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Monday, April 29, 2013

A Life Worth Living

There was a time when I lived in the city. Now, I cannot imagine how I survived. My time in nature nurtures me. I know how lucky I am to have undeveloped forests and meadows all around me. That's part of why I embrace every day by going out onto the trails and living life to the fullest with my dogs.

Fortunately, my dogs like this style of living.
I've developed a funny habit. I like to look back at the same date over the years that I've been writing this blog to see what happened in previous years. I've found that there's a theme that recurs throughout this blog - seize the day. That's no surprise to long-time readers, I'm sure.

I try not to dwell on it but I live with chronic pain. People like my physical therapist and others ask me what I'd tell others about how to live with pain and still be happy. My reply always is to live today like it's your last one. Enjoy the good parts and fully feel the bad parts. Don't let the pain own you.
I first realized how important it was to live every single day as fully as I could when I watched my mother die of breast cancer when I was still young. Given the hereditary nature of breast cancer, I always felt that I wouldn't live a long time. Indeed, I never visualized living longer than my mother did. With that in mind, I have now hit the age that my mother was when her cancer was discovered. I feel less fatalistic about my future now than I did when I was younger - but I do fully realize that every day is a gift.

My attitude evolved most rapidly when chronic pain became my companion when I was in my twenties. I had endometriosis, requiring seven surgeries to finally quell the intractable pain. At the same time, I was experiencing the beginnings of the degeneration of my spine and associated pain. I won't lie - I gave up emotionally for a while - because life seemed too hard.

Somewhere along the path of life, I realized that I get only one shot at living... so immersing myself in misery is a bad idea. Gradually, my attitude became "seize the day" - make it a day that was worth living.

My dogs have helped me immensely in keeping that attitude. In an odd way, even K's cancer kept me fully alive - because I didn't want to miss an instant with her.

Now it's Shyla and R. Shyla knows that her life is a gift (and I know that she is a gift to me).
And so does R.
So, we all love our mountains every single day.
And fall asleep instantly when we lie still because we've spent every last iota of energy!
Life is good.


  1. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy every day. Life is too short to let anything stop you from enjoying it.

  2. I always feel so inspired when I read your blog. I truly admire you and how real you are.
    Nola's Mom

  3. I never know what to say after I read your posts. I want to say something wise and uplifting.
    But there is no way anything could be said better, lived better, be better....than the example you give us. Thank you for being you and for sharing your heart and spirit.
    Bert's My Vickie

  4. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration...I really needed that today :)

  5. Very well said KB! Many a lesson can be learned from you ;-)


  6. are truly an inspiration. Your words, your photos, your insights; what a gift you have chosen to share with your readers.
    Your posts are one of the highlights of my day for so many reason. All I can say is thank you for what you do and who you are!
    Shyla, R and the Runner are so very lucky to have you!

  7. As already stated by many other commenters you are truly an inspiration to anyone that reads your blog or has the pleasure to know you in real life.


  8. Somehow, that last picture says it all for me! I agree, life is too short to waste mired in negativity. It can be so crippling and debilitating. I can always count on your posts to make me smile and see things in a better light!

  9. Good advice. Where you live should make you feel better all the time.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  10. Thank you KB for baring your soul with honesty.
    You may not know it, but you have been a gift to us,,, a flickering light in the distance glowing,, helping each of us as we stumble along our way,,,to get up and keep on- and as you have always said "seize the day"- and feel the wonders around us. Thank you for being you.

  11. I don't know how you do KB, but you are an inspiration. You remind me quite a bit of my hubby. He's a lot like that. His motto is: Make the most out of each day. And like you he does that.

    Thank you for being such a gift.

  12. So beautifully put. I love "make it a day that was worth living." That is key. And it is obvious that you do.

  13. This has to be one of the best posts that we have ever read! You are an inspiration to us all, KB!

    We love you!

  14. Once again, your amazing positive attitude comes through. I agree with making the most of every day and focusing on the positive. My life experiences are nowhere near as challenging, however, my dogs and their positive attitudes despite their pasts and their handicaps have made me more aware. I am also a firm believer in focusing on the positive and not dwelling on the negative.

    Thanks again for reminding all of us what is important.

  15. Thank you for articulating this so well. I don't know anyone who can't benefit from a reminder to be in the moment. (Maybe the Dalai Lama?) Anyway, thanks :)

  16. You are such an inspiration! I am so glad I found your blog!

  17. Woof! Woof! Mom can relate. We shared in our previous post that having a dog is the best medicine. We are big in living in the moment and absorbing our surrounding. Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  18. You have such a great outlook. We have a friend that deals with chronic pain. It's horrible. We know for sure your pups and her pups contribute to a positive attitude
    Benny & Lily

  19. beautiful IS good...(and it takes intention to make each day a good one!)

  20. We have to echo Bert's Vickie's remarks! You truly ARE an inspiration and how I wish I had an ounce of your courage and determination.

  21. KB, what an amazing attitude to have, given all you have been thru in your life. My husband was in a gloom-n-doom mood last night about my constant pain in my foot from my recent injury. I told him that I feel like my worst days are now BEHIND me - I may have to live with constant pain from this but it doesn't have to completely stop me from enjoying life. I will admit I have lots of bad days, when grief settles in like a tsunami.....but I have to make a CHOICE to move forward. Sometimes it's an hourly choice to trust in God's plan. I am so glad that God gave us our beloved pups, he knew what we would need!!!

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  22. Life IS good and you are the perfect example of how to live it to it's fullest!

  23. Thanks for the inspirational words! I wish more people would stop moping. It does nothing but make the pain, situation or whatever even worse. It's not about ignoring the issue - but instead just hanging in there and making the best of the situation. It's great to see you do that!

  24. Hi KB, I have always loved seeing you living life to the fullest, that is why I initially came back again and again-now you're just a friend who encourages me daily. I understand your thoughts about your mom-mine died when I was 22 from a stroke, she was just 61. I always worried that I would die at that age too.I'm 61 and have no plans on going anywhere. My sister died in her early 60's. However, we never know when our time will come, so we must live fully, love unconditionally and count each moment as a blessing. Your dogs give you joy, hope and love. May you have many, many years of riding and hiking with them. BTW, the mountains also nuture my soul.
    Hugs today.

  25. I agree....
    Love your Pictures...the puppies are growing fast...they are twice their weight now

  26. Yes, life IS good. And it is a wise person who recognizes that and takes advantage of what life offers.

  27. What a beautiful and inspirational post. Thank you for sharing and for being a model for the rest of us. I hope I can maintain that attitude; I try to think of every day as a blessing now. I'm thankful to know every minute counts.

  28. What a great post! I too live with chronic pain and am a breast cancer surviver. Our dogs teach us many things, one of which is to live in the moment and savor it! Living in Alaska we also have so much natural beauty surrounding us daily...we are truly blessed!
    Your photos make me smile!

  29. Your philosophy of life is so very true. As I endure dialysis and heart problems. I look upon each day with the energy to enjoy with my loving and loyal companion Kirra.

    Luv to R and Shyla and every good wishes to yourself.

  30. As always, I find your attitude so inspiring, KB. There are many ways to live a life, and it's up to us to choose our own paths, no matter what obstacles we face. Dogs do help show us the way. :-)

    Susan and Wrigs

  31. Thankyou, KB. I once related your chronic pain to my (chronic) depression and I can see that I was right - I have a lot to learn from you. I am actually on my way home right now as I just read your post; it's been a challenging afternoon and I was thinking of curling up and wallowing for a while, but now maybe I won't.


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