Why blog? Why do you or why do you like to blog (recognizing that these are not always the same thing)? (Kristen)
Well, Kristen...it's funny you should ask. Because when it comes right down to it, I blog because you do! Seriously. I mean it. A couple years ago, I really began to notice (via the Facebooks) how much fun you had with your blogs. I saw the community you were forming/becoming part of...I saw the forum for blowing off steam...the forum for celebrating accomplishments...the forum for discussion and debate. And I loved it all.
These observations happened to happen about the same time that I was having another realization in my own world. Specifically, how choosing optimism and striving to celebrate what's right with the world is seriously hard work. These sorts of values have always been a part of who I am (just you wait 'til 12/11/11 when we talk about how we're like our mothers!)...but it's ridiculously, almost depressingly, difficult to do on a consistent basis. I think I was even wondering if I was, indeed, the positive person that I imagined myself to be. Did I actually live the values I was espousing?
An email came to me--from one of the dearest people in my life--on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. The subject line? "Shield the Joyous Ones." The message?
You've seemed a little extra stressed lately—via Facebook and on the phone earlier today. I want you to know that I think you're wonderful.
I’m reading a book called “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. She writes about people who are extra joyful and enthusiastic—and how hard it is to be joyful and enthusiastic (there are a lot of kill-joys out there!). It made me think of you because you are someone who tends to be cheerful and positive, spreading joy around, and perhaps many of us don’t realize what hard work this is. [She] has a life lesson around the phrase “it’s easy to be heavy, hard to be light,” meaning it’s easy to be a kill-joy and hard to be the enthusiastic one (you!). She also quotes a prayer by St. Somebody (Forgot the name! You know I’m a heathen at heart.) that goes on about protecting the sick and hurt, but also has the line “shield the joyous ones” and Gretchen thinks this has to do with protecting people who are doing the hard work of being cheerful and joyful.
So today, I’m thinking “shield the joyous ones” about you. I hope things are less stressful soon!
Whew. Talk about your friends building you up and making you sob all at the same time. It was absolutely one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.
So between Kristen's blogging examples, my thoughts on how I view the world, and my friend's recognition of my (unintentional?) efforts to be one of the "joyous ones," I decided I now had a mission. I was going to start a blog that celebrated all that was right with the (my) world. I was going to have criteria! I was going to have sunshine! I was going to have a blog!
On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, I published my first post.
Here we are, some 21 months later, and I'm still at it.
I blog because I want to put positive energy out into the world. I blog because I hope someone will read my words and maybe it will make a difference in their lives...or maybe they'll at least just think I'm mildly entertaining. I blog because it helps me remember to focus on the joy that is all around us...waiting to be discovered and celebrated. I blog because it challenges me to actively live out my values.
I blog because it brings me joy...and I hope it brings that same joy to you.