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 do......er, 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.