It may not be okay: but comfort is coming

There’s a lot of “it’s going to be okay” messages going around.

In one sense, there’s truth in it. There have been crises before – of differing natures and time periods than this one, with different repercussions – and the world and its humanity are still here. So it’s very likely we – the communal, global we – will be “okay” in that we continue on.

But that’s not what ‘okay’ really means, to each of us individually. It’s certainly not what it means to me.

To “be okay”, although it’s a fairly broad term, tends to mean everything is more or less working the way it’s meant to.

When you fall down, someone asks “are you okay?” (unless that someone is my friend Megan, who falls about laughing her head off first, and THEN through uncontrolled and continued giggles asks if I’m okay).

They don’t mean, “is everything perfect?”, because nothing ever is, and it definitely won’t be when you’ve fallen or scraped an elbow or a knee, or hit your head. The two options at that point are, is everything really bad, or are only a few little things bad?

And when we say “yea, I’m okay”, we mean, I’ve got a few scratches and my head hurts and I might limp for a day, but it’s not really bad. I haven’t broken my leg, I don’t need to go to hospital, I don’t have a concussion.

So where we’re at now in the world is that everything – the global everything – is very much not okay. I don’t need to describe that for you to know what I mean.

We’re all adjusting to it, and most days I’m feeling like I’m actually sort of okay. I’ve got work to do and a house to live in and walks in the woods nearby and friends who check in on me and technology to connect with my family and online church services and clear running water. The list goes on, endlessly, of the good things.

But the weird juxtaposition most of us are in, is that of being both okay and not okay at the same time.

We’re globally very much not okay (everything is really bad), but personally pretty much okay (only some things affecting me are bad).

And the well meaning advice that “everything is going to be okay” is confusing.

Because I’m thinking, well what does that even mean? More people are going to die, and that’s not okay. More of them will be people I know personally, which feels even more not okay. My nephew has cancer and that’s one of the furthest things from okay I can think of, especially as the end result of cancer is very rarely okay.

Yesterday I read a post by Austin Kleon (whose books I love), and he said “Not everything will be okay (but some things will)”, which I thought was a lot more accurate.

And then my Bible reading today included this verse, from one of my favourite Psalms of them all:

“You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?
You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side.”
Psalm 71

I’ve always liked these verses because they remind me both good and hard things are shown to me by God in my life. He’s done really good, really amazing, really incredible things. He’s also shown me some great and severe troubles – and a few of you on this list know the extent of some of those I haven’t shared.

But here’s the thing. It doesn’t say everything is going to be okay –

– it says comfort is coming.

“Everything” will very much not be okay. For some of us that’s already the case – for others it will be the case in future. The repercussions are long and extensive and may last our whole lives long. They will impact future generations.

But comfort is coming.

Don’t hold out for everything being okay, because you’ll be wildly disappointed, and perhaps already are. But hold out for comfort, because whatever level of ‘okay’ there is or isn’t, we will be seen through it. Comforted.

And with that comfort we will then comfort others. Which feels sort of okay again.

Follow me

ON THE GRAM

Morning walk. I stood and watched the ferry come in and the sun lighten this little edge of the world.
Been going through old photos and letters - the last of the boxes i had stored at my sister’s house in america. 

When I first moved to Scotland, I only planned to live here for a few years and then go back. Then after a few years I wasn’t ready yet…then I got my residency…still not quite ready….then started a business…then Scottish citizenship…bought a house …finally accepted this is my home and I wasn’t moving back. 

And with every visit back to the states I would go through more boxes, more photos and letters and memories. I’d keep some and throw others away; take photos out of frames and give away the frames; and as time went on I was able to distinguish between the ones I definitely wanted and needed to keep, and those which were lovely at the time but didn’t need to be saved anymore.

Over twenty years on and this past trip I went through the very last of the boxes. I joked to my sister that I’ve now officially settled into Scotland 😆 

This photo of me and my Gramps is a fave and definitely a keeper. Most of the photos and letters I’ve kept are those of family - parents, grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews. And as much as I love taking landscape photos, I noticed that 20 years later it’s the people photos I am more likely to keep. Thankful for the traditions and patterns of seeing family every year or so since moving to Scotland. They’re small things - baking Christmas cookies and going for walks and going for road trips - but it’s the time together and the continuing family jokes and the memories which remain. And a few photos.

My grandfather (and all my grandparents) have now passed on, but I remember with fondness sitting around at their kitchen table, eating fresh vegetables from the garden, playing scrabble, laughing and talking and drinking coffee.

It’s the small things, and the rhythms of family, which last. ❤️ 
#family #memories #grandparents #oldphotos
Made fresh mince pies for the first time ever. Over twenty years in Scotland and I’d never tried to make them from scratch, so I figured…now is the time! I’m doing lots of thanksgiving baking (yes, we stretch it out here so I’m still prepping!) and decided to buy the ingredients. 

Dried fruit…mixed peel…lots of spices…and Venezuelan rum :) I made up the mincemeat last night, and then today put it in the little pastries and even cut out the wee stars to go on top!

I think I can safely say they’re the best mince pies I’ve ever had. Fresh out of the oven sprinkled with icing sugar and with a glass of said rum alongside :) 

Now we are curled up with a Harry Potter marathon, with plenty of mince pies AND a thanksgiving feast still to come. Happiness! 

#mincepies #homebaking #maryberry #maryberryrecipe #happythanksgiving #happychristmas #harrypotter #hpmarathon
Oh hey, it’s me. 

And a new updated KLR brand and website! 

For the past six months or so, while I was finishing my book content and the final edits from my side, we have also been working on an updated KLR brand and website, to distinguish from the PF brand and site. 

It’s a tough job, when you’re the business owner and have been for ten years. And the book you’ve written is for the kind of clients your business serves, so it feels like a PF project.

But I’ve also been working for years to figure out (and help others see) that PF is far more than me. I’m the owner and MD, and I’m involved in sales and speaking and writing, and yet our clients primarily work with the team. There are 18 beautiful humans delivering great creative work every day from PF (soon to be 19!) and as I always say to potential clients, you definitely want all of them working on your creative projects. They’re structured and organised and talented - 19x more talented than just me. 

I’ve still got my own skills. And my own identity. It took us weeks to dig into how we represent “Karen L Reyburn” as a personal brand, with an audience of clients and friends and accountants and non-accountants and witches and wizards and family members and creative humans. 

We settled on “Leader, writer, creative, coach”, because those are the areas I love the most and want to lean into more as PF grows. And as I write more books and keep being my own self. 

If you’d like to be on the list to get “Karen’s notes” by email every Saturday, or to be on the waiting list for the book (coming May 2023), the link is in my bio. 

And I’d love for you to head over to my new site (karenlreyburn.com) and let me know what you love or anything you notice and wonder about! 

Stay strong, stay creative, and keep going. 

#karensnotes #staycreative #justkeepgoing