My first blog anniversary came and went. I started blogging on April 19, 2011 with this message:
I think people who blog about their lives are just a little arrogant. So why am I here? To see if I can have a continuously coherent thought? To journal my life? Is it possible that my life is as boring as I think it is? Yup. Pretty sure it is. But I’m going to try this for a few months, see what my life looks like and then decide….
I got off to a slow start. After my intro, I didn’t blog for a week, then two weeks after that. Then I committed to writing daily. The fact that I ended up averaging a share every 3rd day instead of every day could be the reason I have been a serial marrier. Marryer? That I’ve gotten married more than once. Just judge me by my intentions.
I discovered or uncovered several things about myself, my life, my area of the country over this past 14 months.
1. My life is not nearly as boring as I thought it was. When I first got sober, all I thought about were the things I’d lost. I lost my husband after a too brief battle with cancer; I lost my job after being unable to balance nursing John and working; I lost my ability to slide away from reality after I stopped drinking. I didn’t see anything good in my life. I had nothing.
Enter AA. Things didn’t become rainbows and fluffy kitties, but the answer when I pointed out how barren my life had become was “Make a gratitude list.” After I made a gratitude list and whined “That didn’t help,” my sponsor instructed me to make another list with new items. And another. It finally sunk in that I had plenty of good things in my life. I had everything I needed. That wasn’t settling; it was recognizing. I had a home, food, enough money to pay bills, a couple of job offers, great kids, good health, and an asteroid wasn’t poised to drop on my head. That I knew of. Pretty soon I could manage a smile and, in time, a joyful heart.
In the same way, blogging helps me see all the cool things in my life. I carry a camera with me all the time because I just never know what is going to show up. There’s something that is blog-worthy every day. I may not have the time to write about it, but I have a fallback topic at 7 a.m.
2. I’ve gotten to know a few people and enjoy their blogs. There are some cool bloggers out there. Much cooler than I am. I don’t care. They read my blogs, comment sometimes. I read their blogs, comment sometimes.
In my tiny world, I don’t meet new people. I work in an office with one other person; there are 8 employees total here. I am a project manager and estimator which is what I’ve done for 100 years so I know most area contractors, engineers, and architects. I go to meetings with the same AA group that I’ve been to meetings with for 14 years. A little incestuous. I teeter between living alone and living with Bob.
Blog World is new for me. I never lack recipes to try since I started blogging. I love the different perspectives that I read even if I don’t always agree with them. They make my world more interesting.
3. Blogging lets me pick up the grief I carry from my son’s death and look at it. There’s a saying that joy shared gets multiplied and sorrow shared gets divided. I think that’s a crock.
What I believe is that sharing my grief bridges my life to other lives, connects me to others who have had significant losses. It also lets me share memories and pictures from Jack’s life. It affirms that he lived. How many children do I have? For awhile, I would say, “I have a daughter, Georgie, and I had a son. Jack. He passed away on January 15, 2009.” Just like that. Now, I just say “I have two children.” I learned that from other mothers. Not to apologize. Not to explain. I have two children.
4. I’ve learned about my little area of the country because I blog. I look up things that are curiosities and share what I learned. I know more about my family because reading about the Coleman-Fulton Land Venture made me look up my Coleman relative. I know about the Harbor Bridge and its construction, both how and when. I can identify Corpus Christi, Nueces, Oso, Matagorda, San Antonio, and Baffin Bays. I know about San Jose Island and more about Texas history which I would have sworn I knew all about before I started blogging.
5. I have the confidence to start writing that book that I kept saying I’d write. I know that 800-1,000 words a day is a possibility. Will I get the book published? I have no idea, but I know I can write it. I’ve already written 150,000 words over the past year which is pretty nutty when you think about it. The average word count for great novels according to fellow blogger indefeasible is 136,000 words. War and Peace at 587,287 is the longest and Fahrenheit 451 the shortest at 46,118 words. (http://indefeasible.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/great-novels-and-word-count/)
My goal for the coming year is to blog every day. I was going to say every 3rd day, but then I’d slide to every 5th day. Best keep it as it is. And keep my eyes and mind open to the world around me.