Does anyone have any suggestions on how to build your blog readership? I am wanting to change directions with my blog and try to expand my followers. For all experienced bloggers, I’d appreciate any suggestions.
How do you know that one choice can change your life?
Will it be a choice that leads to happiness?
Or will it bring heartache and sorrow?
One choice only to realize you discarded 999 others.
999 other choices which would lead you to a different life.
A better life?
A happier life?
A life without pain and grief?
A life filled with loved ones who love you in return?
Another choice may not give you your precious daughters.
Another choice might not give you loving friends.
Another choice may be full of poverty
Poverty of the mind, heart and soul.
one made each day
always leading us where we go
and 999 other left unexplored
Opening and closing doors.
Listed in no particular order as all of them have touched me in someway equally.
- Anne Shirley created by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Demelza Carne Poldark created by Winston Graham
- Melanie Hamilton and Scarlett O’Hara created by Margaret Mitchell
- Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser created by Diana Gabaldon
- Elizabeth Bennet Darcy and Emma Woodhouse Knightley created by Jane Austen
- Jo March created by Louisa May Alcott
- Madeline created by Ludwig Bemelmans
Any of the strong southern women created by Mary Kay Andrews
- Heidi created by Johanna Spyri
- Margaret Simon by Judy Blume
I write because my head is full of words
I write because my head is full of dreams
I write because my head is full of ideas
I write because I have a voice
a voice unheard
In 2012 I decided to get healthy. I chose good healthy food. I hired a trainer and I exercised faithfully. The result? A smoking hot 52 year old woman. I felt good about myself. For the first time in my life, I liked the way I looked even though I was 20 pounds heavier than I had been when I was younger. I was desperately trying to save my marriage, but could no longer hold together a marriage with a man who was an alcoholic, porn addicted, sex addicted, selfish narcissist. So when he said he wanted a divorce that he had always had one foot out the door (so I hadn’t been crazy after all) I said fine.
However I fell into a deep depression, literally going off the crazy cliff. I have spent the last three years eating for comfort. I stopped exercising. I became a recluse. And the result is not pretty. My depression has not improved. My health has deteriorated and my weight has increased. And it’s the eternal battle of the bulge. Putting it on is so much easier and more fun than trying to take it off.
My family health history tells me I am headed down the wrong path if I don’t change my ways. I have started by finding a program for my mental health. Once it begins to improve, then I will tackle the task of my physical health. Anyone with a serious weight problem understands that food is just the drug of choice. The overeating, the lack of physical exercise are symptoms of something churning internally. My goal is finish out 2015 healthier both in mind and body.
I tried a new church today. The topic was marriage and the pastor began by talking about a ceremony where a woman marries herself and states she will live life to the fullest. There have been four women that have had these ceremonies but no men. Now he went down the path of marriage being between a man and a woman and nothing else. I think he totally missed the point of those ceremonies. Those women weren’t being self-indulgent or trying to redefine marriage. As a society we have taught single women that they are less than married women. If a woman reaches thirty unmarried, she is inundated with questions. However as a society we don’t ask single men in their thirties why aren’t they married yet. I think those women were saying that their lives were no less full and happy because they were single.
Women do not have the same choices as men, even though society insists that we do. Women do not have an open door on fertility. Freezing eggs is not a choice for 99.9% of women. So if a woman wants children of her own and doesn’t want to do it alone, she must be married. Society has let men extend their adolescence into their late thirties and early forties. They focus on their career, having fun with their friends, sleep around and then decide to get married. If a woman waits until then to marry she may still be able to have children but it is not a given. A fifty year old man can marry a 30 year old woman and start his family. The reverse is not possible.
There is still a double standard. Men can date down economically and in age. While people make jokes about cougars, the reality is most men who don’t have a family yet, won’t give up that option by marrying an older woman. And if a financially successful woman is in a relationship with a man who is not her financial equal, there is static on both sides. But a financially successful man routinely throws away the wife that got him to where he is and marries a much younger woman. No one bats an eye.
So I think the pastor missed the point of those ceremonies. Women need to not feel less than because they are single. And rather than preaching about single women deciding to be happy being single, he should be preaching to the man-boys about growing up, being Godly men and putting away childish things. He should preach about how easily men are tempted and pulled away from their wives and families. He should be out there helping men of all ages see that a relationship with God will enhance their lives, make their lives richer (not $$), and ground them in a way they need.
Years ago I took a Bible study class and the question was asked if we would want to know our future if we were not able to change whatever may come? I said yes. Everyone else who was 15-20 years older than I was, said no. They explained that as humans if we knew the future we would spend our time focusing on the hardships and sorrows to come rather than embrace the joys we would experience. At the time I wasn’t sure I understood. I do now. If I had known fifteen years ago the heartache, betrayal and pain my husband (now ex-husband) would bring, I would have missed twelve years that did hold many happy times with my daughters, family and friends. My focus would have been on all the wrong things.
I don’t know what my future holds. Right now I find looking too far down the path frightening. I spent 30 years of my life working towards a life I no longer can have. I’ve spent the last three years being very bitter and angry because I feel like my life was stolen from me. However the bitterness and anger can’t sustain me. I have to move forward and build I new vision for my life. Hence the name of my blog, Life Rewritten. I am having to rewrite my future.
What I hope the future holds is good health for myself and my family. I hope I finally let go of the bitterness and anger, and move towards gratefulness and joy. I hope I finally can find a job so I can support myself.I hope to find a way to truly make a difference in this world. I hope my daughters and son-in-law stay joyful and happy. I hope my single daughter find Mr. Right. I hope I eventually have grandchildren. Those are my hopes and I believe there is a high probability of those things happening. Now for my dreams, I don’t honestly think they will happen. I dream of meeting Mr. Right (not likely at my age because men like younger women). I dream of owning a home and not living in an apartment for the rest of my life. I dream of being able to afford to travel again.
But we will never know our futures until our future is in our past. And we can’t change our pasts or completely control our futures. So faith becomes key. Hebrews 11:1 NIV “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
I have started so many blogs and inevitably let them fall to the wayside. I shouldn’t do that. At one time I had acquired over 1,000 followers. Now I realize it’s not 50,000 or enough to sell advertising on my blog, but to think 1,000 people might be interested in what I have to say shocked me. Then one day my depression took over and I stopped writing. I am going to expand on one of my favorite posts.
Have you made a new friend lately? There is so much attention being given to our need for a good solid support system of people whether they be family or friends. Over and over it is being emphasized that we live longer and happier lives when we have those people in our lives. But what happens if your support system falls apart. Maybe you got divorced. Maybe you moved to a new city. Maybe you go a new job. Maybe you left for school. Maybe your financial situation or health situation changed and you could no longer join in all the same things you used to do. We are a transient society. Three-fourths of all American move on average of every five years. I am sure some of those moves don’t completely turn your life upside down but my guess it most of them do.
Since to my divorce I have been forced to face a hard reality and the worst part is I already knew this truth because I moved a total of 4 times in 6 years. That meant 8 schools in those 6 years. So I had just forgotten how difficult it is to make a friend. People don’t seek out new friends. Most of us make friends through reoccurring meetings of either work, school, church etc but we don’t actively seek to make friends.
Initially that seems okay and in general it is unless you are the new person or the person with a life altering transition which removes you from your comfort zone. It is then you realize how much on the outside you are. What do I mean? While there are a few super friendly types, most of us wait for the other person to ask us to join them. We don’t try to include ourselves for fear of being pushy or not being wanted or not fitting in.
The people who are already in a circle friendship are unaware that they are excluding anyone because they are preoccupied with their own sense of comfort and staying in that comfort zone. They have forgotten what it’s like to be new or facing a new life challenge.
It’s difficult making friends. I am not sure it’s easy for anyone and it’s certainly not easy for someone who is shy or insecure or hurting. As the world hustles along and people are busy interacting, they fail to recognize those around them in need of friendship.
Many of you will be thinking, these people should just come along or ask to join in but when you are on the outside looking in, it’s not easy. You fear being rejected and not wanted, so it’s easier just to stay alone.
How simple it would be if each of us just tried to make one new friend. To speak to one new person a day and ask one new person to join us for lunch or a drink each week. The best friend you might ever have could be out there and because we tend to look only forward with blinders on, we miss so many people who could add dimension and meaning and joy to our lives.
As I keep researching for help with writing, I come across sites that have suggestions on ways to help you write. They all offer something a little different and I thought this one was interesting.
For all of you bloggers and readers out there, how did you know you were living where you belonged? If your place of residence was not your choice but the choice of your partner or company, how did you go about making it feel like home? If made the choice to move, how did you decide where to go? I moved quite a few times between the ages of 9 and 14 every time my father received a business promotion. As a child, of course you don’t have a choice, you go where ever your parents take you. Then I married and moved again to my ex-husband’s home state followed by a move to Texas when he was hired at AA. I lived in the Dallas area for 30 years and recently relocated to Austin.
I feel unsettled. I never chose Texas as a home but as long as I was married, it’s where I belonged. Now that I am divorced, I have a choice where to live. I moved to Austin to be closer to a daughter, but she and her husband have their own lives. And I don’t anticipate that they will permanently reside in Temple, TX which means in less than four years, there is a good chance they will be relocating. So where do I go? How do I decide? My finances are limited so an apartment on 5th Avenue in NYC is not an option nor is an oceanfront property in Seattle.
So I am asking you to send me either places to consider or questions I should ask myself before I move. In my life I have lived where it get extremely hot and extremely cold, so any type of weather is fine. I just can’t go somewhere that has mostly cloudy as the general forecast. I have some time to decide and plan, so let me hear from you.