July 2011—Two months, 12 days after my stroke (Photo by Walter Skupien)
Mage is owner of the blog “Postcards.” Her post of a couple days ago rearranged my thinking about blogging and its value to me.
Mage is in the aftermath of recent hip surgery as well as the deaths of a number of special people in her life. She noted in her post here that lately life has been mostly about listening and a little waiting. Another observation she made:
“Life has also been posting pictures and doing the visual things that I do. I always seem to deal with great sadness’s and joys visually.
“Put up a picture. Think about it. Maybe shed a tear or two.”
Thanks to Mage, I realize that I too have been processing through the visual. And for me “visual” includes both words and images that I publish on "Retirement Daze."
There are definite benefits I reap from capturing, editing and publishing posts about life’s ups and downs in words and images. Here are a few:
1) Blogging helps me to move through challenges, heartaches and times of joy, living each moment with thoroughness, thoughtfulness and thanksgiving, to paraphrase an Easter message years ago in Yosemite;
2) Blogging helps me to avoid depression at my perceived failures to overcome physical limitations caused by my stroke.
When I look back at posts from a year or two ago, text and photos remind me of what I was experiencing then and how it compares to my current reality.
Those older posts help me realize that, although my physical disabilities are still severe, there is increased purposeful movement going on with my left side and increased stamina and improved balance overall;
3) Blogging helps me combat selfishness and practice thankfulness. The verb “blog” encompasses more than recording my own “stuff.”
Reading of blogging friends’ challenges, joys, adventures and everyday lives engages me. Results are laughter, tears, arm-chair travel, perspective.
Keeping both cyber friends and face-to-face friends and family in my prayers and offering encouragement is a sure antidote to crippling self-absorption.
And other bloggers’ comments are gifts of encouragement, kindness, humor, and pithy observations.
Blogging promotes my memory and emotional balance. And it really does prompt me to practice 1 Thessalonians 5:18:
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18. English Standard Version (ESV)
So, thank you, Mage, and other fellow bloggers!