Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy and prosperous 2021… https://t.co/COgpPzPEQJ
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I woke up this morning first to see this tweet above from Shah Rukh Kahn who seriously got me through this year of the Covid virus and our time of social distancing. I have seen all his films, many over and over, and watched every speech, every talk, and every post on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter as I find him a visionary. He is the one person I can go and watch and be truly inspired, shoot he just makes me happy!
My mantra this year is to “Follow My Bliss”, scroll down to see post on exactly this. After the year we just had, I have vowed to only do the things that bring me joy, peace, and happiness and keep as far away from all the negative people and posts in the world. We are so much better than this, we can do so much better. Let me begin with me. Be the change that you want to see. Read, walk in someone else’s shoes for awhile and choose to share all the good in the world.
This brings me to a new series I am watching on Netflix, so obscure I doubt if anyone has really watched this series from Egypt called “Once Upon a Time”.
Every time I watch a film from some where else in the world I recognize how little I know about this world. I also see that we all have the same basic wants and needs, water, food, shelter and to love and be loved. “Once Upon a Time” has always been my favorite way to begin a story because of my childhood love of fairy tales, the classics, and I still get lost in those stories as I reread many of them even now over and. over. Such a great story in this series and one that makes me realize too how far we have come as women and men.
In many ways my life has been much like a fairy tale, I have had some really, really big dreams living for that “happily ever after”. Many of those dreams have come true and so many have not, not at all. Along the way I have encountered so many things that have frightened me. As a child I was fearful, scared of the dark, scared of being alone, I clung to my sisters at night for I have met many ogres, trolls, and witches along my path through my life’s imaginations of traveling those foreboding woods in all the stories I read. I kept reading, and reading, and reading and what I found is that their are others just like me. Who knew?
As an introvert, I thought I was all alone in my fears but through reading I discovered those who championed their fears. Storybook characters like Tarzan, Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and later on the wonderful library of books from my favorite body of work author, Pat Conroy. I learned that even the ogres, the trolls, and the witches have back story, often times so devastingly horrible I have grown to understand that people who do such mean and hateful things have a reason. In many of Shah Rukh Khan films he portrays an evil person. Through the beauty of the storytelling and writing of the Bollywood films I now want to know the story behind the story on everyone, even the bad guys, they have a story too. In fact, we want this world to be a better place then we better start with taking better care of our children. They are are greatest gifts and should be treasured.
I grew to be outwardly this extroverted book club leader empowered by a lifetime of reading books. On the inside has been a different story, constantly filled with self doubts, lack of self-esteem, and honestly, I felt like I was only putting on an act.
Then Covid hit, right before that I was very sick, so sick I could not even get out of bed to the doctor. When I finally crawled out of bed from a month of being there, I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with a full blown case of Diabetes II. My doctor wanted to hospitalize me my blood sugar was so high. I had dropped 55 pounds and did not even know it. I convinced her I would do what it takes to take care of myself and I have, it has not been an easy year for me. Because guess what? I was told to stay home, stay safe and get my health in order. I followed her orders.
I hate being alone. I love being around people and friends. So I did what I always do when I cannot deal with life, I throw myself into my work. I have never worked harder in my life than this year. I will spare you the details but what I have found is that by doing the hard work there is a great satisfaction in all the work that I created, I earned everything. I take great pride in all I do because I know I worked for it. My self-confidence along with my health came back. In all honestly, I still cry myself to sleep almost every night and I really do not know why. I have everything I need, water, food, shelter, I love everybody and they most certainly love me back. My question is why do we want so much more?
So I was saved by watching Shah Rukh Kahn films and the films of India and beyond. These films bring me great joy and make me recognize that we all have our struggles. They also make me realize just how important sharing our stories truly are. To be in community with others is the answer. I worked so hard this year to bring my International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club Reading Nation to having more online content. In fact, I about killed myself in doing so. I stepped back to reevaluate my efforts. I streamlined my 17 pages on Facebook and social media to to one page, The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Reading Nation. One website, www.thepulpwoodqueens.com and I also had my authors convince me to do something totally outside of my comfort zone in doing my first ever virtual online book club convention called 2021 Girlfriend Weekend Slumber Party, January 14 – 17, 2021 in just twelve more days! What was I thinking!
The true reason I do what I do is like Shah Rukh Kahn has said on numerous occasions, I just want to entertain and act until I am well over 100. For me, I just want to share my author’s stories, to entertain, not so sure I will make it to 100 but it’s all about sharing those stories. The stories connect us to people and since I am such a visual learner, I want to see those stories entertain us through films.
We are still here. Our lives our short so why not make each day as entertaining and as important as each moment can possibly be. Yes, I am following my bliss. I can hardly wait for all the New Shah Rukh Kahn films coming out and other ones too. I received over 600 books this year and checked out every single one of them. Of the over 200 that I completely read, I selected our 12 books of the year. I also went another step further, because I discovered a whole new world of storytelling in the foreign films I was watching I decided that I would select 12 International books of the year too. My book club has always been very global and diverse. I recognized it was time to show the world that we were so. Our full 2021 International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club List is posted on our website, www.thepulpwoodqueens.com. Everything is posted there from my blogs, to our newsletter, you name it. Please join us and get your book loving friends to join too.
Now I have always been of the belief that you dream big. What if your dreams come true? They have for me, many of my biggest dreams. Having my daughters, taking care of them and watching them grow up to be such strong, fearless women making their way in the world. The only thing I ever want to be remembered about me was that I did my very best at being a mother. Now I have a grandson, a dream come true and he’s such a wonderful blessing for me at my age of 64. I want to be strong and healthy to see him grow and champion the world himself. I graduated from college, FINALLY after seven colleges and universities, 43 years in the making to walk the stage to receive my B.F.A in Fine Arts, Minor in Art History, magna cum laude no less. My dreams, my big dreams came true.
You would think that I would be thrilled. Yes, I am. In the back of my mind I thought what now, what now is my purpose? My children have left the nest, I am alone really for the first time in my life. What now?
Big Book Love!
Kathy L. Murphy
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