Dear readers, Happy New Year and welcome back, it’s been a while. My head and my heart have been elsewhere recently and the urge to put fingers to keypad has been somewhat absent. Christmas and a reason to pause came as a welcome break as it does for many no doubt.
I never started this blog to diarise my personal life stories or share trivia. Quite simply I couldn’t without sacrificing the privacy and dignity of my teens or our family. That said there’s no denying that opening up, sharing those glimpses of life, however small and seemingly insignificant and forcing your readers to pause, think and maybe reconsider, gives an added value to blogging.
All of us can pick up a newspaper or magazine to read expertly researched pieces littered with facts or of course google to our hearts content to get a myriad of answers to the simplest or most difficult of questions. A blog’s success, however, is built on sharing personal experiences, it is these which give an added dimension to readily available facts and an individuality not available elsewhere.
Much as it irks me to say it in this 21st century world of reality TV, true life cuts it and that is probably why my teenagers and many like them are so hooked on the wave of shows that pertain to illustrate scenarios they can relate to. To be honest though I am guilty of that too.
Some of my favourite indulgences are those quiet moments when I get to read, watch or listen to stories from people doing what I love, pursuing a path I dream of or experiencing challenges that either strike a chord or I can identify with.
My blog started as an outlet to share experiences of parenting through the older years, as well as a platform for airing the challenges our young people face, whilst simultaneously embracing those that come with midlife. It falls into a particular niche and through it I have made a multitude of connections and been given some wonderful opportunities. I have also been bolstered during my down times by some touching messages of support not least when I was thrown full tilt into a real life cancer crisis and more recently as I have faced some new parenting challenges. It is the latter which have thrown me off course a bit recently and forced me to hunker down and focus on those close to me and there is no better time to do that than over the festive period when family is paramount.
Fundamentally I write because I want to, not because I have to. I love the therapy it gives me and the engagement with like-minded spirits and I think that is true of many and particularly those I admire.
When I was taking my first tentative steps on to the blogging platform there were many blogs that stood out for me in terms of highlighting the value of sharing
So now that the festive break is an all but distant memory it feels right to resume the blog again and explore my desire to put finger to keypad once more and this is my opportunity to pause and to lay tribute to those blogs I loved and admired back in the early days and that still remind me of the value of sharing. There are too many to mention but in this moment of adversity in my family there are a couple I really what to give a shout out to.
One of my favourite blogs back in the early days was Suzanne’s, who previously curated Three Children and It, now it’s Inside, Outside and Beyond. Suzanne has faced her fair share of challenges and come out the other side with a smile and an exuberance in her posts that give me hope every day. Why? Because she has embraced parenting hurdles of the kind that very few of us can lay claim to. I love where she is in her journey right now as a fellow midlife individual but that is not to say her challenges are over and because of this she gives me and many others no doubt encouragement to carry on through all the ups and downs of life.
The other major source of early inspiration for me was Mel, of What Mel Did who has featured in my Fabulous Females series and was the founder of Post 40 Bloggers who has been dealt many tough blows in her life and more recently the loss of all she has done in curating the Post 40 Bloggers platform. Mel has always come out the other side and I sure she will again with her new business adventures and her continued love of just writing and being her.
There is also the lovely Kylie, an Australian blogger at Reflections From Me who encourages a mindful approach to life with an emphasis on Living Fearlessly Authentic and equally after a series of tough family upheavals is starting her family life afresh in a new location and embracing all the wonders that a fresh start historically offers.
The point of these New Year ramblings, is that life does throw us many curved balls along the way and we all deal with them in our own way, but there is no denying that the urge to give up what you know and walk away is sometimes too prevalent and of course the easy route.
I find myself saying constantly to my teens, “Keep at it.” “Don’t give up.” “It will get better.” That’s what I have said constantly over the past months and whilst I may have said it to my teens with my tongue firmly in my cheek, it actually does – but only if you work at it.
“Life can be tough, stay in your magic.” The words on a card given by my mother to my eldest over Christmas at the inevitable family reunion of the kind that makes you realise how important your family really is and what binds us all together. Borrowed words maybe but the most pertinent and a firm testament to the fact that life is all about staying true to yourself. In the meantime there is always another life episode around the corner. Thank you for your continued support dear friends. Watch this space for the next chapter.
In the meantime ….. How was your festive break? Was it filled with happiness and tinsel? I hope so and do please share your stories of how you deal with upheaval in your family life and more importantly what you do to move forward. I am all ears. X