Good Morning!
Amy asked that question this morning, as I was playing solitaire instead of getting dressed…
“Are you ‘Psyching Up to do it?’ or ‘Psyching yourself Out of it’?”
Definitely one of those “I need to let this marinate!” lines.



So this morning, I’m looking for “What’s missing from my life?” ‘Cause, there’s a ton of it missing, whatever it is…

Complicating the search, is asking two questions at once:
“What is it?” and “How do I get more of it?”

I asked  a group of friends – and the best answer I got was from Thea, amplified by Tami:

 Be sure to appreciate what you already have. Getting too lost in the question “What’s missing?” can sap your strength, but keeping attentive to what’s already in your life will empower you to act on the answers you find.

Ahah! Keep your language positive – such an important reminder!


“Asking 2 questions at once” is like “Trying to Write and Edit at the same time” – a supremely bad idea. Your brain gets all tangled up and confused and thus, Overloaded and Stuck.

Mark Silver’s Remembrance Practice helps me get out of that Stuck, every day: “Is there room even here for Love?”

Also “Live in the Now” … !

Bright Blessings to you ~

I’m feeling my way through ‘how to make this Christmas more like what *I* want’, today. There are cooking and preparations to do, to help Amy get her Christmas ‘right’, and parts of the day that I need to be ‘right’ for *me* too.

Shortly after I wrote that paragraph yesterday, I sat down and wrote a list of ‘the menu, as planned in Roomie’s head’ and ‘what still needs to be done’ to make that menu happen.
The Doing of list-making helped me kick into the Actual Doing of Dinner. :) instead of fretting about dinner in a black hole. It not only All Came Out swell, but everybody raved, everything got checked off, and I felt great by the end of the day.
“Permission to Nap” after dinner helped, too, yaknow!
I didn’t slink off – I told folks that was what I was going to do, and I did it! (Also texted some important people in my life, and turned on precisely the music *I* wanted to hear. Maybe not literally ‘nap’, but retreat from “too many people, too much outside energy” –  really important to me!)

All-in-all, Christmas turned out splendidly, I was tired but not defeated (victorious, in fact!) at the end of the day, and got good sleep rather than ‘passed out’ last night!

Hope yours was equally good, and have a great Boxing Day, today, too ~ Bright Blessings, All!  K




A real breakthrough this week: “I’m afraid of…” is too big to get my head around and change –

What I’m really feeling is “I’m reluctant to Start (X) because of a Long History of (bad things) (disappointing results) (not ‘getting it right the first time’ – so clearly, it’s [I’m] wrong!) resulting from a Start…”

See what I did there? Digging into the several-many itty-bittty pieces that make up “I’m Afraid” …

Because all kinds of feelings can come under the heading of “I’m Afraid”, but they’re really different flavors (and textures, and colors) – with different sources and different solutions. Even though some of them are susceptible to the same sorts of conversation…

Part of me is very comfortable with “If I don’t start (or don’t finish, even if I start – a whole ‘nother issue, that one), it means I Haven’t Failed Yet.

Not quite “fear of failure”, and not quite “fear of success” either – more digging to do. But a good start, methinks. More to come…

I don’t get it.

I don’t know ‘how it works’, so I ask questions.
I don’t want to ‘do it wrong and get yelled at’, so I ask a question.
I don’t know ‘how you want it done’, so I ask another question.
Your answers don’t make anything clearer, so I ask more questions…

I don’t want to guess wrong (and get yelled at) but then “You ask too damn many questions! Leave me alone!” and “You’re smarter than that – stop asking questions and Do It!

= Yelled at, anyway!

Wah-ahh-ahh! Sniffle – Tears – Hide! I can’t do anything right – I quit! I give up! I don’ wanna!
There’s no point in even trying…
I’m gonna go [eat worms].


Holy Cowabunga!

All kinds of amazing personal self-discovery going on over at Havi’s today! Check out some of the links in her post, especially this one:

S is for Stimming, which for me is Supportive of Sanity and Serenity.

I personally self-identity (S-word!) as HSP and not so much with autism but hello, stimming (my dear friend!), and also hello, spectrum, another important S-word. May we all find a comfortable spot, a sense of security and “oh, this is me!”

And this one: rediscovering-stimming-as-an-adult by ExtendedExile.

Please read them, and the awesome comments, and then come back here. (Oh, please do come back – I’d miss you something fierce if you didn’t!)

Those posts are being as transformative (in the last 2 hours!) as reading “You Mean I’m NOT Crazy, Stupid or Lazy?” was.

I really AM OKAY, just the way I am. I’m NOT broken or wrong or crazy – I just don’t didn’t know how to use my brain-hardware happily.


Bright [if chilly (understatement of the year – it’s 5 above right now)] Blessings to you all ~

Karen / Kharmin / Kay :)


Hah! Another Friday morning dash-it-off post ~ And SEND!

Happy New Year, everybody!


Happy New Year, especially Little K!

Little K – you just stood up and took ownership of what you’ve really been doing all evening, instead of either hiding or lying to yourself and the people you feel certain you’ve let down.

I was hiding all evening, fucking around on the computer, not even writing, or doing anything “productive” or even creative – just playing solitary games, and debating putting off getting dressed and going to a party that I really wanted to go to, up until about 5 o’clock, when I got all nervous and insecure and cold and hungry, and I didn’t make the Choice: I simply Didn’t Choose. No *decision* made, I simply puttered until there wasn’t enough time left.

I’ve done that to myself for 50+ years – WTF??


I’m not particularly proud of *what I stood up about* – but I am definitely proud *that I stood up* at all!  Progress, yes? YES!

Thank you for being here…

I just did [a thing] that I’ve been resisting for a long lo-o-o-ng time.

KarenJ / Kharmin / Kay


I sat down and wrote honestly about myself, and some of the ways I’ve been less-than-together (under-statement of the century) in my Real Life, and then Actually. Ask. for Help! (Progress, right?) (Thank you, Ash and Shanna and everyone who’s ever written about how vital that is.)

The next step is to ‘make that visible’, because, well, *writing it*, committing it to screen is one thing (Yay, Me), but if nobody can actually *see it*, it still doesn’t do much good, right?

So, here’s Me (Ms. Karen Johannessen in Chicago, Illinois, USA), being vulnerable and visible at the same time:

All the heavy-duty resisting and denial I’ve done in the last year (decade?) – about losing the house, editing my stuff (by definition: eliminating options!), getting what’s left packed up and mostly stashed out of reach – all of that has come down to ‘spare-rooming’ it (a step up from ‘couch-surfing’ but a really small one), and now, losing the latest couch (at the end of December!)

It’s time to step up, get a “real job” with a “real income” (I know: you-all are a lot about “‘don’t just ‘work for the Man'”, but right now, I haven’t left myself time to start a side gig – face-palm!), and get into a place that supports my genuine needs. I see that as a place of my own, where I can be not so off-balance every minute of every day. First I need the place. I need the job, too, to support the place, but the hard deadline for a place is January 1!

Meanwhile, Thank You all for your wisdom, your advice, your support and your role-modeling. If it weren’t for my friends and the folks I’ve found on the internet, I don’t know *where* I’d be now (not anywhere any more comfortable, that’s fersure) ~ Blessings to you, and a shiny New Year!

Please take a look at this page, and if you can contribute, I’d surely appreciate it. Even if you can’t (or choose not to), I appreciate you, for sharing You, and for reading my words! If you see fit to share it, that would be wonderful, too.

Bright Blessings (the sun’s coming back, hurray!) and

Happy Winter Holidays (all of them) ~ Karen J

PS – I do have a PayPal account, too: k m johannessen at yahoo dot com. (Thanks for the reminder, Cordelia’s Mom!

I’ll bet you haven’t clicked on the tab at the very top here that says Let the Day Begin – I know I’d even forgotten about it… (insert embarrassed-as-hell smilie here).

Shanna Mann’s post comments reminded me of the incredible power of music to lighten, brighten, and overall Level Up your mood – and therefore your whole day.

Bright Blessings , y’all!



I’ve just recognized a costume that one of my Monsters often wears: “But I don’t know HOW…” is really about “I. Mustn’t. Risk. Failing.” while I try something unfamiliar…

He conspires with his Monster friends to throw up all kinds of distractions: dishes that want to be done or hunger growls or running out of time before something else needs doing – and the ever-popular Not Enough Money bug-a-boo!

Also: “must have mindless brain occupying (pattern recognition practice)” NOW! AKA Solitaire or games. (Those can be good for hours of “Not Risking Failure, while I also ‘don’t do’ the thing I don’t know how to do”!)

He was probably born in early grade-school, when I started to hear “You’re so smart about A, B and C, and X, Y and Z – how can Q or R be so hard??” from Very Important Adults.

Now that I know another place where he hides, maybe we can come up with a new job description for him, that helps instead of hinders me?


This popped into clear view as I wrote a comment over at Carol Tice’s writing blog:

Thank you for the safe space to grow in, Carol ~

And Bright Blessings, always!

Karen J





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