• Almost A Living Thing

    This month I celebrate my 8th year of blogging.

    I got thinking.

    Why did I start blogging?  
    How did I pick this title and why 20 years?  
    (and then I got fixated on the number 20)  
    Did I think I would live only 20 more years, or blog for only 20 years?    
    Did I think my next 20 years would be (hopefully) exciting and full of things to blog about?
    ('cause my life to that point wasn't any of those things.)

    I can answer the first question.

    Why did I start blogging? 

    I started blogging during a period of personal turmoil.  When I started the blog I was years into caregiving for my mom. I felt alone in that role, and the stresses were piling up steadily.  How to cope without burdening others.

    I tried to keep a journal - on paper.  Instinctively I knew writing would help.  But using pen and paper just didn't provide the right flow or feed back.  My brain engages very well with a key board - not so much with pen and paper.

    Then I met Karen at my knitting group.  At some point she mentioned her blog - Life Is Good - Smile.  I was intrigued.  I had never met a blogger.  Her blogging name is HappyOne.  I visited her site.  I found it filled with her normal everyday activities and her walking experiences (she is a daily walker of 6 miles - no joke!)  She takes beautiful pictures - just on a point-and-shoot camera - but she has a good eye for photography.  Almost every single day she blogs.  Reading it that first time had an almost immediate settling effect on my agitated mind.  I still follow her blog, and I still find it settling.  What her blog said to me is that life is amazing if you make it so - no matter what your life is filled with.  I encourage you to visit when you can.  Life Is Good - Smile

    I thought ... maybe I should give blogging a try!
    Looking back over my first posts in 2010 I noticed that I bounced around in my topics and in my writing style.  Settling into the practice of writing took some time.  I also noticed that I never mentioned the 'elephant in the room' of my brain.  My mom!  I remember intentionally omitting that part of my life in my writing - even though it was most of my life at that time.  I was going to stay focused on all those other things that made up the person that was me.  It was me I was trying to help.  And there was a lot of me I set aside to be a caregiver!  I needed to hold on to all that stuff I set aside somehow.  My blog was where I was holding the me-stuff.


    MY STUFF

    Within a very short time, however, my life with mom became an ongoing series of posts called "Through My Caregiver Eyes." **  It is hard to stop a dam from breaking once it starts to crack. Yes, I was still knitting, and a wanna-be walker (you will want to walk after reading Karen's blog!) and a wife, mother, cousin, grand-dog sitter.  I was all those things and more, but it was the caregiver role that drove me to write.  The series on my mom had healing properties I couldn't have anticipated. Writing about her and our time together reminded me why I chose to be a caregiver, and how much I loved and owed the lady I was lucky enough to call 'mom.'  The blog kept me going through some very sad times toward the end of her life.




    OTHER PEOPLE'S STUFF

    Over time this practice of writing became more than just a way to vent pressure.  I have 'met' people in the world that I would never have had a chance to know any other way.  I know some of them better than my neighbor across the hall.  I have vicariously experienced different life styles, ways of thinking, travel, celebrations, sorrows, crafts, new family members, new careers, big moves, etc.  And in a stunning realization for me, I noticed that many of my experiences were replicated in the lives of others.  I met other caregivers.  I had met my 'Tribe.'  I wasn't alone. Finally, it confirmed that people aren't so different from each other as popular news organizations seem to portray.  It all comes to me through the window of my computer screen ... through blogging.
      



    BLOG FRIENDSHIPS

    Oh, there have been some gaps in my writing since mom died and at times I have considered closing down my blog.  Thought, however, never became action!  Why is that??  I believe regardless of the reason you start your blog - if you do it long enough, regulars visit you and you visit them and your circle of contacts grow and you get to know a large array of people .... the blog platform grows with regular attention - just like a living thing.

    I encourage people - friends and family - to blog.  It is the most direct and simplest way to stay connected in a world that sometimes is one BIG disconnect.

    Did I answer any of the questions I asked myself at the start of this post!  Maybe one.  I think the other questions are still a mystery.

    Happy Blog Anniversary to me!
    Eight years into a 20 year stretch!
    Let's see where we go from here.

    Thanks for joining me.

    ** If you are a caregiver or just curious, you can find the series of posts Through My Caregiver Eyes by sorting on the Labels section, right side of the screen, under that title.





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