Posts Tagged ‘reflection’


This past April was my first time trying the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. It was exactly that…a challenge! I enjoyed it quite a bit, even when things got to the point of causing anxiety over falling behind. I did enjoy it and I am looking forward to next year’s challenge. I’m also looking forward to reading as many of the posts from this year’s challenge as possible, even though the challenge is over. I still want to read those posts!

For those that are not my regular readers, let me fill you in a bit on what made it toughest for me. At the end of March I ended up in the ER and after a couple of days of testing, it was determined that I needed abdominal surgery as soon as possible. Because I don’t have insurance, the “as soon as possible” turned into a couple of weeks time while the hospital scrambled to find some financial assistance for me. At that point, I thought I would bow out of the challenge but instead I figured I would need the distraction because I was having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that not only did I have a huge cyst inside of me that was making me sick, but it might also be malignant. So I decided to go on with the challenge.

Now I’m not a planner. I fly by the seat of my pants, always. I changed my theme a few days before the challenge and while I did write a list of possible posts, I didn’t have all 26 letters filled out. I wrote each post late the night before it was to be published. That worked fine until surgery. At that point I figured I might not be able to post for a couple of days so I lined up a couple of posts that I had previously published to use for those two alphabet letters. However, I didn’t schedule them because I couldn’t figure out how to do that! Duh! In the end, it was more like five days that I could not post because I just could not concentrate and being in the hospital all that time, it was impossible to rest, sleep, or think. So I fell behind. In the end, I did manage to catch up rather quickly. By the Sunday following my Tuesday release from the hospital, I was caught up. The rest of the challenge went smoothly, at least as far as writing and publishing my posts.

What I was not able to keep up with was reading posts. I did read a lot. I managed to keep up with most of my friends’ blogs that were doing the challenge and there were quite a few, as well as a few blogs I discovered during the challenge. I would say that I probable ready thirty to forty posts per day! A lot but not nearly enough to cover over 1500 blogs participating!

One thing that was a hindrance was the extra (a lot of extra) time that it takes to prove that I am not a robot! Is there not any way to disable that for the duration of the challenge? I kid you not, it was taking me at least three to four minutes to get the pages to load during each step of the verification to be able to post a comment. Doesn’t sound like a lot but when you are trying to read as many as possible, that’s a lot of time. If there is some way to disable that verification for the duration of the challenge next year, it would be a big help. My other option next year will be to not even try blogs on the blogger platform. I will just stick with the quick and easy platforms, like WordPress. That’s my gripe! Oh, also the fact that the links took us to the “home” or “front” page meant that in many cases one really had to dig around for the A to Z post on blogs that have multiple posts per day. It was confusing, frustrating, and time consuming.

I am not really into stats so I don’t know how I did in comparison to other months but I did manage to get 989 page views during the month, which to me is a lot. I picked up about twenty followers. My busiest post was about my first Kiss. My least visited post was W is for Wildlife which only got 4 page views!

So the plan is to read as many A to Z blog posts as possible over the coming months. Today I read about 25! Then I need to firm up my theme as I have a good idea of what I want to do! Of course, I probably won’t write any posts until the last minute but who knows?!

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Once again, a post at Red Ravine led to this post.  Thanks, RR!

Reflecting back on 2009, what really sticks out at me is FAMILY and togetherness.  Throughout the year it was family that mattered, demanded, inspired, and supported.  This is true most years but in 2009, it seemed to be popping up almost on a daily basis.  Too often to ignore, not that I wanted to ignore it.

Whether it was just my three kids needing something–like Tina needed support and company during her pregnancy; or Susie needed help finding an apartment to live in when she moved to college; or Tony needed to talk on the phone to me as a distraction on his drive home from work–or my family at large needing each other when my brother died–or me needing to be around my family at that same time–we were all there for one another.  We learned that although we are not always physically together, we can be together in spirit and mind.

I reconnected with long lost family and met nieces and nephews I hadn’t had the privilege of meeting previously.  I saw reflected back in their appearance, my own siblings and my own kids.  And the mannerisms!  Even cousins that had never met share the same mannerisms!  Voices sound very similar, too!

My trip to Australia with my son underscored the fact that they do want me around.  I’m not a nuisance (not most of the time anyway) to them!  They still want to be around me and they still value my advice and my help.  That was the special gift I received from that trip: the fact that my son wanted me to come on that most special adventure with him!

I think we’ve all been there for each other this past year.  Even during Christmas when it was so difficult to get everyone together.  I managed to get all three of my kids and myself in the same state, same town, same house!  It wasn’t easy, or cheap but it was managed and we are all the richer for it.  I don’t know how next year will go.  We may find that it just won’t work out next year but at least we have managed it for one more year!

Intention is another thing, yet it doesn’t have to be.  I think for me, this year my intention will be to remain available to support my family and be there when they need me and not be afraid to ask them for support when I need it.  That’s difficult for me.  I don’t ask for help.  But I think that this past year taught me that I can ask for it and that’s okay!  When my brother died, I didn’t even have to ask my kids to make the trip.  They all came from their own corners of the world, taking time off from work and making the trip to be there with and for me.  What a blessing that was!  I won’t forget it.

There’s a new baby coming in early March (or thereabouts) and I know that right now, my intention is to be there for him and for his mom.  Not just when needed, but to enjoy them and share first experiences with them.  And of course, I intend to be there for the others, too, as well as anyone in my family that might need me or want me around.

I also intend to follow up on those reconnections and not let them sever.

And on a lighter note, I also intend to get myself another keyboard because this one has just about bitten it.  It has taken me about 45 minutes to type this because of my failing wireless keyboard!

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