A Year Has Passed

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We mark time; in hours, in days, weeks, months, years, and (if we are fortunate to be old enough) in decades. We mark anniversaries of important events – birth, death, marriage, divorce, moving, arriving, leaving, doing. The important events of my life have helped me know who I am, not so much because they happened but because I made sense of the events and how they impacted on me with the passing of time.

I am ready to celebrate and reflect on the passing of another segment of time. It has been one year since I began blogging. I started blogging as a means to an end – I wanted to publish a book I was writing. It didn’t take me long to realize that I enjoy blogging a whole lot more than I enjoy writing for publication. Then hubby bought me a DSLR camera and there was no turning back. I had the challenge of learning how to use the camera, an instant audience for my photographs, and lots of support from my new blogging buddies. Wow – how much more could a woman ask for? (Okay, a new lens too.)

Morning Bliss

A year has passed, and a very good year it has been. I was thinking about this as I was having my coffee on my purple porch swing this morning. I have learned a lot and wear the title of “Blogger” with pride.

1. I learned a little more about who I am and what I like to do. I discovered I like to tell stories and like to illustrate my stories with my photographs. I also learned that I like to share my experiences and my reflections on life, especially life with a chronic illness and aging body. My writing has led to healing and growth and acceptance of retirement. Blogging is an important element in how I have found meaning in this season of my life.

2. I learned I can touch people’s lives through blogging. This is important because I have always wanted to be a teacher, a supporter, one who encourages in some form or shape. My most rewarding posts are those where I have touched the lives of others. Although I don’t always feel like I know how I have gotten here or where I am going or how to get through, some of you have told me I am an inspiration. This feels good. Maybe I just have the courage to share my bumpy ride with you and this gives you the courage you need for your bumpy ride. It feels really good when I see that someone thinks my posts are interesting enough that they decide to “follow” my blog in order to see more.

3. I have enjoyed being a part of the blogging community. This surprises me because I have never been a joiner of organizations. But I did join the blogging community and quickly learned that I like being “liked” – from the very beginning I felt affirmed every time you clicked the “like” button. I also am serious about my responsibility for showing you that your work is interesting by “liking” your posts. Maybe high school would have been a bit easier for me if we would have had “like” buttons and used them to affirm each other. We were so afraid and oh so vulnerable to not being “liked.” How different I am in my late 60’s when I deliberately look for new blogs that are interesting and I want to follow without a care as to whether they will find me interesting.

4. Most important, however, has been the communication that has gone on between us. Your blogs have touched me so many times – I have cried with you and laughed with you. You have entertained me, inspired me and helped me remember what is important. I have gotten to know you and let you know me through our comments to each other. Your comments in my posts have made me more whole, more confident, made me more of who I am meant to be. I have also enjoyed adding my “two cents” to your posts (except my Canadian friends won’t take them) when you have moved me. So many of you have been placed on that list labelled “FRIENDS” – real friends, not the superficial Facebook kind of friends. We have, together, put forth the extra effort through words and smiles that form connections that are meaningful.

5. I am amazed at all the worldly places I visit through your posts. You have invited me to see your part of the world and hear about your day, from far away to right next door. You inspired me to post about “my dot on the map.” I thought my part of the world was very common, until I realized I was interested in the world you find common. The varied ways you have shared your lives has helped me to see my life in a new light. And all photographers know that light is one of the essential elements of a good image.

Anna Growing Up

Fashion show by Anna in St. Petersburg Russia.

6. Blogging has formed connections in ways I never dreamed possible. I have been amazed at how people have found me. Several months after I posted a photo from Nova Scotia, someone left a comment that I had taken the photo from their front yard. I posted a corner of a front porch in Escanaba Michigan and someone commented “That’s my house” after coming across my post while doing a search on Blaney Park. My post on whale watching was found by the owner of the company that took us out to North Point, Nova Scotia and a link ended up on a tourist information website. When I started blogging stories and photographs from my travels, I knew I had to be respectful of people’s lives and culture but I never dreamed that anyone would really find me in this way. I feel busted!

Sunset from Nova Scotia

Sunset from Nova Scotia

Thank you so much for coming along on this year-long journey. It has been great fun and I look forward to another year of posting my photos and my thoughts. I also look forward to seeing and reading all the interesting things you have to share. I am amazed at your talent.

The photos in this post are ones I used in my early posts and seemed to generate the most interest from readers. I hope you don’t mind my wandering down my photo-memory lane.

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37 Comments »

  1. Beautiful! When I saw the start of this I half feared you were bringing it to a close. I look forward to your blog, and I’m glad that you write it and that you are continuing.

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    • How sweet, Julie. I do find joy in blogging and photography. And now I have you as a photography and blogging buddy. Now that is sweet!

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  2. Lovely post, and true. Happy anniversary!
    P.S. Every time we drove past Blaney Park, all boarded up, we would fantasize what we would do–build a family compound–if we could ever get it up and running. I guess after decades, it’s back in business.

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    • Thanks, Naomi. Yes, Blaney Park has always been a fascinating place – with potential but also a little scary. A good setting for a movie or novel? To bad you have a new writing project. 🙂 I really wanted to take a picture of the boarded up structure but that has been torn down. There are boarded tourist cabins and people have brought the hall, some of the small houses, and a B&B back to life. It didn’t look like it was thriving but we were there before the tourist season began.

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  3. Pat – Congrats on your first year of blogging! I enjoy each post you publish and love spending time in your “dot on the map”. Thanks for sharing some of your early photos, it is a wonderful way to celebrate where you have been these past 12 months.
    Lisa

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  4. Always happy to see another post from you. I enjoy “going with you” on your walks and photography adventures. And I also have been surprised at this blogging community… I’m not a joiner either, but somehow… this feels right. Glad you’re here!

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  5. Congrats and happy anniversary to you Pat! So happy you got into photography and blogging as I enjoy visiting you here and always look forward to your posts!

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  6. And – what a wonderful year it’s been for me to get to know you through your blog! Thank you for sharing a part of you when you choose to hit that Publish button on the WP!
    Happy Blogthday dear Pat 🙂

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    • Thanks you so much. I treasure what we have found in each other. You have brightened so many of my days, RoSy. And here’s to another year to come.

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  7. Congratulations on your blogoversary! I really enjoyed reading your list of revelations and considering them. Blogging has been such a fulfilling part of my life for many of the same reasons you discussed. I’m glad you found my blog allowing me to “meet” you 🙂

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      • I think that’s why blogging connects people so well. It’s easy to cross paths with like-minded people. Not that we shouldn’t interact with those who aren’t like us, but we get a chance to meet people from all over who tackle the world in ways we appreciate. Many thanks to the interwebs 😉

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  8. Such a lovely ‘thankful’ in so many ways post Pat . You have such a great way with words and I know that what you say is what you feel . I discovered your blog really not that long ago but so enjoy each of your posts whether it be about travel friendship or just how it is for you at that particular time ..coming to terms with your life and looking to the future . And your photographs .. ahh of course they are wonderful !
    The connection one can make with other bloggers who you feel in tune with is a very surprising *extra* indeed which I really value myself too .
    So … Happy Blog Birthday Pat 🙂

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    • Thanks you so much, poppy. This was a very heart-warming comment. I look forward to many posts between us for many years – although I seem to be missing your posts in my reader. I’ll find a fix for that!

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  9. Lovely post, Pat, Happy Blog Anniversary! I enjoyed your list of thoughts on what blogging has brought to you, great read. Your writing voice is very chatty and inclusive. You’re an inspiration to others because you are darned if you’ll be dragged down by chronic illness…there is life to be led! I’m looking forward to many more years of stories.

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    • Thank you so much, Sue. I am so glad that you have become one of my blogging buddies. I am having a hard time comprehending not having a story to tell or something to say. And I haven’t even touched on politics! 😀

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      • And I’m pleased you are one of mine! Like you, I’m amazed at the whole blogging community thing, and am thoroughly enjoying it. This last week, life has got in the way, and I’ve not posted, but it’ll be there when I start up again. 🙂

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  10. Happy Anniversary Pat. I am glad to have found your blog (or you found mine first – not sure which) but I also am finding that this world of social networking is not just for the digital native – those of a younger age. We digital immigrants can get a lot of joy and pleasure out of connecting across the miles. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your stories and reflections and seeing your photos. Glad to hear you will carry on !

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    • What has surprised me is the depth of the connections. There seems to be a realness to the communication that definitely isn’t on Fb and is as real as face to face. In fact, I wonder if people are more open and honest in writing than face to face. Thank you, Nora, for your friendship and I have no intention of stopping. This is way too much fun! 🙂

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  11. What a beautifully written 1st Blogiversary post, Pat. I really laughed out loud at you feeling “busted” and I so agree with you about how nice it would have been to have ‘like’ buttons at school and whilst growing up. This a such a great blogging community, and although I too have never been a joiner of groups, organisations or even choirs, I feel I’ve found my niche here. I wish you many more years of happy blogging. Hugs to you.

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    • Your comment brought tears to my eyes and a big smile on my face. The words “found my niche here” ring so true. It is so nice to find a “social home”. I know that I am very, very happy and hope it continues. Love your hugs, ad.

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  12. It’s been wonderful getting to know you and following your Blog, Pat. This post is an inspirational reflection and I can share the sentiments. Blog on!

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  13. hi Pat,
    congrats for one year – and for your resume:
    “My writing has led to healing and growth and acceptance of retirement.
    Blogging is an important element in how I have found meaning in this season of my life…”

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  14. Hi, Pat. I found you because you “liked” one of my farm posts. You’re the first to do that, and it’s great because I had been feeling a little lonely….and wondering exactly how to best connect out here. I appreciate you. Best, Jenn

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    • A good way to connect is to go to the WordPress logo at the upper left of the screen and click on Reader in the dropdown. Then you can search topics – like barns or photography and look at what others are doing Just like you and I, if you click like or follow (use the follow in the upper left), then others will check you out. Good luck, Jenn.

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  15. Blogging is indeed a rather rewarding experience!! Congratulations on your first year!!

    Do enjoy all the fun the interaction provides… and thanks for regarding me enough of a friend to visit my contribution to cyder clutter!! 😉

    Long may blogging last!! 😛

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