Throwback Thursday: celebrate

It’s time once more for a Throwback Thursday post here at Mama’s Empty Nest. Ten years ago this month, I launched this little corner of cyberspace on WordPress entitled Mama’s Empty Nest.

The month of July marks my ‘blogaversary’ of writing here but actually it’s been 15 years since I entered the blogging world. Previously, I had occasionally written on another blog site from 2005-2007 but then stopped because…well, life got in the way. My nest wasn’t completely empty back then and it was crazy busy.  

Join me as I look back at celebrating Mama’s Empty Nest with this post written in July 2011.

One of my favorite things is chocolate and another is writing this blog.

Obviously, I can’t share my to-die-for chocolate candy (pictured) with you.   But I can share my thoughts with my friends and readers in written form here at Mama’s Empty Nest.

July is my “blogaversary” month.    I use the term month because I’m not sure which July date actually commemorates my blog’s anniversary.

Six years ago on July 9, 2005 (now 15 years ago!!) on a whim and a dare from oldest daughter, I started writing a blog via a different site.  Recuperating from cancer surgery and not physically able to accomplish my usual summer to-do list, I needed something to occupy my time and mind.

Oldest daughter convinced me to create a blog on the same site she then used and I started putting my thoughts into written words again.  My writing topics ranged from silly thoughts to serious ones, everyday life to the change in thinking that a cancer (albeit a curable kind) diagnosis brings.  Once I recovered and returned back to “real life,” I only posted occasionally, when I encountered a little free time, until fall 2007.

And then… nada…zilch…nothing.  My blogging life ended.  Life got in my way.  Hubby and I still had kids in the nest, two sets of college tuition to pay, a calendar full of events to attend, jobs, a home to maintain, and all of those priorities dominated my waking hours.

With our youngest child’s college graduation last year (in 2010) and all of our children’s subsequent moves away from home, my world and waking hours changed.  I tried social networking for a while; fun at first reconnecting with old friends, but after the novelty wore off, I found myself sitting at the computer playing endless rounds of Reversi and Bubble Town.

Way to let the brain atrophy!  In between popping bubbles and knocking off Reversi opponents, I began reading a far-away friend’s new blog on WordPress.   One day, I realized how much I missed writing myself.   Why not take my love for stringing words together in written form down from the shelf, dust off my skills, and rekindle my blog?  So I moved my old posts from the previous site over to WordPress, started cranking out new posts on July 19, 2010, and my new blog, Mama’s Empty Nest,  was  hatched.

What happened next I compare to coming out of a coma.  Suddenly, my mind leaped into over-drive and so did my senses.  It felt like I had awakened from a very long winter’s nap.  Once I commenced writing, words just kept gushing out of me, words that were obviously bottled up inside for decades.  Ideas would spring into my mind when I gazed at a picture or often when a sight unfolded in front of my eyes, while driving, and even while sleeping.

My senses seemed heightened – eyes wide open, observing things I couldn’t wait to write about, ears hearing sounds I previously must have taken for granted.  Every day occurrences in my world suddenly needed crafted and sculpted into paragraphs of written language, and I was constantly grabbing the nearest scrap of paper to jot down my thoughts before they melted away.

An old composition notebook became my new best friend in which I scribbled ideas, thoughts, and topics when they surged into my brain.  And then something truly amazing happened.  I realized I wasn’t just writing for myself and my closest family anymore.  Somewhere out there in cyber-land, people – friends and strangers – started reading my blog and commenting!

A whole new world opened up for me [cue the theme song from Disney’s Aladdin] as I gained new readers, blogging buddies, and very good friends.  I recently reviewed my posts from five years ago and marveled at the change I see in my writing and even in myself. (Ditto that now in 2020.)

Where I once blogged as a way to fill up empty time, now I blog because it brings me joy.  Where I previously wrote whatever came to mind, now my posts have meaning and depth…and I believe, purpose. 

Today, on this 26th page of Chapter 7 in my Opportunity book of life – not exactly my blogiversary date – I  am astonished at how far I’ve come, but I’m more grateful for those who’ve traveled with me on this journey:

  • for my family who always encourages me to write (special thanks to hubby who often patiently listens to my posts while I read them aloud to catch any errors);
  • for the friends who personally know me and read my work, spurring me on with kind words of support (you are great cheerleaders!);
  • for my new friends, my faithful readers, and fellow bloggers (your comments and your blogs inspire me and I appreciate them so very much);
  • for my Lord Jesus Christ who graciously gave me a gift which I must use for His glory and for allowing me to “see” through His eyes as I write.

So Happy Blogaversary to all of us! If I could, I’d share my chocolates with every one of you for the entire month of July! ©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” ~ Virginia Woolf

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Find your happy

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We all have one.  A happy place.  

Some folks dream of relaxing on a pristine sunny beach while others might be happier on the top of a mountain taking in a spectacular view.  For some, their happy place consists of being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of life in the city while others enjoy the quiet contentedness of the country.  

Where’s your happy place?

Way back in late fall, Papa and I ventured on a long weekend trip a few states southwest of us to visit our oldest daughter and son-in-law. For this family-oriented Mama, spending time with my loved ones always makes me happy.

And one of the happy highlights of that trip happened one afternoon when my daughter had reservations for tea at a lovely spot called Sisters Tea Parlor where we joined daughter’s sweet mother-in-law and equally sweet sister-in-law.  

Definitely a happy place

Definitely a happy place

Treated to pretty and scrumptious tea sandwiches and goodies, delectable desserts, and an amazing assortment of all kinds of teas, everything proved delightful from the lovely company to the delicious food and tea to the adorable way each room in the tea parlor was decorated. 

I loved the sign “Find Your Happy” over the door to the Paris pink dining room where we sipped our tea and dined on our delights.

Find Your Happy.  

Isn’t that a good suggestion?

I can name a plethora of things that make me happy and I’m grateful for that.  But I have to say that one of my happiest places is right here. 

I find my happy when I’m writing something straight from my heart.  I find my happy when I capture a photograph that I know I can share with my family, friends, and blog readers.  I find my happy here in this spot. 

And yesterday, I was reminded that indeed this IS one of my happy places, and it has been for quite some time, when I received this notification from the hosting site of my blog:  

anniversary-2x“Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 5 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!”

So my happy place for the last five years has been sharing my thoughts and photos with some of the most wonderful readers right here at Mama’s Empty Nest.  And I need to thank you all for convening with me in my happy place.  I think I’ll go for another five years,  What do you think?

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ~Frederick Keonig

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com