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Karin and Joe’s youngest child, hoyte, has overcome a host of medical issues and is now thriving in his remarkable family.

What do I care about? I hope that you have felt some connection with my story and encouragement in yours. I have traveled a road with many changes in passage, direction and challenge. All of the fibers from the lives I have led have been woven into the tapestry of my being, informing who I am when I sit with people who are facing challenges. Best news is: None of us are finished works of art yet! I am passionate about the search for life meaning, honoring the self, and holistically recreating healthy patterns of living and loving. We all need a little educated guidance and objective insight along the way to help us get unstuck and on

Jess Kamm Photography

my favorite things. But I had to keep pushing and complete this part of my reinvention. And so I did, slam dunking a bouncy 4.0 … but wait, there was still the dissertation. Mind you, during these years, I also worked in private practice, planned my wedding, married Joe, renovated a home, moved, had twins (West and Elise), and our bonus son, Hoyte, who was born preemie with a host of medical issues, necessitating surgeries and lengthy NICU stays. The twins’ needs and Hoyte’s tiny, compromised, but powerful life soon gave my life new meaning. As I had before learned about the fragility of human emotion, I now got an unexpected education in the fragility of the human body. I put the dissertation aside for months at a time, which always made restarting arduous. The hill I was climbing got steeper with each surgery and infection Hoyte endured. While my dissertation sat on my hard drive, my children became my heart’s drive, and I couldn’t put them down. Motherhood delivers quite the unexpected dilemma. Alas, I dreaded the perpetual question, “Have you finished school yet?” And I dreaded my answer even more, “No, still working on it.” Would I ever find the space to get this thing done? Then it happened: Hoyte had a two-month run of good health. I put my nose to the keyboard grindstone and finished. I remember plunking my heavy dissertation onto the desk at GSU, walking out, feeling the exhilarating surge of accomplishment and freedom flooding my soul, and doing a hallelujah jig up Decatur Street. Two months later, after my successful defense, I heard, “Congratulations, Dr. Smithson, you passed!” AMEN!! I could finally hug my professor in public! At that moment I knew I had achieved something that no one could ever take away. “Dr. Karin” had arrived.

to living the life we were called to pursue. The world can be a tough place, especially with the Internet buzzing incessantly, sending limitless messages and requests, demanding that we be constantly available. Let’s put our smartphones down, look thoughtfully inside, and address some of life’s dilemmas. In this new column, I want to help you know better and do better. Let’s see things in a new light, feel less stressed, and gain inspiration toward a healthier, more meaningful life. I look forward to reading your questions and offering insight on creating change, gaining clarity and being purposeful. I’ll meet you here if you’ll join me. The doctor is in. You can also find Dr. Karin on her website www.doctorkarin. com, on Twitter @DoctorKarin, and on her Dr. Karin Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/DrKarin?ref=hl.

Please submit your questions to Dr. Karin at info@DoctorKarin.com. Your anonymous question might be featured in an upcoming issue. We’ d love to hear from you. Southern Seasons Magazine

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Profile for Southern Seasons Magazine

Southern Seasons Magazine Holiday 2012 - Cover 1  

First cover of Southern Seasons Magazine Holiday/Winter 2012-13 issue on newsstands December 2012.

Southern Seasons Magazine Holiday 2012 - Cover 1  

First cover of Southern Seasons Magazine Holiday/Winter 2012-13 issue on newsstands December 2012.