When Blogging World Meets Real World

Butchart Gardens
A magical evening at Butchart Gardens.

I was very moved by a recent comment I received on my blog.

I was asked whether “all was well” since I had been silent for more than a month in the blogosphere. 

Life Happens, To All Of Us

There are many reasons we may hit the pause button or stop blogging for a period of time.

  • We may need to be quiet to divert our time and energy to pressing concerns.
  • We may have health complications.
  • We may need to replenish our body and our spirit. 
  • We may not need a specific reason.  Just time for a break.
  • In my personal life?  An unexpected family crisis.  Then Christmas came along.

After all, blogging should be a fun part of our lives.  Not a self-imposed chore with a strict timeline.  

Yet, I respect how many bloggers set different writing goals and parameters.

Butchart Gardens

The First Post I Read in 2020

I read Shelley’s recent candid post  Quaint Revival   on why and how she continues to blog.  She brought up the concept of clicks as “fly-by clicker types” and other categories of superficial followers. Not a new topic in the blogosphere.

Shelley’s wisdom helped me reflect on the blogging friends I have made and the reasons I blog.

Are they Real People who treat me like a Real Person?  Do they  actually read my stories?  Do they read my comments on their site?  

My Aha Moment

Just like in Real Life, I prefer to hang out with Real People who genuinely share and care.  Blogging friends who truly make a difference.

You impact the Real World in more ways than you may realize.

Five Ways The Blogging World Entered My Real World This Past Month

1.   Thank you, Donna and Richard, for a fun lunch date.  Retirement Reflections    We are long past the introductory Blind Date  (Link)  stage when we met last Spring.  It feels as if we have been friends for a very long time.  It was also a real treat to meet your son and his girlfriend visiting from overseas.  We look forward to many more future get-togethers.

It feels as if we have been friends for a very long time.

 

2.   Thank you, Annika,  Annika Perry  for writing a beautiful children’s book.  I received “Oskar’s Quest” just in time for my granddaughter, Abby’s fourth birthday.  A beautifully illustrated book sharing a message of courage, kindness and friendship.  Abby loves to follow along and she is already reading (memorized) part of the book, especially the sound effects.

 

 

3.    I met Joanne Tracey on her blog  andanyways.com   Joanne’s book, “Happy Ever After” was a finalist in the 2019 Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year (Ruby) Awards. I can see why Joanne won this honour.  “Happy Ever After” is an engaging and compelling story about the nuances and challenges of relationships, marriage and happiness. Suspense, too.  I am almost finished reading this book and I still have no idea how the story will end.   

 

 

4.   Thank you, Yvette,  priorhouse blog  for your inspiration on my title for this post.  I have always remembered a sentence on your blog that resonated with me.  “Don’t you love it when blog world meets the real world?”

5.   Thank you, Suzanne,  Picture Retirement  for commenting on my “radio silence”  and “hoping all was well.”  You entered my Real World and you touched my heart.  

An evening stroll at Butchart Gardens.

I Appreciate The Blogging Community and The Friends I Have Made

  • I learn something new from every post I read.
  • I have the opportunity to vicariously experience parts of our planet through your adventures.
  • I see the world through your lens.
  • I am informed and I am entertained.
  • I learn lessons when you share your vulnerabilities.    
  • I appreciate when you share your wisdom.

Most of all, thank you for your Humanity. You make a difference.

Especially, when you touch someone’s heart.

   

Have you ever been emotionally moved by a comment on your blog?

Have you ever hit the “pause” button and taken a break from blogging?

119 thoughts on “When Blogging World Meets Real World

  1. Wonderful post Erica! You do have to hit the pause button from time to time, your life comes first, no matter what! And then there’s blogging burnout. After a break though, if for family and life reasons or just to step back for a while, it feels good to get back and chat with those you follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very kind and encouraging comment, Dee. I was itching to get back and follow the blogging friends I have made this past year. You are very much part of this supportive and interesting part of the blogosphere. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this post! It definitely resonates with me. I’ve developed some wonderful friends via the blogosphere, and when I step away for a break, I begin to miss this community. I enjoy the meet ups (blind date – internet dating 😆) and although distance may not always allow those physical get togethers, it’s still awesome engaging long distance. One of these summers, I hope to make it up to your neck of the woods, but until I do, cheers to another year of blogging friendships ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Ingrid. Your word, “community” is perfect for blogging friendships! I would love to meet you in our neck of the woods if you have the opportunity. I look forward to connecting and sharing in 2020. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you Erica, blogosphere is a wonderful place to meet and I have grown so much since I entered this domain but I blog at my own pace and just once a week. I have never set any goals or deadlines… I’ve had enough of them!
    So sweet of you for sharing the pictures of your grand daughter, reading Annika’s book! I like how you add a personal touch to your stories. Stay blessed dear friend. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your lovely, encouraging comment, Balroop. Coming from you, this means a lot. I look up to you and admire how you share words that evoke emotion. It was very much a coincidence when Jill featured Annika on her blog this week. I had just given “Oskar’s Quest” to my granddaughter and I am glad I took a few photos. I look forward to sharing with you in 2020.💕

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  4. Wonderful post, Erica/ Erika! I agree with several points you wrote: Blogging should be a fun part of our lives; I prefer to hang out with real people who genuinely share and care (me too). I do read your stories on your blog. I also read and very much appreciate your thoughtful comments on my site. When I travel, I don’t blog so my real life adventures are my blogging breaks 🙂 Thank you for sharing your photos. They’re all pretty and sweet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are also someone I look up to, Natalie. I have learned a great deal from you. The places you visit, how you share, how you maintain a positive spin on life when I suspect/know you also have your challenges. Thank you for your lovely and supportive comment.💕

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  5. Without our blogs, I would have never met you virtually… and never in person like I was thrilled to do last summer. I understand the need to take a little break now and then, I’ve always come back from the ones I’ve taken with a new vigor and lots of ideas for posts. It was lovely to see that picture of you and Donna and the gang, and the one of your adorable granddaughter with her new book. You are a warm and generous soul and I’m always pleased to see a notice of a post by you in my email inbox.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janis, You were one of my first responders. A real engagement. A real person. 🙂 I learned a great deal from our group meetup this Summer with Donna, Kathy, Jude, and Ann. I think we touched on layers of blogging, feelings, that do not always come across in the blogosphere. I know I felt it was a safe place to share and learn.

      Janis, you suggested putting my photo with a few words on the side of my blog. Yay, I finally did it! It took me a long time to get the little widget of my face removed from my heading photo. I never liked it there, although, I couldn’t remove it without removing many parts of my blog.

      Thank you for your kind, supportive and encouraging words.💕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic post, Erica! Maybe some people take blogging too seriously, focusing on stats, followers, views, etc. For me, blogging is not about any of those things, it’s about friendships, community and kindness. Keep doing what you’re doing, friend. Your blog is wonderful! I love the pictures of Abby enjoying Annika’s book! As as author, it’s a hard feeling to describe when you see someone reading your book. Happy New Year! ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Jill, That was a major coincidence in the timing of your post and Abby receiving “Oskar’s Quest” as a gift. I had the photos all ready in my file and easy to share one with you. I love your words, friendship, community and kindness. Thank you for your kind, supportive words. Happy New Year!💕

      Like

  7. Hi Erica,
    I, too, wondered about the “radio silence” and was glad that Suzanne checked in with you…had this post not popped up in my email I would have done so as you are usually so omnipresent in my blogosphere. 🙂 But, I also did not want to intrude on your life/space.
    Sometimes we do need a break – and the reasons are our own. I hope things are getting back to equilibrium.
    And, you know that I consider many of my blogging friends “real” friends…with an IRL meeting in the horizon somewhere.
    Be well, friend.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think it was the specific timing of Suzanne’s note that touched my heart. When a kind word makes a big difference in your day. I do know what you mean, Nancy, when we want to keep parts of our private life/space private.

      I very much consider you one of my “real” blogging friends. I think we know more about each other than some people in our actual world. I really enjoy reading about your recent cruise experience. You bring an interesting and entertaining spin to the experience. I suspect our paths will cross in real life one day and I truly look forward to meeting you and Dan. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Erica,

    When someone goes silent in December, I usually don’t worry. It’s a busy time for most. That being said, glad to see a post from you again! I hope all is once again well.
    I love the blogging community and the people I’ve met there and in real life as a result of blogging. I’m not interested in creating a niche or brand or any of those things a lot of bloggers who want to make money or fame are, and none of the bloggers I like to read seem to be either.
    I am moved by comments all the time on my blog. For me it’s quite touching when someone reaches out to me on ye olde blogge and takes the time to write a note letting me know my words resonated with them.
    I have also taken extended time-outs on my blog over the years – usually when my life was going to hell in some way. I hope never to use that “excuse” any more….now I hope I am only neglecting my blog out of laziness. 🤣

    Deb

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right, Deb, many blogs go silent. Some blogs seem inspired to share more at Christmas. Donna and I briefly talked about this when we had the opportunity to see each other in December.

      A agree with you, too, how touched I am by many comments. I think Suzanne’s note extra resonated with me because of specific timing and specific events.

      I realize you are undergoing a major transformation in your life right now, Deb. You have heard it before, how you will be busier than ever even when you are no longer officially at work. Of course, you will be choosing how to spend your time. 🙂 I look forward to being part of your Real World when you get here.💕

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Erica – As usual, your post is filled with many brilliant gems. I am still on my blogging break but am just about ready to pull the switch and reemerge! It was wonderful to meet up with you and Chuck during the holidays. I agree, that it feels like we have been friends for a very long time. And that picture of Abby with Annika’s book?! That is absolutely adorable! I look forward to our further meetups!

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    1. Thank you for your very kind, supportive, encouraging words, Donna. You definitely are a huge part of my blogging world entering my real world. I look forward to reading and hearing about your future endeavours and adventures. There will be a sixth meet up soon in the near future! 😉💕

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  10. Hi Erica. Great post. I have been MIA a few times but usually it is just because I’ve been busy with work or it is an “off” month with no prompts to follow. I find I can post more regularly when I plan ahead. It is surprising that people actually notice when some time has passed between posts. Glad all is okay with you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You inspire me with your energy, Janet. Helping people smile on a regular basis is a virtue. You are right, how I was surprised when people notice when someone has been MIA. A kind word is always appreciated. Thank you!🙂

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  11. I find blogging naturally declines in December – you are not alone! It’s not that I deliberately hit the pause button, it just happens. I also find the multiple clickers very annoying (no-one can read and Like half a dozen posts in two minutes!) and tend to ignore them. I used to be meticulous about paying a return call to everyone who liked, followed or commented, but it got out of hand. Now I only investigate new commenters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t think much about blogging patterns throughout the year, until this year. I can see how a “pause” button makes sense. I was definitely thinking about your beautiful and interesting blog, Anabel, with how I have the opportunity to learn more about other parts of our planet. Thank you for sharing and connecting.🙂

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  12. Thank you so much for both reading my little book and calling it out. I too have “met” some fabulous people in the world of blogging – of which I’m thankful you’re one of those.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not know what to expect from your book, Joanne, and I was pulled into this story. I can see parts of myself and our marriage. I had to Google the Fairy Bread Recipe. I had never heard about this until now. I always enjoy reading your blog. I also really like following you on Instagram. 2020 will be a great year!

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  13. Wow! 😀 Erica, I was still flying high from the wonderful photo of Abby with my book which you put in the comment on Jill’s post yesterday and then I return from a long day’s travel to see your post here! I’m touched to tears! Abby is adorable, sweet and I love her interest in Oskar and his Quest. It means the world to me to see her intense concentration, her joy in the book – you have no idea how much of a boost you’ve given me today. That she is reading (memorising) certain parts is absolutely fantastic and the sound effects are something I very much hoped children especially would enjoy. Thank you so much for your amazing words about the book and posting all these photos of Abby and you reading the book – they are priceless. You are a real gem and true – real – friend! ❤️

    Your post overall is superb and I often think about the real world and that of blogging -you’ve captured the moment the two meet beautifully, full of reflection, joy, sharing, caring. How special that you could meet up with Donna and Richard and I am taken with Joanna’s book and will look at it straight away! Sounds just what I need! Yvette, I’ve known for a while and she is always so thoughtful and wise.

    Erica, I hope the crises that kept you from blogging was not too serious and all is sorted now and hope that you could all have a wonderful Christmas together. I have taken breaks now and then, sometimes explaining why, other times not, overall people understand and happy to see you back. Which is the case with me … I’ve missed you, kept checking where you were and hoping all was okay.

    Finally, I’d like to finish with your words back to you: ‘Thank you for your Humanity. You make a difference.
    Especially, when you touch someone’s heart.”

    Love & hugs xx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am still in awe, Annika, how this past week evolved. I had just taken the photos of Abby opening up her gift “Oskar’s Quest” so they were in an immediate file. Two days later, Jill’s post featuring you, was in my email. Easy for me to share the photo. Truly Blog World meeting Real World. You know how children like to read a book (have me read it to them) over and over again. Abby searched for the little green spiders and she was delighted to find them. Fun for me to read, too. Thank you!

      I have learned more about blogging breaks after writing this post. Different reasons, some private and some with explanations. A lump in my throat with your kind words, Annika. Thank you for being you and making this world a better place.💕

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  14. Hi Erica, thank you for viewing my note as it was intended. I assumed that you were taking a holiday break, but something felt off. What a sweet, thoughtful post to re-enter this unique forum. Funny, how people worlds apart with nothing but a keyboard to connect them develop real connections. Cheers to moving forward with optimism for 2020!

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    1. You started it all, Suzanne. You never know when a kind word can make all the difference in someone’s day and in someone’s life. Thank you! And, yes, to developing Real connections. I look forward to reading and sharing in 2020!💕

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  15. Hi Erica- I hope the crisis you mention was not too awful and was resolved? Welcome back to the blogosphere. I so enjoy and value the few friends I have in this sphere. I’ve been touched many times by perceptive comments made on my blog. I’d love to invite all my blogging friends to my home here in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. Walks talks tea coffee wine good food – the whole shebang – is my fantasy –

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    1. I agree with you, Susan, on perceptive comments. I really enjoy reading your blog and learning more about another part of our planet, South Africa. I appreciate seeing the photos of some of your adventures. Yes, walks, talks, coffee, tea, wine, is appreciated wherever we are in the world. Thank you for your lovely comment. I appreciate connecting and sharing more in 2020.

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  16. Hi Erica,
    I enjoyed your post and its reflections. I loved your photographs as well – beautiful, especially of you and your granddaughter reading – precious. I hope the family crisis has been healed and that you had a wonderful Christmas.
    I agree with engagement on blogs and appreciate all comments that are made on mine – including your wonderfully supportive comments. Thank you. I don’t always have time to comment so sometimes when I read I may just leave a like to let the writer know that I have visited and read. I see it as just a quick ‘Hi. I’m thinking of you.’ I know not everyone uses the likes that way and some ‘like’ a post without reading, but that’s not me.
    I’m so pleased we’ve met and are getting to know each other.
    PS I also enjoyed hearing about Annika’s book – what a great recommendation.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I do understanding the acknowledging” like,” Norah. Like you say, it is a way to say you have visited, read and thinking of you. I enjoy reading your site and the gems I can incorporate into my life as a grandmother who reads a great deal to her grandchildren. I know you would like Annika’s book. Beautiful visually and a great story. It is fun, also for the adult to read (over and over and over, again.) Thank you for sharing your lovely, supportive comment.

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  17. Aw, Erika, I’m so touched by your callout for Quaint Revival. Thank you, dear! Your post is a wonderful example of how to connect with other bloggers and to share the love of blogging. Nicely done, and much appreciated! I agree with you, it is heart-warming when a fellow blogger reaches out to us when we’ve been missing from the action. You’ve found a wonderful tribe of friends here. For me, a blogging break is a good idea for when I need to recharge and refresh my own thoughts. Happy 2020 and I’m glad you’re back to writing. PS – your grand-daughter is adorable and your smile is so beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 830 posts, Shelley! You have learned a great deal and I appreciate your candid, sharing of yourself and your insights. Me, only 40 posts, so far, so I am definitely still on a steep learning curve. Your post did help me reflect on the blogging experience. Thank you for your kind, supportive comment. I look forward to connecting and sharing in 2020!

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  18. Dear E/E,

    You’ve nailed it again – I can feel such a strong humanity and full heart coming through your words. I do hope your family crisis was resolved and all is well.

    Love the recommendations for children and adult book choices ! And love the family photos that bring it all to life.

    I kind of hit the pause button when I published one post to cover both November and December.

    I decided sometime back I would publish something only once a month and since I can spend days and weeks on one piece, it keeps me occupied and my creative antenna engaged. That works for me in my migratory retirement schedule too.

    Yes I’ve received incredible comments and coincidentally a good deal have come from you. It seems you pour your full heart into all you do, whether it’s cuddling with your granddaughter or supporting another blogger. I am personally so honored and appreciative. I also love it when family stop by my blog and leave a little comment – since that’s so rare, it really makes my day. Oh the simple pleasures of life.

    This is a lovely piece to start out 2020 – you draw us into your world E, and I’m enriched through the interchange!

    Love
    Susan Grace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really thinking about you, Susan, when I thought about how we share our vulnerabilities and our wisdom. You share the lessons you learn along the way, and some of your coping skills. You help me think in a different way, a new perspective, a deeper meaning. You also “get it.” Your words enter my life and enrich my life long past after initially reading them.

      I look forward to seeing your posts in my inbox, whenever the timing is right for you. Thank you for your thoughtful, supportive, insightful comment. I very much appreciate our connection💕💖

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      1. Dear E,

        What a beautiful, deeply penetrating comment. I think I could just think some thoughts and you would get it immediately, understand and then vocalize it.

        You have a gift!

        I simply have a real need to look beyond the surface and explore life on deeper levels. I think that is why I like your writing and style so much!

        Love
        Susan Grace

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, Susan, thank you! Your comments help bolster my confidence and I do need and appreciate this at times. One of your many gifts is how you bring out the best in others. I am with you on “explore life on deeper levels.” The latest book I am into is “Metahuman” by Deepak Chopra. He definitely explores life on many levels. We will continue supporting each other. It helps a great deal in the world of writing and in the real world. I don’t know whether you are still visiting your husband or back helping with the grandchildren. There is no moss growing under your feet right now. Hugs!💕💗

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          1. Here’s a funny little tidbit. My sister-in-law Kathleen used to say to me: “there is no moss growing under your feet.” !! That was the first time anyone had said that to me and now you are the second!

            Wrapping up my little visit with hubby and heading back to daughter place this weekend. One of these days I am going to grow roots in one place and I’m looking forward to it. My “moss days” will be behind me – it will be time!

            Always love your comments!!

            ❤️❤️❤️
            Susan

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  19. A logger may stop for a lunch break or to move on to the next tree or to take the time to sharpen their saw. Whatever the reason, their silence is necessary for them to do what loggers do. Airlines warn you in case of an emergency to save yourself first then help others. A caterpillar encases themselves only to emerge as a beautiful butterfly. Whatever your reason for “radio silence” I support you. Based on their comments your tribe are awesome, caring people. I now understand why you blog.

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    1. Wow, great analogy on many levels. Logger…..Blogger. Sharpen the Saw. (Covey) I did not know you were full of such Wisdom. 😉 Yes, you are right. Awesome and caring people. Thank you for reading, commenting and being so supportive. Yes, you made me cry. You win! ❤️

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  20. I can relate to the ‘radio silence’. I seem to be stuck in that mode right now 😏

    I do love this blogging community and the wonderful people I’ve met here – both virtually and in real life. I am often moved by the stories and comments. I’m in awe of the brilliance of so many, and frequently find inspiration in what others have done and are doing.

    It’s nice to see you back and I’m looking forward to more of your stories and beautiful photos.

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    1. Joanne, I was definitely thinking about you re various reasons for hitting the pause button. I am purposefully using the word “pause” for you. Although, a very personal decision. You are right about constantly being inspired by the blogging community. Thank you for your kind, supportive and encouraging words. I know we will stay connected this year.xx

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  21. LIFE. Sometimes we are so busying living it, there is no time left over to write about it. I haven’t taken planned blogging breaks but LIFE has caused me to take breaks at time. One year, I was tyring to d a blog post a day for the month of October. Was about a week from completing the month’s posts when my mom attempted suicide. All of a sudden writing blog posts didn’t matter much at all.

    Glad to see a post from you and know that you are still blogging in this shiny new year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have been really enjoying your Instagram posts, Leslie. A sparkly, new, perfect little Grandbaby! A blessing! What was her actual birthdate? We just celebrated two beginning of January birthdays.

      I am very sorry to hear about your Mother’s attempted suicide. I cannot imagine such a challenging time. Everything else would not matter.

      Your blog site is beautiful and your blogging goals are very inspirational. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I look forward to connecting and sharing in 2020!

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  22. I’m fascinated by how bloggers connect both online and in real life. The emotional connections are real even if the geographical connections are distant. It’s fun that you have found some people in real life who happen to write blogs… or are these people bloggers in real life who happen to live nearby? 😉

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    1. I agree with you Ally. I am not sure how and why many of us ended up connecting. Some of the timing coincidences when posting give me goosebumps. I have not met other bloggers in real life, until I met Donna (Retirement Reflections). We met online and then eventually found out we live two hours from each other. We seem to have a lot in common and our husbands are comfortable hanging out with us. Fun! 🙂

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  23. You share a lot of wisdom here, Erica! So true that blogging has to remain fun and not become a chore. It’s up to us if and when we keep it going. And what we share. 🙂

    Like you, I’m into real people and I enjoy the communications we have on our blogs in the comment section. It might be surprising to non-bloggers, but by reading posts and creating a genuine dialogue, us bloggers really get to know each other. Realizing people care about your life, lifestyle, or absence on the blog touches our hearts.

    I hope your family crisis was one that could be (and has been) resolved. And, I want to point out that I really appreciate and enjoy your thoughtful, genuine, and personal comments on my blog posts. Thank you for reading, thank you for interacting the way you do, and thank you for being a blogging pal! If only I knew you lived on Vancouver Island when Mark and I visited a year and a half ago!

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    1. Liesbet, Thank you for your kind, supportive and encouraging words. You and your blog are truly an inspiration to me. I learn a great deal from you and I appreciate how you genuinely share, the good and the not so good. You, Mark (and now Maya’s) lifestyle sounds idyllic, although you share the pros and cons. It would have been a real treat to meet you and Mark when you were here. Your name was brought up in our meet up this Summer (in a good, loving way). I do appreciate your connection and I look forward to more reading and sharing in 2020.💕

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  24. This is such a great post, Erica. It’s important to me that blogging always remains something that I enjoy vs. something I “have to do”. I’m sorry to hear that you had a family crisis. I, too, am thankful for this blogging community. And in answer to your questions, I have been emotionally moved by comments on my blog. It still amazes me that people take time out of their day to read my words and then make thoughtful commentary on those words (and you are one of those who does and that I appreciate dearly). I have also taken many pauses. Family matters are my priority and there is often an endless stream that demand my attention. And I feel blessed to have the ability to pause and give it. I hope that your 2020 is beginning beautifully. xx

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    1. Thank you for your very kind, supportive words, Amy. I am with you on how I appreciate when people read my posts and give me thoughtful responses. I often learn more from the comments than writing the actual story. I am often very touched by the kind, encouraging words. I met you and your blog early on, Amy. Your quotes are often what I really needed to hear that day. Very much a coincidence. Continue shining your light, Amy. It makes all the difference.💕

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  25. Hi Erica – I hope all’s well in your world now. I see bloggers take a hiatus reasonably regularly as they travel, or burn out, or have family issues, or just take a Christmas break. I’m so glad yours was temporary and that you’re back to be an encouragement and inspiration for another year.
    2020 is going to be a year of growth and change for me and having my blogging community to support and encourage me through it means the world to me, so I’m delighted that you’re back and part of it all again.
    BTW did you see my request for guest bloggers on my #WOTY post (9th Jan)? I’d love you to put your hand up and send me an email – I always enjoy reading what you have to say and would love you to be a part of it all. xx

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    1. Thank you for your very kind, supportive words, Leanne. You have a beautiful blog filled with integrity, wisdom and gems. I did read your January 9th post just now and left a note for you. I would be honoured to write a guest post and be part of this positive series. I will send you an email to discuss timing and parameters.

      Thank you again, Leanne for enriching my life and many others that have the privilege to cross paths with you. We will all help make 2020 and beyond great! Thank you for including me in your “Symphony.” xx

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      1. Hi Erica – I’m so glad you want to be part of my Symphony series – I love your positivity and how you’re living this season of life so YAY!! Send me an email and lets do this sooner rather than later xx
        Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

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  26. Sometimes I consciously take a break and other times it just happens. Either because there’s much going on or I have no inspiration. Right now, I’m struggling to get to my laptop even though I have so many thoughts swirling through my head. But this is my year to adapt (WOTY) and I have to remind myself that it includes my blogging. Nice to hear you’re back at it.

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    1. Thank you for reading and your thoughtful comment, Linda. I get it on thoughts swirling through my head. I find it can be a challenge to harness them in and get into the flow of writing. I look forward to reading, sharing and connecting in 2020!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Yes, I love this supportive community. I am fortunate I had the opportunity to meet some bloggers in real life this year. A privilege. I just stopped by your beautiful site and read your inspirational post. Nice to meet you!

      Like

  27. Hello Erica and welcome back to #MLSTL for 2020. Isn’t it a warm feeling when someone actually takes the time to check if you are okay? It might just be a small gesture but can certainly mean so much. I loved your post and it really personifies what blogging means to many of us. It is the connection. I was fortunate to have met Donna and Richard last year when we visited Vancouver Island and I’ve met Jo a couple of times before – her smile lifts my spirits. I also appreciate the comments you leave on my blog, Erica. Not just a quick response but well thoughout. Thank you for sharing with us at #MLSTL and it is lovely to have you as part of our circle. Take care xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, You are right on the “warm feeling.” I think it had a more significant effect on me because of the timing of the comment. I, too, appreciate a kind word, especially during challenging moments. Thank you for all of your care, energy and information researching and sharing your posts, Sue. You make a big difference in people’s lives and I don’t know whether you receive all the positive feedback you deserve. I know we will continue to make this “circle” a fun, thriving place in 2020! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Hi Erica, this made so much sense to me and I was nodding along at your words! I love receiving comments (and yours are always so welcome and supportive) that I do feel as if I know the other bloggers I regularly interact with.I miss blogging when I have a break and I miss reading words from other bloggers who I follow, like you! We all seem to be on the same wavelength and could just pop in for a cuppa and a chat at any time, – well that’s how it feels to me! I especially like the ‘I see the world through your lens’ comment – as that’s so true! I enjoy reading about others, how they see their world and how they generously share it with others. I think we’re all very special people and your post just shows me again why I love this blogging community 🙂 Thanks so much for your words and thoughts and it’s lovely to see you back x #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your phrase, “same wavelength,” Deb. I have learned a great deal this past 1 1/2 years blogging. We are more alike than different. It is as if some of us have led parallel lives in different hemispheres on our planet. My heart goes out to you and your family with the challenging, scary year when Dottie came into your lives. I love how you share the progress she is making. She is adorable! You also touch our hearts. Then, of course, the fires. I think and hope a “wavelength” of care and energy helps through these challenging times. Thank you for your support and encouraging words. I look forward to connecting in 2020! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Erica,

    I am new to reading your blog, I came from MLSTL and so thankful I did. I can tell you have made an impact on others simply by how many comments I had to pass on the way down here!!! 78! That is a rarity these days but you seem to bring out the gab in people. I sure did feel like commenting. 🙂

    I had a blog years ago, I believe back 2005/2006 and during that time I made friends from all over the world! England, France, Canada, Philippines, Denmark, United Emirates and so many more. The blogging community can be tight knit and I love that about it. We all supported each other.

    When I came back around 2017 I worried the blogging community had changed because social media has become the norm in community but I am starting to see it hasn’t. The wonderful bloggers with MLSTL have welcomed me with open arms! AND my “old” blogging buddies are still around! Some still going strong!

    It’s wonderful to meet your online friends because they truly are friends.

    Warmly,
    Allison
    MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really nice to meet you, Allison! Very interesting on your blogging journey. Yes, on making friends from around the world. I was very surprised about this when I started blogging (about 1 1/2 years ago.) We learn more about each other in the blogging environment than some of the people in my real life. It is like meeting an old friend, the few times I have had the privilege for a meet up.

      It is also a privilege to connect with you. Thank you for your lovely comment and sharing your thoughts. I greatly appreciate the follow. I look forward to stopping by your blog and learning more about you. 🙂 Erica

      Like

  30. Well, that is lovely to hear that your absence was noted – and that all was well. People online really do become ‘real’ as well, even the ones we don’t get to meet in real life, though fun when we do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like how you said this, Christine, online people become real as well. I hope there is a wavelength of positive energy travelling throughout our planet when we make connections. I am enjoying following you on Instagram, too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  31. Hi Erica! Okay I am WAY-AY-AY late on reading and commenting on this post but like you…it is so easy to get caught up in real life and have to make choices about how and where we will spend our time. Like you, even when I LOVE another blogger and their writing, sometimes I just don’t have the time (or energy) to get around to visit everyone. I just have to trust and believe that my true friends understand that it isn’t “rejection” in any way, but simply a choice to make a boundary. What I do try to do is to hop around every few weeks and say “Hi!” to those I feel the most resonance…and that happens especially with bloggers that I have met in person. But after 8 years of blogging I confess that I am getting pickier about who gets my time. You my friend are always in that list. May your 2020 be happy, fulfilling and meaningful both in the blogging world and IRL. ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kathy, I totally get it on time and energy. I think mid life bloggers have learned about setting priorities and boundaries. We cannot do everything and be everywhere at the same time. I have learned a great deal from you Kathy. I appreciate the research you do on thought-provoking subjects. You genuinely care about your readers. It was a real treat to meet you this past Summer! I look forward to connecting and sharing in 2020!

      Like

  32. I hope your break helped, I found you on #MLSTL which is a chance to read and comment on blogs you can relate to. It’s good to see so many comments relating to this post. Well done Erica and thank you for your comment on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi there – I loved this post and I am honored to be mentioned.
    and extra glad to be blog friends.

    and personally – I get annoyed sometimes when folks say certain things – and I love the way you created this post.
    in my opinion, I think we never need to explain a blog pause or break. Unless we want to.
    and I think of Amy M’s comment about how the blogosphere is always there for us when we return.

    and a pet peeve is when someone talks a lot about a break they are taking and then they pause of what feels like a blink of an eye – and without being critical I wonder why they spent sooooo much time talking about the break they were taking. hahha
    but then I also know that as human beings – our blogs become a part of us and we uniquely experience different moods with this endeavor.
    I know a lady who left blogging because she was always comparing comment counts (really – it was one of her pet peeves that she had little comment interaction – and her expectations were off).

    anyhow, when I saw that you did not post – my initial thoughts were just that it was the way you blogged.
    I have actually thought about you a few times over the months – partly because we are kindred and I am so happy yo have met you.
    But I also thought about your blogging style once or twice because you seem to be doing it right.
    You do not seem one here for numbers – or to do some of the things Shelley’s post mentioned – ya know?
    you just seem to be here to share parts of life and to meet others – and to do shout out for books and to highlight parts of your life during different seasons.
    and I love that.
    I find it refreshing and so if anyone ever asks you again “why” you are not posting more” – in my opinion you should just say – this is how I blog and my next post will come out when the time is right. __

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Yvette, Thank you for your thoughtful, candid comment. This whole blogging thing is very interesting. There seem to be many different approaches and philosophies when blogging. No right or wrong. I also find it fascinating how bloggers from around the world seem to find each other. Our paths cross. Our energies intersect.

      Thank you for the supportive and encouraging words. I am glad our paths crossed.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  34. PS – forgot to mention that at the start of this month I knew I was due for a bit of a blog pause – and was not sure how to ease into it.
    Still trying to figure that out – but the pulling back mode has unfolded and plan to pull back more in the next few weeks.
    Not necessarily because I want to – but I know I need to and I know I will stay fresh.
    Kind of like taking a pause “before” burnout kicks in.
    and any hobby runs the risk of burnout.
    this is why breaks are crucial.
    and I think of TV shows – or even book releases –
    they are paced and give us time to watch – or read – and then wait a bit for eh next one.
    Pauses and breaks are crucial – 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The “blog pause” is intriguing. I was not aware how blogging can be a full time job. Along with your existing full time job, and of course, our priorities. Our family and our life. You make a very interesting point on how we do wait and pick up where we left off with TV seasons and book series. I love how you say “pauses and breaks are crucial.” As you know, Yvette, this applies to all parts of our life. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing!🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like taking blog stuff and was sharing with the blogger “Clive” that my view of success is to where we come to blog and still enjoy it.
        Even though at times I am not in the mood to post – I might “make myself” do it and then feel better once it is up and a few friends come around. Other times – I might have two a day (well little photo challenge posts) –
        But the important thing for us all to recall is that when or if a lot of stress connects to the blogging experience – we are doing something wrong –
        Also – I am not even sure what full time and part time blogging means.
        I have heard a few bloggers mention this – like when they are in the weeds or feeling a bit “pulled on” they might say they are not a full time blogger.
        And I guess that means they don’t have so many hours to devote? Or does that mean they don’t do it for money and they don’t have ads?
        And how do we define full time bloggers?
        By the hours each day? By number of posts? By number of visits –
        Because I know a few retired folks who co d maybe be a full time blogger but they post thrice weekly and visit a lot. I know some who work and post every day but they visit others very little .
        I know some who….
        Well my point is that most of us are hobby bloggers – at least in my circle and I usually stop following folks who have tons of affiliate links. I don’t mind the ads that are even between comments nowadays – even tho annoying .
        But most of us are hobby bloggers and we will have seasons where we are in the weeds and seasons where we have more time.
        Ya know
        And in my six years of blogging here – I have had a few periods of not working (either between contracts or took time off for school stuff- etc) but even then I drew boundaries because the black hole of any enjoyable hobby can suck someone in.
        So it is about balance and not if we are a full time or part time blogger –

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Yvette. “Enjoy it?…..a lot of stress?……full time or part time?…….hobby?……and especially balance and boundaries (two favourite words!) I appreciate you sharing your wisdom!

          Liked by 1 person

  35. It’s been very hard for me to differentiate between the blogging world and the real world because there has been so much crossover in my life. I’ve met at least a dozen online friends later on IRL (and ended up marrying one, lol). I’ve taken an occasional brief break, and my productivity and output occasionally drop, but I always return full of inspiration. Pretty sure I’ll be blogging until the day I die. Probably even ON the day I die…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mark, I really like your phrase, “online friends.” I have met a few blogging friends this past year and it turned out to be a fun, comfortable, interesting date. We already new a great deal about each other. Wow, on the marrying one. Meant to be. I have been blogging less than 1 1/2 years and I can see how blogging pauses/breaks happen for many reasons. I am not sure where I am going with this blogging thing in the long run. I am definitely keeping it a fun, creative part of my life. Maybe, I’ll be like you. Until the day I die. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. I’m thoroughly touched by YOUR post here, Erica. To be honest, I never pay attention to the “likes” on my posts. As you say, they’re just a click. But I learn SO MUCH from the comments (and when I visit a post, I never just click “like,” I comment and share and feel like I connect with not only that blogger, but all the other commenters on that post). Have I ever been “moved” by a post? Often, as in, each time I read a post I feel like I’m sitting in front of that blogger sharing a cup of tea and our innermost lives. Have I ever taken a blogging break? Yes, but at the most, two-three weeks. When I first started blogging, I only took a week off once in 12 months for a couple of years, But then I read posts by other bloggers that said how healthy it is to take several blogging breaks during a year. Give it a rest. And I found that helpful, because I feel guilty if I don’t read posts by all of my blogging friends every week, and that takes up a LOT of time.
    I’m hoping that you and yours are okay, Erica. That this blogging break has been helpful, but that you also realize that we DO miss each other when one goes ‘away’ for a bit of time.
    Oh, and I love your reviews here! I have Annika’s children’s book, which is so lovely, And I’m off to get Happy Ever After – sounds like a great read to me. That’s the OTHER thing about us bloggers. We support each other in such lovely ways. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pamela, Thank you for taking the time to read my post and share your thoughts. I think you are on a ‘warming up your bare branches’ break.

      When I read a blogging friend’s post I also feel as if I have been invited into their home. Like you say, Pamela, sharing their innermost lives.

      I did not give blogging breaks much thought until I wrote this post. I have learned a great deal from all of the comments (as I usually do.) “Healthy” “Give it a rest.” And, yes, a supportive community. One of the reasons we continue to ‘visit each other’s home.’ 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m kind of on my blogging break starting this morning, but I don’t start warming up my bare branches until next week. Can’t wait to feel some sun on my back …. and face… and arms. But while on break, I still stop by and read the posts of others. Sorta like the song: “We Are Family!” One great kind caring blogging family.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. Erica, glad to see you back. Life has its difficult times, and I hope things are going better for you and your family now. It has been a source of wonder for me to discover how supportive and close knit the community of bloggers can be. And of course, it’s even better when we get to know our blogging friends in real life.

    Jude

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Abby is adorable! I share your love of the blogging community and all of the inspiration and support that I have received from it over the past 6 years. And I totally get blogging breaks. With a full-time travel schedule, I read blogs post blogs, and respond to comments on a best-efforts basis. I am blessed to have met so many patient bloggers that remain good friends/readers given my extended absences. Love to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, I am quickly learning there is no right or wrong way to blog and when and how to comment. Everyone’s lifestyle and timelines vary a great deal. You have an exceptionally beautiful site and you are a positive part of the internet. I am delighted how our paths have crossed. Thank you for your lovely comment and I look forward to staying connected. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Hi Erica – very late … but loved your post – so true to life, as too seeing Butchart Gardens and their lights … in some ways I envy you being on Vancouver Island, but am glad I’m home back in ‘my land’! I think so many blogging friends are just brilliant – and it’s been an eye-opening community spirited time … love your granddaughter – while Annika’s book looks to be so much fun. Have a good year – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely to hear from you Hilary! You also live in a beautiful part of our planet. I think we have both learned how home is wherever we are. I greatly appreciate the supportive, kind, smart, witty blogging community from around the world. Like you say, Hilary, “eye-opening.” I look forward to staying connected.

      Liked by 1 person

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