As the first month of this new year crawls to a close, I am grateful to be given a brand new and very special award: The Reader Appreciation Award from Sharla at catnipoflife. Sharla and I exchange scoops, family news, compliments and regrets that we don’t live close enough to visit in person pretty much every day. She has become more than “another blogger.”
She is a friend, the real deal and my world is better because she is in it. I think the world is better for everyone because she is in it and if you have never visited her site, please do. Poetry, quotes … thoughts, feelings and reminders of why being alive is worth the trouble. That’s not facetious: sometimes I need a reminder!
There are a few rules for this award, fewer than for most. As the name implies, this goes to other bloggers who have taken the time to comment and sometimes, contribute to your blog … those readers and followers who have moved from the anonymous category into virtual friends. Some live so far away I know we’ll never meet, yet we depend on each other and we care.
What you can’t do:
1) You can’t award it to anyone who has already gotten it during the same year. So if you got it in 2012, you can’t get it until again until 2013. It can be difficult to determine who has which awards since many bloggers get awards but don’t display the badges, at least not obviously. I’ll just take my best guess.
2) The award can’t be given back to the person from whom you receive it. This is a problem because Sharla is always on the top of my recipient list and she is giving me the award. Drat.
As to whom you should give the award, this one is quite specific. The Reader’s Appreciation Award is given to the top 6 blogger/commentors on your site. This is a little complicated for me personally. Of the top six, two are my husband. No, I only have one husband, but my site recognizes him as two people depending on whether he is writing from his desk or laptop.
It would seem odd to give him a blogging award since, although he is an enthusiastic commenter, he isn’t a blogger but he is my biggest and bestest fan. So instead, to Garry who is always rooting for me, I appreciate you a whole lot.
Sharla herself would be getting this award, but she’s the one giving it to me so again — thank you!
The envelope please:
After due diligence, the award goes to:
This list is in no particular order and there are people with whom I have a lot of interaction that are not on the list because I can’t include everyone, though I would if I could. Because I appreciate my readers more than any of you can know. You are the people in my world who make doing this, writing, posting, sticking with it every day, worth it. You are the folks who let me know that I’m being heard, being understood. You guys “get” me; that’s something special.
I want to extend my warmest appreciation to all my visitors, followers and readers. Although I have listed only six names (my top six commenters after excluding my husband (times two) and Sharla for reasons previously noted so if your name is absent it isn’t because I don’t appreciate you. Moreover, this award is about thanking readers.
It’s meant to be given away … so if you have supporters to whom you would like to express your gratitude, feel free to grab the badge and pass it on! This is about saying thanks to the wonderful people who support our efforts and enrich our lives. In the end, it is about the joy we get from giving something back to those who “feed” us!
As always, I add the proviso that awards are supposed to make us feel good, happy. We all know that fulfilling the “requirements” of most awards is time-consuming and sometimes, close to impossible. Please do not feel obliged to press yourself beyond your comfort zone. Whatever you do in response to this award, have fun, feel appreciated and don’t stress. This isn’t supposed to make your life harder!
- Reader Appreciation Award (myownheart.me)
- Award Time! The Liebster … (teepee12.wordpress.com)
- Reader Appreciation Award (catnipoflife.wordpress.com)
- Blog of the Year 2012 (womenmakingstrides.com)
- Reader Appreciation Award Nomination (theconfashionary.wordpress.com)
- The 2013 Reader Appreciation Award (therantingpapizilla.wordpress.com)
- Another Sunshine Award!! (ohmymuse.wordpress.com)
- Beautiful Blogger Award and Reader Appreciation Award (beautifulsimplemeaningful.wordpress.com)
- Reader Appreciation Award (amummysview.wordpress.com)
- Something to Proudly Display (savorthefood.wordpress.com)
In 2010, I discovered I had cancer in both breasts. Two tumors, unrelated to each other. Just twice lucky. They removed the tumors and the associated breasts, gave me very attractive fake replacements — much perkier than the old ones in an artificial implant sort of way. I actually have a little ID card for my breasts, like they have their own personae. Maybe they do. Thus, a little more than two years after the siege began, I’m almost me again. Almost but not quite.
All chronic illnesses make you paranoid. The thing that’s so insidious about cancer is its absence of symptoms. The possibility that it’s growing somewhere in your body and you won’t know it’s there until it’s too late to do anything about it is about as scary as disease gets. Nor is it a baseless fear. I had no idea I had cancer, much less in both breasts, until it was diagnosed twice during a two-week period. One diagnosis of cancer is hard to handle. A second diagnoses a week later is like getting whacked over the head with a bat. It leaves you stunned, scrambling to find someplace to stand where the earth isn’t falling out from under you.
I don’t think most of us are afraid of dying per se. We are afraid of the journey we will have taken to get there. We’re afraid of pain, suffering, the humiliation of dependence and gradual loss of control of our own bodies. After having one or more close encounters with the dark angel, no one is eager to feel the brush of those wings again.
We are called survivors, which means that we aren’t dead yet. The term is meaningless. Put into perspective, we are all survivors. Anyone could be felled by a heart attack or run over by an out-of-control beer truck tomorrow. The end of the road is identical for all living creatures; it’s only a matter of when it will be and what cause will be assigned. Everyone is in the same boat. If you’ve been very sick, you are more aware of your mortality than those who who’ve been blessed with uneventful health, but no one gets a free pass. The odds of death are 100% for everyone.
Recovering from serious illness is a bumpy road. Each of us has a particular “thing” we find especially bothersome. For me, it’s dealing with well-wishers who ask “How are you?” If they wanted an answer, it might not be so aggravating, but they don’t want to hear about my health or my feelings about my health — which are often as much an issue as anything else. They are simply being polite. So, I give them what they want. I smile brightly and say “Just fine thank you.”
I have no idea how I am. All I know — and all I can possibly know — is that for the time being, I am here. To the best of my knowledge, nothing is growing anywhere it’s not supposed to be. Two years after a double mastectomy, I cannot be considered cancer-free … and really, if you’ve had cancer, you are in remission and that’s as good as it gets. So the answer for those of us who have had cancer, heart attacks and other potentially lethal and chronic ailments is “So far, so good.”
That is not what folks want to hear. People want you to be positive and upbeat. You cannot suffer physical or mental discomfort. Why not? Because if you aren’t fine, maybe they aren’t either. They have a bizarre and annoying need for you to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed no matter how you actually feel.
As I enter this New Year, I’m glad to be alive. With a little bit of luck, I’ll continue to remain that way. God willing and assuming life stays more or less on an even keel, I’ll be here in the cyber world, writing my little stories, taking pretty pictures of waterfalls and sunrises and you’ll still come and visit me from time to time.
Welcome to survivorship. It’s imperfect, but it beats the hell out the alternative.
2013 is finally here and I, for one, bid a less than fond farewell to 2012!
Here are the First Night fireworks from Boston to bring in the 2013 with a bang!!
May your year be peaceful, healthy, happy, and uneventful!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
In 2012, there were 762 new posts, not bad for the first year! 2033 pictures were uploaded, probably 90% of which are original photographs by the author. The rest are illustrations from various sources.
The busiest day of the year was November 9th with 1,049 views. The most popular post that day was Presidential Election: “Sad and Tragic Day for Our Nation.”
I only started blogging in February of 2012 … and I didn’t really start posting regularly until May.
I do a lot of reblogging, either via direct reblog or using ScoopIt. That accounts for the high number of posts. I suspect about 70% of the 762 posts were mine. The others were reblogs or scoops. I have gotten good responses to posts I wrote requiring research and serious thought, but my most popular post was something I tossed off in less than five minutes while watching television. Go figure.
Popularity is fickle. It’s dangerously addictive and like most addictions isn’t entirely healthy. There’s a tendency to start to write for numbers … and that’s not what I want to do. So I have to be careful not to let success go to my head, to keep myself on my own course. It’s nice to be popular, but it’s even better when something I write makes someone think in a new way, changes someone’s mind, or give a reader pause to think.
It’s been a roller coaster year with a lot of craziness, tragedy, violence, controversy and acrimony. I’ve won awards, gotten hate mail, fan mail, and a lot more attention that I probably deserve. It’s been exciting, but stressful too. I think I could go for a much more peaceful year to come.
Have a great New Year everyone!!