Kindness

Kindness

Everything changes (well, according to Fallout war never changes, but I digress).  Some of us embrace the change.  Most resist.  For those that resist the change it is because they fear what change will bring them.  If they believe everything they know has always been good then the change, whatever the change may be, threatens what they know so they resist it.

I first became aware of how resistant people are to change as early as high school.  I remember some of the popular kids in high school couldn’t handle the change when they went to college.  In high school, they were a big deal.  In college they discovered they were just like everyone else.  For a few of those folks it was such a blow to their ego that they dropped out, went back home and relished in the popularity they already knew.  I still see that resistance to change even today when my peers from high school and college insist that the only good music came before 1990 and nothing good has been released since then.
Rather than resist change I embrace it or, in the case of something bad happening, adapt to it.  It wasn’t an “Eureka” moment that I had overnight.  It was a gradual process of learning things about myself as well as the people around me.  For the longest time in life I was angry and felt I had been treated unfairly.  Then I let it all go.  If I were to put a date on this I would say this happened when I turned forty.  Once I let go of all the anger I had more confidence in myself and the opinions of others didn’t matter.  That is not to say I stopped putting value in the opinions of friends.  I took stock in who those friends were (and who they were not) and placed value accordingly.  That is a very elaborate way of saying the opinions of most people don’t matter.
One of the things I have learned since I turned forty and especially in the past year is the value of kindness.  When I was hospitalized last summer I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that I received.  And “overwhelmed” is an understatement.  It was a very confusing time and I didn’t fully comprehend everything that was going on with me.  Everyone was kind and generous with me and it reinforced the value of kindness to give to people in return.  It costs you nothing to be kind to other people.  I strive to be kind in some way everyday.  If people want to resist that is on them, you have done your part.
That is not to say that you have to be a pushover.  There are always going to be people who will take advantage of kindness.  Sometimes you will have to cut those people out of your life or hold your ground with them.
But for the most part kindness will be met with kindness.

Finding Time

finding time.JPG

Finding time to write this blog has been a challenge.  It’s not that I don’t want to do, it is because I am usually busy with a lot of things all simultaneously.  Work takes up most of my time.  If I could only be as famous as Stephen King and write full time?  But, alas, I cannot.  I usually get here at 7:00 in the morning then put in a ten hour day while I work at my desk through lunch.  Then I need to find time to write on my newest novel. And I have to find time to write this blog.  Plus I still need to take time to receive chemotherapy but I admit that chemotherapy is kind of a big deal for me.  I am still at a loss as to how to market myself.

The last several weeks have been especially busy.  Last month the company I work for had their National Sales Kickoff in Cancun.  Everyone in the office was excited!  Free vacation!  WOOT!  But, sadly, they are not experienced in the ways of company travel.  If our company was paying for everyone from the northernmost wilds of Canada to the southern tip of Chile to go to Cancun it was not for the drinks and fun in the sun.  I have experienced work conferences and I already knew what to expect.  We started at 7:00 AM everyday (8:00 if you wanted to skip breakfast) and went on until 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon.  Then it was a work sponsored event of some sort until 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening.  In the meanwhile we had to keep up with our normal work.  Kudos to the kids who managed to keep the schedule and still take advantage of the drinks at the all inclusive resort.

After we came back I had to spend time catching up from the work I fell behind on while going through my tenth round of chemo.

And then I attended publisher training earlier this month while fighting nausea from that round of chemo.

Busy!

Today I just finished my thirteenth round of chemotherapy.   I still manage to keep perspective in all this through a simple equation –

Work = Health Insurance = Survival

See how that works?  😀

The State of Karnes Address 2017

new-year

It is totally like me to start a blog and then abandon it for a couple of months.  But I have a good excuse, I swear.  I was busy.  Like, really busy.  My grown up job is a licensing solution professional for a global software reseller.  That’s quite a mouthful.  To put it in layman’s terms I manage publisher relationships for my company.  I do quite a bit of management so it keeps me busy.  An apt analogy would be the dude at the carnival who is spinning plates to entertain you.

spinning-plates

I spent the last two months completing certifications for one of my publisher lines and trying to close as much business for the year.  My sales year was iffy but those certifications are done.

I continue my treatment for cancer.  My eighth round of chemo was completed last week and I have a ninth round scheduled the first week of February.  Additionally, I had another CT scan.  It looks like chemotherapy is going to be an integral part of my life during 2017.  That’s okay because I am not quitting.

Back when I was in my twenties I used to buy the whole “new year, new you” thing.  It is easy to fall into that trap.  You have a bad year, blame it on fate, the stars, global warming or Hare Krishnas then declare that the next year was going to be TOTALLY different.  But I am older and wiser now.  There is no such thing as a “new year, new you.”  You are still the same you.  You are the sum total of every experience you have ever had.  You can make the choice to learn and grow from those experiences or you can stew in self-doubt and complain that the world is against you.

I don’t have have the perfect life by any means but I have more things going right than wrong.  Well, I have cancer so that is a big negative, but I don’t let it define everything about me as a person.  I still feel like I have a good life and take advantage of it at every opportunity.  Even with every bad thing that is going on personally and in the world I find a reason to laugh everyday.

Still, there is nothing wrong with having goals for the new year and I have them.  My writing has fallen by the wayside for the last couple of months (busy, remember?).  I am writing the sequel to One Nation and hope to have the rough draft completed by the end of spring.  Also, I need to open more distribution channels for One Nation (like iTunes, Google and Goodreads).  And, for the life of me, I need to figure out how to market myself better.

So what are your plans for the year?

 

The First Post

This is the post excerpt.

thefirstpost
Consider this a work in progress.  Not that I am unfamiliar with blogs.  I have written them before although it has admittedly been awhile.  I have had blogs off and on since 2003 but they were hidden from most prying eyes and posted quite anonymously.  Can I tell a good story?  Only you, the reader, can judge.  Regardless, I do have stories to tell.

What prompted me to write another blog (is this the fourth or fifth now?  I have lost count) is that I self published a book earlier this year.  My book “One Nation” is available on Amazon and I encourage everyone to buy a copy.  I also need to learn more about marketing strategies.  I thought I was well armed with marketing knowledge based on my few experiences in the corporate world but that turned out not to be the case.

So here I sit at my local bar in Plano, Texas writing my first blog post on a WordPress account I created just a few minutes ago.  This bar has been crazy all day about the Texas-OU game (spoiler alert – Texas lost).  While everyone is engaged in the game I have spent the day here writing, researching and now blogging.  Believe it or not I can concentrate easier in this surrounding chaos than I can at home.

What about me?  I have spent the last sixteen years in the corporate reseller industry (the first two in computer hardware and the lastfourteen in software).  In 2013 I was dissatisfied with work and where it was going and decided to make a change.  I have been writing on and off since I was a kid.  I enjoy telling stories and decided that I could write and self-publish my own book.  That was how “One Nation” was born.

I was watching the news three years ago when someone opined that the the next president who would be elected would be the most hated president in history.  I thought long and hard about that.  We have never been so divided than we are right now.  I imagined an America where we want to give up so many of our freedoms and seek to be taken care of by our political masters.  I conceived of a tumultuous 2016 election that leads to a Second American Revolution and the rise of the fascist Freedom Party.  The Trump and Clinton candidacies only help reinforce my predictions.

My book was released in May and I have been struggling with marketing since then.  I have gotten good feedback from my readers who have been surprised that I can actually write and tell a story.

I have also had other struggles this year as well.  My “day job” keeps me busy.  I am working a lot having to manage several security product lines.  I had a breakup with a girlfriend earlier this year who I am still very fond of.  We are still friendly to one another and she has been somewhat supportive from afar.  The biggest struggle has been since mid-summer.  In July I was admitted to the hospital for persistent nausea and lack of appetite.  I had lost ten pounds in the space of a week.  It turned out that the CT scan revealed tumors in my pancreas and liver.  I was diagnosed with stage two endocrine pancreatic cancer.  I started chemotherapy almost immediately and will continue through the end of the year.  This, along with diabetes, severely complicates my health.  I am very well aware that I have a foreseeable expiration date.  Rather than letting it get me down it motivates me instead.  I feel like I need to get everything done.

Despite everything that has occurred this year I still feel good about things.  When people ask how I deal with cancer I tell them with action plans.  I know I have cancer, I need a plan to combat it, I will follow the plan and if something changes I will revise the plan.  In the meantime I am going to keep doing everything I need to do to with that ever present expiration date well in mind.

This post was meant to be quick and dirty.  I wanted to get something up quickly.  Please forgive me if you see any typos or misspellings.  And remember, this is a learning process for me.  I have to get used to Word Press. 🙂