When I first started this blog, in mid-December, it was intended to do three things:
- Be a space for me to work through my healing and recovery issues regarding my “hurts, hangups, and habits,” as they are referred to in the Celebrate Recovery, Christian subculture.
- Help me to keep track of where I’ve been and what I’ve done and come through in the process (my memory isn’t reliable for a lot of reasons and I’m too disorganized for hard copy journals)
- To be a place where others who stop by can see me sharing my experience, strength and hope, and hopefully find something to help them on their journeys
Slowly, I began visiting the blogs of others, finding inspiration, humor in the face of devastation, information, and interests in so many things, I was astounded. I guess I’m a very egocentric person and on some level didn’t really expect to find or make connections with others in the blogging world. I don’t know what my preconceptions were about blogging and bloggers, but I was certain I wouldn’t fit in and discover lines of connectedness in so many different ways.
The more I visited and was visited by other bloggers, I began to notice what I considered to be a strange, perhaps even silly phenomenon, of them giving each other Awards: The Versatile Blogger Award, being one of the most common, as well as a large variety of other awards, examples of which can be found here, here, and here. Curious about these things, I would read through the posts that included such awards and came to the conclusion that these awards were part of a mutual admiration society between bloggers who had developed an interconnected circle amongst themselves. The cynical and bitter part of myself scorned the concept of award giving and receiving ~ my writing was for me and not really for others, though I hoped others might benefit at some point. I didn’t know anyone in my personal life who blogged and while I regularly visited and occasionally commented on a couple of blogs, it seemed like a bit of a frou frou, space filler and waste of time.
Gradually, that changed. I saw an award recently that was created by someone who had been going through an incredibly difficult time (I can’t recall the blogger and searching through my blogroll didn’t net any results, sorry) and none of the people in her “real world” life had visited or supported her as she was going through her trials. She found a WWII photo of her grandfather and his cohorts after a victorious battle and used that as a basis for creating an award for those in her circle of the blogosphere who had offered continual encouragement and support. It was a beautiful sentiment and made me realize that while, yes, bloggers giving other bloggers awards is a bit of a mutual appreciation society, what’s important is that people are offering appreciation and encouragement to others who take a risk every time the “publish” button is hit.
The other important aspect, is that with these awards come rules which entail expressing gratitude for the nomination. Gratitude has become a bit of a lost art. Being thankful and appreciative of the little, ordinary things that make life better and worth living and expressing that thankfulness are things a lot of us have lost sight of or may struggle with recognizing because of health issues and life-altering circumstances. So, having a requirement to express gratitude for a little blogging award, is a re-humanizing thing. The second rule is a bit humanizing as well. It is to share a few facts and tidbits of information about the award receiver. It encourages the receiver to risk a little more and pull the curtain aside to reveal as much or as little about him or herself as is comfortable, thereby allowing those who read to fill in the picture and get a better sense of the person behind the keyboard. The third and final rule is to pay it forward. Pass the award onto other bloggers who have impacted the receiver in positive ways.
No, blogging awards aren’t silly and nonsensical, unless that’s the sort of award it is designed to be, they are humanizing and a unique way those of us in the blogging culture can connect to others and build our community in constructive and positive ways.
All of which brings me…(drum roll please!)
to the part where I express my gratitude for Cate at Infinite Sadness or Hope for bestowing on me my very first blogging award:
The Daisy Award
The rules for this Award are:
* Thank the person who nominated you.
* Tell your readers 7 unusual things about yourself.
* Nominate some worthy bloggers.
Let’s see if I can come up with 7 unusual things about me:
1) I have hit just about every statistical group of motherhood there is to hit: teen mom, single mom, welfare mom, working mom, late in life mom, and last night I achieved one not previously identified, but recognized by moms everywhere, MOMBIE = 2 weeks of insomnia+carb overload+enervating heat+repetitious pre-school “edutainment”
2) I had such a belief in the 70’s & 80’s cartoon admonition that “Knowledge is Power” and GI Joe’s motto that, “Knowing is half the battle,” that I earned two GEDs and a High School Diploma. Which leads to the next fact.
3) As a pregnant, teenage runaway, I enrolled in an alternative educational and vocational program under an alias and earned my first GED.
4) From the time I ran away at 16 until the time I returned “home” at 19 with my two year old son, I lived out of cars and hitchhiked across the country with my son’s father, living off the good will and good intentions of good people. Not proud of it, but it happened and contributed to me being the woman I am today.
5) I attended a church service at Melody Land, across the street from Disneyland, but have never been to Disneyland.
6) Towards the end of my second pregnancy, I participated in a DECA competition for the first time and qualified to go to Nationals in Florida. Heat and humidity in the third trimester = not fun.
7) I once procrastinated completing a revision of one paper AND the creation of my final paper until the night before finals. I got to finals one hour late, had to wait and take them with another section later that day and still managed to pass the course with an “A” . . . my version of living on the edge.
Now, my nominees are:
Going Bananas by Paloma ~ a brand new blog by a young woman finding her voice against the unjust things in her world. I hope this encourages her to continue seeking.
Sleepless in Newcastle by Keith ~ I found his blog through The Ultimate Blog Challenge and to read a man’s perspective on coping with multiple and co-existing life challenges has been good for me.
In Case I’m Gone by Leigh ~ I’ve had no direct contact with her, however the letters she writes to her son, inspire me, cause me to question myself, and make me want to be a better person and mother. I hope she accepts.
Things I Want To Tell My Mother by Marilyn ~ Many of the reasons In Case I’m Gone gets my nomination are true for this one as well. However, never having had the opportunity to have an adult relationship with my mother, being able to witness the depth of love and length of memory is indescribable for me.