Friday, January 4, 2008

100 posts already?

According to my dashboard, this is my 100th post. Although I'm normally a traditionalist, I'm not going to go down the path of the '100 things about me for my 100th post'. There's not enough things about me that are even vaguely interesting enough to make reading or writing a list like this anything more than an exercise in endurance. And quite frankly, a list like this would take ages and I don't want to waste precious holiday morning time on it. I'm a very busy woman, albeit a dull and boring one.

Why blog at all? What have I received from blogging that encourages me to keep doing it? I'm certainly no masochist. I'm not going to keep coming back to an activity that gives me pain. I signed off from that when I left my marriage.

That was a joke.

Well, sort of....

I think that if we were honest, we'd have to admit that when we first heard about blogging, very few of us instantly hopped on and started pouring out our innermost thoughts to the world. My initial reaction was pretty negative. Why on earth would someone want to do that? Hasn't the good old locked diary hidden under the mattress been a perfectly acceptable way to investigate thoughts and feelings for the last however many thousand years? What sort of pathetic wanna-be's are out there anyway? And most importantly, who on earth would want to read someone else's outpourings about their life unless they personally knew them (which would then be slightly stalker-y.) Yuck.

You can tell from this that I'm a very tolerant, open minded person. However, I kept my thoughts to myself, nodded and smiled and moved on with my life.

It wasn't until I hopped onto a blog via a link left in a thread on the Simple Savings forum that I realised that there could be something in this blog thingy. Rhonda Jean writes about simple living, a subject that tickles my frugality kick. She writes clearly and positively, and most importantly, she writes well. I'm pretty sure that if my first blog experience had've been a goth, emo or leather-clad bondage kitten one, then it would've been my last.

I found myself popping back to have a look. And so it goes....

I love my blog. I call it my new toy. I love the way that it has me writing again. I used to write an awful lot when I was at home with the kids ( and most of it was pretty awful, too) but once I began full-time work then the writing pretty much fell by the wayside. I enjoy the way that the blog has me shaping the experiences I have, instead of just living them, then forgetting them. I've always been a bit of a storyteller and this is just another way of sharing. (The people in staffroom 1 will be glad I have another outlet. They prefer a deathly serious working environment.) I've always liked to play with words, to muck around and get a laugh. I especially don't mind making myself look like an idiot, because in the interests of accuracy that's often what ends up happening in my life anyway. And comments! I don't know about anyone else, but I love getting comments. I haven't had any trolls leave their slimy negative thoughts yet, so that might explain it; but it's nice to hear that you struck a chord with someone, or tickled their funny bone.

However, if anyone has noticed the huge list to the side of this post, you'd deduce (correctly) that I don't just enjoy writing my blog, I also enjoy reading. At first, all I could find were craft blogs and mummy-with-baby blogs and I thought that maybe that was all there was, but gradually as I kept blog hopping from people's lists, a wider world opened up. There's a lot of puerile garbage out there, but every now and then you find a nugget of gold. I began to see how creative some people were.

The photos on some blogs I read are extraordinary, which has started an interest in photography in my two youngest boys. (Plus I've realised that I really have to lift my game.) I have seen the most incredible nature shots from the other side of the world, as well as some truly glorious shots of the most everyday items you could name. It's all in the way a person looks at things and instead of just glancing at them, really sees them...

Other people make the most amazing quilts, clothes and toys, which has inspired me to branch out and attempt things that I vaguely thought I'd like to try 'one day'. I'm in the throes of quilting 3 different quilts and knitting not only the the biggest afghan in the history of the world but also socks and maybe mittens. I'm having so much fun, and my brain is buzzing with new ideas and colours and combinations. As Mum said to me yesterday when we were in a quilting shop looking at the hundreds of different fabrics, "There's really no excuse to be bored in this life, is there?"

Other people simply write beautifully. Write so well that I could cry, if I was a maudlin self-pitying loser. Instead, I simply enjoy. There's nothing so fine as a well-turned phrase, or a piece of writing that makes an experience sing in the reader's mind. I've always been a reading addict, so words are the thing that really do it for me. (Trust me, I've been out with some absolute bastards in my time, but I kept going back because they made me laugh, or had a way of describing things that hooked into my brain with their originality. Words are dangerous beasts in the wrong hands....)

And some people are brave. There's no other word for it. Simply brave. They write about their experiences with autistic kids, or their grief at the loss of their kids, or whatever disease or event that has happened to them or their loved ones, and they write with stark honesty, with grace, with (often) humour and with a dignity that I can only stand back and admire. They open my eyes to conditions and situations that (thank God) are outside my personal experience and fill me with awe at how the human spirit can rise and thrive. These people are strong, loving and so much bigger than me, which doesn't do me any harm at all to realise. Perspective is a very valuable thing.

Others are experiencing the same things I am. Inner life vs outer life. Family. Work. Friends. Finances. Joy. Sadness. It's great when you read something and think, "Oh yeah! I know exactly what that's like!!" It's a connection thing that I think we all need.. that feeling that we're not alone, that we're all in this together.

Except for the crazy winter weather that all of those wild and wacky Americans willingly live through year after year. Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt. I can feel chilblains popping out on all my extremities at the the mere thought of living in all of that snow.

I read blogs every day from all different sorts of categories. Book blogs, Knitting blogs, Mummy blogs, Quilting blogs, Humorous blogs, Savings blogs ... the list goes on. I love the fact that I can feed so many different aspects of my life in this way. I've gained so much from my few short months of experiencing this world and I look forward to all of the further things I will learn about, laugh at and cry about as time goes on.

I'll finish my 100th post by thanking all of you who write so well, who take pictures that make my heart sing, who make me laugh, who slap me across the face with your life and make me empathise and those who open my mind and make me think. I feel very fortunate to have stumbled across this whole world of sharing that I had no idea about. So thank you all. And now I'll wave goodbye and go back to my life that, while not dramatic, glamorous or full of nobility and self-sacrifice, nevertheless is full of the people and events that enable me in my own small way to join you all.

My name is Frogdancer, and I blog.


Bettina said...

excellent, excellent 100th post m'dear! You've really summed up why I'm enjoying the blogging experience so much too. Well done.


Anonymous said...

A great post about blogging. You really summed up the passion that most of feel about blogging and the reasons why we do it and love it.

Come and join us at the Aussie Bloggers Forum at it is full of great people, tips about blogging and more blogs than you could ever read in a lifetime.

maybaby said...

What a lovely post! It's so remarkably similar to why I started reading blogs...then writing one.

I'm so amazed at the depth and breadth of human experience that blogging makes available to us all.

Humans are pretty frelling cool.

Janet said...

Congratulations on reaching your 100th post, it feels like such a milestone doesn't it?

Such a beautiful post is a fantastic way to celebrate. May there be many more... I think blogging gets even better from here on in.

Once again, congratulations!

M said...

Congratulations on your 100th post!

Blogging is one of those "hobbies" that is difficult to explain to others and make sound even remotely normal. That is until they read a blog, or two, and then get hooked themselves. It's the chat over the back fence for the 21st century, or virtual networking or whatever you want it to be.

Go Frogdancer.

River said...

"I especially don't mind making myself look like an idiot.." because if people are laughing at me, they're leaving someone else alone, someone who may be more sensitive and not able to shrug off the teasing remarks and sometimes cruel laughter like I can. On the other hand if they're laughing at me, then I've given someone a bit of fun and happiness, also good.

Fairlie said...

Well done on making it to your century!

Blogging is such a hard concept to define, but I think you have captured the essence of it perfectly in this post.

Claire said...

Happy 100th post! I am very happy that I stumbled upon your blog. Here's to another 100 - at least!

Susan said...

Congrats on your first big milestone! Great post.

I've been lurking for a while and this just seems to be a good time to come out of hiding. I really enjoy your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Sensational post. I didn't realise I'd made my hundredth post 'til it was long gone. Oh well. Congratulations on the milestone and happy new year.


Joke said...

I may be a wacky American, but there is no way I'm living in the wintry bits of the Republic.

Today -- in the dead of winter -- it was 77F/25C.

There, feel better?


Frogdancer said...

Joke, that sounds very civilised.

Thank you to everyone who has commented. I've got the warm fuzzies happening. I'm very glad some people have de-lurked, because I've had a lovely time reading some new-to-me blogs. Of course, because I've done this I've run out of time so I've got to hop off and actually start my day without posting.

As a sideline... I'm thinking about moving across to Wordpress while I'm on holidays and have the time to play around with it. Scary stuff....

Lis said...

Congrats on making the 100 posts!
I had to also de-lurk as your post really resonated with me. Although the sidebar list of blogs I read is not as long as yours, I do what I can in the time I have :) I also am divorced, but with only 2 children (DD14, DS 11), I too have gone the simpler living path for the same reasons as you.
Thanks for articulating my thoughts.
Take care of you.

Kim said...

Congratulations! In reading your post, it made me remember why I started this way back when. It was just for fun, then it became an outlet during my divorce, and now an outlet during my grief.

PS - Have you read the cupcake blog?