(The boys are twin grandsons Sam and Luke with little brother Finn, while the cupcake is from marthastewart.com)
Yea!…Boom! Rockets and missiles explode all around as the country celebrates. We’re doing it to honor our country’s birth, while at the same time, I honor another much smaller victory…….a private one I wish to share.
This blog, Biddy Bytes, is officially one year old. And I laughingly add: It’s launch was definitely NOT my Independence Day.
This past year I’ve faithfully completed what I began–writing stories on a dizzying array of topics. Many were from my memory bank that I dusted off and fitted to the subject at hand. Others just leapt to my consciousness. In that process, I wrote and sent out over the airwaves 156 of them… 3 times a week… over 52 weeks.
For those of you who saw the movie “Julie and Julia,” about the young woman who began a blog about recipes she reproduced from Julia Child’s cookbook, you realize the commitment. She held a full-time job, shopped daily for recipe ingredients, made the meals, and posted her successes/failures each evening, for 365 days.
Personal difficulties never stood in the way. That meant she blogged when she was sick or had a fight with her hubby (he warned her NOT to post that) or just didn’t feel like doing it some days.
It was a daunting task….but she persevered.
Now, I didn’t have Julie’s full-time job; nor the Julia Child thing. But I had to navigate in a totally-foreign world of website terms (using plug-in’s and widgets); I had to weigh what I’d write, craft it, and fluff it up with photos I took or gleaned from the world wide web (all the while researching “plagiarism,” to see if I was guilty of infringing.)
I so-o wanted to be the young, knowledgeable teckkie who knows how to Photoshop.
At times, I’d scream obscenities when I lost whole passages or I‘d find whole posts of mine pop up on another‘s site, without my permission (one young man even pilfered my entire website and pasted it on his! And he’s a minister-in-training!) I fired off an e-mail warning him to “Cease and desist!”
I wished fervently for a live-in computer tutor to get me out of technical jams or just anyone who knew more about computers than I do (that‘s almost ‘anyone.’).
I stressed over how much of my life to share, often wondering at some points: “Maybe I shouldn’t” (the SDWR and J-P-L post). But then, I plowed ahead. For, if I’m launched on a path as writer, I must stride forward, into the breach (Do I sound like Custer? And if so, I hope that‘s the only similarity).
I began the blog with my stated purpose of helping others see the positives in life. But I’ll let you in on a secret: It really was a selfish pursuit on my part, for at the time, my husband and I faced the long and difficult recovery process from his near-fatal accident where he had serious neurological damage (broken neck)….
Writing the blog helped me through this ordeal, for I HAD to find the good all around, in order to write my posts. That meant I was constrained to search for those beacons of hope… the silver lining…the kernel of optimism, everywhere.
In short, it kept me focused. I could never give in to desperation or negativity, for it wouldn‘t jive with my stated theme, even, if, at times I wanted to.
Was it tough to portray an upbeat face to the world? Most definitely. But I believe that as with the other hurdles I’ve faced in life, I’ve come away with important lessons. In supreme irony, too, the stories I wrote during this period launched me into The Wall Street Journal, as well as kevinMD.com. On the heels of that, I’ll soon join a network of women health advocates who blog on health issues.
This post is a sincere “Thank you” for those of you who’ve helped make Biddy Bytes a success. Now, let’s get back to celebrating the really BIG holiday for us all…the anniversary of our country’s birth. Bring on the cake and light those sparklers…
Happy 4th., everyone!!!
Here’s the post I published last August of 2010, about my husband’s near-fatal disaster–he coded at the hospital: http://biddybytes.com/?p=476
***In the future, Biddy Bytes will run with less frequency so that I may focus more on completing my book. I will still post, so please check in, often, and in future posts, I hope to hear from many more of you….Comment section below.