I am Six

I am 6. Well technically I was 6 in maybe March, but it has taken me this long to get around to acknowledging it. Thank you WordPress for the reminder.

This year there was even less fan fare than when I was five. I’ve been here so little of late that it seemed pointless to post about it, but actually there is a point, regardless of how much or how little I post, I am still here six years later. Initially I didn’t believe that I would even last six days, so that in itself is some kind of achievement right!?

There are people who have been here for the same length of time I have, and they have celebrated many successes and in one case a million followers. Those people deserve it because blogging is hard work and they have put in the effort while at the same time always being there to offer assistance and guidance to others. I am in awe of both their talent and time.

Success for me is on a much smaller more personal level. I love this place, whether I am silently reading posts or giggling at a comment someone has put on one of mine. I might have been silent but I have been here.

I love the people I have met, seriously my followers are awesome, they are always there with words of wisdom and encouragement. They pick me up when I am down and raise me higher when I am not. They have been a source of entertainment and enlightenment and that has by far been the highlight of my time blogging.

The arrival of each birthday brings with it a series of questions that I ask myself. They mainly centre around whether I need this space any more and whether I have a place here. I believe there is a place here for everyone. While my life is not very exciting and I have little to share that will amaze and astound, I still have things to say. Whilst I mainly direct my writing at myself these days, if even one other person can empathise or understand then isn’t it worth it, even if it helps me realise that I am not alone.

The last six years have been a journey. Sometimes it has been an uphill struggle, but I’m still battling on, I have never given up, not here and not in life. That is something I need to give myself credit for.

While I don’t have a lot to say and I don’t visit as much as I should, each time I open a blank post I still feel that tingle of excitement, that familiar buzz of possibility. I write in my head constantly, weaving snippets of words and thoughts, but more often than not that is where they remain. I need to be better at letting them flow to my fingertips.

In my time here I have written 543 posts, been viewed over 50,000 times, had 23,000 visitors, 10, 501 comments and amassed 1,442 followers.

I am six, but I need you to know that I could never have made it this far without all of you. I need you to know that you are loved, more than you know.

Thank you!

I am Four!

It was pretty amazing for me when I made it to the end of one year of blogging, even more amazing that I managed to survive another couple of years despite what was going on in my life. Now, I am four, who would have thought, certainly not me!

While I might not have written my very first post until the 31st March 2013, I had registered the name, which at that time was ‘The Geeky G4mer’. Even in that very first post, I made excuses which paved the way for me more than likely giving up on this new fad, but I didn’t, I am still here.

The last four years have been pretty rough, some of it will be documented on this blog and some of it on others, where I shared my experiences of being a carer for someone with Dementia. Writing from the heart wasn’t always pretty, hence my decision to keep those posts away from here. It didn’t really matter where I wrote, as long as I did, because on many days that was my saving grace, the thing that kept me going.

Had life not intervened the way it did I may have been a blogging superstar by now, these days there are people in the same position as me who have been blogging for only six months, or perhaps even less. I’m quite content to not be a superstar, it’s hard enough being me sometimes. That fame malarky is definitely not the road for an introvert to travel.

I am not, nor will I ever be a magnificent writer, I simply want to entertain and write about life, which can be hard sometimes, because it’s far from perfect despite what some people would have us believe. The difference is the way that people deal with the cards that they have been dealt and every day here, I see examples of people who despite what they hide still manage to put a smile on their faces and carry on regardless with the intention of putting a smile on ours.

Stepping into both blogging and the WordPress community can be daunting at first, but for those of you who are new, my advice would be never give up. Hold on to what you believe in and most importantly never lose sight of why you started your blog. Write for yourself and no one else, the rest will come with time. Open yourself up to this amazing community, there is nowhere else that you will find such a diverse bunch of people who probably shouldn’t work but do. There is always someone to help, comfort, teach and guide, you just have to interact and ask, never be afraid, we have all been where you are now.

In the last four years I have written 500 posts, quite fitting that this should be number 501. I have 1,220 followers, my page has seen 21, 069 visitors with 43, 941 views. There have been 9, 312 comments, with some still pending. That’s amazing, and I am extremely grateful for every follow, like and person who has stopped by whether they commented or not. But for me, what is more important are the people I have met, the friends I have made and the posts I have read that have made me smile, laugh, cry and remember that I am not alone in this world. More importantly it has reminded me I am loved and despite the fact that I am not a magnificent writer, I have things to say that people want to read.

I am four, but only because you all helped me. Thank you, words can never express how grateful I am to have had you all at my side.

Here’s to another 365 days of blogging! Happy blog anniversary to us.

I am three!

It’s true, I am three, well not me, my blog, but you knew that anyway right!?

On each of my previous birthdays, namely my first and second I commented on how amazed I was that I had made it this far and yet here I am still, that is remarkable indeed, because in the grand scheme of things I usually give up on things that I consider to be a fad, and back in the early days I foolishly thought that was what this was. How wrong was I.

In the course of three years I have amassed 1004 followers, most of whom I hope are real, written 465 posts which have been viewed 34, 428 times and there have been over 18, 000 visitors who have commented over 8000 times. Not bad for a lass from the back of beyond with pretty much nothing between her ears. Clearly you people don’t get out enough.

Just this week during a conversation someone asked me what my blog was about, I gave that some thought, in fact I gave it quite a lot of thought and still could not come up with an answer. I don’t believe there is one thing that defines my little place here, but I hope if there is, it’s laughter. Even in the midst of all the crap that goes on around me I try to laugh, because honestly if I didn’t I’d cry.

Even though I don’t have the same amount of time now that I did when I first started the blog, it remains something I want to try and keep making time for. I feel truly blessed because I have gained so many things, new friends, who I believe will be friends for a life, a larger and more diverse music collection, people who understand just how difficult life can be sometimes and forgive you when you’re not around. There’s also Steve’s radio show which has fast become the highlight of my Saturday night. It’s all the small things that help me make it through.

Sometimes I think about giving up, because words fail me. I want to write, but on certain days there is just nothing to say. On those days I read and I remember that if I were not here I would no longer be part of this community that I have grown to love and consider myself very fortunate to be a part of.

When I was two I finished my post on the following line, and as it is still apt today I want to use it again. Simply put it was a comment on the the fact that I am still here is nothing to do with me, but everything to do with you, my lovely eejits, I would be lost without you all!

I’ve said it before, but…

This last week I returned to some kind of normality with regards to blogging, both reading and writing. It felt good. It reminded me how much I miss it.

Whilst reading this week I came across a lot of posts from writers thanking their followers or giving us, the reader an insight as to why they started blogging in the first place.

One such post was the wonderful I Am A Thief by J T Carlton, and it was while leaving a comment that I got thinking about the wonder that is the world of the blog.

We all start for various reasons, be it a form of therapy, entertainment, a break from boredom or the sheer relief of expelling the thoughts from our heads into a different type of receptacle. No one knows what to expect, especially in the early days when things are a little slow to start and tentative alliances are being formed.

I know for me, there were days when I wanted to give up because I really did feel like a small fish in a big pond. Even though I started writing for myself, I cannot deny that those little notifications were a delight, pushing me towards wanting to be more than I had originally thought.

If we tried to explain to outsiders, those who do not blog, the relationships that we forge as a result of writing and being part of a community, they would find it hard to understand. They would perhaps berate us for talking to strangers, because after all as children, that is what we are taught not to do.

The internet is a scary place and as such, it should be treated with caution. It’s OK to put yourself out there, but first and foremost, never lose sight of who you are and always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Gut feeling is a remarkable addition to this so called life.

Still though, despite all the barriers, we start to gain followers and form friendships and the art of blogging soon becomes more than we ever imagined it could. I have become a square in the patchwork quilt that is WordPress, not overly important, but essential all the same, because all our little squares, well we keep the whole thing together.

I’m never going to be an amazing writer, I am under no illusions, but that doesn’t matter because for me, it’s all about the community.

Life is hard, more so for some than others. I often wonder when I read the posts of some I follow how they can even carry on, yet still they do, with a strength and spirit that is nothing short of superhuman, even if they do not realise it themselves.

I can’t always interact, sometimes I become so emotionally invested in my own life that I have nothing left to give but on those days I still read and ‘like’ where I can. Slowly but surely the craft that is the words of others pulls me to the surface, have you met my followers, seriously, what’s not to love. I am extremely blessed.

So I too am going to thank my friends here, even though I know I can never convey in words just how they all make me feel.

Thank you for making me feel accepted and a part of something amazing. Thank you for loving me just exactly as I am, flaws and all. Thank you for being there and bringing me sunshine on the darker days, laughter on the sad ones and virtual hugs just when I needed them most. You have been an inspiration and my life is better because you chose to weave your way in.

I’ve said it before, but…..thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Just a note to say…

Every now and then there are changes in the blogsphere.  As in life, nothing stays the same for ever. People come, people go and in this process only one thing is certain, the writing never stops. Regardless of whose fingers are at the keyboard, the alphabet is assessed, assembled and added to a blog somewhere on the world wide web.

I’ve found this blog invaluable for all manner of reasons, but it’s hard work and devoting time can be problematic in an already busy schedule. Every day I carry my laptop to work with the intention of  writing during my lunchtime, but it never happens, something always comes up, or somebody somewhere needs my attention and before you know whats happened the hands on the clock have crept around and stolen 30 minutes from my day. Even as I sit now, my conscience is telling me there are beds to strip, ironing to do and things to prepare for the working week ahead!

Feck it! I’m writing.

Being the owner of a blog brings with it a responsibility of sorts. There is a reasonable expectation that I will post, comment, read and entertain, I have after all tried to trick you into believing I am funny. Last week I didn’t feel funny, I didn’t feel like writing, in fact I didn’t feel like much of anything and I felt guilty for neglecting both you and my little space. This had the knock of effect of pushing me further into the doldrums than I already was.  So that begs me to ask the question, did I fail your expectations, or my own!

The truth is I need this space. Aside from work and home life there is not a big pile going on, mainly because between those two there is very little time left. I have nothing but admiration for those of you who read almost every post, comment on probably twice as many, yet still find time to write on your own blog as well. That takes perseverance and dedication.

I’ve thought about giving up many times, but the truth is I don’t think I could, not at the minute anyway. I’m actually surprised, if I am honest, that I have lasted this long, I’ve usually run out of steam within the first month. The main reason I am still here is you guys, because my rambling filled pages on WordPress would be nothing without your interaction.

So forgive me if I do not get to read, like or comment on all of your posts, you have to believe that it is not a lack of interest on my part, but a lack of time. Forgive me if I do not post as often as I would like to, and also if I rant, I am a woman heading for the menopause, it’s bound to happen! and for those of you with meat and two veg stop making faces, you lot are prone to off days as well!

Thank you for sticking with me and my little place on the world wide web and thank you also for being part of my 500 followers :)

followed-blog-500-1x

 

Did you mean to click follow?

Eejits Rule
Ah the power of the Brussel Sprout!

I have almost 500 followers, that’s pretty awesome, thank you to each and every one of you, even those who follow everybody, you’re still welcome.

When I first started blogging, was still at the stage of silently reading posts, and didn’t know any better I used to look at blogs who had that amount of followers and think, WOW they must be awesome. To be fair, most of them were, but they appeared to stick to their own circle of friends, not bothering with outsiders.

I now have 500 followers, and while I am no where near awesome (I am so much better at being a f*ck up lol), I have the best bunch of mad crazy fools anyone could ask for. I only wish that I had not spent so much of my early blogging days fawning over those I perceived to be blogging gods.

At the end of the day, we are all the same, human beings living our lives as best we can, we just choose to write about it. A blog starts with a name, empty pages, and a head full of ideas. Along the way an audience builds, friendships are formed and before we know it figures and stats don’t matter so much anymore, it’s all about the community and interaction.

I miss posts, I know I do, and I’m sorry, but my reader only loads 20 at a time, usually the newest ones, missing out some in the middle. I try to go back, but it’s not always possible. Following by e-mail has helped, but I follow so many it’s hard to do them all this way. Forgive me if I don’t get along to thank you personally for following me, but if I like what I read, you’ll no doubt hear from me at some stage.

Don’t be like me in the early days, don’t read silently. Never be afraid to comment on my blog, because that’s what makes it all worthwhile.

Looking back the best advice I can give you is, be true to yourself and don’t give up, good things come to those who wait.

Good people certainly found me :)

Feeling Humbled!

-Dear-Followers

I’ve had a few new followers of late, thank you very much and you are more than welcome. My apologies for the fact that I have not been along personally to thank you, but you see I never did that with any of the old hands and I don’t want to hear any cries of discrimination. People seem to just happen along and hang around, adding bits and pieces every now and again and that’s just the way I like it. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay. There’s a great bunch of folks who visit, I’m sure you’ll get to know them soon enough.

The addition of new followers to my blog has also meant the addition of new material to my reader. I love it when people introduce themselves, because the chances are I would never have found them otherwise. For some reason, my ‘You May Like’ section usually throws up the same 4 blogs, even though I have previously indicated they were not my type of thing. If you think about it, there are over a million people on WordPress, but yet it still recommends the same ones. Perhaps I have found the best ones already, most days it certainly feels like I have, because you lot rock!

I always did pretty much live on the Internet, right from the first time my sister let me have a go on her laptop and introduced me to ICQ. I spoke to people all over the world and nothing would do but I had to get a computer of my very own to explore this new world I had previously known nothing about. Over the years I have made some amazing friends, met some complete wankers, learned new skills, honed old ones and many other things that I would never have managed were it not for easy access to the World Wide Web.

Despite how I come across I am actually quite a shy person, most likely due to low self esteem, so hiding behind the screen of a computer suits me just fine. I do love going out with my friends and if I feel comfortable with you I will open up, but I hate that moment of having to meet someone for the first time, or walking into a crowded room. People who know me would tell you that they find this weird. They say I am the life and soul of the party and strangely, they find me funny. I love that, but it bemuses me at the same time.

So you see this little space of mine on the Internet, has given me a lot to be thankful for. I have been fortunate enough to meet amazing people, with more coming along every day. I’ve shared their stories, their journeys, their happiness and heartache. I’ve been in total awe of the strength people show in the most dire of circumstances and how despite everything they continue to write, offering those who follow hope and a lifeline. I’ve giggled at the sexploits of others, yes Sean, this time I do mean you, take a bow! and I’ve even been educated, probably more than I ever was at school.

I don’t get time to comment on every post I read and the ‘Like’ button along with Translink’s free Wifi have been a tad temperamental of late, but I try and read as often as I can to keep up to date with everyone’s goings on. So don’t think that just because I have not liked or commented on a post that I have not read it. Even after all this time I still get stuck for things to say, so I choose not to comment. Sometimes nothing else needs to be said.

There has been so much going on here too, what with working full time, being later home at night and the cooking every day now, that I don’t have the same amount of time I used to. I want to be writing all the time and my mind is a hive of activity with ideas for this site and also for posts on Okay, What if?, where I now guest post, it’s just that when I finally get everything done my brain goes, ‘seriously you want me to remember all those things you were thinking about? How about a big slice of feck away off” and the great ideas I had vanish into the ether.

thinking-please-be-patient-thecuriousbrain.com_
Image from simplelifestrategies.com

In fact it’s doing that right now, reminding me it’s bed time and that I’ve not been sleeping the best. Funny things brains, ingenious inventions, you can be as thick as shit, but the old top box still rules the roost!

Anyway all I wanted to say was, thank you for following me, for putting up with me and for sticking around. I am so glad to have met you all!

 

What if you could be thankful?

Thank You - Frelon
Image by Frelon (Pierre C)

What if you could tell anyone that you were thankful for them or something they had done to make a difference in your life?

Here’s the thing, there are a lot of people in my life (outside of my blog) who I am both extremely thankful for and to. If I were to list them all, it would be the longest post in history and you would be asleep by the second paragraph. Names and incidents would hold no meaning for you, so therefore would not hold your interest.

So lets see if this does:

Dear Indecisive Eejit,

I know you were previously known as ‘The Geeky G4mer’ but I’m pretty sure everyone has forgotten about that now, we have all come to love your new name, it seems to suit you better.

Thanks for coming along when you did, you were just in the nick of time to save me from the brink of insanity. I think I’d gotten a little bit lost along the way and you helped to give me focus and direction. You pushed me and with your guidance I have been able to achieve things I never thought would be possible.

I’m not known for sticking at hobbies or pastimes, I’ll try it for a while, but usually when the going gets tough I bail out. You were smart though, you had a way to combat that and keep me interested. You brought some amazing people to help me, who added their hands to yours and assisted with lifting my spirits.

Every like and comment, whether it be from followers or strangers is like a little pat on the back, urging me forward, keeping me going. Followers are like a  shake of the hand. They mean business, they want to stick around. They acknowledge your crazy traits, but still love you anyway. Mind you, you brought me some right loopy ones yourself, but I like that.

You’ve reminded me that reading can be fun and informative. I’ve discovered people with similar problems to my own, who have slightly wonky top boxes, but despite it all remain upbeat and a positive influence for others. 

I’m learning every day, geography made easy, just by figuring out where people live. Language, through reading and observing translations. Art appreciation, through photographs and cartoons and even writing. The broadening of my musical horizons and much much more. I would never have managed all this on my own.

I might not get time everyday to like or comment on every post I read, for some posts there is nothing to be added, but I do try and keep up with everything as much as I can.

I’m thankful every day that I have you, even though I might not get to see you every day. You’ve been good for me, you’re helping me find my funny.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to you, and all those other wonderful people you introduce me to everyday…you’re amazing!!

Juls x

Prompted by the Okay, What if? weekly challenge, which can be found here! (there is also a link in the side bar)

Information Overload!

data_overload
Image by: Keoni Cabral

When you blog, every little notification is a blessing. It’s a sign that somebody somewhere took the time to read and then either like or comment on one of your posts.

The other day I got one of the little trophies that informed me that I have received 1000 likes on my blog. It might not be many to some, but it’s a huge amount to me, and I am thankful to every eejit out there who took the time to show their appreciation for one of my posts. It means an awful lot.

likeable-blog-1000-1x
Bloomin Eck!

In a perfect world where money was no object I would invest in one of those new fangled 3D printers and produce a replica of that very same trophy, which I would then set on my desk as a reminder that I have achieved something.  Failing that I might just stuff a tennis ball inside an orange skin and buy a marker! Result and much cheaper too!

Thank you, thank you and again I say thank you!

Today has been one  of those days where at various times as it progressed I thought my brain was going to explode from the sheer volume of information being thrown at it. The great thing about being busy is that you have no time to process said information, so you push it to the back of your mind to make room for the next exciting installment.

Then you leave work and all hell breaks loose.

Instead of shutting down and putting a lid on the days proceedings, my brain has decided to rewind and regurgitate every piece of information it stored. Eh, hello there brain, I’m going home, can we not restart this tomorrow.  The answer, well that’s a big fat resounding nope, no can do!

Remember to ring such and such, tell the boss about the door, crap I forgot to send an e-mail, they want that report by when…….just shut up already!

You know it’s bad when the train conductor asks to see your ticket and you tell him you can’t remember if you put it on the spreadsheet or not. Made outstandingly worse by the fact that you look at him like he’s stupid as he looks at you like you’re deranged. Then the penny drops and you say, ohhhhh train ticket and smile a smile that you hope will erase the last 5 minutes from the memory of everyone in the vincinity!

Ah well, it’s almost tomorrow! Lets hope sleep resets the old grey matter!

Daily Prompt: Thank you!

You Rock
Streamer Overload!

Daily Prompt: Thank You

The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

I’m thankful for WordPress. Actually, I am thankful for the bunch of eejits WordPress has allowed me to meet.

Everyone blogs for different reasons and gains something different from their experience. I had no reasons for starting a blog, other than it was something to do.

Initially to most people I appear to be the most confident person in the world, always in the middle of things, messing around, making people laugh. They are shocked when they realise this is not the case. I don’t usually talk about things too much, unless to my family.

The last 14 months has been tough going. Having to take 6 months off due to my ruptured patella tendon affected me mentally as well as physically. Being at home everyday made me realise how bad my mother, who suffers from stroke damage had become. In that space of time I have gone from patient to carer. Some things you come to accept, like the cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing, although the leg injury still plays a part in making life difficult. It’s the mental side of things I find hard to deal with. The mood swings, the fights, the feeling like you are constantly walking on eggshells. Even though you try, it’s hard to sit back and remember that she is not the person she once was. Mentally it’s a drain, and anxiety makes my stomach like a washing machine most of the time.

So like I said, I started the blog because it was something to do. I had no expectations. I had no ideas of where I wanted it to go. I just typed. It gave me something to look forward to when everyone was fed and I had 2 hours to spare before bedtime.

It became so much more. It’s given me a purpose and I truly adore the circle of people who regularly comment and go on my journeys with me.

I’m still amazed when they tell me I am funny, I don’t see it, but being told it makes me smile. I always was far to self critical, apparently! I love to make people laugh.

Blogging is so much more than just writing, it’s also about reading, commenting and interaction.

I’ve been captivated, duped and mesmerized by blogs. I’ve laughed, cried, sighed and rolled my eyes at entries.

All that aside my favourite part has been the interaction. I have been fortunate enough to meet some truly amazing people who unbeknown to them have lifted me and carried me through everyday since I started blogging. They offer advice, criticism, fun and laughter and never ask for anything in return. They let me read their thoughts, hopes, dreams and even sometimes their nightmares.

Through sharing our experiences we make connections that would never normally have happened.

I reached 100 followers today, and to each and every one of you I say a huge thank you. This blog would be nothing without you all!

To my loyal band of commenter’s, even the most recent ones with the cute sheep, cool cats and the ‘I burnt my buttcheeks’ presentation mug, an extra special thank you, you guys are amazing and I would have been lost without you all :) xx