Tuesday, April 10, 2012
The Two Shall Become One!
Jakes Creek/Cucumber Gap Trails Intersection - GSMNP
Smaller path meets larger trail and arrow points to way forward
February 20, 2012
It seems to be a recurring pattern for me to begin a Monday blog post saying, "whew, what a week!" But it's always true and I find myself arriving at Sunday evening thinking, "whoops, haven't begun my blog post." This week brought even more pressure as there is so much about which I want to write. I mentioned "surprises" in my last post and most of you know that this year, for me, is ALL about surprises. You couldn't handle all this in one post, so I'll keep some things in suspense.
I'm heading out Tuesday afternoon on a solo (sort of!!) hiking roadtrip and am so excited. I'll be gone five days and my hope is that on off-hiking i.e. "rest" days, I'll have some time in solitude to spend writing and getting everything caught up the way I envision. Much more about the trip with details to follow as it happens.
May 14 will mark the two-year anniversary of this blog. I find this incredibly amazing when thinking back over the rewards I never imagined and the friends I'd never have had otherwise. As year two draws to a close, I've decided to make some changes that I am sharing with you first, but that I also sincerely hope you will find make Gains and Losses better. Something that compels you to return post after post not because it pops up in your reader, but because you find something in my ramblings (both literal and written) that you find encouraging, fun and with which you identify.
Today, I want to share with you a major change and next post, I hope to share a goal that was born not too long after I began the blog, but am just now feeling is the "right time" to talk about it. And somewhere in all of that, I'll find time to share my adventures from last week which involve more Blog Friends who have become real world friends. Oh, then there's NEXT week which brings even MORE adventures with Blog friends jumping off the page and into real life! This one will involve the longest journey yet JUST TO MEET ME!! Well, not exactly...................
When I began this blog, I struggled with the decision of whether or not to tell any of my real life friends or family members about the blog. With help from lots of you, I chose not to do that as it left me the freedom to journal about my inner thoughts without fear of offending anyone by the things that challenged me. Two years ago, that was the best decision and one which I've never regretted. But as I near my goal weight for the final time armed with a new attitude and a much more settled feeling of confidence that I'll be able to maintain my goal weight, I'm finding the desire to share this blog with others.
Many of you know that I also maintain a travel blog that was begun primarily to keep family and friends updated when we travel. Maintaining both blogs has increasingly become a source of frustration and I've come to realize that the frustration lies not in maintaining two blogs, but in trying to keep them separate. The two blogs represent LIFE THROUGH MY EYES and it just no longer feels comfortable trying to decide what to put where and when to post on which.
I began this blog with the goal of having it become a complete lifestyle blog once I reached my goal weight and was successfully maintaining it. That is reflected in the title I originally gave GAINS AND LOSSES: LIFE THROUGH SHARON'S EYES. Now that I am within ten pounds of goal, a place I plan to stay forever, I have made the decision to go ahead and combine the two blogs. In this blog, you'll see very little, if any, change. In fact, what I hope you will see is a return to more frequent posting about a wide variety of topics, adventures, opinions, etc. As I fold the travel blog into this one, you'll see more posts dedicated to a hiking day, a place I've visited or some other travel adventure. Over time, lots of you have told me that's the type of writing you prefer and have styled your own blogs in that same fashion. However, I am well aware that some of you read strictly for the purpose of finding encouragement for your own weight loss and healthy eating efforts and have no interest in reading material on any other subjects. But I do hope the relationships we've established will keep you reading even on days when the writing has nothing to do with any of those things.
What the writing will reflect is a happy, healthy 50-something women looking forward to years of living life at a healthy weight doing things one couldn't have imagined 65 pounds ago.
Even as I write these words, I'm feeling a sense of relief in finally having made this decision. For almost a year, I have felt unable to give EITHER blog the attention it deserved simply because I;ve been so divided over the time it was taking to maintain both in the way I desired. The transition will be seamless - I'll simply write a post on the Travel Blog explaining the change and then redirecting all traffic to this one! Easy as pie.................
On to this weeks adventure................
Blog Friends, now Real Life Friends, Judi and Gene, live full-time in their beautiful RV. I've been reading their blog for so long I can't remember how I first discovered it! We have a Tennessee connection and a shared love for hiking and travel, so it was inevitable that the friendship jump off the written page into time spent together. Judi blogs at Blue Roads To Hiking Trails and we met for the first time last fall for a day of hiking as I made my way to Little Rock for a blogger meet-up. After an amazing trip to Alaska last year, they will be spending a much quieter summer in the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. I am looking forward to many days of hiking. We began that in fine style last week hiking two days which Judi writes about here and here. (FYI - If you enjoy pictures of spring wildflowers, check out both these posts. Her photography is beautiful.) They have now moved over to the Cataloochee area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and I'm headed that way this afternoon to spend some time hiking with them. Cataloochee is at slightly higher elevation levels than the areas in which we've been hiking, so the wildflowers which are waning on our side of the park, should be at peak!
More blog goals and exciting challenges (for me!!) to come, but for now, I've got lots to do this morning before leaving. The community college at which Mr. B teaches, is inaugurating their new President today and I will attend that ceremony just before heading towards North Carolina. Their new President is a good friends of ours (as was the now President Emeritus) and we are both so excitied about the future of the college!
As always, thanks so much for reading. Almost two years ago, when I hit "publish" for the first time, I HAD NO IDEA...............And it just keeps getting better!
How do you describe your blog to other people?