I’m always delighted to see old friends, and yesterday I had the chance to do that through a work function. It was wonderful to hug and be hugged, to catch up on children and jobs, and to learn what’s new in each others’ lives. What a warm feeling. And the bonus for me was that a few of these fantastic people mentioned that they’ve been reading and enjoying BulgingButtons. Wow. Thank you.
I may not ever get an Oscar. Oh, who am I kidding, I won’t, but right now I feel like Sally Field. Thank you.
I had no idea when I started what this blog would look like or feel like or how its very existence would impact my life. I just knew that I needed to make some positive changes in my life, and I felt that by documenting what I was doing through a blog I would be more accountable. I knew it wasn’t going to make me fit and fabulous, and in the back of my mind I figured that I might put up a few posts, get busy with life, and move on. I’m happy to report that hasn’t happened.
Before BulgingButtons was born I was involved in a writing project. We had the assignment of writing ourselves a letter. The letters were collected and I quickly forgot about mine. That is, until yesterday, when it arrived in my mailbox. I didn’t even recognize my own handwriting on the envelope. It wasn’t until I opened the letter that it clicked. Right there, in the letter, I outlined my idea about this blog. These were my thoughts before I had even the vaguest idea of how to create a blog.
I want to create a blog with a fabulous name that will inspire a sense of hope and use humor but will also show a serious side of how my weight affects me. I don’t want it to be the typical blog about how great veggies and exercise are, but more essays on what my life experience has been like and will be continue to be like, whether I get healthy or not.
That was my jumping off point, and a good place for me to start. It was only a start, though. A start of something much greater than I ever expected. Here are some of the things that blogging has accomplished for me:
1. I have gotten in a groove with my writing. I write far more, and, dare I say it? Yes, I dare. I write better because I’ve gotten into an almost daily habit.
2. I have written a novel. WTF?! I NEVER would have expected that, and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been blogging. Sure, it’s still a rough draft, but c’mon, it’s a novel.
3. I have joined an international community of bloggers and have learned so much from them about so many topics, not the least of which is writing. So many intelligent, compassionate, interesting, and kind people are bloggers, and I’m humbled to be a part of their community.
4. My blog has been visited nearly 8,000 times, has 365 followers at last count (one for every day of the year!), and has been seen on every continent (minus Antarctica) in countries I didn’t know existed (New Caledonia, anyone?). How amazing is that?
5. I’ve received awards from other bloggers, which confirms that some of those people who are visiting are actually not only reading the content, but like it! Actually, the likes and comments give that feedback too, and for those who take the time to weigh in (pun, get it?) I thank you. Even if you don’t agree with me, I appreciate hearing from you. This is a nice blog with nice readers, we don’t get ugly here. I’m proud of that.
6. I’ve branched out to include all sorts of different posts, depending on what’s on my mind at the moment. A blog is a great ADD outlet (which I don’t think I have, but who knows?). I have written to many prompts, I’ve interviewed my dog, I’ve played with photo collages, I’ve flashed back to my youth, I’ve listed things that make me happy, and I’ve shared many essays on health, fashion, exercise, and life in general. And all along the way you’ve given me support and encouragement.
What I have not accomplished through this blog:
Getting fit. Dammit.
1. I still dislike exercise.
2. I still procrastinate.
3. I still overeat.
4. I still eat the wrong things.
Ah well, I’m not a quitter. I’m going to keep on keeping on, and I’m going to keep on blogging. Maybe 2014 will bring some unexpected surprises. 2013 certainly did. Thanks for reading, you have made my year.
In education there is a huge trend toward examining data. Test scores are valued so highly that we have meetings to discuss them virtually every week. At times it’s overwhelming, and frankly, something of the spirit of the child gets a bit lost in these discussions.
I won’t get all soap box on you, but my point is, the data isn’t the whole picture. That being said, it does have value. I just think a balanced approach is probably best.
The balanced approach is usually best, in my opinion. All or nothing rarely works out well, in my experience, especially when it comes to diet and exercise (this is where I get into trouble, but this isn’t THAT kind of post). Moderation is key. You know, balance?
That’s why I more or less ignore the debate amongst bloggers about statistics. Some live and breathe them, others say ignore them completely. I’m in the middle camp (is there a camp in the middle?). I enjoy taking a peek at them, and I get a not so secret thrill when I see lots of activity on the blog. But do I obsessively examine them for trends? Do I throw in random asides to generate more traffic? Do I cross post all over the internet? No. I do not. I don’t have the time or the desire to do those things. If you do, I have no problem with you, it’s just not my thing.
Still, I was thrilled to see this number. Two hundred. It stands for two hundred follows. I feel like I’ve been waiting for a while to see it. I set a goal, visualized it, and it happened. How cool is that? So even though I know some of those follows are from people trying to pad their own numbers, I’m okay with it, because I know there are loyal readers, and many of you slog through each post and take the time to offer feedback. That’s what I find so rewarding about blogging, and for that, I thank you.