Looking back in wonder …

We all know the years fly by.

Back in the 80’s I was wondering what the year 2000 might be like.

We are now 20 years past that.

I have been keeping a personal blog (DayOne) since May 2014.

I never believed I would keep it going.

I have.

Every day without fail.

Maybe because it is on my phone.

And I’m always on my phone.

It allows me a search facility to pin down certain events, places, people that are vague, until it brings up the detailed journal page.

It is my retrievable, detailed memory.

Stored in the cloud as backup to my brain.

It offers a peek at what I’d written 1 year back, 2 years back etc on the same day as I may be writing today.

“Can it really be 2 years ago?” I sigh ….

Memories captured, neatly and clearly (well to the best of my ability).

It is, essentially, a book of my recent life.

Well since May 2014.

And when I read it, at random, complete with photos I have attached to the relevant journal entry, I marvel at what I have experienced.

I smile often and sometimes cry just a little.

But I remain grateful that I am blessed with being able to keep on writing my book …

And still looking back in wonder at an incredible journey ….

6 months a blogger …

At school I used to dread the annual reports on my progress.

The teachers told it how it was.

No holds barred.

“If he put as much energy into his school work as he does into his chatting to his mates he might do well”

My father would smile.

My mother would frown.

So I approach this half year report into my new experience of being a blogger with an objective and reflective stance.

I’ve realised that I just love writing.

I also enjoy reading what others have written.

I get a kick out of following other bloggers and commenting when I feel the urge.

And that’s often.

Quite simply it’s been both educational and amazing.

My e mail in box is full of notifications of new posts … and I don’t mind at all.

I love it, in fact.

I feel I’m building up a connection with lots of new people, continuously.

It’s been a really supportive and friendly community.

Yes, I know I am still chatting to mates – to quote my teachers.

But I think I’m doing quite well and enjoying the experience immensely.

Thank you blogging community – all of you! 😎

Turbulence ahead …

Life is not smooth.

Nor is it predictable.

But for me that’s what can make it interesting and fun – when I’m feeling good.

However understanding why certain days are great and others a complete strain is a tough job.

I’ve been reading quite a few blog posts lately from people I follow and meeting a few friends who are struggling with the pressure of work, of illness, of relationships.

I tell my friends that I’m definitely not qualified to suggest informed, professional solutions but I’m always available for a chat.

I tend to insulate myself from the odd bump in my own mood by surrounding myself only with people who make me feel good when I meet or talk to them.

Those supportive types who give you a buzz with their energy and enthusiasm or just listen attentively while you talk and talk…. and talk.

And offer another perspective or two.

Better to have a face to face meet up of course (body language is invaluable) but even written exchanges can help.

However if I cannot meet them then a chat over the phone, for me, wins hands down.

Texts can be ambiguous and not really dynamic, like speech.

Texts can intrude, annoy even and add to the load.

I can cover much more in a live conversation.

So I know who to call.

Know who to meet.

I have recently realised that I really do have a “help me out” list of friends.

I guess I have been subconsciously building it all the time.

Not in a mechanical “numbers game” type of way.

Not loads of people either, just a handful who I can ring at any time.

I hope I’m on their list too.

I can never predict when I might need to connect up and be recharged a little or be a source of support for somebody else.

But I am prepared 😎

Stand back and be amazed …

It must be my age.

I’m finding everything to enjoy.

Nature, people, events and opportunities.

Perhaps I am seeking things out now whereas before I just went rushing with the flow.

This blogging universe, is a great example.

I only got into it 4 months back, but it has been a revelation.

I’m left mostly speechless by my fellow bloggers’ writing, thoughts, issues.

A whole new set of connections I didn’t know existed. Across the Globe.

It’s as if my senses have been fine tuning over time to receive and appreciate even more data.

And the data is not filtered or ignored.

A couple knocked on my front door yesterday asking me if I thought the World was in a declining state of doom and gloom.

If suffering everywhere meant we needed to appeal to a higher power for resolution.

I said

“I can see that viewpoint but I don’t share that perspective personally”

“I think life is just great with a few tough challenges of course”

“Peace, Poverty, Climate Change, Working Together all need to be priorities”

“ but nothing is perfect”

“But there are people to meet, places to go, support to give, advice to take on board, nature to see, things to do”

“I think this is an amazing time to be alive”

My doorstep callers were very sympathetic to this very unexpected burst of optimism.

I suspect other neighbours they had visited didn’t necessarily share my view.

The couple nodded when I encouraged them to look around, take it all in, and be amazed.

It felt a little like role reversal but I think I cheered them up.

And I hope I don’t get excluded from their future visits …..😎

Blog Extraordinary …

My Australian friends, Mark and Louise, are coming to the end of their amazing adventure holiday which covered parts of the USA and South America.

Mark’s private daily blog, shared with a few select friends, started steadily in the early days.

Just a few lines.

Just a few photos.

I’ve used one of his photos on this blog.

Then something happened.

I think Mark discovered he really loved writing.

He also realised he was really good at it.

He included more and more amazing photos to support his expanding blog posts.

Every blog post delved into more detail, expressing more and more of their personal emotions and experiences.

It became essential reading.

He supplemented it every now and again with video calls to me when words sometimes could not cover how he felt.

He also called me when my own public blog prompted him to check I was ok.

I was, but that was nice.

Wow, who thought this adventure would be more than just places?

It would be a lasting record of their experience shared with a lucky few.

I’m realising blogs, even private ones, are more than just nice diversions.

More than just views and perspectives expressed.

They have a power and presence that can stay in the cloud for ever for others to enjoy and learn.

Well done Mark and Louise, you have made your own personal history ….

And shared the journey, the places, the feelings, the experience in a very powerful way…. thank you.

Little things matter …

I’ve been thinking.

A dangerous pastime.

My mind has been buzzing.

No particular order of topics or thoughts – just a background of noise making me drift off and then focus back for a while.

When I analyse it there are one or two issues I’m wrestling with.

All manageable.

No real showstoppers.

But it’s the little things that either make me feel good or low.

An accumulation of little things that make a big difference.

Some words of encouragement, some humour, some sharing of stories, some help you have given and received.

Then you face those outstanding tasks that keep on slipping, some unbudgeted events that keep throwing your plans out of gear, some unreasonable remarks or responses.

They all add up.

They can tip the balance on my mood.

You need to seek out the good little things.

You need friends who make you feel great.

Consistently and predictably great.

You need blog exchanges that make you smile or think differently.

I’ve been grateful for these!

The negatives will always flow in.

But you can offset them if you work out how important they really are and, of course, keep on collecting those positive vibes.

This is an unusual blog from me.

From where did this surface?

I just feel so much better writing it down …😎

Whose vacation is it? 😎

My friends Mark and Louise from Australia (I’ve blogged about them before) are off on an impressive well deserved vacation over the next month covering quite a few countries, quite a few time zones and many flights.

They have been keeping me updated on their vacation preparations and Mark has even invested in a daily journal app on his phone and has been experimenting with updates and photos which he has sent on to me.

He will be using this facility on their adventure, keeping a select few updated on his daily experiences.

I’m privileged to be on his list.

They are off in a day or so and I’m just so excited and so looking forward to his stories and photos.

It will enable us to be even closer in our contact and, with Mark’s writing style, he will tell it exactly how it is.

I’ll be seeing places I probably will never probably visit in my lifetime.

So in effect I’ll be sharing a part of their life over the next month.

I just sit back in amazement that, although I won’t be with them in person I will be experiencing it via his blog.

A virtual vacation in effect.

The power of writing.

Capturing and sharing memories.

I just love it.

I never thought …

I’m not normally totally surprised.

I’ve always enjoyed writing so the prospect of trying out some real blogging seemed both an unexpected and adventurous decision.

Just over 2 months in I am sitting here just marvelling at the experience.

I’ve written nearly 40 posts (I never know when they might surface!) and have now read probably 100’s of fellow bloggers thoughts, ideas, humour, perspective, reflections and advice.

Wow!

A live, constantly updated database of global thoughts.

Ready for me to dive into and enjoy.

To see where they randomly lead me.

I’ve been commenting on others’ posts (I’ve never been one to not give positive feedback when the writing is so inspiring) and I’ve been receiving some supportive comments back too.

Global in scope (I am so surprised at the geographical reach of the blogs readership) and updates of likes and comments just come in at all hours of the day and night.

Just thought I’d put down how enjoyable and exciting it has been so far.

A virtual world I guess.

But much to my surprise and absolute delight , not virtual at all …

Thanks to you all 😎

New Horizons …

It’s been one month now since I took the plunge to start a blog.

What a refreshing community this has turned out to be!

My original intention was to just write, be bold and publish and then see where it takes me.

I have discovered that reading what others are writing has been a real eye opener.

The range of topics, ideas and views has been terrific.

I’ve read poems,

I’ve see art,

I’ve read short stories,

I’ve read personal views and advice about many subjects,

I’ve seen photos, black and white, some colour.

I get quite excited just reading the developing stream of thoughts and ideas.

It feels a very supportive and evolving community.

Thank you bloggers for giving me another perspective on life and new topics to consider.

It’s been a very enjoyable month.

It’s been like a giant library in the universe.

Who needs more libraries?

I have found that I do …

Pausing for breath …

It seems a good time to reflect.

I’ve been a blogger for 3 weeks.

It’s just flown by and I keep writing.

It’s been a real eye opener for me and a very nice one at that.

The blog universe is certainly vast and I haven’t even scratched the surface yet.

Such a wealth of perspectives, views, advice, ideas.

From Art to Yoga.

From Zen to Recipes.

Some serious, some just amazingly zany and often funny, and the whole range in between, all making a contribution and a difference.

I’m following quite a few people already and it’s making my life far richer.

I’m learning about new things all the time.

I’m pausing for breath not because I’m tired.

I’m just reflecting and feeling really grateful I’m in the mix.

What an amazing world it is.

I jumped in and I’m so pleased to be still floating …. and smiling.