Happy Blogiversary to Me!

rawpixel-574835-unsplashSharing a short little ditty today: September 30 marks my first anniversary of this blog!

I promise, I had no idea what to expect when I started Live Laugh Love Louie. I have known for a long time that I loved and needed to write, and enough friends of mine encouraged me to give this a try, so I did! And now here we are, 1700 visitors later, from 54 countries around the world, and roughly 2700 views including those from 89 followers.

My most popular piece, drawing plenty of attention even a year later, is “What does it mean to be beautifully broken?” I guess it helps when there is a movie on the horizon by that same name! I used more of a third-party voice when I wrote it, but my natural tendency is to speak more from a first person perspective. Maybe I’ll play with third party voice a bit more in the future, since it seems to have resonated so well.

Mostly I will continue to write from the heart about things that mean a great deal to me.

Family is foremost in my life, but I try hard not to talk about my kids and husband very much on here. Their privacy is important to me, and for me to talk about them to complete strangers seems exploitive. I lean more toward shielding them from public viewing, so you won’t hear too many intimate details about them from me.

The same goes for my friends. I may tell stories about them but I will mask who is who to protect their privacy as well.

But as you can see, I love travel and resolutions and planning. I struggle with the remnants of a broken heart, loneliness, religion, politics, and fitness. All of them are ripe for mining.

I’m thinking a lot about my oldest who will be leaving our home for college in a few years and whether we’ve done everything we should to prepare him for those steps. I also think about my daughter and the world she’s growing up in, and how very different her experience already is compared to mine. And I think about my youngest, and the pure joy and innocence he brings into this world, and how precious it is. All three remind me every day to be present and grateful for the gift of today and to find things to laugh and smile about.

So please take a moment and let me know what you’ve liked best so far, whether it’s a topic, tone, or turn of phrase. I’d love to hear from you. And in closing…

Thank you to all of you who showed an interest in my little corner of the internet.

 

 

Photo credit: Rawpixel on Unsplash.com

 

What does it mean to be beautifully broken?

The Japanese have a word: Japanese_technique_of_kintsugi_gold_leaf1-e1470131248721kinsugi. Wikipedia describes it as the art and philosophy of repairing a broken object with elegance and grace using gold or silver, not hiding the imperfection but honoring and embracing it as part of the history of the object. This “golden joinery” turns the flaw into something unique and quite more beautiful than before because now, something precious shines through the cracks.

It’s a useful metaphor for so many of us, isn’t it? Some strive for perfection but find it unattainable or maybe unsustainable. Some of us desperately want others to believe we lead perfect lives despite the shame we feel over our flaws. Some of us lived charmed lives that were shattered by fastballs from nowhere. Sometimes our pain remains buried because we have no way to tell our story. Some of us bring it on ourselves because we think we’re not worthy, regardless of where that idea sprouted. Some of us awaken to the realization that we are held back: quieted, stifled. And yet there are some among us who are startled to discover we have outgrown our own skin. The cracks form from within and burst forth with a blinding light, as you see in the photo of Expansion, the mesmerizing sculpture by Paige Bradley.

No matter how or where you are broken, the choice is yours whether to be the artist and apply the gold. It’s so easy to stay broken. It’s so incredibly easy to dwell in the negative, and focus on anger, on what’s not fair, or what went wrong, or what’s wrong with you, and let it define you, as if this is fundamentally who you are.  I know how easy it is to stay broken.

It’s not to say things don’t go awry. There isn’t a human alive who has escaped disappointment, injustice, or trauma…  Grief is real and necessary and cleansing, but the question is whether you dwell there and let it crush you or channel it to lift yourself and others. They tell us that life isn’t what happens to us but how we respond to it. No matter what: deliberately work toward creating beauty in those fissures, large or small, that now exist in yourself, your loved ones, or your community.

It is a noble way to live, weaving gold through whatever empty spaces we find and let it shine. I try to live with a perspective that is all about the gold, the art of finding positivity, grace, humor, and beauty no matter what happens. We’re all broken but do you see, do you create, beauty in it?

If that resonates with you, welcome to the club.

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