Friday, 15 January 2010

Challenge 72 (b) - I made a numbering mistake.

This fortnight's challenge comes from someone who greatly inspires me.
I am delighted to introduce you to Karen Grunberg.

"I'm Karen. I live in California with my incredible husband and two amazing boys who are five years and nine months. I am a Technical Program Manager for Google Chrome, so I get to work for a great company, on a product I really believe in and I get to do it all from home. I believe in telling our stories and try to make sure I capture the on my layouts. Words and photos are always the focus of my pages. I am thankful for art, books, chocolate, and the internet. Thank you so much for having me here, I am truly honored.

Title: The hand I was dealt.

When I was younger, I used to travel in a crowd of beautiful women. I don't know how it happened but all my female "friends" were drop dead gorgeous and within a few weeks, my self-image managed to wither away to nothing. At the time, I started playing a game where each time I caught myself wishing I had someone else's something (like hair or eyes or nose or legs) I would force the issue.

I told myself that the rules were such that I wasn't allowed to take body parts or personality traits and plug them into the rest of me. If I liked someone's something, I had to completely change places with that person. Not only did I get their whole body, but I got all their personal issues, emotions, family, psychological state of mind, past, living status, job and anything else you can think of. I basically forced myself to choose between me and this random (or in some cases not so random) person. Yeah, I got to have their small nose or blue eyes, but was I ready to also have their eating disorder? How about the disinterested mom? Was I willing to give up all of who I am to look like this person? It was my way of forcing myself to face the fact that people don't come in pieces. You want a part, you get the whole thing. How do you like them apples?

In fifteen years, I've never met one person I was willing to change places with. I don't know if it was the fact that I wasn't willing to give up certain aspects of who I am of my life or the fact that I tend to favor the known over the unknown. Looking at a woman walking down the street, I can see she has pretty hair or a size-2 figure, but I can't see what goes on in her head or how much she suffers daily. With me, at least I know the hand I am dealt and I know how to live within its limits, when to push it, when to enjoy it. The game's done a lot to improve my self-esteem.


I am on the design team for A Million Memories


I teach classes at Big Picture Scrapbooking (

I started and run creative therapy

( where we create therapeutic art each week.

In 2010, I decided to practice Weekly Gratitude

( with my friend Lori. We hope you join us.

You can find out more than you've ever wanted to know about me at my blog (

Please visit the links and make Karen feel welcome here at journaling junkie.
(she also has free weekly digital downloads on her blog)

Your challenge is to look back over your life and take stock of the cards you've been dealt, both good and bad, to document them and how you feel about them and what if anything you can do about it.
You may choose to use the same title and to include cards but neither is compulsory.


La grande cupcake said...

OMG...that looks hard to do! What a great challenge! Welcome Karen!!!

Darlene said...

Karen, that journaling is so inspiring! You made that look easy! Great challenge this week. :)

Tracy said...

Awesome challenge, Karen ... Thank you ...

Love, Tracy G

karen from creativetherapy said...

thank you so much for your kind words and thank you for the honor of being a guest. Journaling is near and dear to my heart and I love reading what all of you share. Thank you Stefanie :)

Liza said...

Such an inspiring journal. It makes one look at his own self and face the imperfections and rise above them.