10 Years of Blogging and My Next Chapter

Writing, Arts, Communications by MSN Clipart

Writing, Arts, Communications by MSN Clipart

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since I published my first post, on my old blogger’s site in 2007. I had very little experience in writing and less knowledge on the internet. Back then, I had only been out of the corporate world several years, exploring waned attempts to launch my business with talking-stick workshops, before moving on to try my hand in learning the mortgage industry. What in the world was I doing?

But, crazy as it seems, I still felt the need to talk and get my stories out, if only it was to put them down in words in a blog rather than share them face-to-face. I’ve always believed in a need to connect with one another in some way. I think it would make a difference and go a long way in learning how to work through things in our lives, if we understood each other and felt validated.

So, I began, as I’ve done in many other situations, when I’m not sure what I’m doing. I pick at it, a little at a time, learning as I go. In the end, I’m more dangerous, with the little I know, than knowing nothing at all, especially when it comes to technology. It’s crazy how a laptop and keyboard, with electric current charging through it, can throw me into a panic when systems freeze and don’t talk to each other. I get claustrophobic, almost to a point of hyperventilating. Hubby can tell you ― it’s not pretty. But, when I calm down, I’m able to pick it up again and don’t seem so bad.

Somehow, I’ve managed over these 10 years to create a blog(s) and publish 275 posts, make videos, produce an e-book, and connect with loving, fellow bloggers all over the world. I also started a small internet business selling pine cones with my followers and social media. It’s more involvement in technology than my brain can handle sometimes.

I haven’t written much lately feeling stuck, like I’ve run out of things to say. After all, 10 years of rambling on with my stories, I began wondering if maybe it’s all been said. But, what I’m discovering is that I’m on a plateau, taking deep breaths and getting ready for what’s next . . . a new chapter.

I’m sensing what I’ve been doing, all along, has only been preparing me for this change in my life ― adopting all the things I’ve learned and experienced. Given how things are shaping up in the world these days. It’s getting real and, I feel, we no longer have the luxury to just simply go about our business. I’m sensing an urgent need to connect in personal, authentic ways, where we feel comfortable and trust. It’s about change and there has to be a way to do that from all over the world, touching each other’s lives and hearts privately, where we feel safe to tell our story and interact in our own space.

I’m only one voice but together I see possibilities for a movement where love and harmony can come through bringing us together. Underlying all the pain and suffering, humanity has been hungry for relief and the cry for help has been silently simmering for a long time.

I was reminded of this, when I saw a PBS interview by Tavis Smiley last week with Arlo Guthrie and remembered the same familiar stirrings in my heart. Arlo is well-known for his popular song 50 years ago, “Alice’s Restaurant”, and is the son of famed Woody Guthrie. He talked about music back in the ’60’s, a change in consciousness and how it still exists today. Something happens and something shifts ― a change in the critical mass. It doesn’t come from the top down but from the bottom up. And he continued by saying:

“There’s not a majority, there is not most, there’s enough and, if everybody who feels that enoughness, is willing to get out there and say, “Me too. I’m in this”, it will change faster than anybody can imagine.”

In the podcast interview with Tavis (around time stop 17:47), Arlo talks about going down the street in New York City, after a show late one night with Pete Seeger, and they saw a group of kids gathered. They were singing songs but didn’t know them very well. Pete (then in his early ‘90’s) wanted to go over and join them and was able to ignite the energy by adding more words and music to their singing.

I remembered the feeling, as Arlo talked about what happened, in the collective spontaneous energy and spirit that unfolded. It struck a chord with me and helped me realize that the magic is still there and is something I’ve experienced. You can’t prepare for it or plan it. It takes on a life of its own and is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s moments that are beautiful and magnetic and, if any of you have had the opportunity to experience it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

For me, one of the experiences I remembered this happening was many years ago at a 4-H weekend gathering. It was similar and electric, like Arlo talks about, that also involved music. I was a chaperone and it was one of my daughter’s first 4-H retreats for kids ages 11-13.

Everyone gathered on Friday night, dropped off by their parents to be picked up late Sunday morning. We went through the introductions and schedule for the weekend and settled in for the night looking forward to kicking off the next day’s events.

I got to know the kids, as the weekend progressed, and I observed how they interacted with each other, having never met before, working through challenges and experiencing new emotions with their peers. One particular boy stood out, named Porter, and I noticed him when his parents came with him to drop him off for the retreat. It would be his first time without them and they were a bit apprehensive leaving him. You could tell ― for he was blind.

But, there was fervor in Porter and you could tell it was something he was definitely ready and eager to do. He just wanted to be like other kids his age doing what they do. After his folks left and we completed registrations, I noticed how the kids mingled with each other while some gathered around him, asking questions and getting comfortable with him. He just acted like he was one of them and soon you wouldn’t have known he was blind the way they laughed and joked interacting with one another.

As the weekend advanced, I continued to watch to see how it would play out and sensed something was happening. The kids had workshops to attend and different events they signed up for depending on what their interests were. There was one big event of the weekend on Saturday they all had to prepare for and participate in, where they broke up into teams ― a play doing a series of skits.

That’s when I noticed Porter’s talent for music and how his team performed together with him in their skit. They were a hit along with all the other teams and energies were flying high for the rest of the day. I could tell something magical was stirring. I was caught up in it and humbled to be a part of such love and harmony expressed in these kids. They were teaching me something, first hand, and it came so natural to them.

Sunday rolled around and it was the last day of the retreat and we had one final gathering before the kids left with their folks. We all met in what was similar to a band room and packed ourselves in, filling the seats and lining the walls: kids, instructors, chaperones and parents alike. They each had a chance to talk and share what their experience was for the weekend and, then, it came time for Porter to talk.

But, instead of talking, his parents said he had composed a song he wanted to sing and play on the piano, as his expression of what the weekend meant to him. As he began, I felt an immediate hush and, as he sang and played, the magic stirred and the energy was electric. It was some invisible force bringing us together in such heightened love and harmony, such as some have never seen before. After that, no one wanted to leave and some cried when it came time to go home. Hearts were touched that day and real connections were made.

The moment was the same, as what Arlo talked about, and in what was captured in a small clip in the interview with Pete Seeger singing with those kids in the street of New York City. I remember it well and stays with me along with other moments such as these.

 It may have taken 10 years of blogging and almost 70 years of living to finally understand what I want to do: bring people together and allow space for special moments like these. Something happens inside when you have an experience like this and it changes you. Maybe, I still had a little tweaking to do within me before I could arrive at this place. But, if I do my part, then the invitation alone and spirit of love will take care of the rest. That’s when magic happens and change will begin. I believe the world is in dire need and more than poised and ready.

(You can read more about Porter and the kids in a post I wrote called, “Today’s Kids — I Love Them”)

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

16 thoughts on “10 Years of Blogging and My Next Chapter

  1. Loved this post. I remember when my daughter went on a weekend retreat and how marvelous the outcome was. It changed her in so many ways. It let her grow into the wonderful woman she is today. I find it amazing that meeting like minded people here on these pages how it is changing the world. The words we speak and listening to others lets us know how alike we all are, for me it is a comfort and an honor to be a part of this era.
    So good to read your thoughts again, I have missed your offerings. xoxo

    • Thank you for your kind words, Patricia. It’s wonderful your daughter had a memorable experience like this. It is something that will change your life, for sure. I was just so thankful to be a part of it along with my daughter.

      I enjoy meeting you and others here on the internet. It’s what keeps me blogging and grateful for those that are still with me through my leaves of absence. We are like minded in so many ways but it’s always so interesting to me when we’re not. I wonder why and want to hear their story — maybe, I missed something and can learn something new.

      There’s a lot of things cooking in this era we’re presently living in. No doubt a lot will be brought out in the open to allow more magic to happen. Take care, my friend, and so happy you enjoyed the read. Feels good to be back. 🙂

  2. How heartwarming Pat ~ making a difference in the world by reaching out to others ~ only to find that they are reaching out too ~ a conduit of goodness. Lovely to see you back on WordPress Pat. I’ve missed your posts. Dianax

    • Thank you, Diana, for sticking with me in my long writing lapses. I’m glad you enjoyed the read and felt it was heartwarming. I love that term a conduit of goodness. I would like to think it is what you and my readers find here.

      I love connecting with my fellow bloggers like you. Makes me feel like someone is listening even if it’s in another part of the world. That’s heartwarming to me, my friend. I’m happy to be back — Thank You! 🙂

  3. 10 years, does it truly feel like 10 years, when I think 10 years ago I always seem to think it was 1990 I don’t know why I just do. Ok had to say that now have to say all in all this was a bloody great post

    • No, it doesn’t seem like 10 years, Joanne. You’re right — feels like it should somewhere be around 1990 to actually be 10 years — right? But, isn’t and has sure slipped up on me fast.

      I love that you enjoyed it and what I had to say, my friend. Means all the world to me and just made my day. Thank You! 🙂

  4. Having been born with a disability I’ve experienced first hand how kids will look beyond the disability to accept the person. Your telling of Porter’s first experience away from his parents reminded me of the friends I made in high school. I can’t count the times I encountered a step I needed help with and had to ask for help because my friends forgot I had any problems.

    As for blogging, congratulations on 10 years! I think life can take over and leave us feeling we don’t have anything to say, then it calms down and we realize we still do. That’s a bit of what happened to me when I took on the restoration of my new home.

    I have a love hate relationship with the internet. On one hand I can find myself losing track of time as I visit friends’ blogs but on the other it’s the place where I learned it was okay to be concerned about the environment, to be accepted as a vegetarian and to see I wasn’t the only person out there who wanted to drastically downsize. Prior to joining the blogging world I tended to keep my views to myself because none of the people around me shared my values.

    • I can’t imagine how difficult it is, Lois, living with a disability. Yet, I suppose there are many ‘disabilities’ we all live with but only it’s by choice. We think it keeps us from doing the things we want not realizing that we’re only one decision away from changing it. If you had friends like Porter made that weekend, you were indeed very blessed. My heart melted with how these kids interacted with one another — remembering what’s possible for how we could be with each other and for the world.

      Thank you for the kind words on blogging for 10 years. I know you’re probably right in what I was feeling not having anything to say. In a way, I guess I’m still in a type of transition and I don’t easily recognize it, as it’s subtle in the midst of a lack of activity.

      I think I’m preparing for something major (don’t know what that is) in my life. Only feel it in my bones and in my heart and it’s good. Beverley (a fellow blogger) gave me a reading last year and reminded me of positive possibilities for this year that carries a lot of 7’s for me: year 2017 — my birth year ends in 7 — and birth day ends in a 7. Something inside connected with that and I can sense it. For you, it happened with the restoration of your new home. Will see what enfolds for me in this coming year.

      It is a love/hate relationship for me, too — the internet. But, amazing how you connect with people all over the world and find friends though, like you, that have things in common and can connect. It’s the love of that that keeps me here. Love and hugs to you, my friend, and I always admire your tenacity and the will for good in the world. I love you. ❤️

      • I can’t wait to hear what this year brings you! I had a life-changing reading once, numerology, where my life looked completely the same from one year to another. All I could think was I was in a rut and letting life pass me by. Sure kicked me into action not to let one day pass without making it the best I could.

        I was very fortunate to have made wonderful friends, people who helped me to grow and feel accepted, just like I suppose Porter felt that weekend so long ago. It would be interesting to hear how he’s fared since. I bet with his personality he continued to break all the barriers and formed many lasting friendships.

        • Me too, Lois, thank you. It’s a quiet excitement in me stirring underneath that I don’t quite understand. No doubt something like you had where I’ll be kicked into action. Only, something I’ll fall in love with doing (I’ve had a lifetime of doing what others wanted me to do).

          If it’s anything close to the feeling of what I saw transpire with Porter that weekend, I’ll be in heaven on Earth. Have you seen his picture? It’s in one of the photos I posted in the link I included on the other post I wrote in “Today’s Kids — I Love Them“.

          It would be interesting to learn how he has fared — so gifted with talent and pure openness to love. No doubt he’s paid that forward in his life many times over. God bless xxoo — Love talking with you. 🙂

          • What a cutie he was!

            I do hope this is the year you fall into love with that something new and find your heaven on earth. 🙂

            Love talking to you too Pat. I’m keeping you in my thoughts to find that heaven soon.

          • Thank you, Lois. I’m glad you got to check out his photo. He was a cutie just like all the other kids there that weekend. Was an honor and special privilege to be a part of it.

            Love talking with you, too, and thank you for letting me bounce off my crazy ideas with you. I like stretching my whimsical, mystical creative thoughts of possibilities with you. It’s like a shot of inspiration and hope all rolled into one wrapped in love. You’re the best, my friend. I’m already living my heaven on earth, Lois, and whatever unfolds will be pure icing on the cake. ❤️

          • I am always here to listen to your ideas, which aren’t crazy to me. 🙂 Enjoy that cake with some surprise icing!

          • ❤️ I know you are — thank you, Lois. Mmm — that cake is going to be good.

    • Thank you, Andrea. It went by fast — hang on for the ride on the next part. I’ll be happy to have you there. 🙂

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