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 “blogiversary” 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 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 dominated my waking hours.
With our youngest child’s college graduation last year 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.
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. I’m thrilled that a fellow blogger recently invited me to join the High Calling Blog Network where I only hope I can rise to the challenge of writing well about work, life, and God like the other talented writers there.
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 to those who’ve traveled with me on this journey:
- to my family who always encourages me to write (special thanks to hubby who patiently listens to each of my posts while I read them aloud to catch any errors);
- to the friends who personally know me and read my work, spurring me on with kind words of support (you are great cheerleaders!);
- to my new friends, my faithful readers, and fellow bloggers (your comments and your blogs inspire me and I appreciate them so very much);
- to 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 Blogiversary to all of us! If I could, I’d share my chocolates with every one of you for the entire month of July!