Regrets and reprieves

Ever wonder about what might have been?  I don’t very often but in the last few weeks have indulged in a romanticized trip down memory lane.

A friend from college recently mentioned via Facebook that a mutual friend from back then wasn’t doing very well. You see, the mutual friend was tucked way back in a cubbyhole in my brain as “the one that got away.” It’s a really long story and I won’t torture you with the details except to say that I always thought it was my own fault. I’ve carried around regret for years and, from time to time, wondered what might have been—until my friend and I took our conversation offline (yes, people do still have conversations outside of Facebook) and I learned more.

You see, I’ve always believed in fate, that things happen for a reason. Maybe not the things I want, much less the reason I want them, or when for that matter, but there is always a reason. As a result, I’ve pretty much strolled through life going with gut instinct. I learned early on that over-thinking big decisions leads me down the wrong path. Doesn’t matter what the decision is about. Whether it’s to pick up and move across the country or what color car to buy, if I over think it, it does not work out well for me. (I still, to this day, can’t fathom why I bought that gray car. I hated it. I hate gray. Yet, it seemed like such a good idea at the time.)

I digress.

Hearing more about our friend, and how he’s conducted his life, brought an end to my little excursion down memory lane. You see, it turns out that if the “one that got away” hadn’t, I would have gotten what I wanted at the time, but would have regretted it year after year after year. That regretful reality would have been so much worse that my regretful “what might have been” illusion.

Which leads me to reprieve.

From where I sit now, it looks like that fateful day, regretful though it was at the time, was my reprieve from a lifetime of disillusion.

Moving forward

This happy camper’s big decision today is whether to go with dusting first or running the vacuum. H-m-m-m, my gut says read my new book.


Life is weird sometimes …

Out of the blue

There you are, wandering along having a good day and, wham, right into your email inbox comes a message from someone in your past. Someone you never expected to hear from again. Ever.

So, what do you do? Do you respond? Do you want to reconnect with that person?

If not, why? Did he or she do you wrong?

If you do want to reconnect, why? Has time faded your memory of the reality of the past relationship? Was it a positive relationship? If so, why did it expire? Was it just an “all good things must come to and end” kind of deal?

Was it a personal relationship? Or, was it a business contact? A former coworker, teacher, mentor, neighbor, friend?

Whatever it was, there is a reason for why it ended, and it was probably a pretty good one.

So, why stir it up again?

What’s in it for you?

Is it just curiosity?

The chance to see how that person has changed? Is he/she still as interesting, as thought-provoking, as entertaining, as relevant?

Won’t know until you click “reply.” Go ahead. You know you want to.

Today’s question

Is there someone from your past that you’d like an opportunity to reconnect with? Who is it? Why do you want that chance? How will you use it if you get it?

Stumbled Upon Friday

I was at my sister’s house for dinner Friday evening, keeping her company in the kitchen while she made chicken tacos. Great recipe, by the way. Anyhow, she was yammering on about something or other and I decided to see if I could surreptitiously check my blog stats for the day.

So, I pulled out my iPhone and, while it was tucked ever so slightly under the table, checked my blog.  Hmmm, 43 views. Well now!

My average day runs anywhere from 0 to about 15 views so 43 in one day is pretty spectacular. Now, before you start thinking I’d hit the Freshly Pressed jackpot, let me set the record straight. That did not happen. (Not that I haven’t had a wishful think about it from time to time.)

But something very odd did happen, and it took me the better part of the weekend to finally get a clue, but more about that in a sec. By the time I got home Friday evening, my total views for the day was pushing up-up-up. To cut to the chase, the total views for Friday was 133, Saturday was 166, and the total so far today is 269. (Is it after midnight? If it is, then I mean yesterday.)

Dashboard data

I finally got curious this evening about what was causing my views to soar and started poking around my dashboard. Turns out all those extra views were coming from one place. I clicked on that link in the list of referrers and it took me to a page that said, “A member of the StumbleUpon user community added your page to StumbleUpon’s index of high-quality, human-curated content.”  Say what!?!

The first thing that popped into my pea brain was (stealing from Sally Field here) they like me, they really like me! The second thing was that my sister is going to be s-o-o-o ticked about this.

You see, my sister has been blogging for a couple of years now and switched her blog to WordPress about six months ago. If you haven’t read her blog you should. You can find it here. She writes from the heart about things that are important like family and faith. I, on the other hand, write about silly things like light bulbs and my eyeballs.

She talked about blogging so much that I finally decided to try it and, well, I enjoy it. I didn’t expect to but I do. Anyway, we’ve had this unofficial contest going ever since I started blogging to see if my views could catch up with hers. When I started, she was ahead of me by about a thousand views.  Today, though, my views caught up — then skipped on ahead.

Back to topic

I have to say, though it’s nice and all, that I’m not too sure I’m thrilled about this sudden spike in views. You see, I looked at my dashboard under the top posts & pages  section and it revealed that practically all of the views are to just to one post. That means all those folks who stumbled upon my blog also stumbled right back off of it without looking at a single other page.

I don’t know about you, but I find that kind of disheartening. I mean, did they even stay on that post long enough to actually read it? Or, did they see it was just a recipe for Quiche and zip right outa there lickety split?

I’m a bit concerned that all those views may be hollow. No substance. No heart. Empty.

Real people blog

In the short time that I’ve been blogging, I’ve come across a lot of folks who, like my sister, write about things that are close to their hearts and, in doing so, they touch other hearts and bring helpful information to their readers. They encourage other writers and photographers and artists. They honor and support other bloggers with awards and recognition. And, sometimes they share parts of themselves that the rest of us really have no right to. Blogging is a community and I’m tickled to be a part of it.

I owe my sister a debt of gratitude for sharing with me her passion for blogging and for getting me off my duff and my fingers onto my keyboard. (Actually, since I sit when I type I guess I’m still on my duff. But, I’m doing something productive as well, so it’s all good.)

Thank you sweet Rosie, for being my inspiration.

And, thank you to all the other bloggers who have opened up their worlds to me and made me feel welcome in this community. Your “likes” and “comments” on my posts are more meaningful to me than all the views I’ve received the last three days times a gazillion.

Okay now, enough with the mushy stuff.

Let’s be real

Just because I value “actual” views way more than the “empty” views, it doesn’t mean I want the empty ones to stop. I am after all still in a contest with my sister for the most views — so keep ’em coming!

273 and counting — that puts me about 200 ahead of you sweetie!  🙂

A few of my favorite …

In case you’re interested, below are just a few of my favorite blogs. I encourage you to visit them often and read them well!