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: gofund.me/j1z7k8.

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! gofund.me/j1z7k8. 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 Royal.com 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: http://tinyurl.com/nupe455.

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

And Bright Blessings, always!

Karen J




This article just came across my transom, courtesy of Lissa Boles.

It’s Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs”, talking about what I call Micro-Rules and finding your *perfect* (whatever):

A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Career Advice…He Didn’t Expect This Response, But It’s Brilliant.


The most important line is in the last paragraph: “…most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

All I can add right now is “The grass is always greener where you water it!” – Listen for your own Micro-Rules that keep what you truly want far away from you. Make changes in how you talk to yourself, and to the Universe. Your world will change right along with you.

Blessings, all…



I was mourning for my tree, and for myself and for my status quo.

I’d made a “gut-wrenching no-brainer” decision: to allow the HomeOwners’ Association to pay for taking out my 60-year-old ash tree that gave me beautiful shade in the whole back yard. (Ash trees in the Midwest are being attacked by Emerald Ash Borers, and municipalities are taking the hardest line possible against this invasive non-native bug: take away ALL their host trees.)

The guys were here all day, cutting off branches and grinding up limbs, and I knew it was “for the best” – I couldn’t have afforded the removal, and it was inevitable…

I still felt like I’d just decided to “pull the plug” on my best friend. Again! …and I didn’t even realize that was what my heart was doing, until 10:30 last night.

I’m still very sad for the reality of this, but today, I see it, and I’m acknowledging the feelings, and keeping on doing “what else needs to be done”. The first thing is writing and sharing this, the next is delivering magazines, and the only way to get that done is to get up and get out.

Thus: I’m grateful that I could write this, and that you’re reading it. Bright Blessings!  and….


On more check-it-offs and fewer blows to your self-regard ~ from David Caine at Raptitude http://www.raptitude.com/2014/02/procrastinate-later/:

“You don’t need the mind’s approval to get started. All you need is to get clear, on an intellectual level, what you want done, and then move your body until you’re in the middle of it.”…

“Your body, quite reliably, does what you tell it. Your mind insists on deliberating and debating, consulting with a hundred trustees and boards. It draws up complex documents for you to sign, demanding feasibility studies, immunity from all liabilities and a guaranteed return on investment. Skip this meeting, it’s a trap.”

I convene *that* meeting several times a day! It is a time-suck and an energy-drain, and a slippery slope into depression. ~ It’s time to install a new management model.


Since this post, like most others here, has been sitting in Drafts – untouched – for several days, I am taking more Baby Steps to installing my “new model”:

“POST!” :)

Added, ten minutes after “Post” ~

Corrina Scott-Barnes’ post from yesterday: http://youinspireme.co.uk/2014/what-i-wish-for-us-in-self-employment/

Beautiful, and just what I needed to see and hear this morning! {{{Corrina}}} – you’re beautiful!  ~ K


And this, from Andrew at Nurturing Creativity: http://nurturingcreativity.net/a-message-about-self-worth/

Closing the window now, and putting my coat (back) on… ;)


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