December 17, 2012.
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.
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?”
My 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!!
Please send this on if you know someone who may need a reminder that there is no good reason that life should get smaller!!
Photography courtesy of Deborah Strauss.