No “Woe Is Me”

 

I have lost a lot of my readership but what I have left are those who are closest and dearest and mean the most. Some bloggers have gone by the wayside, some are on sabbatical, some are tired, a few are dealing with events beyond their control, some are ill, others have dropped me as I am no longer a faithful reader of their blog, and a few have returned full of vim and vigour. Such is the cyclical nature of the blog world. I am a small fish in a big world, but I am a happy small fish—and grateful for the true friendships I have made in this my alternate but very important world.

We often hear of the “next dimension”. I believe that bloggers who form friendships through their blog posts are members of this dimension. We form a community, and by careful weeding and nurturing, the community we form is one of our own creation. My blog world consists of those who are not too critical (a little critical is okay), warm and loving and supportive.  Many of us share deep bonds that are not so fragile that they can be broken by a little time away.

I also have some friends and family who follow me and do not have blogs—and I want to thank you along with my blogging friends. Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to read my postings.

I guess this is a Thank You Blog – I would never have imagined that a world that is at my fingertips would be so fulfilling. I have friends from all over the world that I would never have met without this. And one more time—I would like to thank my niece Chay who inspired me to blog—and even set me up on WordPress, lo those three or so years ago. And my sister Peg who has been with me since the beginning, and my brother John who I know reads me even if he does not comment much, and Krista …..okay this is not an Oscar speech so I cannot possibly thank all of you by name—but you know who you are.

Has your blog audience changed?

Reblogging – Sharing the Wealth and Wisdom

English: Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 ...

English: Solomon’s Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 Kings 3:12-13, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are your thoughts on reblogging?

These used to be my thoughts:

1. Blogger is feeling lazy today so just reblogged someone else’s hard work and thoughts rather than coming up with their own original post.

2. No one can say anything better than I can.

3. I have wisdom to share, why share the wisdom of others?

Today, my new thoughts on reblogging:

1. There is so much wisdom out there that I am not privy to except by reading other blogs—and I now like to share that wisdom.

2. I do not have all the answers and others have them and deliver them eloquently.

3. Sometimes I reblog just to have the wisdom of other bloggers at my fingertips—on my site, where I can go back and revisit easily.

4. I am learning to share and not have my blog just be about me, me, me. That gets boring. Fast.

I find myself reblogging more and more now. At one time I would not have sullied my blog with the posts of others. Now I consider it an honour to host them on my site. They make it better. Thank you to all those I have reblogged in the past, the present, and those I will reblog in the future. You have opened up my world and made me a better person.

(If you are not part of the blogging world yourself—you may wonder what reblogging is—it is the sharing of other blogger’s posts by transferring their knowledge to your site.)

What are your views on reblogging?

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm  Comments (44)  
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UNEVEN KEEL

Winged keel from Australia II

Winged keel from Australia II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Prompt: “We all have things as need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?” ~  Michelle

Michelle was obviously not on an even keel this morning, using “as” instead of “we”—but as I have been known to make a mistake or two, I will not mention it. Okay, I will mention it but not make a big deal of it, as in I will not write a whole paragraph about her mistake. I am assuming that her fingers were misplaced on her keyboard. “As” is just below “we” and a little to the left. I understand. Many of my days are a little to the left. As in, I am not often on an even keel—I am usually a little offside.

Okay, I did write a whole paragraph about it. Good prompt Michelle, though it prompted me in ways you probably did not expect. Now back to the real prompt ~

An even keel. Interesting little phrase. Dictionary.com defines it as: “balanced, as a ship is floating on its designated waterline and the keel is horizontal: by extension, to have a calm even disposition.”

English: Bow section of tanker SS Pendleton gr...

English: Bow section of tanker SS Pendleton grounded near Pollock Rib lightship six miles off Chatham, Mass on the morning of Feb. 19, 1952.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All I can say is it is a good thing I am not a ship!

Published in: on August 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm  Comments (14)  
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The Secret of a Full Life

Puppy at Sled Dog Discovery & Musher's Camp on...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is my weekly column for the newspaper, slightly edited for you:

“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow.” – Anais Nin

           

            I came across this quote this morning in a blog post by David Kanigan. His blog is called Lead. Learn. Live. And the title of his post today is “The Secret of a Full Life”. As many of you who read this column know, I have embraced the blog world, which is a place of discovery and sharing. Blog, if you look it up in the dictionary is not defined very well—the definition of blog is blog. So I will define it for you:  a blog is a writer’s little piece of heaven. It is where we can express ourselves and feel that we are getting our “lonely in the wilderness” voices heard.

           

I am luckier than most in that I have an audience for my print column. Many people are not so fortunate but anyone with a computer, a little working knowledge of the Internet, and the will to write can have a blog. At this point mine is free—if I want to I can pay WordPress a fee and get more options, but I am satisfied with what it offers me now, so I see no point in paying a fee for something I can get for free.

           

I am not trying to get you to join the blog world—but if you want to, it is easy. The old adage: if I can do it, then you can do it was never more true when it comes to blogging. But if you do not want to write, you can still partake by reading the blogs of others. Now if you do get involved be forewarned, as everyone and their dog (seriously there is a TV program where a dog has a blog) seems to have a blog and you may have to be selective. I tend to look for inspiration, humour, and human connection, not angst(though a little angst can be interesting as long as that is not all the blogger talks about).

           

And that brings me back to David Kanigan. He is an inspiration and when he is not writing something inspirational or thought-provoking, he finds someone to quote who is. Today he provided the above quote from author Anais Nin who died in 1977. I want you to note that what she said in 1946 is amplified in 2013. It is as if she was looking into the future. Without further ado, here are the rest of her words on the subject of a full life:

“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”

            What she says also applies to the blog world. I now know people across Canada, in England, Australia, Taiwan, the United States, Alaska, France, Spain, Brazil, Scotland and many other exotic places. But there is a danger in getting too caught up in the world outside my own home. I am cognizant of this and I take what Nin says very seriously when she states “the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”

           

Nin’s words make me realize that it is the life I have right here in front of me that is important. It is the people I share my house with, my friendships with, and the community I live in that are of immediate importance. I have made some significant friends in the blog world—and a few have become true friends, but it is not a world to escape to. It is a world that adds to my experience—but it does not take precedence over the people that are right here beside me. It is all a matter of that word I have learned to love and hate: balance.

Note to my blog readers: I was a bit off-balance when I first embraced the blog world. I have now come to a pretty comfortable balance–but I must say that I have found things in the blog world I have not found in my “real walking around world”. Has anyone else found this?

Published in: on August 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm  Comments (37)  
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Who I Want to Be

Renée Live

Renée Live (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever find a description of someone you want to be? 

 Today in a post by renée a. schuls-jacobson, she described a blogger that she imagined to be a great writer. She said that the blogger  “can write about anything. She has amazing range: sometimes she’s funny; other times, she’s serious. She uses fresh images. She knows how to tell a story so it is unique and yet universally true. She responds to everyone. She’s generous, and her audience loves her.”

In this description Renée unknowingly described herself.  I am here to tell her that. And I am here to tell her that I aspire to be that kind of writer too. Just thought she should know.

Published in: on July 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm  Comments (41)  
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I Blog, Therefore I Am

A classic fairy with a wand

This has nothing to do with this blog post — I just liked the magic of it.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A blog is in many ways a continuing conversation.”  ~  Andrew Sullivan

Right on Andrew! Apparently Mr. Sullivan is “the first mainstream journalist to experiment with blogging.” Called The Daily Dish, his blog started in 2000, “soon gained a large following, enabling him to interact with his readers and garner almost instantaneous responses to his work.” (Found this bit of blog history in The Writer’s Devotional by Amy Peters.

All I can say is Thanks Andrew ~ we will all happily continue your tradition, mainstream journalists or not.

Bliss is blogging, whether it be as a mainstream journalist, a little known journalist (like me), the hobby blogger, or the social blogger–what do you think?

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm  Comments (42)  
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A Little Introspection on this 1st Day of May

2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pen...

(Photo credit: Pensée Bio)

Michelle’s Prompt: To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? How do you balance that? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it?

This is a good prompt for the first of May, as I am rethinking my blog’s raison d’être.  I consider this blog both a place for my self-expression and creativity, as well as one that attracts readers ~ as what writer does not want their words read? If you have a blog, opposed to a journal you keep for yourself, then naturally it is open for people to read. The two oppositions that Michelle seems to have set out are not opposites at all—but counterparts that complement each other.

I could not stick to topics that would mean that my readership would triple (though that would be a good thing) because it would be like writing on demand, and I already do that for my day job. Being a journalist means getting the facts, getting them straight, and not putting yourself into your writing. My blog posts put me into my writing—and give me the freedom to voice an opinion or two.

I am a notorious fence-sitter, probably from my years of trying to be – what the heck is that word – unbiased – in my reporting. But I do have the occasional opinion, nay, actually I have lots of opinions—but I keep the controversial ones to myself.

One of the reasons I like my blog is that it is neat and organized and I think kind of pretty. It is how I would like my life to be—neat and organized—so I figure this is a start on getting the rest of my ducks in a row (whatever that means—I hope it does not mean to get them in a row to shoot them!).

Blogging has made me braver—I wrote poems for the whole month of April—who woulda thought? I have completed a number of challenges, and am planning on turning some of the posts into a book on bliss.

Blogging gives me a place to organize some of my thoughts, a place that hopefully produces some smiles in my readers, and a place to visit every day. Blogging is more than just getting my “lonely voice in the wilderness heard”— I have found a community here that loves to share—and is that not what it is all about?

I have found bliss in blogging—what about you? As a blogger or a reader, are you glad to be part of the blog world?

Published in: on May 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm  Comments (25)  
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A Little Stream of Consciousness

Technicolor SA

Technicolor SA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warning: No one can stop following my blog—I am at 470 and if I go down to 469 again I am going to get really upset and do something radical. Like start writing with my left hand (have you noticed a lot of leaders write with their left hand?) Or wear a hat. Or not put my mittens on when I go for my daily walk today – it is only going up to 29 degrees F here today; last year on this first day of spring it was 82 degrees. Okay, I know I am Canadian and supposed to measure the temperature in Celsius but I don’t. So there. How is that for being a rebel?

I am really trying to ignore my statistics, but some people have thousands of followers, so I would really like to keep my hundreds. My goal is to reach 500 by my birthday on April 21st—what do you think–am I dreaming in Technicolor?

I think it is a “hoot” that the people who subscribe to blogs on WordPress are dubbed “followers”. I have been thinking about starting my own religion (I would be very inclusive), so maybe this will give me a “congregation” of sorts.  Anyway, I don’t think of you as followers at all. I am grateful for each and every one of you who has subscribed to my blog.

And if you are wondering–yes, this is another one of my posts asking begging, sobbing, hoping for your help. Can you help me attain my goal of 500 before April 21st—although I really don’t know how, as most of you reading this are already subscribed. If you have any ideas, feel free to share them.

English: Flowers of Crown Daisy (Glebionis cor...

Flowers of Crown Daisy  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bliss is getting to the number 500+ before April 21st. I will keep you updated on my progress……..

Published in: on March 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm  Comments (74)  
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Going Out on a Limb for Bliss

This is my “going out on a limb” post–where I am being very revealing for me.

Bleeding Heart

(MY) Bleeding Heart (Photo credit: dog.happy.art)

I have a confession to make. My bliss resolution is having some good days and bad days. But that is not the confession. The confession is that I want to take my journey to find my bliss and turn it into a book, including your comments. You will not be identified unless you want to be—but the kernel of my idea is to use each post as a chapter of its own—with a summary of your comments to give it more life.

The writer, many times out of necessity creates in a vacuum. The writer who creates, then posts their creation on their blog gets feedback. Voices other than the author’s are given their due, and in fact make what the writer wrote originally more interesting. At least that is my theory. And I am sticking by it.

I have found a wonderful world of smart, wise, and kind bloggers and readers. Some of you are sweet; some of you are to the point; some of you are philosophical; and some of you are thoughtful; but all of you round out any post I make into a piece that I think is worth sharing.

Knowing this, today I am asking you to provide me with a short synopsis of what would make your bliss come to fruition if you could eliminate it from your lives.

I will show you mine if you will show me yours. That is only fair. I am not going to ask you for something I myself am not willing to do.

Generally I do not like to reveal too much, but today I will so you will feel more free to open up too.  The one thing that is preventing me from reaching full bliss is an ongoing lawsuit, that is going into its ninth year. It has stripped us of a business we owned and set us on a path that has made me both more compassionate and humble. I have had to ask for help on many different levels—and if there is one good outcome from this infernal lawsuit that is it.

In the past I refrained from asking for help as much as I could, thinking that it showed weakness. That it was a chink in my armour. But it is not. I have asked for help and received it with great patience and compassion. There have been some hard times, but through those times I know there are people I could call on to help me out. And sometimes that is all I need.

No one can simplify their lives down to one thing that would make a difference. But today, I am asking you to choose that one thing that seems to be barring you from a life of bliss.

Okay, I am going to press publish now….

 

Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm  Comments (70)  
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What If There is No Tomorrow?

 
 
Polysyllabic Profundities:

“If the Mayans merely ran out of time, material and energy to continue their calendar beyond December 21st, 2012, I will be back to pontificate on many more polysyllabic profundities.  But if the Mayans were right and there really is no tomorrow – what would you want the world to know before you departed this life?”

Aztec Calendar vs Oreo Cookie

Aztec Calendar vs Oreo Cookie (Photo credit: ArtJonak)

I seem to be deriving post subjects from my fellow bloggers a lot of late–but so many of you are so wise, it is difficult not to be inspired. The above quote is from Susan, a fellow Canadian and she certainly asks an interesting question. Like her, I do not believe the world is going to end tomorrow, and that the Mayans just lost interest in extending the calendar for some reason–but what if? Here are a few of the things I am pondering in answer to “what if”?
1.Should I go upstairs and wrap all the Christmas presents that are currently residing in a variety of plastic and paper bags–or wait until Saturday when I know it will be a worthwhile endeavour because I am still here.
2. Should I hug my boys and husband a lot today and write a little email message to all those I love just in case?
3. Should I buy a bottle of bubbly and toast my life?
4. Should I finish the laundry?
5. Should I eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may die?
6. Should I reflect on my life and only consider the pros today…the cons can wait until Saturday?
7. Should I tell all my friends in the blog world a big Thank You for all the fun we have had together? Thank you.
In answer to Susan’s question– what would I want the world to know before I departed this life?

Okay here is my answer in one breath:

I would want the world to know that though life has been series of  ups and downs, with lots of in-betweens, I would not have missed the wonderful times though they were dispersed with the not so wonderful; I am lucky to have had wonderful parents; I have the best siblings (and their mates) in the world; I love all my nieces and nephews; I married my high school crush and we continue to this day to be in love; I am blessed with two sons that I love to bits; I cherish my friends and fellow bloggers; and I am happy to have been able to express myself in words….

Though I do not believe that the world will end tomorrow–this little exercise was a worthwhile way of climbing out of the reality of everyday life and into the realm of gratitude.
Also, I choose the Oreo cookie.
                                  I ask you: What If?

 

 
 
Published in: on December 20, 2012 at 11:27 am  Comments (67)  
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