Thursday, January 07, 2010

Slap Chop = FAIL!

Okay, so I've been MIA since...what? October or something? I don't even know. All I know is it has been too long.

Suffice it to say that the 4th quarter of 2009 was a BEAST for me. I could go into detail, but I have neither time nor inclination to do so. What I will say, though, is that a new year = new determination. And, I am determined.

This is an official alert of the Emergency Cheryl Broadcasting System: From now on I plan to be honest in my blogging. That's not to say that the things I've written in the past have been lies. They haven't. However, they've only been part of me. I know blogging isn't necessarily meant to take the place of good ole "Dear Diary", but I know I'm not happy with the way I handled my blog last year. I know that's part of the reason I stopped writing. When things got going tough in my world, I didn't feel like I had any "good" things to write. As you, the reader (if I still have any left at this point) well know, BLOGLAND seems to be filled with upbeat beautiful portrayals of life and accomplishment and talent galore. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy reading others' blogs who are uplifting and joyful. I do! I need that, too! It's just that I felt overwhelmed by it all and knew the things that were going on in MY life would probably be of little import to anyone else. I also felt that I couldn't "compete" with all that beautiful living and so I stopped trying.

My alert to you is to let you know that I'm determined to be more authentic this year. More authentic in the way I allow myself to "feel" life, more authentic in the relationships I endeavor, and most especially more authentic in my written expressions. Ergo, this may no longer be the blog for you. I won't always have a clever caption (not to say that I ever did) or a nifty photo to illustrate my writings. My posts may be long and boring, at best. But, it's my blog and that's what I've decided is important to me. So, you've been warned. And hey, no hard feelings if you decide to walk out the door now and never look back. Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz, right?

So, today I was actually cooking dinner. As I sat there at the table dicing tomatoes (because that silly Slap Chop gadget I bought doesn't work on tomatoes like it promised!) I had opportunity to let my mind wander. (Of course, I have to keep a pretty tight reign on it because if I let it wander too far, it's likely to never come back.) I got to thinking about the flower arrangement some friends and I sent today for a funeral tomorrow. The gal who passed away was my age or thereabouts. She had colon cancer and unfortunately it got the best of her. I can't imagine the heartache and sorrow her husband and family must feel. I remember over the last several months seeing posts on Facebook and other internet group sites from this gal about her ongoing struggle. She would often comment about her medical treatments or how her days were going. Stronger than I would've been, she often had an upbeat attitude. And then the shame crept in. True, unadulterated shame. I am so ashamed of myself.

I remembered not less than a month ago commenting to another friend how I was somewhat "annoyed" with this gal for always writing about her cancer. I know. *GASP* How could I have thought such a thing, much less have voiced it, right? Anyone in her right mind would've known better than to say such a thing. And what kind of prideful woman thinks such judgemental thoughts? I, I did. Today as I sat crying over the onions, I wept for my shame. How could someone like me, who has seen her own fair share of medical difficulties in life, judge another woman so harshly? Why would I do that? I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I'm much more private about my medical struggles. For some strange reason I seemed to get it into my fat head that everyone should be like me, I guess. I'm almost 36 years old. I should know better than that by now.

You see, lately, I've been thinking a lot about how 2009 was so difficult, not only for me and my family but for so many others. With the continued "recession", so many have suffered. Yet, from my point of view, it seems like so many people I know paste on the same old "Happy Happy, Yep, We're Happy!" smiles they've grown so accustomed to portraying. I feel fairly disconnected from people. I mean, I KNOW that statistically, at least, there have got to be at least a FEW others out there struggling, right? So why isn't anyone sharing? Why are we all so hell-bent on masking our pain? I SOOOOOOOOO need to share my struggles with others because I need the support. In return, I too, want to be called upon as a friend, cousin, sister, wife to be a support to those around me. It's in the sharing of our burdens that our loads are lightened. It doesn't mean things necessarily change. But, at the very least, we can know we're not alone. And isn't that really the bottom line? Isn't that the very reason we seek for love, build friendships and strengthen family?

So, here I sit, judged for my own failings. Maybe the reason this gal felt compelled to share her comments was it was her way of connecting with others. She probably received lots of encouragement, positive feedback, and SUPPORT from others who are far wiser than I. She seemed to understand the necessity to share her struggles with others because in sharing, all who participate are blessed. Why would I ever try to deny someone the beauty of that? I was so wrong. And I want to change.

I am determined.


  1. Bravo Sweet Cheryl!!!! I am giving you a standing ovation. I have a similar post to post too:) Time to get real, right? Love, Jamie

  2. Sorry about your friend. Cancer is so mean.

    ...also sorry about your Slap Chop. (Though not on the same scale as your friend.) :)

  3. my friend, as I have often said on my blog, I do like to present sunshine and cupcakes 99% of the time...I don't know why, other than that is pretty much the way that I am in real life. I tend to only share the positive and not the negative. When I was younger, I was an open book...believe me. But as I have aged, I guess I've slapped that book shut. LOL. Irregardless, I think you should do what feels right for you on your blog. This is your spot, your place to shine. Rain or shine as the case may be. As for that gal, there were days of struggle, believe me. I can't answer as to why she posted about her cancer issues, for I'm just not sure. Perhaps it was a way to stay in touch with a world she loved so much? Even though she was too tired to create, too tired to photograph, she just wanted to say, "hey, I'm still here". Maybe that is what we are all doing in our own little way, saying hey, I'm here. I've always enjoyed your blog, have missed it when you have not posted. You have a delightful sense of humor that shines through and always makes my day. In addition to being a very talented artist and crafter. Whatever you choose to present in the future, I will be following you, glad to support if you have a need! :D Sending hugs and some sunshine your way.

    yapping cat

  4. Good for you, Cheryl. Change can be a very good thing.
    Big Hugs!

  5. Amen, Cheryl. I had a wrote a little pity party post on my blog earlier this week and have felt guilty ever since. But after reading your post, I feel a lot more justified in spilling my guts because, like you said, it's my blog, and I'll cry if I want to...

  6. Okay, you had me at Slap-Chop and authenticity. I whine constantly. Talking about your struggles isn't whining though. It is part of growth. I guess we have to let the growth happen, sometimes, usually, often I lose that perspective and stay mired in the yucky stuff. Then it loses the authenticity and sounds like mere whining, right? Thanks for finding me, and letting me know. I'll be around...

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