Karen's Musings

Musings for 2002

Excess Baggage

It has taken me all my life to understand it is not necessary for me to understand everything. ~ Rene Caty
When I first read that quote it sounded so simple. I read it again. It hit me straight between the eyes. I started thinking how often I try to make sense of things that have no answer. I thought about the times I tried to understand not only what was said, but what was not said. There are times when logic and reason still don't explain something. We all do irrational things or act on impulse. If I've hurt someone with my actions, I can apologize and learn from it. If I hurt only myself, I must do exactly the same thing. Forgive myself. There is nothing to be gained by placing blame or guilt. It's easy for me to forgive everyone but myself. If you're in the same boat, I hope you'll join me by letting go of this extra burden. We'll travel a lot lighter without all that extra baggage, and maybe even look up and enjoy the scenery. Life is a wonderful journey when I let myself enjoy it. Are there things you need to let go of? I'm making out my list now.....Shine on, Karen

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

Now is the time

I admit I can be a real procrastinator. I do manage to get everything done, but I was thinking today how important it is not to put off some things. When we are very young time seems limitless. I remember feeling that way. The years pass quickly, and suddenly I'm faced with the reality that time is no longer on my side. I am more aware that "one of these days" easily becomes "none of these days." I believe in keeping short accounts with those I care about. If I'm thinking of someone, I make the effort to tell them. I might not have a chance tomorrow. The dishes can wait until later, but people can't. They might not be here or I might not be here. I don't think that's depressing. I wrote this musing as a gentle reminder to myself and to you that now is the time to reach out to someone you care about. Now is the time to pursue that dream. Now is the time to laugh and enjoy life. Now is really all we have. Shine on........Karen

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

That dreaded word.....

The "shoulds" of this life never motivated anyone to do anything. Yes, that's an original quote, as far as I know. I wonder why I tell anyone they "should" do anything. I know how much that word is thrown about, followed by the very best of intentions. I have done it, and after considering this whole idea of telling anyone what they "should" do, I realize it may have made it more difficult for them to actually "do" anything. We all go at our own speed, and learn the lessons we need to learn. There are no shortcuts. Telling someone they "should" do anything makes the assumption I know everything about them, and exactly what they need. In this musing, I am learning as I go. When I think I "should" do anything, I am immediately filled with some strange guilt about what I'm not doing properly. It's a good enough word, but the difference between what I "should" do and what I "shall do" is sometimes unknown, even to me. Okay, I need to think about this more. On second thought, I'm going to have another cup of tea and read the newspaper. Shine on.......Karen

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

The Importance Of A Dream

This evening I was responding to a message left on the Message Board at Lasting Light. It brought back a lot of memories. On May 1, 2001, Lasting Light Poetry came into existence on the net. I am not sure how I decided on the name, but it comforted me and made my purpose clear. I knew nothing about making a website, and although people with websites had taken an interest in using my work , I never really considered creating a website of my own. I was actually very intimidated by the whole process since I couldn't have been greener! I realized it was time to get serious about creating something of value with my writing. I didn't know a dot.com from a polka dot. I had previously done all my writing on a word processor, and before that a typewriter, and before that just the usual pen and paper. Cyberspace might just as well have been outer space to me. I had no idea about the technical side of things, and from that day to this, it has been a learning process in more ways than I could even begin to tell you in this musing. Maybe the whole point here is to tell you that anything is possible if you are willing to take the risks involved. Lasting Light Poetry was my dream. I have made many mistakes. I have learned valuable lessons. Your encouragement has made me persist. Thank you for being there. This remains a labor of love for me. When I have those moments of self doubt and wonder why I'm doing this.....it's because I've taken my eyes off my dream. I write because it is simply what I do. Love means nothing unless it is given with an open hand. Thanks for reaching back. It's made all the difference. Shine on. Karen~

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

Renewel

The sun is dancing between the clouds today. Spring is playing hide and seek with winter. I don't mind. Just the promise of sunny days and blue skies is enough to lift my spirits. "Joyful Joyful we adore Thee".....will be sung with enthusiasm by so many believers this week. The seeds of love planted so long ago came into full bloom that Easter Morning. May the radiance of His love shine on you. On that faraway hill so many promises were kept. All accounts were settled..and marked "Paid in Full." That's why I can sing, "It is Well With My Soul".......Shine on.........

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

Is Nothing Plenty For You?

Have you ever met someone who didn't laugh? I'm sure I must have, but I don't remember them. Ethel Barrymore said that we have truly grown up when we can laugh at ourselves. I tend to agree with her. There's something about a good laugh, and a good cry, that seems to purge the soul. I've come to the conclusion I can only stay serious so long, and then if I don't find something to laugh about....well, I don't want to think what might happen. Nothing is more valuable than the friend who makes us laugh. Those moments of outright joy and silliness are priceless. Give yourself a break. If you're doing nothing right now, and enjoying it, please continue. Smile.

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

Face Value

I've often heard first impressions are lasting ones. Some people say they can size up a person immediately. I know I've met people I liked right away. I think of the bad day I had yesterday. I was off to the store, not really paying attention to anything except a crumpled list in my hand. I wasn't happy being at the store, which was full of noise and people tearing down the aisles. It didn't help getting bumped by a shopping cart as I stood in line. I wonder, if I had met these same people on another day, when I had a smile on my face and a relaxed attitude how their impression of me would have changed? I hope people don't always take me at face value. Tomorrow I might have a better face. Smile.

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

Depression and Me

I am a person who deals with depression on a daily basis. It's nothing new for me, as it's been a part of my life for many years. I expect there must have been a million books written on the subject. It's not something I find easy to talk about, even now. Our world may seem progressive, but there are still many who fight a battle of depression without any understanding or help. It is for you that I decided to write this. Clinical Depression is not caused by events, it's caused by a chemical imbalance and it can be helped with the use of medication for many. I was raised to think one can overcome anything with a strong mind and will. This is true for many things, and yet when my depression progressed to Panic/Anxiety Disorder I knew I needed more help. My resistance to any sort of medication was strong, but the choices were limited. I'd never taken any sort of medication. There is still a stigma in our society about having any sort of "weakness", but if I really think about it, I realize we all have something to deal with. I don't define myself by my diagnosis, and I don't use it as an excuse. I have learned much over these years, and also found understanding and compassion from others who have been there. There are many kinds of depression, and being depressed about something you can define is another story. I wanted to share this with you because there is nothing worse than feeling alone and isolated, and depression can do that to you. I often stress how important encouragement is, and it really can make a difference. If you even think you may have depression, or anything else for that matter, I hope this will make you stop and think that you don't have to stay trapped. I just want you to know, I've been there, and I am still here doing what I love. Open a window today, and let some fresh air in. You are here for a reason, and you are important. Never forget that. Shine on...Karen~

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

Love Is Magic

Love is all around me. It is in the gentle raindrops that nourish the flowers waiting to bloom. It's in the friendly face of a neighbor waving at me. I see it in the innocent eyes of my little dog as she follows along after me. I find it in the comforting hugs from people who care. It's the note I didn't expect in the mailbox or the chatty phone call from a friend far away. Love is the icing on the cake. The surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks. It's the peaceful calm just before I close my eyes to sleep. Love is the sunshine that filters softly through the window when I wake. It's a soft kiss. A compliment that makes me smile and warms my heart. There is nothing stronger than love. There is nothing I need more than love. Finally, there is no greater joy than giving love. It swirls around those who receive it and returns in ways I may never know.

Love is magic!

Karen Shaw Matteson
2002

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