Persistence, determination, diligence, willpower…these are the current words I have on sticky notes around me. I keep sticky notes with things or character traits that I strive for. If I don’t have it, I write the word then I at least own the word in ink on paper. ;)

It was Albert Einstein who said, "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." Well, any of us who barely got 50% in Math and Science know that this guy wasn’t just about staying with problems longer. He was definitely gifted…and smart. But, maybe what made him smart was he knew the smartest path to something was by staying with it longer. So yeah, whether gifted or learned I’d rather take his advice than most people I have done business with.

Typically, I have always been about getting information from the source. I don’t necessarily believe what they tell me on TV, in church or emails from friends. My belief system bypasses all the churches and goes back thousands of years. I like some of what they say and wonder about the rest. I tend to think rather than follow. I don’t go after the advice of a current day musician but rather I go back to a time when I felt the miracles in music. Every book I pick up I realize that the person writing it is stating their opinion. In most cases, I’m an infomaniac (rub your eyes and read that correctly without an n) which means I collect the thoughts of people from way back in history, pick up tidbits of info since then that make sense to me and throw my own experiences in and that’s the make-up of me. But I realize, he also said "Information is not knowledge." and that, "The only source of knowledge is experience." I stay wide-eyed to new things and try very hard not to judge people which I fail at often. All in all, I’m not trying to be smart or right. I’m not even looking for contentment or happiness. I’m somewhere else altogether.

For some reason, Albert Einstein rises to the top with me. I feel a sense of balance from someone who didn’t have a balanced life. I don’t put someone at the top because they don’t have screw-ups, I put them there when I feel they have truly lived. But more than anything he possessed one amazing thing; GRIT.

Grit is the new word I have on paper. It’s the throat Janis Joplin had and it’s the skin surface I see from Einstein. Grit is when I can see the story of someone’s life in the lines of their face and when I look at a pair of hands and see labor. Grit allows you to be deliberate in action without the opinions of others. Grit is when you have more ideas than time. Grit is wisdom from experience and street smarts. It’s not knowing everything but it means you have touched fire, been burned, have the scars and continue on with your chin up. Grit is the dust your horse kicks up in your face when you ride and you welcome it without caring how you look. Grit is a force-field that allows you to stand like your feet are in cement blocks during a hurricane. It’s perhaps the most beautiful characteristic I could ever imagine in another human being. Grit is a feature of a warrior, not just a breakfast item in the south. Ha!

I’ve met so many of you lately who are sad, depressed, lonely, scared. I see myself in you. Even though I hate that any of you feel this way, I have a special bond with you and you are forming your callous, your grit. You are preparing your spirit and mind for greatness. I know this! Those who stay with problems longer are overwhelmed and maybe feel like giving up but it’s an indescribable beauty that you possess. I feel like our community here has something very special and unique. These are people who maybe don’t feel smart, don’t feel worthy, don’t know what the future holds and yet the grit is not a faux finish. It’s a bouquet of brilliance and a plethora of knowledge. You are either here looking for answers from each other or have the unique capability of sharing your grit with those who don’t necessarily need the advice, but need to feel like they aren’t alone in it all. I don’t completely understand how we all came together like pieces to a puzzle, but it’s so rare you see so many people interact in the spirit of love and tolerance who aren’t PRISSY!!! Pretty rad, don’tcha think? :)

Grit, one more layer of it with each storm…

Much love on you!
Karen :)

I’ve quoted him probably more than any other person, always looking to see what I can get from him but I am reminded, "The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive."


  1. I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blogs, I look forward to each and every one. They make me feel happy and uplifted and get the rusty gears in my brain turning in a way that no other blog seems to do. So, thanks for writing, it has genuinely made a difference in my life.

  2. Nice blog, Karen... you're doing good... *smiles*