Blue Skies and Sunshine – The Grandmother.

Struggling to find a title to sit with this post, so you may be reading the original one or one of its many variations. I am wanting to write about your mother’s mother. The maternal grandmother, or in my case “nanny”.

My Nanny was called Joan Winifred Laffan (nee Haines) she was in her early 40s when I was born, my mother was 20, still a child herself and then there was me. A screaming infant, a month early, jaundiced, slightly deformed and due to this I almost killed my mother on the way out. Sorry mum.

In life we all have people that impact, imprint their lives on our young nubile minds. These people can be for the good or the bad, it is then up to us to how we navigate these influences. In many cases this may not be just your parents, but a grandparent, a aunt or uncle – mine was Joan aka Nanny.

The one thing you need to know more than anything is that she was my most absolute favorite person in the “whole entire world”. She was my sunshine, the gentle moon on a glistening lake, the stars, fluttering butterflies, rainbows on a drizzly day, a gentle breeze on my skin, she was my everything. Her smell, her tight hugs, her perfect beehive hair, her Teasmaid in the morning, her skin, her laugh, her twinkling eyes and her nicknames for me were magical and wondrous. She was an angel, my magical sprite, my fun-loving, kind, gentle, caring forever happy nanny. God (and I am not religious) I loved her with every single cell, fiber, heartbeat, filament that came from my child’s body. She kept me safe and loved me with such a force I never ever doubted what I was to her, I was her “Kellykins” and I miss her.

Sadly my gorgeous, glamorous cigarette holder, smoking, whiskey drinking, hardworking, jiving nanny had to leave me at age 31, just before I gave birth to Arthur and my 32nd birthday. Lung cancer stole her; even though she had given up smoking years before. It was quick and brutal! One day I was hugging her so tight, her frail shrinking body and then she was gone, a light was extinguished and the world became a little darker without her in it. Just gone, no more, no more wafts of Coco Chanel floating in the air, no more laughter, no more bone crushing, soul lifting love. Her white hair and penchant for Cornflower blue outfits, just gone! SNAP.

Almost 13 years later, I still miss her everyday. My heart just hurts when I think of her, I feel crushed and lost and I will never ever get her back. She never met my boys, and man she would have loved them more than she loved me. She adored Kieron and always said , “Oh Kelly If I were 20 years younger I would give you a run for your money on that one”! Thankfully she was not 20 years younger as I feel like I may have lost that battle 🙂

There was a beautiful connection that I had with her, that she just knew me, she didn’t want to change me, it was like we were bonded in a way I have never ever felt before. Yes, I was her favorite, I knew it, she knew it and so did everyone else, but it was a magic I had never felt before. When we were together, life just felt easy, it felt safe, it was just nanny and Kelly, we liked the same things, we had the same style, the same dreams and personality, we were just 40 years apart and life was very different for her compared to me. I was a 70s baby, she was a 30’s baby.

She gave me so many gifts that I truly could not describe, but I love the fact she gave me a style and ease / confidence in clothes that I cherish to this day, I am not scared to create feelings and stories with the way I dress. We shared a love of Chanel, fine bags and good jewelry. Joan Laffan, was seriously one of the coolest humans I have ever met and I miss her, I am not the same without her, but I know she is with me. I still on occasion can smell phantom smoke, when I am all alone and no one is around, I can look up at a Cornflower sky and feel her energy swirl round, I see her in my dreams and I can still feel her hugs and her soft sweaters on my skin.

She was my favorite and I wish she were still here.

Love Kellykins


Life is but a journey, that’s what people say.

Life is but navigating, a complicated maze.

There is a distinct beginning, and definitely an end.

Life is not a straight line, but has many curves and bends.

We climb up many mountains and fall down deep ravines.

Experience love and heart break, and all the things between .

One attempts to avoid the sadness of feeling loss and shame.

But hold it tight and accept it, the sun will grace the rain.

Without the hurt we feel no pain, but that will make us numb.

To joy, to love, to kindness and a multitude of fun.

The shadows of a high wall, where the destinations obscured.

Fate is what you create, opinions are blurred.

Life is but a journey I’ll always disagree.

Life is what you make it , to live to love , to be free.

Do not let someone tell you, you have to box it in.

Or where you should be going , or where you should begin.

Natures seeds that’s your life and that is what you’re sowing.

Only you can control the path by, living, accepting flowing .

Life is but a journey, that’s what people say.

Life is but navigating, a complicated maze.

“Because, I’m Way Less Sad!”

I heard this song for the first time the other day by AJR. See, this bitch is totally down with the kids. Although my 11 year old did tell me that my “tennis ball” curved peak baseball cap needs to be straight. I am not allowed to wear it backwards, as I am ancient, and calling someone a “crazy cat” is just embarrassing!!!! Well it was good enough for Hendrix!

But I side track. The point is I heard this song and I fell back into the no mans land that was my early 20s. I was alone in London, in a high fought after job (I was a Denim / Menswear Fashion buyer; well assistant), poorly paid, and renting with strangers, who were usually crazy, most certainly not “friends”. But Martin, if you are are reading this, or James or Helen, you were good friends, and I love you all for protecting me during some of this destructive time.

As the song states, “No I ain’t happy yet? But, I’m way less sad.”

That was my life. I bounced from work, to pub, to party, to a strangers bed on occasion. I drank too much, I fell over often, as my slightly starved body was not a great consumer of alcohol. I occasionally dabbled in narcotics, to keep up with the big kids. Inside I was so so empty, solitary and sad. The social friends, the parties, the drugs, the alcohol as the song goes did not make happy now, but they did make me “way less sad.” It felt like I was drifting unconsciously through a sea of noise. Cruising through London, searching with a dim light. Searching for some connection, for my soul to be lit and to let it flourish. The dirty city was bright, pulsating and alive, I fed off its energy for years and then I fizzled out. My job was going nowhere, no man wanting anything past my outward appearance, once they got my lanky legs wrapped around them and the morning sun rose, they disappeared. Or if they found out my inside was a cavern of honest emotion, compared to the superficial shell of my 23 year old body, they floated on by.

I continued, I lived, I had some awesome fun in those hedonistic nights of dancing, loud music, dark bars and city sunrises. Yes for brief moments I felt like I was on fire, my brain and body glowed from the energy of the throng. “I was way less sad” …….. “And I’m not dead yet, so I guess I’ll be alright”! Then daylight, the hangover, the loss, the sickly London morning, shone a grey tinge on my dingy room. As I lay staring at the ceiling, hollow, aching and distraught.

The song makes me cry, it brings back the ache of a lost child in a crowded city. It reminds me of my stuck youth languishing, caught on its hedonistic rollercoaster.

Then one night a boy walked into a pub. I was caught in its clutches, swallowed by a sea of people. He walked in, with his floppy hair, big grin, and kind heart, he scooped up my soul and blew life back in. “Joy” had finally arrived.

“Yes, I feel happy now.”

“Try not to offend and unnerve!”

“How can I put this in a way so as not to offend or unnerve.” Yes a Prince Song (Gett Off)

I am going to attempt to write this thought piece so I do not offend or unnerve someone. But, I am not the thought police, so in my clunky way I am sure in my attempt to articulate this and not upset someone, I can guarantee I will most definitely upset an individual. I actually may not even post it.

I would like to say firstly I am not racist, or homophobic or elitist (writing this, does this then make me all these things?). I believe in kindness and love to all. I really do not give a shit, as long as you are a good person. I also have to be honest that I am sure there are many things I do or say that are “wrong” in todays inequality era (which is much needed) I am sure I do many things like using the incorrect term, it is a minefield that is forever changing and its terrifying, because I despise making another feel inferior.

I am a white, 43 year old female, I was brought up in England (which as a country when it comes to race and equality are further ahead than America). I went to school, I was never hungry or homeless and I graduated college. I could afford to buy my first car by working 2 jobs and my parents are still together, I am straight – I am in fact a tick box of white privileges’ (a term that has been thrown at me before, as an derogatory term, by a single white male) – I understand my life has been easy, I have never experienced multiple attacks for the amount of melanin in my skin, or where I have come from, or poverty and I feel guilty, yes guilty. None of the above is my fault, my skin color, my upbringing, I was lucky, very lucky. Yes. I have to defend my upbringing not to the individuals who have never received my start in life, but other privileged white people. It is from the white people, working so hard to be correct, politically correct, to make the changes, to do the good, to fight the good fight, I get it, I welcome it. BUT, this is where I may OFFEND, what if by zeroing on what is deemed the difference, you are making the difference greater, by trying not to make it a difference you are strengthening this invisible divide, by saying I don’t see color, race, sexual orientation you are dismissing it , the thing that makes a person unique, IS them. What if we acknowledge the friend is bisexual and ask Qs, learn, love, try? What if we can joke and laugh about each other and our uniqueness. On the flip side, what if we work too hard to see it, make a VOCAL point of accepting and acknowledging, does that also make it wrong or racist, I really do not know anymore. As a kid of the 80’s life is so very different now!

I personally believe, color, race, sex, sex preference aside, we simply help those less fortunate than us. Those in poverty, the worlds greatest divide. We need to love, be kind, help, help, help, forge friendships. Yes, I admit I have never experienced true hardship, but I have been taunted and followed down the road, had fireworks set off through my letterbox due to my sex and skin color. I have had my bag snatched down a dark alley. I have been called weak due to my sex, too sensitive because of my sex. I have had my ass grabbed, been jeered and followed by men down the road in the dark. I had a “Me too’ moment.

I am now going to apologize for saying this!

Society has made me feel guilty for the lack of “bad” moments in my life. The lack of pain and poverty. I share them to say, I understand a little and it is not fucking fair that some people have a better start in life. That the world is cruel, ugly and nasty. But in amongst the forest of hurt, there are glimmers of light and hope on the horizon. See the difference, celebrate the uniqueness of each person. Love the person inside, not its shell. I have dated black men, bisexual men, straight men, I have kissed women. This is not a badge of honor, I am sure I am not formulating my point well, but I loved them, because of the person they were, how they made me feel, I saw the beauty of the soul that cared for me and loved my skinny, white ass. Am I a wrong for sharing this, I do not know anymore? I give my thoughts to say look beyond the skin, the height, the background, the sexual preference, the glasses, the hair color, dress sense, music tastes, dance moves. Love and nurture the soul lying beneath the layers of societal rules. America in particular has made this all so muddy.

I also am not writing this for some poor, confused white girl sympathy, but to formulate my feelings during an everchanging movement. I love the change, but it seems so complicated. Why can adults not look at humans like a child does, simply, open, accepting and all encompassing.

Privilege – I understand I have it, I didn’t ask for it, I do not want to apologize for it, I accept it. But, I need to use it to help others. But, I also need to know who created this, it wasn’t society, it was a higher power. What was it based on? Fear? Need? Power? Religion or all of the above. Who decided one group was better than the other and WHY ? “Stamped From the Beginning” the book by Ibram X. Kendi is a good place to start.

I will surely continue to have moments when I will apologize for my life, I will experience white guilt, I will flounder in saying the correct term, I will upset unknowingly, I will try hard to do the right thing, to say the right thing. Sadly, I can never know what it is like to be in someone else shoes, walk someone else’s life. I will never feel your struggles or pain, only my own, as we are all merely human. We are all unique packages of life, delivered on to this earth to take root and bloom. Whether it be a daisy, a oak tree, a willow, a rose, we all search for the same thing, the sun, rain, ripe earth to feed our roots. To seed and release ourselves back into the ecosystem, the ground, the soil. We can all be hurt, bleed, cry, laugh, reach for the sky and fly. In a world of individuals, I think the greatest gift I can give my boys is the ability to unite, not fight. To know there is no “NORMAL” but happiness . I always ask them, “What is normal?” who decided on those rules? Society? Religion? Pollical leaders? NO – no one, as that term is obsolete, not required, we do not need to be the same as the herd, we need to be ourselves and proud. To give the best of “us” back to others, to lift others to their dreams and fly amongst the stars searching for the magic of each other.

Unhindered by the guilt of our uniqueness or the guilt of being the same.

The Kids are Alright!

Yes, that is a quote from “The Who”

It has been a long, yet weirdly short eight months.

Eight months ago, in a land far, far away (come on, we all love a good fairytale! No?). The Joy family ventures off merrily, on their much anticipated Spring break jaunt. Skiing. Snowmass, Colorado, here we come!

Then BOOM Coronavirus hits, as our esteemed President likes to call it “The flu from Chi – Na” (I still crack up when I hear him say this word!). We finish our week skiing – Snowmass shuts down. We spend a weekend in Boulder, restaurants shut down, we have to queue to get into Wholefoods, but then I feel like that store does love to make you feel slightly unworthy of shopping there. Toilet roll – SOLD OUT, Sanitizer – SOLD OUT, any semblance of liquid soap – bloody SOLD OUT. Finally the axe fell, schools closed their doors, and we were banished to our basements. Sitting in the gloom, bathed in the deathly glow of a subpar laptop and harangued by a wealth of teachers. Who really had no fucking idea what they were doing (no criticism intended) just stating facts.

AND there we all were festering. One overwhelmed, anxiety driven mother; I seriously thought we were all going to perish on a daily basis. A “at home” working husband who is always on an important call and then add three small dragons (boys) lost in the ether, breathing fire at us all. EEEKKK

Spring Break was looooonnggg.

Time marched on and we have had to all learn to be together and let me tell you that this is by no means easy. Ummm I like my own space, I like to not be constantly watched, asked for 30 million snacks, water, toilet roll etc etc. I do not want to be responsible for trying to keep the kids online and on top of that actually learning. All I wanted to do, was to let them swim and watch old movies, if only if it was to experience a little peace.

We had screaming matches and fist fights (kids). Blood was spilled, furniture broken, glasses smashed and usually over the minor fact that someone had tapped their fingers a little too long. We have learnt to be tolerant of each other’s annoying habits – OR NOT, mainly NOT. I spent my days trying to keep them quiet, while daddy held down a job. Then, if that was not hard enough, we decided to just pick up and move all of us from Florida to Colorado. That was clearly not easy or stress free – online schooling came in handy then.

I had to manage tiny people melt downs, from missing friends, hating the “Corona”, wanting to be at school, we have copious amounts of anger and laughter. I have been told daily that I am hated, just for enforcing a rule, which ultimately will make us all better people, or I may have just asked for a small person to help mama and empty the dishwasher. This enforced eight months in each other’s pockets has opened my eyes up to the fact, that the kids truly think I am the dumbest person in the room, that I know nothing and I have been nowhere. When in fact, beneath this dippy looking exterior of mine I am the ONLY person in the room (remember my kids are all boys of ages 11, 8 and 5) who has a upper class degree in Sports Science, was in the academic top 10% of kids at high school and travelled the world in her 20’s. But still to these three boys I know nothing. Deep breath Kelly, calm and collected… Be nice, be nice I tell you woman.

The months drag on/fly by and the kids are still home, still no school. My house looks like an elephant has stampeded through, I have mountains of washing tall enough to rival Mount Washington, I have given up on homemade food, my hair looks like a birds nest and I have aged at least 10 years. Seriously, no judgement please, or at least silently in your head.

Tick, tock, tick, tock ……. Another month trips by, summer in COVID passes, vacations are cancelled, family is missed. Yet, new adventures and friends are made.

Then on one glorious sunny Colorado day, announcements are made – THE KIDS CAN GO BACK TO SCHOOL. My heart lifts, the kids scream for joy and they are all rapidly booked for a haircut, as I am currently in possession of three very shaggy bears.

Our freedom is returning, we can all start to stretch our wings and break free from our family nucleus. As much as I have been extremely worried about the children, we have all learnt so much, yes even dumb mummy and we all know how stupid she is. 🙂 We have learnt to be –

Tolerant of each other.

To care for each other always.

That we all love to watch 1000 repeats of “Jessie” and the “Simpsons”!

That you can truly never have enough ice cream.

That the impact of an action has a profound effect on the group, good or bad.

That we genuinely love each other.

On that note my eldest (who is in school two days a week) has just come out to inform me, that there has been 340 days of Coronavirus thus far.

So, after eight months at home together we are relishing our time apart. You see, my friends do not think I am an idiot (I hope not). Everyday I am living, loving and relishing, as we all know this could all change tomorrow. With another lock down, another spike, and we are thrown back together. These eight months have also taught me that my kids are alright, I am alright. That with all that can be taken away, we can still love each other, hug, be silly, dance wildly and learn to be silent, together.

I have to admit there had been a high chance of serious injury and maiming with my crazy kids all together, but they are definitely ALRIGHT!

Love hard, live with ferocity, care for others, laugh a lot, adventure with intention, be silly, hug when you can and always, always be kind.

And you will be just fine.

Love dumb mummy. ( I think that upset me you know 🙂 )

The Run

6am, a Fall morning, deep breath in, blown out and a mist obscures my eyes. Headphones rammed in, house music selected on my old iPod – click, clip and the club sounds of 1995 flood my ears. Swig of water and bottle thrown into the car, beep beep, car is locked. Hat pulled down, heart rate monitor adjusted around my chest; headlamp switched on, and its sickly light seeps across the gloom of a creeping dawn. Watch clicked on, it lights up, Select – “RUN”, click.

The darkness envelopes me and I strike off into the black. Leg strides out, foot hits the ground, crunch. Breath flows in, breath hisses out, crunch, arm pendulums back from my shoulder, it drives forward again, foot crunch. The icy breeze bites my skin, crunch. I glide through the ink, tinges of orange crinkle around its edge, illuminating the horizon, as the sun starts its climb.

My pace quickens, my breath in synch, the first tendrils of sweat bead across my brow and back. Feet snap out and back, thigh muscles tense and relax in relay with my calves, they are in motion and free. Crunch, I hit the trail, crackle I hit the leaves. Surging deeper into the morning light, I can now see the trees, as they come into focus and glow gold, the sun seeping through their branches. Miles tick by, 1, 2, 3, 4 …… The rhythm is soothing, seducing my frenetic mind, it falls silent. All I hear is my breath coming thick and fast, in time to the building music in my ears. I feel calm, connected and at one for a fleeting moment with my consciousness, my body and nature. It feels easy and natural and exactly where I should be. ALWAYS. The adrenaline is hitting my system and I am rising up out of my body and I float above the effort, I drive even harder, miles 5,6,7,8, at times I want to hurt, I want to blast every ounce of energy and give it to my body and let it flood around me, seeping into the earth, feeding the trees and plants and absorbed by the light, ready to cycle back around when I need it most. Water starts to run down my back, my chest, my head, collecting in the creases of my joints, pooling until it flies to the floor from exertion, my shirt is stuck to me, crushing me, as I force the last filaments of energy out. Miles 9, 10, 11 I am almost running “all out”, I check back that last 10%, stride, thump, crunch, swing, breath, drip, 1995 boom boom boom, My heart is racing, my shoulders start to ache, the pain in my legs heats up. Mile 12, time to put it all out, every fiber screams, the warmth is almost unbearable, the fog descends, a metallic taste rises in my mouth, my blood rushes in my ears, suffocating the crescendo of the happy hardcore sounds competing for my attention. Tick tick tick the meters on my watch count down, 800m to go, 400m to go 200m. Kelly run, run hard, sprint if you can, until NOTHINGNESS, click, 12 miles. STOP.

I slump, hands pressing hard on my knees I am breathing with such force, it is painful. The morning has risen to warm my already steaming back, licking away the sweat as it drives from my skin through my shirt and tumbles to the floor, drip drip drip. My heart starts to slow and the metallic taste in my mouth subsides, my eyes clear, and I whisper “fuck” under my breath. The noise in my muscles dies away and I stand up straight. The night has faded and a new day has begun. Other runners have emerged from their nightly hibernation and are tripping past me in groups of 2s and 3s, chatting merrily to the awakening birds.

Click – my headlamp is off, click 1995 disappears, click I open the car door. My day begins.


What does it mean to be happy? What does it feel like? What is the physiological response to feeling happy? So many questions. In the dictionary it means :-

Definition of happiness

a: a state of well-being and contentment JOY

b: a pleasurable or satisfying experience.

For example it brings me great Joy that Joy is actually my surname (last name)

Even the word H A P P Y makes me smile. Despite that, I do have a huge issue with happiness, and it is not with the warm, fuzzy, nurtured state we experience. But that society seems to expect that we should be ‘happy’ ALL the DAMN TIME. To say otherwise is a social hand grenade, that will surely make you an outsider.

For example, lets say a friend comes up and says :-

“Hey, how are you? or “Are you happy?” They are probably just feigning interest in your well being, which ultimately makes them feel good, or they are using it as an opener to a conversation. Let me caveat now, that I do know that this will not always be the case. In short the acquaintance will expect you to say “yes” or “I’m good” but what if you go “well, no actually I am having a really bad day”, or “I feel awful and sad and I cannot stop crying. ” Now, that throws a spanner in the works and the friend, colleague, acquaintance, family member have to actually show up and either care for you or cringe in the shadows wishing that the rawness of your reality will disappear.

Why is it assumed that we have to be happy and content all the time? We cannot truly enjoy, accept and relish in happiness if we have not felt the sadness, the discontentment of life, real life at times. Have we not all experienced heart break, loss, hate, discontent, a harsh word, mental abuse, physical abuse? Yes? No? These things do not evoke the feeling of happiness or a warm fuzzy feeling, it will not envelope your body and fold you in the arms of bliss. No – It hurts, it makes you weep, it can make you angry, your heart may ache in sorrow and may never fully heal. It is from these moments of night that a light can break through, it enables a person to see the beauty in the ugly and rise above the discord, a goodness can filter in. The touch of a lovers hand, a letter from a friend, a child’s cheek against your own, the sun on your face, a cool breeze in your hair, the view from a mountain top, a promotion, a call from a family member, diving into a pool, running through a field of grass. And it is from those sweet, miniature moments that happiness blooms spreading internally and externally, a pure, honest, golden haze of joy.

The world is built on equilibrium, each and every feeling, action and thought has an equal and opposite. Harmony is built on opposites, without experiencing one we cannot embrace or understand the other.

To feel happiness is the ability to also feel and appreciate sadness. To love someone gives us the ability to experience loss. To live life, makes us appreciate how it will be to experience death. In my heart of course I want to feel happy, I want you to feel bliss. Yet, there is something so honest, liberating and open about feeling, accepting and appreciating what it is, to be sad. I appreciate it when someone is open and expresses their pain, it is brave and strong and is truly living life to its fullest. I learnt from a very young age that to live my life with emotion was freeing, to allow people to see it, was honest, and I was not lying about who I am. It also gives me the super power to be truly and unashamedly feel HAPPY.

So the next time you ask someone “How are you? or Are you happy?”, please be open to the fact they may not be and really need to share. Embrace their pain, see their pain and allow them to feel and help to put them back on the path towards JOY.

Love Kelly

Why must we attack?

I would like to point out that I do not start this post from a place of anger or righteousness. Nor from an assumed higher stand point on race, religion, politics or whatever else people seem to beat each other up over, demean, belittle or try to persuade to change, using noise, anger and hate.

BASICALLY, THERE IS WAY TOO MUCH SHOUTING, not enough action and a bucket of ANGER. Everyone seems so volatile and they are turning on friends, groups, tribes, peoples feelings and thoughts. It seems at a time when we need to love harder than ever and join together, the lines are drawn, the boundaries are built and are getting taller by the day.

As, you may or may not know I am a bit of a social media voyeur, I mean I LOVE social media. I occasionally try to have an online opinion / voice, usually resulting in me getting severely burnt, crushed and then I vow never to do that again. Plus, I truly do not want to add any more fuel to the rabid fire of discord that is sweeping around us.

I scroll through Facebook over breakfast, and watch as individuals are publicly attacking each other on race views, LGBTQ opinions and thoughts, whether you love or hate Trump, whether you are red or blue, whether you are religious, not religious, believe in Coronavirus or think its a hoax. If I were to list my credentials that would potentially cause a online put down or hate fest, I would be :-

Race views – “black Lives matter”, yes I know all lives do matter, but as a white person I have never had to fight hard to be secure in the knowledge that my life matters. People of color do. Yes all lives are precious but we need to fight the point that black lives matter, to even begin to get their lives to the level of an “all lives matter” discussion. Does that make sense? Because, as a white person I know my life matters, and that has never been suppressed or disputed. Like EVER. I mean, can you imagine what it must feel like to not feel equal, just because of the amount of melanin your skin contains.

LGBTQ views – Just be you and be happy and if that means loving a boy, a girl, boys and girls. loving no one, changing sex, being fluid, being asexual. JUST BE YOU that is all. Everyone, should have the freedom to be what the fuck they want to be, no judgement. Period! I really do not understand why anyone would have a problem with it?

Politics – I cannot vote, and if I did, it probably would not be for Trump. Yet the economy before Coronavirus really has never been better. I have lots of Republican friends and lots of Democrat friends and to be honest it is OK to have an opinion and I will not try to change it by shouting. I am also not educated enough in that realm to really have a valid opinion or stand point. Yet, I agree, take the POTUS’s volatile Twitter account away.

Religion – Not religious, agnostic yes. Please do not try to change me, and I will not change you. But know this, I truly understand why you have a faith, that sense of belonging and security in thought, must be so grounding.

I believe in science, so I believe in Coronavirus and I will social distance, wear a mask and wash my hands.

OK if you need to release the boiling fire inside you, go-ahead you can use me to release it. I will listen and then walk away. As, I have always told my children, if you shout at people, no one will listen and or hit you. Yet, adults are still screaming at each other. WE NEED TO LISTEN, care for and then listen again to each other. We do not have to agree, but we need to respect views, listen some more and talk rationally.

WHY SO MUCH HATE? Is it from fear? I feel like the underlying commonality is terror, living in the unknown. We have a pandemic that does not abate (wear masks people). We have race movement that is generating change, giving voice and bringing us all up to the line to move forward as a whole, single body of people. Yet there is back lash, riots, bad elements that whip around all the greatness that is achieved, minimizing it and creating a discord, disharmony and chaos. People retreat and fall silent for fear of being attacked, verbally or physically and once again change is halted. We crawl back into our electronic holes of safety, desensitized to the life around us. Not accepting the movement that wants to propel us forward into the light, instead we allow ourselves to shiver in the dark, remaining terrified and angry. We surely cannot continue like this. SO please .

LISTEN to your neighbor, you do not have to agree.

LOVE your neighbor, even when they are ass holes.

LIKE your neighbor, see above

LIVE through kindness, as kindness is stronger that hate.

And if they shout at you, just simply walk away in silence. Because, a silent word is a powerful one.

Love Kelly “lets be chilled” Joy

Running the Flat Stanley

I have just moved to Boulder, Colorado, a running mecca (so many awesome runners here, it is overwhelming), a world of stunning beauty. So much so I have to pinch myself daily that I Kelly ACTUALLY live here – sigh, double sigh. I feel like I have died and woken up in my heaven.

In Naples, Florida, where I have transplanted from I was a decent runner, I was a toppish middle packer and placed in local races. Here in Boulder, I am pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel with my ability. First up I am old here, in Naples at 43 years I was a spring chicken, squawk, squawk!

People run trail, some people do road, but the passion is trail. I have started to take up trail running seriously and it is fabulous and challenging. I mean my legs actually have to go UP and my body has to scramble up from sea level to a mile high. Plus, I pant like a porn star on most of these runs, how to make friends and lose them – RAPIDLY. I have managed to meet some great women already in the mere 4 weeks I have been here and they are true trail sisters, sassy, cool and bad ass, gliding up and flying down, like the pros they are. I truly have had so much fun and I adore the change in pace, but my current training is to run a sub 3hr 20 minute marathon and then one day a sub 3 hr. , my blue sky 43 year old dreams… Call me crazy, but I truly think that after lacing back up at 40, these old bones can do it.

Since moving here, I cannot lie, I have relished the hills, but it has also made me realize how much I love road and flattish road at that. Where I can hit pace and sit there in comfort or edging pain as I chase it, maintain it, sit in it, man I love it. The rhymical, steady pounding of my feet, my breath in, and out, over and over again, no stopping, or scrambling, no worrying where my feet place, all I have to do is maintain pace or pick it up. I can relax in my flow, I can hum to nature, floating through, or dragging as my heart rate kicks up and my muscles become deprived of oxygen. Pain kicks in, I dig in, I struggle, I hurt, I embrace, I recover, I continue, I cycle through again and again. Ease, struggle, pain, recover. Nothing falters, nothing stops the movement, no rock to pick over, no gradient to navigate, just a forward ,steady continuum.

Tick tick tick, my brain falls quiet, muscles and breath engage and I fall in love all over again with running on the road. Trail running is cool and technical, road running is smooth, solitary, standoffish and sometimes, most of the time where my heart, mind and sanity feels at home.

I love the mountain – I need the road.

Love Flat Kelly