We are at the threshold of a New Year.
I know. Where did 2014 go?
We say this every year and yet we still ask the same question. It seems that time goes by too fast. Then again, I guess this thought could be argued depending on what kind of year we’ve had. If it was a good year, it probably did speed by. But if it wasn’t, if we were forced to deal with a lot of difficult challenges in our life, time may have lagged on. As in, “Will this year ever end?”
Nevertheless, we have little choice in the matter. It doesn’t help to worry about the things that we weren’t able to achieve or the little idiosyncrasies that took over our hopes and aspirations. Either way the change is going to happen. So we might as well buckle up and enjoy the ride.
It’s a brand new year and a fresh slate—a chance to hit the restart button! An opportunity to take on a positive view or perhaps set new goals for a brighter future.
Are you feeling inspired? After all, inspiration is the spark that can set our new goals on fire. If you’re looking for a little encouragement, let me share with you something that I know you’ll find inspiring.
Unbroken and Undefeated.
What do these words mean to you?
First impression may tell us they mean the same thing. But if we take a closer look, we find that even though these two words share a parallel meaning, they embrace a whole different significance unto their own.
When we think of Unbroken, we think of someone who is constant, steady, undying, someone who has run the race with endurance. Someone like Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini, for which the book and new movie was written about.
On the other hand, Undefeated can take on a whole different meaning, that of someone who is unbeaten, invincible, determined and steadfast. Someone who is resilient, a survivalist, someone like author Laura Hillenbrand.
Why do I say this?
It’s not like Laura Hillenbrand has written a plethora of novels. Quite the opposite actually. She has written only two.
Seabiscuit and Unbroken.
Equally successful, both books revolve around subjects whose lives were found Unbroken and Undefeated. Both were stories that told an unforgettable journey into extremity, a testament to the resilience of both animal and man.
But what some of you may or may not know is that Laura Hillenbrand suffers from a very debilitating illness. It is what’s kept her from writing more than two books thus far. No telling what the results would be if the woman was healthy.
Laura suffers from what is now known as ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. For her, most days are considered a success if she manages to take a shower on her feet. Even during a two year period while writing her current novel “Unbroken”, which took her almost a decade to write, she never left her home. In fact, for several of those months, she never left her room.
Yes, in the carefully calibrated world of Laura Hillenbrand, every reaction has an equivalent and opposite reaction. For an example, she might agree to an interview but skip a shower. Her energy is finite, and she typically has enough for one activity per day. Yet, her writing has been a riposte to anyone who had ever associated CFS with laziness.
Many journalists have been quick to point out the irony of Ms. Hillenbrand’s work: “A woman for whom walking around the block constitutes a marathon writes about the finest specimens of physical endurance.”
A woman who has proven to be Unbroken and Undefeated.
And therein lies the story behind the stories: Laura Hillenbrand’s unique ability to tune into each of her characters and show how they overcame the many tragedies in their life. They say to write what you know. If that is true, I think Laura Hillenbrand’s example is a wonderful source for true inspiration!
So worry not my friends. Do not hold back. Hit the reset button. Go after those new goals with passion and enjoy the ride!
So what do you think? Are you ready for the New Year? Have you set new goals for the future? Have you read one of Laura Hillenbrand’s books? Do you remember watching the movie “Seabiscuit”? Have you had the opportunity to see “Unbroken” yet?
Cheers everyone! I hope that life is treating you well. And as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
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Such an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing it, Karen. I love the quote you opened with. Worrying definitely drains the joy out of life. Even the simplest pleasures can be overwhelmed by all of those “what-if” thoughts. A great post to start the new year!
Denise D. Young recently posted..Kicking off the new year: 2015 ROW80 round 1 goals
So glad you enjoyed it Denise! “Worry” is something we all tend to worry about. And you’re right. It does drain the joy out of life. May this next year leave you unbroken and undefeated my friend. We’re off to a great start! Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂
Well I don’t think I want to hit the re-set because that would mean I’d have to live through some things again, that I’d rather not live through again. But, I do like the clean slate. Let’s wipe off the old stuff and fill our slates with new, creative and positive things for 2015.
I hope 2015 is rewarding for you Karen; unbroken and undefeated.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Patricia recently posted..Middle-Aged Chicks Are Hot!
Hi Patricia! No, no, no, we don’t want to make you re-live the last year girl. Just wanted to us to wipe the slate clean. I hope this post gave you the inspiration for a positive 2015! Then we’ll both be unbroken and undefeated! I hope that life is treating you well Patricia. Stay warm and well my friend. And thank you so much for coming by! 🙂
Unbroken was my favorite book read in 2013! It is an amazing story. I did know about Laura Hillenbrand’s illness. Still amazing that she overcomes such misery to write amazing books. Thanks for highlighting her story.
Jess Witkins recently posted..Does This Mucus Make Me Look Fat? 10 Signs You’ve Caught “The Crud”
Hi Jess! So happy to hear that you enjoyed the book. You’re the only one who’s read it or knew of Ms. Hillenbrand’s illness. You really get around girl! But yes, it is amazing what effort it takes for her to write her stories. Thanks for stopping by. Now get back to bed, you with bronchitis! I can’t believe you came to see me. That is so sweet! Take care and get well soon! 🙂
Well, what do you know, I’m late to the party as usual! And wow, what an inspiring post–particularly since it’s so relateable. I did not know about the author of Seabiscuit and Unbroken, nor that you had CFS as well. Even though Adrenal Fatigue is much less severe, and more treatable, it sure does make us prioritize, doesn’t it? And reminds us that SLOW is OK. Here’s to a great year to you, and better health!
Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Holidays and Houseguests and Books!
You are so not late to the party Jennette! lol! Not even close. I know you suffer from adrenal fatigue. It’s been quite frustrating for you. Keep remembering that slow is okay. But if you’re under the care of the right physician, that can make all the difference. So glad you found the post inspiring my friend. Thank you so much for all your support! I hope you have a great year too! ((Hugs!)) 🙂
A good read Karen! Just the inspiration I needed. Happy New Year to you!
Serena Dracis recently posted..Well, Hello! Yeah, It’s Been A While…
Hey Serena! So great to see you girl! I’m glad I could provide you with a little inspiration my friend. Thank you and take care. 🙂
Great post, Karen. I had no idea she suffered from CFS. It’s a horrible affliction and makes her accomplishments that much more amazing. I never read or saw Seabiscuit, but I read Unbroken and I have to say, it felt like I’d just lived through the war right next to Louis. She’s a stunning writer.
Her circumstances bring to mind Christy Brown for me. Certainly different ailments, but the same drive, the same absolute passion to write No. Matter. What. It’s inspiring. And shows us we have no excuses. If it’s in us, it’s in us and we need to put it on the page whatever it takes.
Happy new year to you! I hope you’re blessed with much good health and terrific energy this year and that 2015 is your most productive yet. Hugs. 🙂
Kelly Byrne recently posted..Friends and Other Alien Artifacts
Thank you Kelly! How kind of you to take note of Laura’s accomplishments. Yes, CFS is a horrible affliction. One that I have fought for almost forty years. Some days are better than others. But if the desire is there, you don’t give up. And I’m glad to hear how much you enjoyed her writing. I appreciate your opinion. Again thank you and I hope you enjoy a successful new year!! 🙂
I haven’t seen it, but I would like to now! Change seems to be a theme for people at the moment, and it is certainly a tough one. But its funny. For me, despite all the challenges this year, it has been good in so many ways. And it HAS flown by. I guess there’s good and bad change, and the question of whether one is ready for it or not. In my case, change was due. Yesterday.
Thanks for the inspiring read. I hope your year is easy on you, or at least, changeable in a good way. We could all do with a breather now and then. Take care, Karen! xo
Alarna Rose Gray recently posted..Get Real
Hi Alarna! Many peeps are going through a lot of changes right now, so you’re in good company. I just hope that your change will be a good thing and that it will bring you much happiness and less stress. Cause we all do need a breather. Glad you found the post inspiring. Thank you so much!And take good care of you!! 🙂
Karen, I did NOT know this about Hillenbrand. All I knew was that both her books went NYT and had movies based on them. It just goes to show you what can be accomplished in baby steps, right?
Jenny Hansen recently posted..WD-40 Is The Newest Marital Aid… Really?
Jenny, I have a feeling that you are not alone. Hillenbrand had been very careful not to expose her illness until recently. Because I’m sensitive to her situation, I can imagine the difficulty she deals with working within the parameters her health allows. It is totally frustrating. But for us, oh so worth it. Yep, baby steps. 🙂
Needed this post, Karen! Happy new year. Wishing you and yours the best. 🙂
Coleen Patrick recently posted..Stuff That’s Keeping Me Merry and Bright
Hi Coleen! Glad you enjoyed the post. I think we all needed it. So you are in good company my friend! I’m sending all those well wishes right back atcha girl! ((Hugs)) 🙂
Great post, Karen. And one I needed about now, since my goals for 2015 are not ones I have a lot of control over (which always drives me crazy). Happy New Year!!
Kassandra Lamb recently posted..10 Ways to Make Your Imperfect Holiday a Happy One
Well thank you Kassandra! As you know, I try to apply what I write myself. Don’t tell anyone, but that’s my motivation for writing them. I read them too because goals are always difficult for me to set. So there you go! So glad it helped. And thank you so much for all your support!!! 🙂
Unbroken and undefeated. Dang, I like that. That’s exactly how I feel going into 2015. Yep, that’s my slogan for this coming year. Thanks Karen. This post is inspiring.
May the coming year bring you a rain of blessings from start to finish.
prudencemacleod recently posted..Happy Holidays
Hey there Pru! Really? So happy you enjoyed it! It’s a great way to start the year! You are welcome to the slogan my friend. I like it too! Thank you so much!!! ((Hugs)) 🙂
Inspiring post. Happy New Year Karen!
Julia recently posted..Holiday Cheer
Hey Julia! Glad you found Laura Hillenbrand’s story inspiring. Then my post did it’s job. Thank you so much! Now go get ’em lady! The year has already begun! ((Hugs)) 🙂
Very inspiring to read how even a disease cannot cut off the flow of life even when daily activities move at a slow pace. Lesson learned. Nothing is impossible when you’re determined. My goals for the new year should be more reachable than last year!
Hi Pirkko! So glad you found this post inspiring! You’re right. It’s amazing what we can overcome when we are determined. I wish you much success in reaching all your goals this year. You can do it!!! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your support. 🙂
Great post, Karen. I think this is one of my favorites of your posts. I hope Laura’s CFS goes away. Who cares why, just that she can wake up one day and it’s gone. I love both movies, Seabiscuit and Unbroken. George and I saw Unbroken last night. Wow! Inspiring and heartbreaking. Happy New Year, dear friend. I hope 2015 brings you more blessings than you can shake a stick at! XO
Lynn Kelley recently posted..Legend of Monster Island – Book 3 is Here!
Really? Aw, thank you Lynn! I tried. As you may know, I have CFS, so Laura’s story resonated with me. Knowing her background and how she persists in her quest for writing a story kinda keeps it real, doesn’t it? Glad to hear you enjoyed the movies. I have not seen Unbroken. Good to know it was inspiring. Thus the reason for this post. Thank you so much for all your support and love Lynn! I wish the same for you and yours! ((Hugs)) 🙂
I did ot know that! Well, now there really are no excuses. Beautiful post Karen.
Amy recently posted..Got Strategy? How ‘Bout Soul?
Hi Amy! I’m glad that you were inspired! Yes, knowing how others overcome their hardships does give us all a different perspective. No worries. We can only do what we can do. Thank you so much my friend! ((Hugs)) 🙂