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.)
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.
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!
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.