Candid Karina

This has been a particularly tough week for me emotionally. My birthday is next week, and I find myself not exactly thrilled about it. It is not about the ‘getting older’ thing, but birthdays have a way of making you take note of where you are in life, the people around you, etc. etc.

So, anyway, without getting into all of it, because this is, after all, ONLY THE GOOD Friday, I’ve had a tough week.

And yet, even through it all, I have had these amazing glimmers of the amazing, wonderful, fantastic life I have.

THIS is my good today then.

My GOOD is that when my heart was breaking on Monday, and I was crying on the phone to my mother about how alone I felt in the world, she was there for me to talk to. My mom is amazing and my very best friend, and I love her.

My GOOD is that while I was moping about my woes, there were friends, specifically some Twitter friends, and a few others, who made me feel loved, and special, and not so alone in the world.

My GOOD is that when I took a step back from thinking about ME and had an honest, heartfelt conversation with God, HE made it clear to me that I need not worry.

My GOOD is that in the midst of this funk of mine, little hilarious things happened to make me laugh myself to tears, the sort of laughter we don’t always get to experience.

My GOOD is that when I stopped long enough to realize that I don’t need to sink into this depression, things really didn’t look so bleak after all.

My GOOD is that yesterday I received the most unexpected and ridiculously indulgent surprise, which will make me a giddy 13 year old girl for weeks to come.

My GOOD is that I am alive, I am blessed, and I am NOT alone, even when I might think I am.

I’m still not completely out of my funk. I’m still not completely over the hurt. I’m still not completely over the feeling of neglect, abandonment, loneliness.

And yet…

In my heart, where it really matters, I know better.

Please go and visit Shelly and let her know what’s GOOD in your Friday.

I’m doing things a little bit differently for Only The Good today.

I had a moment yesterday. I learned, quite by accident, that a very casual acquaintance, who I’d only met once or twice, but who played a pretty important role in a friend’s life, passed away. Quite young, and unexpectedly. It shook me.

So today, on Only The Good Friday, I just want to focus on all the things that are indeed so good, but we may possibly take for granted on a daily basis…

Waking up in the cocoon of your own bed,

The feel of warm water hitting your head as you step in the shower

A plush robe

The smell of fresh brewed coffee

Putting on your favorite pair of shoes

Turning the key in the ignition of your new (or old, but beloved) car

Saying good morning to the coworkers you genuinely like

Receiving a text, email, phone call from a friend

That second cup of coffee at your desk

Hearing that song you’d forgotten you love

The satisfaction of completing a project at work

Seeing it is clock out time

Unexpected dinner plans with a friend

Sweating it out at the gym

Taking off your shoes at the end of the day

Comfy pj’s

Lighting your favorite candle

The couch, the television, your snuggie, relax time

A heartfelt prayer of thanks at the end of the night

That moment just before you drift off to sleep, when you realize you’re almost out…

Take a second…count your blessings…Life is SO GOOD…don’t let it pass you by focusing on the trivial details that mire us down.

It’s Only The Good Friday, and even though Shelly has changed the rules a little bit, the game is still the same. On Fridays (or whatever day you choose) we take the time to focus on ONLY GOOD things. No “snarkyness” as she likes to call it. No negativity. Just good old positive stuff.

So, even though I’m battling quite possibly the most sever bout of allergies I’ve ever encountered (sniffle, sniffle, sneeze, sneeze) I’m going to focus on the good today.

For starters, it’s just allergies…it could be so much worse.

Also, it’s FRIDAY! And for some reason, it appears to take even longer to get to Friday on these “short” holiday weeks. But we’ve made it, we are here!

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of spending the morning and afternoon doing a very GOOD thing, cooking and then serving at a local soup kitchen with your youth…it is our Saturday, which we do every 6 weeks, and it is always fun, inspiring, and a blessing to be able to participate.

Then tomorrow night I will be heading out on the town with some friends for a friend’s bachelorette party. That should be an interesting event, to say the least. I have no doubt we will have a GOOD time.

And then Sunday will indeed be a “day of rest”. OH how GOOD that sounds.

I don’t really have a whole lot more to offer you this week, not because I’m not full of GOOD, but because I’m not full of energy to type any longer…

But trust, the mood is up, the heart is full, and life is indeed GOOD.

Count all your little blessings and join us on Only The Good Friday, won’t you? Head on over to Shelly’s for more information and for the Mr. Linky!

It’s Friday, and time for another edition of Only The Good Friday, because…well because we REALLY need to spread some positivity out there these days.

I was going to call this the “anti-valentine’s day edition” but…well, that’s not very positive is it? So, instead you get the “talking to myself” edition.

Valentine’s Day is mere days away, and single people everyone are bemoaning the hallmark holiday designed solely to part lovers from their hard earned cash and singletons with their self respect. All across the nation pink puffy hearts and red roses invade every available store window, and television screen, and we, the single folk are left to fend for ourselves.

But I? I will not be victim to the notion that simply because I am without significant other, I’m any less significant. No siree. I will celebrate Valentine’s day in true single girl style. By choosing to not bemoan the holiday, and instead celebrating the benefits of not needing to participate.

Look at all the benefits: I don’t have to struggle to find the perfect gift, I don’t have to battle the masses for a table at a restaurant, I don’t even have to shave my legs if I don’t want to. BEAT THAT!

Besides focusing on only the good aspects of being single on Valentine’s day, on this Only The Good Friday, I’d like to share with you a few other “good” things that are on my mind.

I’m having dinner with two of my college girlfriends tomorrow night. As much as we attempt to do it more often, with our busy schedules we usually manage only one, sometimes two dinners per year. Because of their infrequency, these dinners are something I look forward to so very much. With a few “facebook only” exceptions, these girls are pretty much the only friends from college I still speak with, and I adore them both. We will eat, we will drink, and we will chat for hours and hours…it will be so GOOD.

Monday is a holiday. I have no work. That is all. GOOD right?

I mentioned my new phone in my post last week.

I told you I would tell you more about it as I used it more. I still plan on doing a more in-depth review after I’ve played with it just a little bit longer. But for now, I tell you that I LOVE IT. Love the android platform. Love the touch screen. LOVE the additional keyboard (because I don’t much love typing on a touch screen keyboard AT ALL). Love the apps.

And it is one of these apps that I want to focus on for OTGF.

I’m not sure if this app is available for blackberry, iphone or any of the other platforms out there, but I urge you to investigate.

Causeworld is a free app which you download to your phone, and it works with the GPS in your phone to find your location, and stores, restaurants, business where you are. Then as you enter these places of business, you “check in”. Those of you familiar with Foursquare know how it works already.

But here’s the really great piece. As you check in to these locations, you collect “Karma” points. And these Karma points can then be used to give donations to a variety of charitable causes. How fantastic is that?

The program is currently sponsored by CITI and Kraft, and they are the ones who put up the donations.

What a great, free, and easy way to donate money to a cause. Isn’t that so GOOD?

So, there you have it, my OTGF for today. Be sure to stop by Shelly’s to see what she’s got up her sleeve this week.

I haven’t done an Only The Good Friday (OTGF) post in a while, and well…that’s just not right, is it?

So, here we go, helping Shelly from This Eclectic Life spread the Optimism Virus. My understanding is that poor Shelly is actually suffering a serious bout of the flu or some such other mean illness, so the LEAST I can do is help to spread some positivity, you think?
In case you are unfamiliar with OTGF, the general idea is to have one day a week where we post ONLY GOOD THINGS. No sarcasm, no complaining, no whining, no woe is me…just good stuff.
Some times, the good stuff is the kind of “Good” that uplifts the world, inspirational, charitable, motivating. Other times, it’s a little more personal, a little less altruistic, and like today, a little more…”here are the small, silly blessings that make me smile”.
Here’s my good stuff this week:
I’m getting a new phone. Actually, by the time you read this, because I’m pre-writing it (shh don’t tell), I may already have my new phone. I’d better already have my new phone…or else…oh, never mind, optimism…good…happy…
I’m getting THIS phone:
It’s the Samsung Moment for Sprint, the new Android platform phone. I am so excited. I love new tech toys, I’m such a geek girl.
I’ll tell you all about the phone once I’ve had a chance to play around with it.
By the way, also, anyone want a slightly used blackberry curve for sprint? I’ll sell it to you cheap!
More good stuff:
I am going to see Daughtry/Lifehouse in concert in June. Not only that, but I’m going to do so in Pittsburgh, which means I get to visit my friend WEST Virginia (who does, indeed, live in West Virginia). Since we both wanted to go to this concert, and I wanted to go visit her, we decided to combine the two things, and there you go! Very excited.
Even more good stuff:
Tomorrow night I am attending a “Masquerade Ball” fundraiser for a local children’s hospital. My friends and I will get all dressed up (and don masks) and eat, drink, dance, and raise money for a good cause.
Now THAT’s all kinds of good, don’t you think?
I hope you have a WONDERFUL Friday and a wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to drop by Shelly’s to see all the other GOOD out there.

If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, why not?) then you know I’ve been Mrs. Cranky Pants all week.

I could get into a detailed discussion of all the reasons why Cranky Karina made her appearance known this week, but…well, it’s FRIDAY, and that means it’s Only The Good Friday, and we focus on the positives on OTGF.

SO, instead of giving Cranky Karina any more airtime, I’m going to focus on the good things.

What good things, you ask?

Oh, there’s plenty.

For starters, Fall has arrived in New England with a vengeance. And next to Summer, Fall just happens to be my favorite season of the year. It’s been a bit chillier than I would like it to be the last few days, but temps are said to be rising the next few days. Which means sleeping with windows open, waking up to that slight chill, but crisp scent in the air, and then enjoying sunny and warm afternoons before the sun sets and that crisp chill hits once again. I love fall weather, truly.

Fall also means a wardrobe change. Now, if you know me, you know these are the simple things that brighten my days. Yes, I’ll be sad to put away the summer dresses and shorts and flip-flops, but I get to exchange them for cardigans and long sleeved t-shirts and oh…boots. Did you hear me? BOOT weather is nearly here. Oh how I love my boots.

And really, when all else fails, focus on the shoes. The shoes make everything better.

Speaking of shoes, one of my twitter buddies (@ashleygreenere) introduced me to something yesterday that may just be the greatest internet invention of all time. “” is basically a “shoe-of-the-month” club. Yes, you read that right, and if you know me at all, then you know at the moment my head is SPINNING at the mere idea of this. Needless to say, yes, I signed up, and will be keeping you posted on my thoughts about the site and the program. I’m waiting until I receive my first shoe recommendations before I talk about it anymore, but I will post a review about it once I do.

BUT a shoe-of-the-month club? GENIUS.

And since I mentioned my twitter buddies, I should also mention that in the midst of the bad week I was having, those same twitter friends were a great source of support and encouragement for me. What an amazing group of people gathered together by that little blue bird, and how lucky am I to have stumbled across them. I don’t care what anybody says, as far as I’m concerned, Twitter is a GOOD thing.

I’ve met so many amazing people on this interweb, it’s such a great thing.

Speaking of my internet friends, another very good thing is happening next week. I shall have a houseguest next weekend, and she happens to be one of my very best friends. She also happens to be someone I met on the internet oh, over 8 years ago, and who I have yet to meet face to face. Yes, that’s right, we’ve never met face to face, and she’s coming to spend the weekend with me. But you have to understand that for a little under a decade, we’ve been in almost daily, and certainly weekly communication. With a small group of other ladies (some of whom we’ve both been able to meet in person), we’ve been through break-ups, marriages, childbirths, family drama, deaths and successes. These girls at times know me better than any of my “real life” friends could even dream to know me. And this particular friend and I have grown even closer in the last year or so, with daily text and instant messaging conversations. She’ll be here Thursday through Sunday and I am so excited to have her visit.

See, all good things.

So, there you have it, my Only The Good Friday post for this week. Ah, I feel better, don’t you?

Don’t forget to stop by Shelly’s, as she’s the brains (and heart) behind Only The Good Fridays.

{August 14, 2009}   Only The Good Friday – Goals

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Only The Good Friday. However, the creator of Only The Good Friday’s, my buddy Shelly over at This Eclectic Life has decided to change the rules a little bit. Don’t worry, we’re still going to be spreading the GOOD, it just won’t be limited to Fridays anymore. Even better, more days to do good. How can you not like that?

For this week, however, I’ll stick to Friday. I haven’t posted my OTGF posts every week, but then, I haven’t posted all that regularly in the last several months either, but I have enjoyed being able to have a day when I just focus on GOOD things.

Some Fridays I’ve tried to help you find good deals, other Fridays I’ve shared with you websites or people who do amazing good in the world, and then on other Fridays I’ve just shared little tidbits and goodies that are going on in my life.

Whatever the content of the post, the meaning behind it is the important part…focusing on good things.

So, today, I’m going to talk about goals and plans. That’s good right?

I’ll start with a decision I made this week. I call myself a writer because…well, because I write. A lot. All the time. Constantly, in fact. I can’t seem to make it through the day without writing something. This blog for a long time served as a great means of that expression, and I’m grateful for the outlet if gave me for my writing. Lately life has gotten hectic, so I’ve found myself having less time or energy for blogging, and for writing in general. But still, I find moments, and I continue to write. And regardless of how many people may or may not be reading my blog (trust me, there are days I’m pretty sure I have an audience of none), or how sporadically I post, I’m pretty sure I’ll never shut down this blog.

But blogging came last. My first love in writing was poetry, followed by short stories, and eventually, the numerous “works in progress”, the novels that would one day be. I have boxes upon boxes of material stored away. And promises upon promises of “maybe one day…”

Well, I’ve decided that this is the day. I need to get focused, and finish SOMETHING. So, this weekend I will dig out my original novel, my first, my work in progress that is closest to completion. I started writing that novel over 10 years ago. Throughout the years I have picked it up, messed with it, and put it away again for a later date. In the meantime I have started other stories, created other works in progress, met other characters, told other tales.

I have not been able to finish a single project, however.

And I think this is because the characters from that first novel won’t let me. They are waiting, each year more impatiently for their story to be told. They want me back.

So they win. Starting next week I’m going back into that world. I am determined to finish the story I started all those years ago. With my busy schedule I am starting slow. I am telling myself I will schedule 3 hours per week for solid writing/research/development of this book. It’s not a lot, but it’s more than I’ve given my craft for years. And I need to do it. So, I’m going to try to spend one night outside the house somewhere with my laptop where I can write uninterrupted.

And can I tell you, I’m so excited at the prospect of becoming a writer once again. Focused, goal oriented, creative. I’m ready.

So, that’s my good. I’m pretty sure that with my crazy hectic life, everything else I have planned (to blog more regularly, to get my photographs organized, to..blahblahblah) is going to continue to be a challenge, but I’m going to write.

Check in with me next week, I’ll let you know how the progress is going.

A lot of times I begin writing a blog post having no idea where I’m going with it. I just need to put some words on paper (or, more accurately on the computer screen) and see where they lead me. Eventually, hopefully, if it all goes according to plan, by the middle of the first, or at the very least, the second paragraph, I’ve got a blog post forming.

Sometimes, however, I am forced to scrap every word I wrote, and start all over again. The words I have written may flow nicely together, but they say nothing.

Today’s post started much the same way, and I have to be honest, here, at the third paragraph, and I’m still not entirely sure where we’re going with it…let’s see…

Today, is Only The Good Friday, and as is customary, this means that I will focus this blog post on ONLY GOOD THINGS. Shelly started this meme to spread positivity and goodness throughout the blogosphere, and I strongly support the notion.

In fact, I strongly support spreading positivity and goodness every moment of every day, in whatever it is you do.

Sure, we all have “off moments”, days when we wish we could scrap every word we’ve spoken and start all over again. But here’s the beauty. We can.

Every new moment is a chance at a blank slate. You don’t have to wait till “tomorrow” to change your mood, your attitude. You can do it RIGHT NOW, this very second. And honestly, it is not one of those “sounds easier than it is” things. It is that easy.

RIGHT NOW, how are you feeling? Are you in a good mood? If so, then I congratulate you on your choice (yes, I said choice) to face the day with a smile.

But what about those of you NOT feeling so chipper and in love with life? The thing that ways you down could be trivial, or it could be gigantic. Truth is, there are, without question, events in life that warrant some sadness, moodiness, even downright depression. And we should be allowed those emotions. For a time.

What we shouldn’t do, however, is to wallow and linger in misery. For then, what is the point of living?

Whether you are sailing through an easy patch of life, or struggling through a dark and dreary one, you opened your eyes this morning. You were given another chance at the world. We’re each here for such a limited time, it is easy to get caught up in the negativity and misery around us. But even in the darkest moments, beauty and goodness surround us.

It is then, up to us, to CHOOSE to focus on the little things. The lightning bugs and butterflies, the comforting feeling of a friend’s hand on ours, a hug, a smile, a silly television show that makes us laugh. And on the big things too. The magic of a grandiose sunset, the billions of stars in a night sky, love (for is there anything grander than love of any kind?).

And if nothing else, if you truly can’t find a way to change your mood, then focus on someone else. Reach out to someone else with a smile, a hug, a kind word. You have no way of knowing how that small gesture could possibly change someone’s life, but if it does, then in turn, imagine the feeling of goodness that’ll wash over you?

It’s sort of win/win, isn’t it? You spread goodness, you receive goodness. You believe goodness, you feel goodness.

You begin to write a blog post with just the word “good” in your mind and well, look at that…I guess I did have something to say after all.

Also, in a bit of that “coincidence” thing that I don’t really believe in (I believe everything happens for a reason) after I finished writing this post, my good bloggy friend Michelle of Bleeding Espresso sent out a Tweet about “the Happiness Project”. I checked out the website, and found this post which basically says what I’ve been trying to say in this post, only much more succinctly and clearly.

Funny how those things happen huh?

Happy Only The Good Friday, I hope you’ll leave here a little less heavy than you came in. And don’t forget to stop by Shelly’s to see what other Good everyone’s been up to.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I took a little blogging hiatus.

Needed some time to focus on some other things.

I was actually not going to come back from my hiatus until Monday, but it’s Friday, which means it’s Only The Good Friday, and as this week seems to have been particularly mired in the bad out there, I thought it was time for some good.

So, as the rest of the interwebs, and media outlets and such focus on the “BAD” today (there’s a really bad pun in there somewhere, but I’m leaving that one entirely alone), let’s take a look at what’s good this week:

For starters, personally for me, the sun is out today. After WEEKS of cloudy grey skies and rain…to wake up (after a loud and stormy night) and see

That’s a good thing folks. (disclaimer, that picture was actually NOT taken today, it was taken a few weeks ago, but you don’t care about that, do you?)

Also on the good? It is Fiesta Friday in Gloucester, Massachusetts tonight, which means a bunch of crazy folks will be out and about partying about town.

And I and my crazy friends will be among the bunch. As a group we tend to do a lot of praying and good deeds together, but not as much rowdy partying, or just casual “hanging out” as we’d like, so we’re all pretty excited about a night out on the town.

Always a good time when we get together. This picture is from last year’s Fiesta, and as much as I hate how I look in it, it’s proof positive of the wild and crazy bunch I run with…plus I’ve dropped 25 lbs. since it was taken, so this year’s pictures should be be
tter for all! 😉

As if that wasn’t enough goodness, last night I booked my flight to Cali, where I will be going to visit my cousin PM and her boys (husband and two sons) for a week in July.
I promised her oldest I’d come see “his house” this summer, and am so happy to be delivering on that promise. Can’t wait to see them all…

And finally, because um…I really need to go get ready for work, I leave you with this bit of good…

You woke up this morning. No matter the state of your life, the stresses, the aches, the sadness, or whatever else you might be dealing with…you woke up. You were blessed with another chance to turn it around. Say a prayer of thank you, and enjoy your Friday.

Have a GOOD Friday everyone, and don’t forget to pop on over to Shelly’s, the creater of Only The Good Friday, and see what else is good.

It’s Friday! And that means that after a short hiatus, I’m back with Only the Good Friday! YAY!!!

In case you don’t know, Only The Good Friday (heretofore OTGF because I’m too lazy to type it all out) was dreamed up by the one and only Shelly of This Eclectic Life.

In case you also don’t know, I love Shelly, she’s funny, and witty and a great blogess, but more than that she is an amazingly generous and giving person, always looking for ways to do good in the world.

She will tell you otherwise though. She’ll tell you she’s snarky and sarcastic and maybe even a little bit mean (she’s not), and she will tell you THAT is the reason behind OTGF. She saw it as an opportunity to take one day a week where she (and in turn we) would only post good things. No snarkiness, no sarcasm, no meanness. Not on Fridays. On Fridays we post GOOD things. Happy thoughts. Helpful hints. Positive links, etc. etc.

Of course, I had to jump right on that bandwagon, because a wagon full of goodness? How could you not want to go for a ride?

So, here I am, spreading the good. Some Fridays I’m a bit more altruistic, and I share with you things that can help you do some good, good links to visit, tell you about good folks you should know, etc.

Other Fridays I get a bit more personal and tell you about the good stuff going on in my life.

And then some Fridays I stay simple and just share with you things that make me smile. A good photo, a good joke, a picture of a really hot guy…hey, whatever works right?

The point is, it’s all good. And it all depends on the kind of Friday I’m having.

SO, what kind of Friday will today be, you ask? AH…well…today is all about music.

Because I recently have acquired an addiction (seriously somebody stop me) to discovering and downloading new music. I think a good song can change the way I feel about life, so I want to share with you some of my current favorites.

Because it’s easier for me to share youtube videos on a blog than it is to share mp3s, you get the video as well as the song…what a “good” bonus. And if you can’t watch videos where you are at least you have enough information about the song that you can go look it up and listen for yourself, right?


First of all, I’m so very excited about Daughtry’s new album which comes out in July, and love their new song “No Surprise” so here is that:

And if we’re going to talk about American Idols, I can’t leave out my favorite ever rendition of a rap song…Kris Allen’s “Heartless”:

And one last American Idol, David Cook’s cd is pretty much in heavy rotation on my mp3 player, and I truly love the entire thing, but “Permanent” in particular is quickly becoming a favorite song for me.

Pink may not be an American Idol, but I think she is an incredibly talented songstress who is HIGHLY underrated, and I LOVE her new song “Don’t Leave Me” for it’s raw pain and emotion:

This post is getting pretty long already, so I’m going to save some of my other finds for a later date, but moving off the beaten path a little bit, I think it’s only proper that in the spirit of OTGF I promote an Indie artist. Right? Right. So, I’ve got to tell you about someone I discovered via Twitter. Don’t even ask me how I came across him on there, because I simply don’t remember, but the fact remains that I’m glad I did.

Not only am I a fan of his music, but I’m also a fan of his Tweets. This could veer the whole post off on the direction of why I love Twitter for allowing you to get up close and personal with people you might not otherwise ever have an opportunity to meet, but…well, I’ll save that for another time.

Anyway, Chris Blake is his name, and this song is “Mean” which I’m really loving.

Here’s a link to where you can check out the rest of his music: Chris Blake. And no, I’m not getting paid to promote him or anyone else in this post, I’m just doing this for the love of music, and because us struggling artists (singers, writers, photographers, whatever) need to cheer each other on and help each other on, don’t you think?

Okay, that’s it, that’s my good for today…go forth and spread good cheer. And be sure to visit Shelly and see what Good she’s got up her sleeve and who else is in on the game.

et cetera