Me in the Middle of My Third Year Anniversary

An Introduction

That’s Me in the Middle with my two brothers, J. and R.  I’m the official middle child in my family of five siblings.  This is the story of my journey in the middle of my awesome and challenging life and you can read more by going to my “About” page”.

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❤  022 - John, Me and Rich

~ And that was the beginning ~

 

 

Three years later and I’m amazed at how much satisfaction I’ve gotten from blogging and how much my posts have expanded into wonderful experiences and meeting wonderful bloggers.

My initial intention was to put my life story down in writing, the good and the bad, and from it to see all the life lessons along the way.  I did that!  I wrote and I wrote and I wrote until I had Eight Chapters.

One Year Anniversary

What a Difference a Year Makes (Here)

Looking over the first year really gave me confidence.  One of the major influences in making the transition from Pages to Blog was the A to Z Challenge 2016.  I used it as a way to bring together all the lessons learned through my life.  It was a real purging and letting go of the past.  So, what a difference a year makes!

And then my blogging became a once a week commitment for the 2nd and 3rd year.  Along with following my favorites on WordPress Reader, I also took on mini-challenges.  A few of those challenges are included here:

GUEST BLOGGERS

KINDNESS CHALLENGE

LESSONS LEARNED

MEMORIES TO MEMOIRS

ONE-INCH PICTURE FRAME

SIX-WORD STORY

MY ETSY SHOP

#MLSTL ~ MidLife Blog Share

 

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Me in the Middle of Love/Hate for Social Media

I’m trying!  I really am!

My niece introduced me to Snapchat at a family get-together and I got to go on a Snapchat visit when she snapped this pic of me and my sister.  I love it!!  I even cropped the picture to use as my profile pic on Facebook.  And I know it was the first and last visit to Snapchat that I’ll ever make.  🙂

I’m really trying to understand social media.

It might be just a ‘January Slump’.  I’m finding myself annoyed that I’ve lost hours just scrolling through Facebook.  It seems the aftermath of Election 2016 has  slowed down the enthusiasm for Facebook.  Is it just me?  Or is there anyone else out there who’s finding less postings and interaction?  Are we getting burned out?

 I love Facebook for the connection to my sons and families.  I like it for the news feed that gives me my favorite FB Pages every day.  The fact that I can take an art journaling workshop online and connect with other artists from all over the world is amazing!  I belong to the Artists’ Journal Workshop Facebook Page and connect with 22,689 other artists.  This is all good.  

The only other social media I’m using is Blogging on WordPress.  This month I’ve got writer’s block and I’m determined to stay with my commitment of a post each week.  It’s getting tough!  I’ve been blogging for a year now and have loved this experience!  I’ve met some amazing people on WordPress and learned a lot of positive things from their posts.  What do you do when you’ve reached a slump?  Is it just because I’m moving in another direction right now?  Anyone have any suggestions for Blog Challenge Hops to fill in until I get back my groove?

I’m trying!  I really am!

This Love/Hate thing I’ve got going on with social media has got me wondering.  Am I balancing my life and using social media to serve my goals or is social media hooking me with the same addiction that watching too much TV can do?  …. Or having your nose buried in a book or newspaper can do?  Doesn’t anything become a numbing addiction if we don’t know enough to stop, look up and get out there and experience real life?

“You have a finite existence and a set number of days………………………”

Look Up

Me in the Middle Turns One Year Old (#FlashBack)

anniversary-2x

What a difference a year makes!  

My One-Year Anniversary badge from WordPress got me thinking about what inspired me to start blogging in the first place and what I’ve gained from this whole experience.

Me in the Middle was the beginning of my sharing my life story with family and a way for me to write about things I needed to let go of so that I could move forward in my life.  It was my hope that through sharing my journey I might encourage others and pass on lessons learned.  It turns out that, in one year’s time, I’ve been able to do that and so much more.

At first I found other bloggers who met that need for support through experiences of abuse, trauma and PTSD .  Bloggers who encouraged and supported each other in a positive way.  Then my enthusiasm for blogging grew and I began to open up my focus to many different topics and directions.  The WordPress Team and Community inspired me and helped me with any questions I had.  Soon I was connected to a wonderful group of blogger friends that have moved me well beyond the need that had initially brought me here last year.  I found that ‘Letting Go’ is an on-going process of being mindful of when we’re allowing our thoughts and emotions from flashbacks of the past to disrupt the wonderful experiences of the present.

One of the major influences in making this transition was the A to Z Challenge 2016.  I used it as a way to bring together all the lessons learned through my life.  It was a real purging and letting go of the past.  So, what a difference a year makes!

one-year-old

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When I first created my website I posted an Invitation to Guest Bloggers.  I wanted to open the door for others to share in their surviving and thriving stories.  I re-posted the invitation again in May and the response was wonderful!  Take a look ~ Here ~.   I’d love to hear your Me in the Middle story.  

So, for FlashBack Friday I decided to post one of my first post at the very beginning that started me off through this great year of blogging.  Thanks to everyone for being a part of it!

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It’s FlashBack Friday~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of your that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This Blog-Go-Round is hosted by MICHAEL G D’AGOSTINO from A LIFE EXAMINED–That’s where you’ll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on September 27th, 2015.  To see the original comments to that post you can click on the title below to be taken to the original post. 

I chose this post because it was one year ago that I created my WordPress Website and this post is one of the first I published.  I believe it’s relevant because it shows where I was back then in September 2015 at the very beginning of my blogging experience and just how much blogging has helped me to let go and move on in life.

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Me in the Middle of Learning to Stand on My Own

I found Two Poems I’d written ~ in those first years ~ when I was coming to terms with the reality that the person who I thought was there for me was never really there.  I was learning to stand on my own and to find ways to push through all the walls that were coming down.  I was learning to believe in the possibilities that might be opening up for me.  It took every ounce of creative effort and courage that I could muster.  Writing poems during those first years was a way of finding expression for what I wasn’t able to make sense of while I was experiencing it.  When I reread them from a different place, a more improved view, I saw how important these exercises were.  They were stepping stones to carry me through that time to a new and better place in my life.  A life that keeps moving forward with Hope while wrestling with Life’s paradoxes.

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Divorce

Not sought after ~ this divorce
Thrust upon me as last resort
Insanity running its full course
Destroying trust and mutual support.

Sacrament now turned nightmare
Unraveling years of hopes and dreams
Document once sealed our covenant
Now document seals our parting means.

Final period closing painful sentence
Marking wreckage left behind
Will one day find me free of malevolence
Allowing forgiveness and peace of mind?

© Mary Lou

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Choose Life

Currents of humor and understanding
Toward the human condition
Life’s path created by paradoxes of life
Challenging past held beliefs
Toward unique revelation
Sun shines on evil as well as good.

Forms of life-force and truth
Point toward responsible kinship
Belief in goodness and care for humanity
Moves me out of my own poverty
Toward unique evolution
Choose Life ~ that my future may live!

Poems andSketches © Mary Lou

Me in the Middle of the Joy of Blogging

The Joys of Blogging

Blog #2

It’s been eight months now since I signed up with WordPress and started on my adventure in blogging.  I remember checking my settings to make sure it was set at ‘private‘.  I had no idea where I was going with this. ……. And now?!  Now I’m enjoying the blogging friendships of people all over the world!  I’m learning about other parts of the world and their customs.  I’m inspired by the stories of those who had the courage to reach out and share their ‘profiles in courage’.  I’m reading fiction/non-fiction of awesome writers who are on their journey to publish their books.  Blogging is inspiring and empowering in so many ways.    

The event that’s really got me hooked on blogging is the AtoZ Blog Challenge that just came to a conclusion this past April.  I had a theme for my challenge which made it possible for me to get focused and to document some thoughts I wanted to share with my children and grandchildren.  I just can’t praise the AtoZ Challenge Team enough for its organization, its professionalism, its creativity and its community spirit.  

Recently I came across this service Blog2Print which allows you to print your blog into book form.  The idea of putting My AtoZ Challenge into book form  was something I’d thought about so I took a look at it.  I’m so pleased with the results and now will have a hard cover copy.  The videos and the links I’d included in my blog posts on AtoZ weren’t able to be printed.  It’s still a treasure for me to have.

Take a look at a few sample pages!

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Blog

 

Take a look at 15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog!  Joshua Becker hit the nail on the head with each of these reasons.  If you haven’t started yet, my recommendation is to go with WordPress.  I’ve enjoyed this whole experience even more because of the great team at WordPress.  

Joshua Becker’s website Becoming Minimalist

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What is a Blog?

Me In The Middle of Blogging 101

My brother, John ~ Me in the Middle ~ My brother, Richard

My brother, J. ~ Me in the Middle ~ My brother, R.

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I’ve been blogging for about two months now on WordPress.com and so glad I started.  There’s so much inspiration and encouragement from the WordPress team and from reading the other blogs I’m following!  ….. And here I am, signed up for Blogging 101!

My website ~ Me In The Middle ~ tells my story while traveling back across the span of five decades.  Sometimes I connect this story to events unfolding in the larger society and reflect on how those events affected my own path. Continue reading