Time for this week’s round-up of the best of the blogs which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which I’ve wanted to share with you. Remember, if you have written or read a post recently which you would like me to share with readers, then please leave a comment below.
I read a quote this week on how reading is a creative act – you bring parts of yourself and your own experience to what you read. I find this is so true when I read your blogs. I read through the prism of my own experience and this is reflected in my choices each week for the round-up – they are very personal choices which reflect where I am at in my own life. While reading Stacey’s latest post on Bringing Up Goliath, I could see what a lot she had to write about this week, but viewing it through my own individual prism, all I could focus on was her struggles with pilates, which echoed my own experience. Her post brought up all my old feelings of competing with myself and my perfectionism and my inability not to judge myself and find myself wanting. But, there is much more to Stacey’s post than this – so I encourage you all to read it and see which parts speak to your experience.
AnneMarie‘s experience of being Italian American doesn’t touch on my own personal experience (although I loved reading it and learning more about AnneMarie) but her account of chemo brain sure does resonate with me. It’s a terrific post – full of humor and “oh that’s me too” moments.
I can’t seem to read enough about grief these days. In trying to come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of my mother, I need to know how others are walking this path, and above all, I want to know that it is possible to build a new life and even know happiness again without the beloved. So, I was very interested to read Jackie’s excellent post on plans to reclassify grief as a depressive condition, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic guidebook.
Jackie is clear in her belief that grief is not a disorder and quotes The Lancet in this regard:
Building a life without the loved person who died cannot be expected to be quick, easy, or straightforward. Life cannot, nor should not, continue as normal. In a sense, a new life has to be created, and lived with.
I so needed to read this and it was also wonderful to read a comment by Maura (who blogs at up close and personal – a great new blog find for me) who believes “that grief is part of the normal rich experience in our lives” .
Reading the comments section is a great way to discover new blogs and this week Candida Abrahamson left a comment on Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer which led me to discover her own research findings on one of my favorite topics – the power of connection.
One of the ways I have found to deal with my grief is to immerse myself in nature. As I wrote in an earlier post, spring has never been more welcome to me this year, and I find this echoed in Being Sarah‘s gorgeous descriptions of working on Plot 44 this week. I also loved Dee’s latest post not just for the beautiful spring like images but for her reminder of taking some time out to simply just be.
Nancy is determined to “find the good” this week, despite gray skies, and she also shares some lovely pictures of spring coming into bloom in her world on her blog The Pink Underbelly.
The weather really affects my moods too (which is a pity for me living in a country of gray skies and rain!) but sometimes the gray weather perfectly matches our moods and this is the theme of Kathi’s latest post The Weather Of Loss.
Brenda has written a very thought-provoking post on the stories we tell ourselves. There is so much truth in what she writes and it is sure to set you thinking about your own stories and how they contribute to your identity, or as Brenda proposes “are our identities more than just a story we tell ourselves?”
Sometimes in order to create new stories or identities for ourselves, we have to make tough choices on telling our truth – not everyone you tell your truth to is going to like it – but to be true to ourselves, we must be willing to do it. This is the theme of life coach Martine Brennan’s latest post this week.
“The thing I struggle with the most on a daily basis is knowing when to stop and relax” – so writes Debbie this week and she could have speaking for me! This is why I enjoy reading her Where We Go Now posts – her reminders to be more mindful in our daily lives, her tips on creating our “survivor’s nest”, her wisdom and her insight are all wonderful antidotes to the everyday stresses of life.
Which leads me nicely onto Jan’s blog as she shares a beautiful watercolor painting she is undertaking at her art class, a limerick she has written, and her plans to fully embrace her creative side. Something which Florence could also consider perhaps as she contemplates what to do with her five-week radiation “vacation”.
Debbie’s guest post for me on allowing support into our lives really struck a chord with so many of you and it was lovely to see how it inspired Liza’s latest post Sharing Grace on her blog itsthebunk.
My prize for the best headline of the week goes to Terri of A Fresh Chapter for Want To See Joy Rising? “When was the last time you witnessed a moment of pure joy?” asks Terri and I had to think about this and sadly conclude that I cannot remember the last moment I did. Not so Terri. She shares beautiful images of joy rising at a support session for people affected by cancer in New Delhi. It’s a beautifully, uplifting and humbling post and I encourage you all, if you haven’t done so already, to go read it.
Finally, Nancy is back from her vacation and has brought some beautiful new insights gleaned from being in the presence of the vast ocean. I love the title of her latest post “Ocean Gazing” and I want to leave you with some lines from her post which brought me a great measure of comfort this week
The ocean teaches by perfect example that calmness and serenity will return if only I am patient and allow for this to happen. No matter how rough the seas become, calmness and serenity always return to the magnificently vast ocean.
I hope you too can hold onto that image if you are experiencing rough seas right now – no matter how rough it is for you, calm will eventually be restored.
Until next week…
Marie, once again I am floored by being included in this wonderful Round-Up. It’s a little strange to me that a blog post that I dash off quickly, off the top of my head and without much thought or structure, can resonate with others. My writing as therapy becomes something greater when shared with others, and for that I thank you. I’m so grateful to have you at the center of our blogosphere and very much appreciate and enjoy your efforts to connect us to each other. Hope you find a spot of sunshine somewhere in your day today! xo
Why Ms Nancy I just did find that spot of sunshine right here while reading your lovely comment 🙂 Thank you x
It never ceases to amaze me when my very personal musings resonate with others. That’s the beauty of sharing – I am able to touch others and that connection brings healing back to me. It’s a lovely circle and I am so honored to be part of it.
Thank you again Marie for including me and have a lovely, sunshine-filled weekend.
Survival > Existence,
Debbie, what a beautiful thought that is – in touching others, reaching out and connecting, we can heal ourselves – I just love that idea..and you are right, it is so very true of this online circle x
Thank you once again for the round up and ONCE again for including my silliness. We needed to laugh a bit. And I am taking a quick overnight with a girlfriend. Time to refuel and reenergize. xoxox
Silly? Not at all – it was a spot on representation of what it is like to have this mental fog called chemo-brain!
Thank you for the wonderful round-up. I must check out the ones I missed!
Thanks so much for including my “Ocean Gazing” post and also for including a few of my lines. I’m constantly struck by the healing power of nature, all we have to do is “let it in.”
Thanks again for sharing! I would love to hear your thoughts on my latest post…please feel free to read. keepthecalm.wordpress.com
🙂 thanks for your inspiration.
Hi, thanks so much for sharing a link to your latest post – looking forward to reading it
i’ve just read your latest post Jen (is it Jen?) I am blown away by its beauty and compassion – I urge everyone to read it! Thanks again for sharing it with us x
Thank you for reading… It was a challenging one to write so wanted to share. It is Jen 🙂 be well x
Marie, I’m glad my post resonated with you. That one certainly was a bit of a ramble. I hope you’re not judging yourself too harshly about anything, although I know it’s hard. We can only do the best we can and do you know, I went back to Pilates today. It was still hard, but I was thinking of you. If only we could do it together. Hugs to you and thank you for including my ramble in your round-up. You made my day.
Being included in your weekly roundup is like receiving a prestigious award. Thank you! The realization that all of our stories are not necessarily what we would have written for ourselves can be very healing & freeing. You may be discovering that as you heal after your mother’s death.
TY Marie for the mention. Yes nature is a ‘good’ place to be with grief. It asks nothing of you. Love, Sarah
Another great, thought-provoking round-up, Marie. Seems many of us are musing on similar themes. Thank you for including my own musings. And I look forward to your new blog discoveries. xoxo, Kathi
Another poem for you, Marie –
But Can I Hide?
Anxious to get the grieving done
I run and run and run and run
Thinking at last I’m almost there
I glimpse her apron hanging,
still hanging, hanging
by the stair
(excerpted from The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, copyright 2002, Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)
Wishing you hope and healing, Lois
Oh Lois…you could have written this for me so close is it to my own experience – I had one of those apron hanging moments earlier today when I discovered something hidden in the back of my freezer when I was clearing it out that my Mom had made for me last year – all I could do was sit on the kitchen floor clutching the frozen item sobbing as if my heart would break.
Thanks once again, Marie, for a lovely round-up, woven very cleverly as you segue from one blog post theme to another. I have much reading to catch up on, including the new blogs you have found. I appreciate–and am humbled by–your inclusion of my blog post in your esteemed list. Lois, that poem really strikes me as I ponder memories of my own late mom. XOXO
I love to weave the threads of her musings and reflections each week into this round up Jan – it would be nothing without the wonderful writing of the blogesses.
Marie, thanks for doing all that work and connecting us with other bloggers. I too feel honoured to be included in your weekly round up and I look forward to reading the posts you recommended.
Marie, Thank you so much for including me in your round-up… it’s an honor to be part of such top-notch company….. and extra-lovely in that the catalyst for my post was Deborah Woodbury’s great piece on this here blog… the circle is unbroken!
I’m still new to sharing my thoughts publicly in longer format (I love the 140 character micro bursts!) and would not have quite exactly enough courage at all to do so without the inspiration this wonderful international fellowship of ours provides ….as you said in your comment on my page, Marie: “I feel we are so blessed to be able to connect with each other’s experiences through our blogs in this way.”