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Beauty In Unlikely Places

I told my son that it’s usually in the most unlikely places that beauty will catch you off guard.

Like it will smack you right in the face.

And when that happens, you need to stop and soak in whatever your world is telling you to observe.

It’s important, I tell him.

And then I will more then likely take a picture of whatever it is we are observing because I’m weird…

 

My husband thinks I’m ridiculous that I take so many pictures of random things. I tell him to “Shush! Never mind! Taking pictures makes me happy plus I’m going to scrapbook them!” Then he laughs maniacally.

You see, I always have these wild intentions on scrapbooking the little filtered squares from my phone but now my new obsessions are art journals. Of course they don’t always come to fruition because there’s never enough time or I just forget. Or I’m lazy. Or printing pictures is a pain in my ass. And then there’s the fact that he also packed 90% of my scrapbook things in totes when he had promised me a “space”….last fall.

Or: all of the above

I wasn’t always a scrapbooker you know. I only dove into scrapbooking because I needed something to do after destroying my spine in 2003. Sports was my life. Yes, would you believe that this girl was actually very athletic? You’re reading a High School Junior Basketball MVP’er’s blog right meow.

I’m practically famous…in my house…on grocery shopping day.

Anyways, you may not know that I see more specialists than your grandma. In fact, I probably hang out with her in waiting rooms. She says you should visit her more often.

Chronic pain is invisible. You can’t see the metal and osteoarthritis and hernations and how my spine is curving far too much to the left and other super long anatomy wordy words that my neurosurgeon and radiologists from the US to London have picked and poked at. I basically hurt every day. That’s it. I don’t complain about it much but sometimes I do wish though that I and all the people who struggled with chronic pain could sport that infamous pain scale on our foreheads to alert you that from 1-10, we are being mauled by a wilder beast.

During those times, please be patient with us. 

So I haven’t been on a bike since – probably early 2000’s.

My son is getting so big and it bums every one out when I say “No, I can’t go bungee jumping” or *insert other ridiculous 8 year old activity that would involve lots of anti-inflammatory and boxed wine needed to recover.*

I wanted to ride a bike.

So I stole my mom’s.

It. Was Scary. As. Hell y’all.

 

As we headed down this bike path along this county road, my eyes caught the way the blue sky hit the tops of the seemingly endless rows upon rows of corn. That beauty pulled me right out of myself and the never ending dribble of brain chatter. The kind of brain chatter that makes makes me painfully aware that I’ve got guts that can twist tighter than a rubber ball when anxiety is creeping in.

And I had to stop.

Only I forgot that I needed to grip BOTH hand brakes and my bike went this way and that way…

…so I just Fred Flinstone-ed it and stopped the damn thing with my feet.

Like a bad ass.

My boys stayed up further along the path shaking their heads and I shook my head back and pointed at the canvas in front of me.

Life’s stop sign.

Life sent me a stop sign and told me to unpack my heavy bag of messy anxiety for a moment, give my tired legs and arms a rest.

Engulf my senses for a little while.

Breathe in. Breath out.

*Snap*

“Did you just take a picture of the cornfield?”

“SHUSH! I’ll scrapbook it”

 

 

 

That day I accomplished something pretty amazing.

I wouldn’t have seen the blues smashed into the the greens if I hadn’t tried.

But it was also wonderful to be actually be a part of my squad instead of just watching them from the sidelines and to feel fast, wild, and so damn free.

I’m telling you, it’s the little things in life. 

Always look for it kid.

And then take a picture of it for your mother xoxo

 

 

 

20 Comments

  1. Kim, There are so many things I love about this post! I work with clients who suffer with chronic pain and know how the struggle is. “Everyone thinks I look ok” is often something we discuss. I have my own level of pain from back issues and have done some things I probably shouldn’t have but so wanted to participate. Sometimes, it is so worth it.
    Finally, I am like you and take random photos – of clouds, of trees, of grass…. there is so much we miss if we don’t slow down. PS – I love the photos above.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      You understand! Often times I will do something and someone will say “But you shouldn’t be doing that!” or “I thought you couldn’t do that?” or “So you don’t have a back problem because you’re doing this now”…like hello people, I can have good days and super awesome ones. I’m not going to restrict my life. Drives me bonkers – the judgement.
      I’m so glad that I’m not the only one taking random pictures! Like the technology today makes it so easy so why not?!

  2. I take pictures of everything. My boyfriend thinks I’m nuts but I like to be able to tell my stories with photos. I sometimes struggle with my words. I have a hard time articulating them. That isn’t a good thing for someone that likes to blog. That is why I post so many photos. It’s my way of speaking.
    Now if I could just get the camera I really want, I could really annoy my boyfriend.
    Great post xxoo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Oh I get you! Sometimes I have a hard time articulating them too! I really do. The words just kind of get stuck in there somehow and those photos just suck them right out. Or they become the main piece. I totally get that!
      And yes, if I could actually get a real camera – and learn how to use it!
      xoxox

  3. I love this – I take pictures of every damn thing too and I know it drives my husband nuts, but I am going to want these moments to look back on someday. Even if they stay in my computer and don’t end up in the millions of scrapbooks I also have planned. I am still on my son’s baby book. And he’s 3 1/2. I only finished his first week. Yep. And I know and love a few people close to me who are always in chronic pain, so I understand everything you shared here very well. <3

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I am still on my son’s baby book too. I just can’t do it. I decided that he’s going to get a shutterfly album. Sorry kid. xoxoxo

  4. I love this so much and that you said “eff it…I’m getting on the damn bike” and you rode (thankfully not into cornfields which is something I might’ve done). Sometimes you gotta get in there and away from the sidelines. I am sure your son and hubby were immensely proud of you, whether this makes it into the family scrapbook or not 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      It probably won’t. I am not going to lie. I’ll think about scrapbooking it. But you know. Lazy beans and paper cuts and rabies or something.

  5. I know it was hard, I can’t imagine how hard, but thank you for trying to be part of your squad. I grew up with a mom with chronic pain (among other issues). I remember so clearly the times she tried. Those are the good memories.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Thank you so much Charity! I tried yesterday too. Just to the small park by our house. It’s pretty fun.

  6. Mia Mia

    Look at you, riding that bike like a badass! You rock. Love your “scrapbook” pictures. 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Yes … “scrapbook” pictures or as I’d like to call them…forever sit on my phone until I transfer them to their forever home on the computer pictures?
      I’ll stick with scrapbook hahahaha!!!
      One day.

  7. Not too long ago I finally got a HEY! You have an eye for this picture taking thing! …from my husband.

    Yup, it’s the little things.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Sigh…
      you really do take amazing pictures Pam. Such a good eye for architect <-- could not spell that word...need more coffee

  8. I love that you notice the small, beautiful things in life. We should all do that.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I started doing that through journaling – like writing three things to be thankful for/made you smile/happy etc. I found it really hard when I was depressed. But it was the small things that I found the most pleasure in. Like having coffee creamer in my coffee, fleecy pants…they’re silly things, but they’re good things. And in turn, they made me feel better and if just momentarily. xoxo

  9. There is always beauty in the little things, beauty is everywhere, we just have to open our eyes. And you my friend are a kindred spirit.
    I also take pictures constantly, even on bike rides and I’ll be wayyyyyy behind, but Jeff knows. Shutterbug Lindsay in full effect. Lol 😉

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      HAHAH!! I really need to get a nice camera. But first I must learn how to use one. xoxo

      • That’s what auto mode is for. It’s nice to learn manual on a DSLR, but it takes time and practice. 🙂

      • Kimberly Kimberly

        It sure does! Very tricky and takes a steady hand too!

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