December 17, 2012.On not letting life grow smaller

That’s the date I hit the “Publish” button.

My son Rob was off to college.  I needed to do something constructive.  Or go stark raving crazy.

I had never read a blog.

I asked for help from local marketing guru, Jeannette Balleza (now Collins).  She patiently sat down with me.  I had written journal-like essays since Rob’s departure.

I tentatively showed them to her.   She then helped me with the in’s and out’s of my Mac.  How to work with WordPress. How to make links work.  Where to find pictures.  How to insert them in the post.

NestAche began to form.

She was also quite the cheerleader.  I had never written anything.  But I wanted to help myself and others through what I was experiencing.  A new kind of pain for me.  A transition.

What I heard from Jeannette?  “Go for it!!”

It meant coming out of the closet so to speak.  As a therapist, I had become quite accustomed to not talking about myself.  Was I really going to publicly reveal intimate details of my life?  How could I do that without jeopardizing relationships with patients?  (In therapy,  you only use details from your own life if you think they would be vital in your patient’s healing).

I was afraid to do it.  I was also afraid of doing it and nobody caring.  Nobody reading.

compassion margaret

I tried to hide my anxiety by making jokes about it – my typical strategy for masking insecurity.  “I’ll continue this if I can get 17 readers by the end of the year.”

Then I hit “Publish” on December 17th.

The 5th anniversary of my mother’s death.  Maybe a little odd but somehow I thought it was neat.  I think she would have been supportive.

Or she would have thought I was nuts.  One of the two.

It was going to look like I had been posting since August.  But I had just been writing.

Waiting to find my courage.

I have you to thank.  Friends and family who signed on early.  People who found me through empty nest references.  Who actually stopped and read a post or two.  Or more.  Recently, folks who saw an ad and dropped by.  Or maybe got wind of me through NaBloPoMo.

Writing has now become a passion.  I want to get better.  I want to provide readers with moments of compassion for themselves or others.  With a laugh or two.  With what I have learned as a psychologist for the last 21 years.

I have talked in several posts about aging.  About how easy it is to let your life grow smaller.  It physically hurts to do certain things so you quit.  Money gets tighter with retirement or the fear of “not having enough” so you stop going and doing.  Friends are getting sick or dying so you shy away from others.  Isolate.  “Why make new friends?”

Highly RecommendMy life got bigger with NestAche.  I forced myself to stretch.

It is both scary and exciting to do something totally new.  To get out of my comfort zone.  To open myself to potential criticism but with that, potential growth.

I highly recommend it.

So thank you.

There are more than 17 of you.

I will forge on.  Happy Anniversary!



And as always, thank you for reading!  Thank you Jeannette!  Into Year #2!!

You can hear more about mental health and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Photography courtesy of Deborah Strauss.


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