Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just One Thing Friends Can Do To Help

Sedum and Rudbeckia

Being the indecisive person that I am, it's almost impossible for me to pick 'Just One' of anything. So, the challenge of Just One for II Week is a big one.

My friend, Rachel, challenged me with several questions, including: 

What's one thing a friend who lives far away can do for you?
What's one thing a friend nearby can do for you?


If I go with what first pops into my mind, it is this:

Read My Blog


Perhaps this sounds like a strange response to these questions. And, of course, there are many other incredibly helpful gestures, but I really, really, really love it when people read my blog. I also LOVE reading my friends' blogs. I always feel closer to you when I read your blogs or see you pics on FB, and I hope my blog serves as a way for you to feel closer to me as well.

Why is reading my blog so helpful to me?

When you read my blog, you help me to save energy. I started my blog in 2005 as a way to keep up with people as mass emails became more difficult to do. When you read my blog, you get an update on what is going on and I don't have to repeat it in multiple emails, text messages or FB updates. Most days I am lucky to get emails written at all, so I try to keep up with blogging as much as possible. Saving energy and finding energy for things I need and want to do is one of the biggest challenges, so helping me to save energy means a lot.


When you read my blog, you get a glimpse into things I might not otherwise share with you in an email or conversation. You get more depth. You get more honesty. Why? Because I see reading my blog as your choice, on your time. You can choose whether to read the tough stuff or just the fun stuff. It makes me feel less like I am burdening you.

When you read my blog, you honor something that is deeply important to me. I'm proud of my blog and it is incredibly meaningful to me to keep blogging. It's one thing in my life that I've been able to maintain for 9 years now--and it's one of my few tangible forms of accomplishment.

Rudbeckia and Sedum

When you read my blog, you help me to feel like my life matters and my story matters. You also honor a part of me that is not just illness--you honor that I like to write, that I like to take photos, that I love so many other things in life.

When you read my blog, you help me save not just the physical energy involved in texting, emailing, etc. but you save me emotional energy. Sometimes it's unbearable to think of repeating myself over and over again when it comes to medical things or some difficult topics. I want to be able to tell those I love how I am feeling, but I don't necessarily want to repeat it over and over again.

When you read my blog, you help me to be a better friend to YOU. How? If you've read my blog, you're up on some of the medical junk and emotional stuff that is happening in my life. So, I'm more ready to focus on you. And I'm more ready to engage in other topics that are unique and personal to my relationship with YOU--discussing spiritually with you, the books you are reading, getting caught up on YOUR LIFE. Most importantly, we can just let our conversation flow to what matters to US in the moment we are connecting, rather than trying to get caught up on more generic topics that I've shared here. 

Rudbeckia and Sedum

When you read my blog, you bless me with the gift of your time and energy.

And while it is not at all a necessity, I LOVE when you respond to my posts! It makes my day to know you've hit the Like button on FB or to get a FB, blog comment, or email in response to a  post. I love knowing how different blog posts affect you (or don't), which ones you enjoy (or don't), and just knowing you are 'out there'. 

Now, let's be clear here: I'm not saying you need to read every word of every post. I'm just saying, I love it when you check in, skim, follow posts. I know that we all need breaks, we all get overwhelmed and we are all super busy, so I'm not trying to say you need to be the 'perfect reader' here.

Sedum and Rudbeckia

There are many, many gestures--big and small--that are helpful. I am often asked how you can help, but it's so very hard to ask for help. In the future, I hope to write a post of simple ways that you can help.

For now, I choose: Read my blog.




Rachel Lundy said...

Wow, Emily, you put this so well! I hadn't even thought about some of these things, but you are so right. Like the fact that you can share more in a blog post than in an email, which could burden someone. Or how reading your blog honors something that is deeply important to you. How the blog is one of the few tangible forms of accomplishment from the last 9 years. As always, thank you for sharing! I love reading your words.

Alia Gee said...

Thank you for not needing me to be a perfect reader. I'm not, and sometimes I feel guilty that I don't read every post- sometimes I don't see them on Facebook, sometimes I just don't have the energy to engage with others even at that level. But I'm so glad you blog and I'm pleased that being an imperfect audience is still something you value in us.

Marcy said...

Thanks for you insight and honest reflection! Keep blogging- you've got a faithful reader in me!

campbell said...

9 years! So impressive to produce work for so long. And really impressive how you share what you think and feel. Surprisingly difficult thing to do.

Kristina Helmerich said...

Emily, I love your blog. It helps me to feel connected to what's going on with you, and you write so well and share so beautifully your thoughts and emotions. You really do have a gift when it comes to written expression! Keep blogging!