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Why do we blog?

Sunday, September 06, 2020

A couple of months ago I was going through a rough time dealing with the limitations imposed by Covid-19. Peter and I are 80 and 76 years old. One of the things that attracted us when we met 20 years ago was our love of travel, and the many places we wanted to visit. As teachers, Peter and his first wife spent two months every summer travelling, so he had seen a lot more of the world than I had, but he wanted to see more. I was afraid that Covid-19 might put an end to our travels, and especially to cruising, which we both love.

At the same time, I was feeling guilty that this was bothering me so much. No one I knew had contracted Covid, let alone died. No one in my immediate family was a healthcare worker, dealing with very ill patients every day. I had a home, a loving family, a garden when I wanted to go outside, and enough food in the fridge, freezer and cupboards to keep us going for a long time. We even had a supply of paper towels and toilet paper.

Then I came across a SP article called “Good Grief”, which gave me permission to own my feelings. I was grieving the loss of the life we planned so carefully for ourselves. Neither Peter nor I had high paying jobs during our work life, but we lived within our means and when we married, we both had mortgage-free homes. We sold them, built a new house, and continued to live frugally. When I retired, I sold my car. Yes, it would have been nice to keep it, but travelling was more important. Our pensions allowed us to take one “nice” trip each year. We hoped to do this for another 5 years.

I didn’t blog about this at the time, perhaps because I was afraid of the criticism I might get. I’m blogging about it today, though, because I need to say that when I blog it isn’t because I want you to solve my problems. Please just allow me to own my feelings. If I want help, I will ask for it.

Yesterday one of my Spark Friends took her page offline because of the responses she received to a very personal blog that she wrote. She hadn’t asked readers to solve her problems. She just needed to write it out.

So please be kind when you comment on someone’s blog. And remember what Thumper’s mother said, “if you can’t say something good about something, don’t say nothing at all”.

Thanks for reading.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • FITNIK2020
    It is so easy to be judgmental. This is well written reminder. Sorry that your friend took her blog down... I hope I was not one to be negative... I have that tendency. You will travel again... give it a few more months.
    211 days ago
  • JURASSICSUE
    Thank you for posting Coach Dean's article "Good Grief". I really miss him - I think he was the best of the SP experts so it was lovely to find something he wrote.

    213 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    I think the isolation and limitations brought about by Covid are getting into our heads in ways we don’t even realize - lack of opportunities to travel, to meet friends. When I do interact with other people, I feel a kind of shock because I suddenly notice how out of practice I am.

    Traveling is one of the things that make life worth living, and we can’t do it now. I feel apprehensive about retirement, even though I’ve planned it. I feel lethargic, I think because of the lack of stimulation and the hot steamy summer. I sense this feeling from other blogs too, but I don’t know if I’m just reading my own feelings into other people’s writing.
    213 days ago
  • LORI-K
    Hi Gail! I empathize with you so very much on the broken dreams of travel right now. I hope and pray we can get back to doing the things we love, SOON, without fear of contracting covid. Travel is a big part of the picture for many of us and it has been so sad and disappointing.
    Hang in there. I hope your roof is all done and your flower beds survived the workers. Ya’lls big special amazing day is coming soon. I am SO excited for you!
    I appreciate your support for me, Gail. Thank you for this blog and your super kind words. All is well now and I am happy to be back Sparking with my favorite Sparkers!
    Hugs!
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    213 days ago
  • RUTHIEBEAR
    emoticon I know others mean well, but you have expressed yourself beautifully. My hope for you is that you will soon be able to make your dreams come true again.. emoticon
    213 days ago
  • SPARKPEOPLE1951
    I know what you mean. Hubby and I were planning to do some traveling this summer -then we wanted to go to Italy for our "50th" in November. Well it is not going to happen. So hopefully we will be able to go next year and this Covid thing will be behind us. Hopefully they will get a vaccine that works and we can put this to rest.
    Enjoy your day - and keep those travel brochures in view so you can keep dreaming.
    214 days ago
  • PATRICIAANN46
    Since March, when we learned about Covid, my blogs lean more toward humor. If I can cause someone to laugh out loud or even just smile, my mission is accomplished. The blogs may be viewed as fluff, but that is all I want them to be.............a lightness of being when we have such heaviness around us. There are so many excellent articles on this site about health and wellness and exercise, etc. that I could not really add to them. I have also found that the loudest objectors are the people who are not happy with anything in life and can only spout the negativity about any subject. The people who have become friends on Spark know what I am aiming for and we talk almost daily, so if they are OK with what I write, that is what I am aiming for.

    Have a great Labor Day.
    215 days ago
  • 75HEALTHYME

    I try not to offend folks when I write a comment on their posting... whether it is a blog or the community feed or the friend feed.. or any where we leave our though (of the moment.. or eternity) But I often fear that I have offended someone.
    and if I have I would hope that they would send me a SparkMail letting me know I had offended them...
    Maybe what I wrote was not read with the same intent that I thought I was writing.
    Sorry your friend was offended hurt by someone's comment.
    If your friend does not let them know... they will probably never know that what they wrote hurt your friend.

    I do tend to say right up front when I am posting a blog that I am just letting my feelings pour out... that I am NOT looking for help.. I am just needing to express my feelings at that moment in time..

    Hope by 2021 cruising season there will be a viable vaccine and you and Peter can travel once again..

    215 days ago
  • ALIHIKES
    I understand and sympathize, Gail. I was looking forward to traveling in my retirement; when I worked I was unable to get time off during summer. And social distancing has been difficult; I live alone and am seeing my friends less frequently. The world has changed suddenly and drastically. Hugs and best wishes to you during this difficult time.
    215 days ago
  • MEADSBAY
    Exactly!
    I love my life, my home, my family and am very happy and comfortable laying low for the duration to keep everyone as safe as possible.
    But, I, too, grieve about all the things we cannot do right now.
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    215 days ago
  • HAYBURNER1969
    It's completely normal and okay to grieve over the disappointment of dashed dreams, no matter what they are.

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend's experience with her blog. I try to always be kind in my responses. We need to be careful just how personal we get on here. Because none of us are celebrities (that I know of, anyway) it's easy to forget that absolutely anyone can read what we write. I saw one post recently that I nearly suggested the writer take down. I thought there was too much shared about a family problem that could come back to bite that person later. I wound up not commenting. I figured if I voiced my thoughts, it probably just make me come across as mean, since the person was upset. She got dozens and dozens of purely supportive replies, so I hope it all works out for her and her family never sees the post.
    215 days ago
  • KDYLOSE
    I notice this even more on Facebook group forums. I belonged to an intermittent fasters' group and now I joined a group for people who are surrounded by those not observing pandemic guidelines.

    What I see in these groups is that somebody will post where they're sharing their feelings, or venting their frustrations about a situation, and there's generally three kinds of commenters: first there's the people who say "oh, I know what you mean, I've felt that way/had something like that happen too." These are the kind of responses I really like. Then there are people sending hugs and good wishes in a kind of generic way. And then the third group is those people who are going to tell you what to do. I often get the impression they haven't even read the post very carefully, just skimmed over it so they could jump in with their advice. I picture this person spending hours every day dispensing advice to strangers on the internet and getting some kind of satisfaction from it.
    215 days ago
  • NEW-CAZ
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    215 days ago
  • JULIJULINN
    TY for your blog today.
    215 days ago
  • HARROWJET
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    I wish some people would learn from Thumper's mother, “if you can’t say something good about something, don’t say nothing at all”.

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    215 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
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    215 days ago
  • SLIMMERJESSE
    Yes, I understand the grieving for the loss of the life I had planned. It's a biggie. Have a wonderful day.
    215 days ago
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