Returning Home

country road, Missouri photo by kristin nador
It’s been awhile, friends. Again.
We had an earthquake.
Not an actual earthquake. The metaphorical kind that shakes the foundations of your life. Keeper Hubby, struggling with severe chronic pain and debilitation, has had more physical set backs since his last spinal surgery. He will most likely not be able to work outside of the home anymore. His last employer was understanding enough to allow him to try working at home after surgery, until he was included in a mass layoff of over fifty employees. On the medical front, once it was realized that the last surgery was not successful and in fact, is causing even worse problems, Hubby’s surgeon washed his hands of the problem, refusing to allow him to make any more appointments. The pain management doctor hinted at referring him to other surgeons who favored a competitor technology that the pain management doctor now says is better (while having regular dinners and golf dates with said technology’s representative) despite testing and approving the original technology and surgeon in the first place. Feeling a bit uncomfortable with that, we declined. In all our medical dealings over the last twenty years, we’ve come to grips with the fact medicine is also more often than not big business.
So with no income and minimal support from the Kentucky medical team, we took it to prayer and decided to let it all go. We would go full circle and head back home. Home, as in the metropolitan area of our hometown, St. Louis, Missouri, where we have some family and where we hope to find more sophisticated and empathetic medical support. Home, where we spent our childhoods, but haven’t lived for the last 30 years. During the last 4 months I stopped writing and blogging completely to focus on taking care of Hubby, downsizing our life, and making our way home.
We had already downsized for our initial move approximately 18 months ago from a three bedroom home in Oklahoma to a one bedroom apartment in Kentucky, but you’d be surprised what you hold on to, what you think you might need, what you are willing to pay storage for when you have the money to pay for it.
I sold everything I could. There is a buyer out there for every thing you might want to sell. My writing skills came in handy when marketing said items in online sales groups (Only 3 Days Left for This Kitchen Do-Dad Extravaganza!). Some folks like to buy things when they feel like they are getting a great deal, no matter they don’t actually have any use for them. The process cemented my new gravitation towards a minimalist lifestyle, simplifying in all the life areas that you can. It helps to keep mental balance while dealing with those areas that aren’t quickly simplified, but instead full of complications.

 

cats on a roof, photo by kristin nador

Some citizens of the feral cat colony

One of the contrasts on our new journey is keeping this minimalist philosophy while living in a ‘collector’s’ house, located in an isolated rural area. One of our close relatives has generously offered us a safe landing spot during this transition time. We are so grateful, but it requires adjustment on our part that is sometimes harder when you are ‘of a certain age’ and set in your ways. As the saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers, so we’ll focus on gratitude and what we can learn from our disparate life philosophies. I’ll also be able to share with you about the ups and downs of rural life, reconnecting with my hometown roots, and strangely enough, the fascinating goings on of a colony of feral cats that live only several hundred feet from my bedroom window.
And I’ll be writing again. I’m looking forward to blogging about all my passions: creativity and the creative process, writing, midlife and my grandma gig, history, genealogy and memoir, pop culture and today’s important issues. I hope you’l be here to join me, and if you’ve been having some tumults in your life that have gotten in the way of pursuing your creative path, I encourage you to take care of the business you need to, but make sure you make a space to return to your creative passions as soon as you can. It will bring you solace in the midst of the grit of life.
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Write Anywhere 083: Montana Mountains

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Do you ever wish you could get away from it all?

One of this year’s many challenges has been to keep on task with my Write Anywhere goals of finding interesting and inspiring places to stir up my writing creativity. Finances, Keeper Hubby’s health, as well as my own aches and pains, have kept me home at times when I would have liked to go out exploring new spots and practicing my writing and photography skills.

I love the challenge of going other places for two reasons: it helps me be present and focused by making specific times for creativity, and it helps me push down the symptoms of panic disorder that would prefer me to lock myself away. Sometimes that’s hard to deal with, but my creative voice is more valuable to me than the discomfort I deal with when I make myself vulnerable by getting out in public venues.

I didn’t expect the situation to change much through this year and had resigned myself to that fact with more than a hint of frustration. But at the end of fall sweet Hubby made it possible for me to take a much-needed caregiver’s break to explore a fascinating place with some of my favorite people. Continue reading

How To Stage Your Home For Creativity

typewriter on shelf

Is your home staged for creativity?

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Have you set the stage in your home for maximum creativity potential?

It’s been a year since we sold our four bedroom home in Oklahoma and downsized to a 850 sq. foot apartment in Kentucky. We were excited for the job opportunity for Keeper Hubby, but not too keen on what it would take to get there. Continue reading

Write Anywhere #81: Weekend Wanderings

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Do you ever plan to NOT make a plan?

I am a planner. I have lists, and lists of lists. It’s not that I am necessarily skilled at fulfilling the plan, but giving myself structure helps me make progress. Even with all my planning, I find myself in a general pattern of creative ups and downs. Spurts of creative productivity punctuated by dry spells  filled with frustration, anxiety, and low spirits. I’m working at being more balanced, but it will be a lifetime journey.

I don’t do well at spontaneous. It can even make me nervous. That whole facade of control, you know.

Some days though, the stars align, and I agree to throw out the list for the day. Keeper Hubby is good at helping me do that. He helps me get out of my always-so-serious mode and enjoy the moment, live in the present, and laugh at myself. Another one of so many reasons that he is a Keeper. 😉

We spent a day letting nothing in particular dictate our plans, and it refreshed my creative focus. Continue reading

Organize Your Day For Maximum Writing Productivity

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photo courtesy Hustvedt, Creative Commons

By Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Does finding time for writing leave you overwhelmed?

The tug of your creative life versus ‘regular life’ got you feeling guilty?

You’re not alone. Continue reading

5 Ways Blog Reader Surveys Help Increase Your Blogging Audience

Frontier Fiesta, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Frontier Fiesta, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

 

Do you wonder if anyone is reading your blog?

 

The comment area looks so lonesome, the analytics don’t change a lot. You’re writing good content. At least you think so.

So what’s the problem?

Maybe you need to do a blog survey and find out. Continue reading

Participate In My 2015 Reader Survey

As I continue on my creative journey with this blog, I continue to tweak the things I want to talk about, my message if you will. This is important to me because I hope to help and inspire others, besides keeping myself on the creative path. One way I can make sure my blog posts are helping my readers is to find out about you!  Continue reading

Discover Your ‘First Things’ for Success in 2015

Spring Dogwood Blooming, Oxley Nature Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma photo by kristin nador kristin nador writes anywhere blog www.kristinnador.com
What are your ‘first things’?
by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador
The start of a new year inevitably creates pressure to think about the past, and the future. We examine what has happened during the last 365 days, take away fine memories, or slam the book shut on an unproductive or particularly difficult or heartbreaking year. We have a finite amount of time, and time seems more pertinent as the years progress. Each year means one less year on our personal ‘deadline’, and while some feel the pressure to make the best of it, others experience guilt that they haven’t been using their time wisely up until this point.

Continue reading

Write Anywhere #79: Japanese Friendship Garden

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Walking and I have been having an epic struggle lately.

I enjoy walks outside. A stroll around the neighborhood, a paced walk around a track for some intentional sweating, or a gentle hike in the woods all suit me fine.

My foot and ankle haven’t agreed with that assessment at all. They protest in pain, refusing to participate in the simplest activities. Foot and Ankle were forced into an intervention with a podiatrist, and now after some painful injections and custom orthotics, foot is about 85% better. Ankle is still questionable, with MRI results pending, but much better than before.

I’ve gotten to the point where I can take very short walks without aggravating the healing process. We have nice sidewalks in our apartment complex, but once you’ve walked around a building a few times, it’s time for more interesting views. I found the perfect spot for gentle walking just a few minutes drive away, and discovered it helped coax some gentle writing out of me as well.  Continue reading