Looking Forward

Today I went back to my blog archives to see what I was writing about in December of last year, just to see if things seemed different this year. I was surprised to find that I’d only blogged one time the entire month. This is my second post for December this year, so I’m thinking that must mean I’m feeling better than last year.

In that single post on December 15, 2011, I wrote about my fears of the coming winter, or “dark season” as I called it. As it turned out, my fears were pointless. The weather was very mild all winter long. I spent lots of time birding and breathing fresh air in the winter, thanks in part to the unusual presence of Snowy Owls here in lower Michigan. And I’m sure my supplemental 5000 units of Vitamin D each day didn’t hurt. (My doctor actually told me that she has successfully transitioned many of her patients from antidepressants to this Vitamin D regimen. It has worked wonders for me — at least as long as I remember to take it every day.)

I also wrote last December of wanting to do some painting in the house. Surprisingly, I actually did. Here’s my freshly-painted laundry room after I finally painted it in June.  I love this cheerful color every time I go in there.

Freshly painted with healthy "no VOC" paint.

Freshly painted with healthy “no VOC” paint.

I also painted our guest bathroom upstairs, after five years of hating it. And I hope to do another painting job this winter — our living room desperately needs to be brightened up.

The last thing I talked about in that post was my ambivalence about continuing my blog:

“I’m sort of questioning the whole reason for this particular writing outlet. I love the writing, but since I don’t draw much of an audience here, I might as well just write for myself. There’s something depressing about publishing your work and not getting any response.”

I thought I was over all that, but if you remember, just a couple weeks ago I wrote something very similar as my explanation for leaving the-social-media-site-which-will-not-be-named.  Clearly it’s important to me to get feedback from other people when I write something! I’ve tried to analyze why I have this need, and I always come up with two possibilities: Either I crave attention for its own sake or I’m seeking connection with other people. I honestly don’t think I’m desperate for attention, but I do believe I’m trying to find common ground with other people through my writing.

My life has become a bit too isolated for my liking lately. I’m not working anymore, I don’t have any local friends I see regularly, my best friend is 200 miles away, and my family is 300 miles away. It’s uncomfortable to admit this, but my husband is my sole social support most of the time. He does his best to deal with my need to talk talk talk, but I feel it’s asking too much of him sometimes.  I can go for long periods and be perfectly happy with my solitary pursuits, but I don’t think it’s healthy to be alone so much. So I need to get motivated to go out and meet people around here, but in the meantime I like to interact in the blogosphere.

Don't Stop lyricsI’m glad I didn’t give up blogging, but I still feel that I want to make my posts more useful to my readers. My biggest worry about what I write is that I mostly just recite facts about where I went and what I saw or did. There’s not been much attempt to find larger meaning in my experiences so others can relate, whatever their particular interests may be. So that’s what I hope to work on for the coming year.

After all, that’s the reason I end up subscribing to other people’s blogs — they somehow make me feel that I’m not alone in my feelings, that we’re all in this life together, making our way the best we can, and hopefully providing some benefit to others in the process.

(Oh, that reminds me.  I find great inspiration from well-written blogs about all aspects of nature, so I’d love to hear from you if you know of a blog you think I’d like to read.)

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12 Responses to Looking Forward

  1. littlesundog says:

    I don’t always have time to comment to every blog I’m subscribed to. It would be overwhelming to try. I do click the “Like” button a lot. I try to encourage people in some small way, and the “Like” button makes that easy. And I’m happy with the “Like” button on my own blog. It’s wonderful to get a comment on my blog posts of course, but I’m just as happy that someone “Liked” what I wrote.

    I love your blog, Kim. I’m new to birding, and I learn so much from you! I have also developed a wonderful friendship with you now… we do have much in common. I hope you’ll always write. We can’t possibly read everything out there, but I do believe we are led to the blogs that we need or yearn to read at a given time. I’m connected with some of the most wonderful people out there… and knowing all of them has helped me through some difficult times. That’s exactly what your friendship means to me… you are here when I most need you! And your blog is MY THERAPY too! – Lori

    • Kim says:

      Oh I’m so far behind on everything! A whole week to reply to a comment…sorry!

      I’m enjoying our blossoming friendship so much, Lori. And I will keep writing, I’m sure. I don’t think I could stop if I tried, lol. I noticed that you click the “like” button on almost every post, and it does let me know that you’re out there reading. I’m starting to use that button more too, hoping it does the same for other blogs I like to read. But I still get more gratification from the small conversations that happen in the comments sometimes. The writing itself satisfies one type of need, for sure, but I love the conversations too. That’s where the magic is, for me at least. xoxo

  2. Feedback is great, up to the point when you spend so much time answering commenters that you don’t have enough time to blog the way that you would like. I have given up worrying if any one reads my ramblings or not, I post as if my blog were the journal I always started but never continued with. If others read it, that’s fine, if not, I can still return to it to jog and relive old memories.

  3. Ginny says:

    Thank you for coming to MY blog and leaving a comment. You are right that it is nice to hear from people and know that they are reading what you write. I do think that a “theme” is important and to keep people coming back (if that is your goal) you have to find a niche. Artists have a built-in one! Zentangle is another built in collection of ideas to share. I notice that tanglers like to create themes, games, challenges in order to share more. I know that if a person I follow doesn’t post at least once every two weeks I soon lose interest. AND if I “bookmark” them it’s not nearly the impact than if I post them on my blog and check on them often. There are many artist who are nature artists and you and your writing might fit in with them as well. I have started teaching Zentangle and so collect photographs of things people have made with ZIA (Zentangle inspired Art). Jewelry, hats, shoes, cars (I’m not kidding). I tend not to want to read “rambles”. I just don’t have the time. Two short paragraphs….and I like visuals. Just my thoughts.

  4. birdblogger88 says:

    I agree- always look forward and only back to learn from your mistakes (only briefly and don’t obsess!). We can’t change the past but we can the future. Take action and make your destiny!

  5. Wow! I love how you write, Kim, and your deep introspection. It is a rare gift that you have in that you are brave to trust your authentic feelings and express them–you KNOW on some level that your observations will inspire others who don’t even know how they feel. (Most people dissociate their feelings!) You do inspire! Keep doing what you are doing! It is so special. If people who read it don’t comment perhaps it is because they are in awe and speechless or deep in thought because you have raised their self-awareness, validated them, and left them looking inward at their own lives–a wonderful thing!. As writers who inspire others (and I try to be one) I believe most people do not think that we NEED any encouraging words because we are obviously the strong ones who are able to put our thoughts and feelings into words which is a rare gift. Know that the admiration is out there (and even envy) even though it is unexpressed. I related to everything you said here and I love your laundry room 🙂 and those Fleetwood Mac lyrics–I know the song well. I wish I had more time to write on my blog (or comment on blogs)–you are so fortunate to have the free time for deep introspection that is a luxury for most people and we readers are fortunate that we get to benefit from the observations that you share! 😀

    • Kim says:

      Roxanne, your words were like a big hug around my heart, thank you! I’m starting to be more willing to put myself out there, so to speak, baring my feelings more than I have in the past. And I’ve had some fantastic email conversations with friends in the past month as well, so maybe it’s finally working. I’m finding that people who have some of the same difficulties I do in life are very interested in sharing experiences with a kindred spirit. I’m getting immense gratification from these conversations too, because when I find out that people I’ve admired (for one reason or another) are having some of the same thoughts and feelings I do, it makes me realize that maybe I’m not as alone as I’ve always thought. And I also get the impression people are more willing to talk about this kind of stuff via email than in person. Which is fine by me, as I can express myself better when I have time to think through my thoughts and write it out.

      You said: “If people who read it don’t comment perhaps it is because they are in awe and speechless…” You just rocked my world, sister! I doubt that people are “in awe and speechless” because of me, but I’m glad you said that anyway. You’re a very kind person, as I’ve known for over 40 years. Have a wonderful day. 😉

      Kim

  6. I actually remember your post from last year, and from a totally selfish perspective I have to say I’m glad you decided to keep blogging. 🙂 I really enjoy reading your blog. While not an active birder, I do like birds and know quite a few species from our area. Your blog gives me a better appreciation for the birds I see.

    On the other hand your laundry room does nothing but inspire guilt in me. I did not know it was possible for a laundry room to look so neat, clean and well-organized. I cringe when I think of what mine is like compared to yours. 🙂

    • Kim says:

      Wow, you have a great memory, Kristie. And I’m so glad you enjoy my blog. You’re one of the people whose blogs I admire a great deal, so you’ve been an inspiration to me.

      As for that neat and clean laundry room — fear not, it was only like that for about 24 hours after I painted it. It’s usually the messiest room in the house because I use the counter to stash things that need to go somewhere else (“I’ll grab those next time I go upstairs”, etc.) Trouble is, since the door is always shut, I forget about the stuff I stashed. Until I go in to do a load of laundry. But then I have a basket of clothes to fold when I leave the room, so I can’t also carry that other stuff. So it sits there. And more gets added. Generally I’m only motivated to declutter that counter when I run out of room, lol. Right now it’s my gift-wrapping center, so it’s a huge mess! Would it make you feel better if I showed you a picture of it now? Probably would. But I’m not gonna do it!!

      Kim

  7. Robert Setzer says:

    Here is one answer to lack of comments. I just spent maybe 45 minutes writing a well-deserved congratulative “ramble” on this, and when I went to post, I was told I missed something – my name in this case. In the past I never continued. Tonight, I also will not continue.
    But be sure I LOVE your postings and you are a true inspiration to me! Thanks SO much!
    (If this does not post, well forget it … )
    “Dr. Bob”

    • Kim says:

      Hey Dr. Bob, thanks for the effort, it worked! And thanks for your email as well…I’m heading off to respond to that separately. See ya in your inbox…..

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