The Column Continues

Previously published in the Hughson Chronicle & Denair Dispatch

…as such, this piece refers specifically to my time reporting for the newspaper and my column, Here’s to the Good Life!

The day begins at 6:00 a.m. with my toddler singing “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer.” Some mornings I hide my head, hoping he will fall back asleep until my husband goes after him in sweet spousal sympathy. Other mornings I muster up the energy to usher him out of his room in the hopes of preserving the sleep of his siblings. 

After breakfast and chores, the homeschooling day begins.

Two children working on school work at the coffee table.

I am pregnant and rejoicing, but I am also spent. 

Recently I wrote about the willingness to let go of the beautiful things offered to us in each season when their time comes. This is no retirement letter, but an admission of tiredness, and a need to step back and do the thing I always recommend: pause, take stock, savor, and make a choice about the next right thing. 

For me, the season seems built for rest and homeschool, which has made attending local events for the newspaper tenuous. I am going on leave sooner than expected, but this column will continue. 

Four years ago on September 14, 2015, I submitted my first column piece. 

 After four years, though the tone has changed somewhat, each piece still circled around the tenant to live the life you have to its fullest potential possible.

It began with life coaching and positive psychology concepts. There were conversations about virtue, goals, manners, emotions and coping skills. It was advice-driven and much informed by some lengthily-titled graduate courses. 

Personally, during that time, my life coaching business hit the ground running and I awaited the birth of my son, Peter. That season, we learned during an ultrasound he had a cleft lip and palate.

In 2016,

the topics remained heavy on the psychology and philosophy, incorporating new discussions on the value of making your space beautiful. Many of these articles came about while sitting beside my sleeping son in the hospital.

The words shifted from advice out of books to the words I needed to hear: the goodness of routine, hobbies and making your environment inviting. In the strangeness of a hospital setting, those were concrete coping skills I used to get through. That year my daughter Celeste was diagnosed and I took time off to prepare to say goodbye to her as my pregnancy neared its completion in March.

The column continued, even though the life coaching business did not. In writing, I found the words that connected me to life. And I wrote hoping to offer some inspiration for you to look for and choose those things offered in all circumstances that are life-giving, inspirational and fulfilling. 

Photocopy of newspaper column "Here's to the Good Life!"

In September 2017

I began freelancing for this publication, going out to events, meeting you in the streets of town festivals and city-wide yard sales, telling your stories after drive-thru dinners and fundraisers.

With 2018,

our family’s life rebuilt. I dabbled in book reviews, writing about home-life and the seasons, searching for that right focus. The stories continued and this town inspired me to a love of community I have only ever known in theory. Like those I interviewed, I could say with sincerity, “this is a great town.”

From the stages of change to invigorating life to waiting well, I hoped to keep the column fresh and interesting. In its process, I stopped wanting to tell you what to do in weekly advice sessions. Often enough, we already know what we must do. In many cases, we are already trying our best to put it into practice. 

Instead, I looked to share the reflections and things inspiring me, thinking perhaps, inspiration spills influencing others to take stock and consider. The words are more personal, less pragmatic.

Telling your stories through community events has been the sincerest joy and it will be difficult to stay away and keep my nose out of others freelancers’ business (we have two wonderful ladies taking over for me). Returning in the spring cannot come soon enough. 

The time away is necessary, but it does not make it easy, because the things that I hear from you, the things that inspire you to give, to be part of this community, to love your neighbor, inspire me. 

The column continues.

Now, I ask for your advice. What do you want to hear about? How can it best serve the readers in our community? What has been like for you to read this weekly column? If you have ideas to share, email me at writer@kathrynannecasey.com.

Until next week.

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