Thursday, December 18, 2008

To Further Bare My Soul...

Oh my, ANOTHER brutally honest post from me? Hey, what have I got to lose?!

When I first started blogging, I didn't know what I really wanted from it. To make friends? To share neat decorating ideas, ideas about homemaking, recipes? Yeah, I guess it was all about that.

I knew what I DIDN'T feel comfortable sharing - probably like many of you. WAY too much of my personal life. Specifics about normal family issues - I'd never want to embarrass Bobby or the kids by revealing too much of that type of thing. We are a typical family who faces typical issues but that doesn't mean I've gotta blab it all to everyone.

Then after a few months I got wise to the competitiveness that goes on in blogging. The whole attitude, "look how many readers *I've* got", "look how many comments people leave me" - imagine that being said in a real snappy, middle school girlish tone. (I KNOW that tone - I HAVE a middle schooler!) 'Cause if we're honest here, that IS a commonplace reality in Blogland. I started to question if I should continue blogging - mostly because all of that boastful garbage really bugged me, to tell ya the truth. People trying to be the MOST popular, to have the greatest, cutest blog with the most readers. Basically trying to be "big stuff show-offs". Yuk.

I reached the decision that I WOULD continue. But really only because I wanted to maintain the friendships with so many interesting, kindhearted nice people I'd met. I got to the place where I decided all that other stuff didn't matter to me. When it comes right down to it, who really cares if you get like a HUNDRED comments on one post? Or how many hits in a day? Or how many followers? Those things are nice but tell me, does all of THAT make you popular? And who cares if you're popular in Blogland anyhow? If only a few sincere people who genuinely care leave a positive and encouraging comment, then THAT is what matters - not all that other stuff.

So, that's what was going on with me and my honest thoughts about blogging. Then in the middle of May this past spring my son was involved in a serious car accident and I knew after arriving at the scene how quickly life is but a all accounts, Tyler should have died in that car but God spared him. I was busy taking care of Tyler and all the stuff I felt about blogging really, really, really didn't matter anymore. (I'm not trying to be mean or rude but c'mon, in the grand scheme of life, does it really matter that 200 people gush over a window treatment or something you've shown on your blog?! Am I going to feel bad 'cause only a handful of people compliment me on a project I've shared on my blog?!) A couple months passed...then in the middle of July I was diagnosed with breast cancer. LIFE...SURVIVAL became what's the most important of all and I realized how many supportive, wonderful friends I had made through blogging - they reached out and flooded me with cards and gifts and made me feel very loved and cared for. THAT is what it's all about, if you ask me. The friendships you make. Oh, the other stuff is fun - decorating ideas, sharing things we've done in our homes, etc. - but I do wish it wasn't so competitive. Sometimes people can be very cutting and leave comments they shouldn't. I haven't really experienced any of that, thankfully - but I have heard tell of situations where that's been the case. And it's so sad. It shouldn't be like that. I hope you're understanding my meaning here - it's NOT to be down on all these other bloggers. No, I'm simply sharing my observations. I know I'm not too far off the mark; I've discussed this with a few other bloggers and they have noticed this stuff, too.

I suppose all of that has been why I'm sometimes reluctant to share my heart, to put it right out there for all to read. Being vulnerable can be a scary thing and not a comfortable position to be in. But then again, there's a lot to be said for honesty, don't you think?

On another note...By the grace of God, I AM getting through this cancer journey. Day by day, putting one foot in front of the other. Oh, it's not easy. There are good days and bad days but hey, isn't that just life in general? Thanks to all who have reached out to me. You've made my life a lot better and it's one of the big reasons why I continue to blog. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


  1. Michelle - love the posts that are so "real". Thanks!! I have been in tears today because of "friends" I have out in blogland. Friends that I will never meet but that have come to mean almost as much to me as those I have in real life.

    Your heart is what we all love about you. Don't stop blogging. If you do, I might have to stalk you and meet you in real life too!!

    Love ya,

  2. Michelle,

    I know of what you speak...of the "real" friends in Blogland and real life. After I got run down by the neighbor on his lawn tractor and was seriously injured...some said little, others said "get on with life", still others said "didn't you see him coming?"

    The "little" I can understand, because the whole incident was unimaginable...what DO you say?

    The ones saying "get on with you life" were not thinking, not caring about my injuries, physical or mental.

    The few that asked "didn't you see him coming" after I told them I was less than 3 feet from him when he put the thing in gear...were just plain rude, uncaring and unthinking.

    But.......then there were the ones who offered prayers...were there with me to just chat...the ones who would ask how I was doing and still do. That is what TRUE friendship real life or in Blogland.

    That and having the opportunity to share my talents and prayers with others is why I blog.

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Michelle.

    ~Blessings, sweetie...

  3. Hi MIchelle,
    I agree 100% with everything your talking about!
    You Are the Best!
    Hope you have a great day!

  4. That is why I have found myself blogging less than I used to...and I even quit reading many of the blogs I used to. I guess we all feel our own insecurities as it is...we certainly don't need to compete with each other and make it worse. I am grateful for blogging though because I sure have met so many nice gals. (I never used to say that word 'gals' sure why I say it now)

  5. You can't see me but I'm jumping up and down, clapping my hands, and saying BRAVO, Michelle:) You are so right ~ my goodness, junior high was bad enough, who needs it in blogland, too? I so admire your honesty and I love your heart even more.

  6. hey you have been up front since day one and never have pretended to be anybody you are not, and I love who you are! You tell it like it is and are not out to impress anyone. You are kind hearted and would do anything for anyone! what you said is so true, it is so juvenile to think of the readers as a number. I have made wonderful friends with common interests as me and have learned that I am not a loser if I don't grind my own grain for bread, haha remember that stage, wow.....You are the best, and I have learned a ton from you!

    Big Hugs~

  7. Michelle, I am so sorry that you have experienced some negativity in blogland. I think we should write a bloggers ediquite book! When I first started blogging, I wanted friends so bad, it took me a long time to get regular readers and friends. I was hurt by some of the biggies whom I left comments several times and they never ever wrote me. I dont' get that. Is it something that you get so popular you don't have to comment back anymore? You just get to sit back and soak it all in from your "fans" like a big shot movie star? I don't get it. To me it should be like any other friend in real life, you give and then you recieve back but you don't give because you are trying to recieve, you know what I mean?

    Any way, overall, my experience with blogging has been really great and I have met so many beautiful women. I know I talk a lot about my decorating and our home life, but I also have many posts under my "difficult times" section with real life problems.

    I hopt that you just keep doing what you are doing because you are well loved!

    Hugs, Sharon

  8. Hi Michelle,
    You have read my mind. That is why my blog is "Plain"...I'm trying to be honest and simple and share from my heart and life. I did pray about blogging before I started one. When I first started I felt so out of it and rushed out to get things I saw on other blogs...
    I have stopped that now and am learning to be content. I have lots of stuff. What I am also learning is there are some wonderful "gals" in blogland, who do seems to care!! I'm glad you are still blogging:) I appreciate your honesty and I so feel for you and all the things that you have and are currently going through.
    I'm happy if I have any comments and, like 20 comments, I'm thinking that is awesome:) The numbers aren't as important as what is said.I hope many gals read your blog and maybe someone will learn something.
    I also want to wish you a
    Merry Christmas!!!

  9. Michelle:

    I totally echo your sentiment in this post. I am not a decorating goddess or a shopping sheba, I am just a plain and simple lady who likes to share all the things that make me smile and a lot of what makes me cry (lately). Thank you for putting it into perspective and sharing your good times and bad times with us bloggers who hold you close in prayer and even closer to our hearts. Love you lady!

    Debbie Kay

  10. My first time here. I'm not very good with words but I just want to say I agree 100 percent. I will be back.

  11. You have been one of MY biggest blessings from blogging, Shell!

    I'm sorry I can't get online much anymore to post or read blogs like I used to -- just know that I pray for you daily and thank the Lord for you.

    Hope you have a wonderful New Year!
    Love you lots!

  12. Wonderful post about the competition about blogging. I hate it. That's one reason I'm not posting. I don't think my home measures up, I work full time, I just can't crank out something new all the time. You are so right to stay focused on your health and family that is what matters. I've enjoyed reading your past posts and hope you have continued good health. You might want to visit creative chaos, she's going through cancer treatments also. My grandmother had breast cancer, I'm 44 so it's something I think about. All my best, Trudi


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