As I came to write my post this morning, I noticed that I am on my 1,500th post. Who would have that that nearly five years ago when I began blogging that I would wind up on such a wonderful journey?!
I remember as I wrote those first words of that first blog entry nearly five years ago . . . I was nervous and thinking to myself "Who would want to read anything that I wrote?" I nearly stopped right then and there and abandoned the idea altogether.
But something told me to keep typing.
I rather like writing. Especially in the quiet of the mornings when I am getting my thoughts together and planning my day. As many of you began responding and asking questions and just chatting with me, I began to feel as if I was having my morning coffee at a table with all of you. We talk and share ideas. We inspire each other. We learn from each other.
I often hear from many of you how much you enjoy these daily posts or how much you learn from them. I think about that on those days when I sometimes don't feel like writing or get discouraged about things (yes – I have my moments) and it is you, my readers who pull me through and help me keep moving ahead. Those who read often know I am not a "numbers person". I think that while numbers are useful in this world, they can be misleading and cold. But they are somewhat necessary for our society to function, so I use them from time to time and try to stay on a friendly basis with them. As I checked this morning on the Lumberjocks.com site where I originally began blogging, I see that in the 1,500 posts I have over 3,000,000 reads. (YIKES!) I suppose some people like seeing what me, Keith and the cats are up to.
Over the years, these writings have become an important part of my day. Since I don't have a 'store' per se, or a job outside the home, it is very easy to feel isolated and when things don't go as we planned we can easily feel discouraged. Coming from a huge city like Chicago, living in a small rural area of Nova Scotia could be very restrictive. Especially in the winter time (like now) when I don't have the freedom to drive around and come into contact with people on a daily basis. Many people wouldn't like it.
But I have been fortunate enough to find a balance between my love of rural type living and my love of people and teaching. By writing here nearly every morning, I am able to communicate with so many people who have become friends over these years. I think it is amazing that we live in all corners of the world, yet we join together to communicate and share our love of creating each day. It is wonderful to have something so positive to look forward to every day.
Many people tell me that I not only teach them, but I keep them inspired as well. I must say that I feel the same way about each and every one of you. Whether you respond and leave comments or not, every once in a while someone new posts a comment and states that they 'read all the time, but rarely comment' and that I have influenced them in a positive way at one time or another. That alone keeps me posting and that alone makes me stop and realize that for every one comment that I receive, there are countless 'friends' out there that I don't even know about. If I can make even ONE person's day a little better or teach them something or make them smile, then writing is worth my time. That is an important thing for me to remember.
Our world is difficult these days. Many people are going through hardships. I often think of the opening lines of Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities":
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
We live in a time when things are wonderful and horrible, beautiful and hideous, fantastic and mundane. Technology has opened our eyes to not only the beauty of our planet, but also the dark side. It can be quite overwhelming.
I choose to focus on the beauty of life in my posts. For me, that translates to creating. As you have seen, I enjoy creating in many different media. There is something about 'making pretty things' that is both intoxicating and addicting to me.
It keeps me going in these tumultuous times and it helps me focus on the good that my life can bring. For each individual that I entertain, teach or inspire in some way is my own little way of contributing positively to this world. If every one of you reading could do something each day to make just one person a little happier, think how much better this world can be. It may sound simple, but I prefer my way of thinking to those who spew poison. Reality can be harsh. I will leave the chore of sharing that to others.
I have always stated that my favorite phrase is "we follow where we focus." The longer I am here on this planet, the more I believe that. While good and bad things happen to all of us, I truly believe that how we choose to react to them plays a large part in determining our own happiness. I am not saying that I turn a blind eye to tragedy or bad things, but I have learned that when situations are presented to me that I have no control over whatsoever, it is best for me to turn my attention to something positive that I CAN do something about. More than once this has saved me from dispare. I have found that by keeping my glass 'half full' I am better able to contibute in a positive way to those around me. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
So I will close today, on entry 1,500. I am half done with a variety of projects that I worked on yesterday. I still have "Celtic" on my mind, as you can see:
I will be finishing these new things up today, I think.
I don't want to close though without once again thanking all of you who read. I have forged many friendships through my posts here and met many people that I will never even know. Perhaps without even realizing it, you have all been my inspiration, my motivation and my muse. You have encouraged me to finish up on those nights when I was tired and wanted to pack it in (what would I have to show tomorrow?) You have calmed me down and encouraged me to be positive when I felt wronged or angry (what would you think of me if I wrote here and ranted about something or someone in anger?) You have encouraged me to share and teach and search for the good in just about any situation that I have encountered, and that has kept me positive and productive and made my life infinitely better.
Thank you, all. I am profoundly grateful. I will certainly be back tomorrow.
Happy Wednesday to you!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"