Saturday, October 24, 2009

Third Year Blog Anniversary

Three years ago I took the great leap into the blogosphere with "Along The Way." I'm giving my blog a slightly new look for the second time. Launching my blog when I did was a consequence of accidental mouse clicking, coupled with my panic at having done so and lack of technical knowledge to rectify the situation.

I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog but had already intentionally passed twice on doing so. I first thought I might start on my husband's October birthday, and later on my own but did neither because my blog was not ready. I was awaiting some future to-be-determined date. I definitely was busy making plans. That said, I am reminded of one of my favorite sayings, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

I fully expected first to acquire many new computer skills, create a unique appearing blog, shape and polish writing subject matter, establish categories about which I would write, and generally organize my blog in an orderly fashion before ever beginning publishing. Then when suddenly my blog was "out there" for all the world to see I lurched ahead. I had little idea of what I was doing but concluded the prospect of writing here was intriguing.

My technical skills were very limited as I had only started using a personal desktop computer a few months earlier. I could easily see the many attractive features I might want to adopt from various blogs I visited. My aspirations and expectations were to quickly learn how to adapt many of them for use on my own blog, but that was not as simple as I thought.

Primarily the difficulty for me was needing much more concentrated time than I had to devote to the different tasks. My expectation of coming to my computer for fifteen to twenty minute blocks daily or focusing an hour or two on acquiring more technical knowledge was not a realistic approach that worked for me. Given the events during that life period, I also had need for self-indulgent time which could waffle between extreme activity and doing nothing.

My reality was that I became what some might consider addicted to writing, of every kind. The fascination of connecting with all these interesting bloggers I had never personally met who were scattered about every U.S. State and around the world caught my attention. I enjoyed commenting on their blogs, and exchanging lengthy incredibly frequent emails with some. I can best describe my activities then, as I have before, that I was like a squirrel running madly round and round on a perpetual nonstop rotating wheel. Time to learn many technical skills could not fit into that regimen, much less allow me many instances to explore the rest of the Internet.

My periodic part time work in health care as a Speech-Language Pathologist demanded some preparation time. Though I was no longer providing inpatient and outpatient therapy in acute care hospitals, or a local rehabilitation hospital, the retirement community settings I primarily was serving could become very busy with complex therapeutic patient needs. In addition to their speech, language, voice, hearing, visual and cognitive problems, I was continuing to encounter many individuals with a wide range of eating/drinking/swallowing difficulties.

My husband's pre-mature death some five months before I started my blog was a major life adjustment for me that absorbed time in multiple ways, becoming much more complicated than I could ever have imagined. We had shared much but each of us had acquired our own niche of responsibilities that we pretty much left to one another. After his death I gradually began to encounter much he had routinely handled, for which I had then to assume responsibility. He had remarkably left information and records I found that were of great aid. There were also a multitude of "little things" of major proportion I had to ferret out on my own that erratically, but perpetually, surfaced when I least expected.

I've not recorded all my specific life ups and downs in writings over these past three years, but a glance at the archive postings frequency from one month to the next reveals a wide variation in blog post numbers. The reasons for this vary, but here are a few influencing factors. Sometimes the numbers reflect my emotional state. Other times they show how I self-imposed set publishing demands, and how, occasionally, I became disenchanted with my perceived blogging obligation, so I stopped writing.
Some other instances correlate with social activities, trips I've taken away from home, or when I've had visitors.

I have been genuinely interested in the topics about which I have written. Following that criteria I can always count on at least one reader, me, the person for whom I initially stated this blog was being written. Once again I have surprised myself with the realization as to how much I value all of you who come to read my words. You have proven over and over again what I've always believed. As much as we are all different in many ways, we are also very much the same in so many other ways. Our differences are what make life interesting for me. Our sameness is what causes me to feel a deep sense of belonging to others, such an important component for mind, body and spiritual health. Thanks to each of you for being you and sharing some of yourselves with me.

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations on reaching that milestone! I really thought it had been longer.

    Your last paragraph says so well what I have thought since about 6 months into my blog, and I really enjoy all the bloggers; both reading their posts and meeting a few in person.

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  2. Congratulations on reaching this great milestone! Happy anniversary to your blog!

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  3. Well first of all, I like the new look. Change is good.

    Congratulations on hanging in there for three years. I guess I have been blogging for some four years but it has been off and on to say the least. Being an 'over-organizer', I can't just leave the blog lay when I reach those moments of blogging discontent....no I have to delete them and then start over two months later. I'm not sure in actuality I have ever made it to a 'year' yet!

    As you stated so well, there is some measure of a relationship that develops over time. If fact, I think many of my blog visitors may know more about me in many respects than people who have known me for years.

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  4. Happy Blogiversary, Jo Ann. Congratulations on writing such an interesting and intelligent blog.

    Even though there have been times when life got in the way of posting, your blog has always been worth waiting for.

    I share you frustrations with lack of knowledge on how to compose the blog the way we want it to look. I am ready to start over with a different look, also, because of my problems with blogspot. At least I will be looking into it.

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  5. Happy Blogoversary, Jo! Has it been 3 years already? I remember how we all bugged you to blog because of your wonderful insightful comments. It was because we all knew you would have an excellent blog and we weren't wrong!!!!!

    I've so enjoyed having you as a friend and sharing our devotion to the Buckeyes!!!! The game just ended and they gave you a really great win for your blogoversary!!! :-)

    Thank you for being a great friend and a great blogger!!!!

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  6. Kenju: At times its seemed like much longer than three years to me, too, other times much shorter.

    Virginia: Thanks for your wish.

    Alan G.: Interesting how each blogger addresses intermittent postings.

    Think there is something disarming about writing on a computer that allows us to write about ourselves in ways we might not with those with whom we have contact in other ways. Certainly happened to me.

    Darlene: Thanks. Good luck in pursing a new blog look. BlogSpot is greatly improved from when I first started blogging, but then so have I.

    Kay: Let me say again, glad to have you back on the blogging circuit, especially if it can also serve to give you some of the pleasure your posts have given others of us and those guys over in Iraq!

    Yes, I remember being "bugged" to start my own blog and must confess I derived some influencing reactions from that (guilt I was writing such long comments ever so frequently on everyone else's blog -- would likely look at it differently now.) I found it hard to believe at the time I should start a blog for the reasons you mention.

    Yeah, it's good to have contact with another fellow Buckeye as I truly value the grounding given me by spending formative and again later years in my life there. I appreciate your friendship, support and wicked sense of humor.

    Thanks for arranging that Buc's birthday gift. Now, about Michigan later this year.....

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  7. LOL, Jo -- I got my order in!!!! They actually stopped messing around and played some real OSU football! They lost a LOT of leadership to the pros and with a young quarterback it's been rough. However, I have faith in Tressel, Woody, your hubby and his sis that they will get things straightened out. LOL And yeah, we gotta beat those folks up north. I think it's in Ann Arbor this year -- yuck!

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  8. Happy anniversary and many blessings for your Birthday JoAnn - I so love visiting and count you as one of my treasured blog buddies and sisters. xo Suzann

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  9. Kay: You done good! Yeah, that gang "upstairs" are busy pulling all the strings they can for OSU.

    About Michigan later this year.....if the game is in Ann Arbor there's a very real possibility my Mich. alum dtr-in-law and Northern Ariz. Univ. graduate son who live in Ann Arbor will attend the game.
    Do I need to tell you which team they will root for??? (though I'm sure my son may feel a slight tinge of nostalgia for the years he shared with his Dad watching TV OSU games.)

    Suzann: Thanks much! So enjoy visiting your blog and following your evolution through the sudden loss of a loved one process. Gives me encouragement as to what is possible.

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  10. Oh My God...it really has been 3 years, hasn't it JoAnn? That's hard to believe, but not really. You were one of the best commenters around. Reading your comments to people's posts was like reading posts written by you; so in a way it seems like you were writing for that long...or longer. And now...I can't imagine not having Along The Way as one of my daily stops.

    I love your new look sweetie...you're full of surprises. I've been thinking about making some changes to my site; but just haven't/can't make the time and am not sure what I want to do. I think I also need advice from my daughter, Jory, to see what she thinks; since she's going to change her site too.

    Happy 3rd Blogoversary JoAnn! May you always be inspired to continue to write the informative, intelligent and beautiful words we all have come to expect when we visit you here at Along The Way. Cheers... ~Joy

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  11. CONGRATULATIONS on three years, my dear. I remember when you were just a commenting visitor and then, I remember when you began blogging. I hope you go on with this wonderful ebdevor for another 30 years....!

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  12. Joy: Your words overwhelm me. Glad you like the blog look. I'm much happier with it since blue is a favorite color. Plus, I think the lines are spaced further apart than on the previous template. Thought it would be easier reading. I may think about changing the font to wider/thicker and darker, if possible. We'll see.

    OldOldLady: Thanks for your good wishes. Yes, we can say, we remember when and I remember the pleasure of discovering your delightful positive upbeat entertaining blog.

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  13. Jo, you are one of the more thoughtful bloggers I know. Both in your posts and comments. You know that feeling you get when you connect with someone? Kinda like being in a cathedral with a magnificent organ, soaking up soul-deep, complex vibrations. It's your description of your journey, rather than the frequency or subject matter, that strikes those chords in me. Blog on!

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  14. kokopelliwoman: I'm wrapping my mind around your wonderfully descriptive words. Most appreciated as I find your blog writings quite unique, enjoyable and thought stimulating. I hear the music, feel the vibrations.

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