — past memories or present-day realities — involuntary circumstances or voluntary circumspection — the truth is plain and simple: we’re meant to feel a fruit salad of emotions.

Fruit Salad

Dealing with them is another matter.

At one time in my life, I opted to ‘not feel’ when things got dicey. I wasn’t equipped (then) to meet my emotions head-on and I believed it was better to feel ‘nothing’ than to feel anything. As a result, I spent a lot of time ‘wishing’ things were different. (Funny how life still happens while you’re avoiding emotions — and decision making.) I finally figured out that ‘not feeling’ is a decision, and that life is the result of every decision I’ve ever made — intentionally or not, emotionally or not.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there will always be situations without quick solutions (or any resolution at all), as well as moments so vibrant and colorful they take my breath away — and everything in between! They’re all in the salad bowl — including ‘seeds’ — and I shortchange myself when I don’t experience every single one of them.

Sometimes it takes gritting my teeth to power through.

Anger and injustice still catch me by surprise — so does grief — but (for me) they’re rooted in ‘caring deeply.’ Out of the ashes rises the Phoenix.

Then there’s elation. I love feeling elated! (Who doesn’t?) Yet it comes with a double-edged sword: the air gets pretty thin up there, clinging to mountain-top moments. When I climb down from the fantastic and live what’s in front of me — which is pretty darn good — life is better. (Or at least more balanced.) There’s nothin’ wrong with reviewing stellar moments now and then, but elation tends to elicit comparison and it subtly edges out gratitude. Nothing will ever be as wonderful/marvelous/woohoo as ‘that’ time, so smile and let it goooooo.

As for the rest of the emotional medley — well, I’ll take it as it comes. Like fruit salad. And, sometimes…

I just use a bigger toothpick. ;)

Swizzle 1

Enjoying fruit salad,

~ Kim

How (and what) are YOU feeling today?

© 2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

23 thoughts on “When Life Hands You…

  1. Oh, how I can relate to, “I opted to ‘not feel’ when things got dicey.” It’s so much easier to wish it all away, but so much better to move through the pain and the joy and whatever else your dealt. Now I’m going to go dream about mango-coloered Oriels and strawberry Cardinals.

  2. That must be so frustrating having your connection come and go like that. You’ve written some beautiful words here and it’s so true that we’ll often block out an emotion so as not to deal with the pain. Like you say, it’s much better to allow ourselves to express those feelings and emotions xx

    • Charlie, thank you for your affirming observations! Internet interruptions are frustrating, to be sure, but they’re also opportunities to do something imminent — or procrastinated! Sometimes emotions aren’t the only things I avoid… ;)

  3. You are such a wonderful writer….must come from being such a wonderful person. I love your brain. Ha…I know it’s an odd compliment but consider the source! Sending you lots of virtual hugs, kisses to your brain and a few glasses of wine to share…one day my friend…one day <3

  4. Welcome back to cyber space! I think living somewhere out in the open where your internet connection is lost during storms sounds just lovely. I’ve been a city girl all my life but my grandparents, and now my parents-in-law live in the country and I always love visiting there and enjoying the quiet. I’m sorry you’ve been weathering some storms – both literal and emotional, and I love your outlook about them. Life is pretty colorful, isn’t it? I don’t usually appreciate the bad, but without it I think we’d be rather bored!

    • Veronica, I don’t mind the lapse(s) one bit, but I generally let folks know when I’m taking my lil’ hiatuses ahead of time. :) Oh well, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Loved your thoughtful comment! You have a gift for writing from the heart.

    • Anne. fruit salad tastes even better with fresh greens underneath — or on top! Wishing I had access to your marvelous garden about now… or not. Contentment with life (past or present) is what makes life palatable. ;)

  5. I am feeling love that I am sending your way and gratitude for all the love I have had in my life. Thought provoking post, Kim. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt thoughts.

    • Isn’t that the truth, Diane? We deal with whatever shows up on our plate! (Thankfully, there’s a lot of good eatin’ along the way!) Much appreciation for your astute follow-up.

  6. Are you reading my mind, Miss Kim? Yes, I can feel everything you’re saying here after the past couple of days I’ve had here in CA! The air did get pretty thin way up there, but now my feet are firmly planted back on the good ol’ green earth, and I’m thinking cookbook, well, until Friday, then it’s back to being swooped into thin air w/the cookoff…love the fruit salad analogy b/c it’s just so visual and real! xoxo

    • Miss Ally, I anguished over this post for 3 days… but I just ‘knew’ someone needed to hear it. Yes, ma’am, you’ve been on top of the mountain lately, but your Boho instincts (and mine) ground us… center us… and allow us to share what’s in our hearts. See ya back in cookbook land! ;) xo

  7. I’ve also posted a salad dish, but yours beats mine with all those vibrant colours! You’ve been away long enough to get us seem to be missing something………

    • Oh, Shirley, xo! I’ve missed connecting with you, too! My internet has been so wonky this summer and I’m going into withdrawal from not getting my Luxury Haven fix!!!

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