I am feeling so jolly pleased that I started a blog. I began in April this year following the big decision to leave work early and 'retire' (such an inappropriate word for what I did) and for about a month, I didn't dare go public. I really wanted to write an online 'diary' designed for others to read - anywhere in the world - but when it came to it I was afraid of sharing it; it felt silly somehow to publish my thoughts; and worse - someone I KNEW might read it! Heavens, it was such a nervous moment when I eventually took the plunge and pressed the buttons to share. I think I only did it because a friend had done it as part of 40 things he wanted to do in his 40th year - and we're sort of kindred spirits (eh, Andy) so if he could, I could. And I did!
To start with, I only confessed to a few people and still felt rather embarrassed to think that someone was reading anything that I had written, despite loving the act and art of writing. I think part of the embarrassment is from having kept a diary from the age of 14 to 19 that was very personal and very confessional - I know I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to read any of that.
But a blog isn't a diary - and that's something I have learned since starting. It's a wonderful communication tool - and it's not just one way. I am starting to get comments on my blogs, which is THE most exciting thing ever. And comments from people I don't even know! And there's a whole community of bloggers out there with similar interests to me, who write about the things and people that are important to them and with whom I feel I share a small part of their lives. And it's because they blog.
And since June, here on 'Blogger', it has been possible to track how many visits I've had and from which countries and it's fascinating! Why, I'm positively famous all over the United States as well as in the UK, Spain and Australia. And now I have had readers from Latvia, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Israel, Russia, Canada, Taiwan and China!! Wow - that's just amazing.
I love stats! I really do - my job prior to my 'retirement' (that word again) was in management information and statistics and I do enjoy poring over the details of my visitors. But I am not an inhuman 'numbers' person - oh no, I like to get to know my numbers personally! When I worked in a hospital doing various statistical returns such as counting all the different procedures that patients underwent, I noticed one poor man - a heart patient - had gone through more procedures than anyone else and was still on the ward. So I went to visit him. Bless, he was half blind, totally deaf and very, very poorly. He had no clue who I was or why I was there and I couldn't really explain, so I just held his hand for a while and then left again. And when I worked in Education, analysing the results of examinations, I can still remember names and results of individuals (though I confess, only those who did extremely well or those who really did not.)
And whilst I don't know all of my visitors, if you've left me a comment, I will check out your website or find out as much as I can about you. And if you blog, I will follow you (if I like the look of what you write, of course) and then, by looking on my little map, I might be able to imagine when you visited and read my blog. And it makes everyone seem so much closer somehow.
THANKS FOR READING!