Monday, August 19, 2013

A Mutual Admiration Society

"We belong to a Mutual Admiration Society
My baby and me
We belong to a Mutual Admiration Society"


"I think he's handsome and he's smart"


"I think that she's a work of art"


"And that's the way we pass the time of day
My baby and me."

You can see it in their eyes in these pictures, can't you? This mutual admiration society between R.H. and our granddaughter. If you were not around in 1956 to see the Broadway production of Happy Hunting where Ethel Merman and Virginia Gibson, as her daughter, sang this duet to each other, or to hear Teresa Brewer's recording of "Mutual Admiration Society" as I did, you may not be familiar with this catchy tune. I thought of it immediately when I saw these pictures of my husband with our little granddaughter.

As I have been absent from blogging for nearly two weeks, to the extent of never having even returned or answered the many sweet birthday wishes left for R.H. on my last post, I hoped that the mutual admiration society between me and my blog friends would not disappear. For nine days I did not look at my blog or anyone else's. My focus has been instead on my health. In 2007 I was diagnosed with diabetes and faithfully dealt with it for a year. Did you know that success can breed a lackadaisical attitude? With me it did and the slippery slope can fool you into thinking that nothing is wrong simply because it happens ever so slowly. 

Once I woke up and realized that I might not be around to enjoy this little granddaughter very long I had to examine all my habits and try to make an about-face. I knew that my present life was such that I had to address changing more than what I ate, although that was the most urgent. It was time to nourish my body, yes, but also my mind, soul, and spirit. I asked my husband to remember that for one month it would be as if I were going to a Health Farm or Spa. I asked all my family to pray for me. I put away all my dessert files--I had about 11 of them, one for each possible category. I went through my cookbooks and made lists of meals that contained no sugars, white flour, or white rice. Actually no rices or grains of any kind for this first phase. And no recipes including my favorite food--Hellman's Mayonnaise. Did you know that it has sugar in it?

Can you guess what kind of mood I've been in these last nine days? (I'm pausing here to thank God for my patient husband.)

I have examined another area of my life, blogging. Not only how much time it consumes if done properly but a possible addiction to it. Do I depend too much on feedback/comments? Have I sought approval too much--all my life? Is there any "me" there without validation or compliments from others?

How to break from that dependence? How do I trust my own sense of accomplishment in what I do, enjoy it for my own self? Was blogging at fault? I decided it was not as I have struggled with this all of my adult life, long before I began to blog last November. It is a separate mire that I must find my way out of.

Maybe we bloggers are a Mutual Admiration Society. Does it matter? Dangers can lurk here but I believe I have found something personally rewarding in blogging. Friendships can grow here just as easily as face to face. Interests expand, inspirations abound, empathy grows.

I did consider disabling comments. Have any of you ever had the nerve to do that?

"I say now you're the sweetest one"
"I say, no you're the sweetest one"

"She claims that I'm a natural wit"
"He says it's just the opposite"

Are we codependent? Or do we simply in friendship encourage each other, applaud each other's efforts, share in each other's joys and sorrows? Laugh with each other and sometimes cry for each other?

As I began once more Sunday night to visit a few blog friends it was difficult for me to comment. Mostly I just read for the sheer pleasure of reading or looking at beautiful pictures. There are times like this in all our lives. Each of us face distractions and mind-hogging challenges. Is it okay to just relax and take it as it comes, giving to blogging the time you have to give, not making every single day hold the urgency to blog, read blogs, or comment?

There I go again, needing to know how you feel. And yet you might not be up to it. You might be stretched thin. You might understand but not be able to put it into words.

That has to be enough, or it should be, anyway. Shouldn't it?

"My baby and me
We belong to a Mutual Admiration Society."


There is original Broadway footage from Ethel Merman and Virginia Gibson singing this on YouTube if you'd care to watch. I'm going to try to link to it [here].

19 comments:

  1. I was so glad to see a post from you when I opened my iPad. I've been missing you but didn't want to be so presumptuous to inquire in your personal life. I know we all need a break from blogging..but girl I was a tad worried about you.
    Now I know you've been going through a tough time. It is so hard to change habits..ask me I've been a dieter all my life. You are such a strong women I have faith that you can do what you need to do. Hang in there!

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  2. Dewena- First off-that baby is just beautiful and I love the sweet relationship between papa and child. I have missed you and I am so sorry that you are dealing with health issues. It is never fun. I know.
    You can do whatever you have to do because I know you have a deep faith and a deep strength-and both will work together.
    As far as blogging- I do what I can, when I can, as I can There have been times I have taken breaks and times when it has consumed me with more hours than it should. I think the answer is different for everyone. The day it becomes a "chore" for me is the day I stop blogging.
    I have met so many wonderful people (like you) through here that it has made it all worthwhile. Blessings and prayers for you- xo Diana

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  3. Dewena, so good to hear from you again. Bless you in this struggle. You will be in our prayers.

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  4. I find that the comments on my own blog aren't so much about gleaning compliments as finding kindred spirits. I write a post that I think no one but me will be interested to read and then, lo and behold, someone around the corner or halfway around the world responds. It has been said that we read to know we are not alone; I would add that we also write to know we are not alone. Connection, however brief, is a blessed thing. Your posts, which are vehicles of discovery, and your comments, which are visible kindness, often bring gladness to me.

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  5. I try to visit a lot of blogs each day so I don't comment on every single post I read. It doesn't mean I didn't enjoy what I read or the pictures. But, blogging is time consuming if you do it right. I try to comment on everyone who comments on my posts and then I try to visit each of their blogs in addition to all those I follow. But, I enjoy the connections and the inspiration so I keep at it.

    Glad you are back and working on your fitness.

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  6. I am not good about commenting, but I read every word that you write, and I think you are a very talented writer. I'm quite jealous of your skill. It seems to me that you are one of those people who NEED to write; you wouldn't be content to not write.

    Your granddaughter and husband are a darling pair.

    I can relate to your struggles with healthy eating and feeling "out of sorts". Everything I do seems to center around food and eating. I can't seem to change that mindset, but I am working on it. Good luck on your healthy eating path.

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  7. My dear Dewena,

    First of all, I sincerely hope that your health improves, as I'm sure it will with all the right changes to your diet and making time for a little regular exercise. You live in such a glorious landscape, walking in that wonderland does double duty for the mind and the body.

    Secondly, it is plain to see that RH and your sweet granddaughter only have eyes for each other! My goodness, how she must adore him and vice versa! Children bring so much joy into our lives. There is a Greek expression that literally translates into, 'My child's child is twice my child', meaning, 'Grandparents have a great weakness for their grandchildren'. They cannot deny them anything, (which usually doesn't 'translate' well their own children!).

    Lastly, you have eloquently addressed, once again, as is your style of acute observation, so many interesting questions about our blogosphere and I cannot help but compare it to your choice of music that has accompanied this post most effectively, (so much so that I cannot stop singing the refrain after viewing those two talented gals!). Why do we blog within specific communities, for example, our circle tends to be of the home decorating/lifestyle/creative writing ones? I know that for me, it is to connect and share my thoughts, images of my life, a little decorating, but more and more, my writing. Similarly, I look for the same things in other blogs and when I find one that appeals to me, I 'follow' it because the blogger has captured my attention, whether it be her writing, her images or her personality, or a combination of these qualities and talents. I appreciate comments, (and no, I have never considered disabling this feature; case in point: a new blogger I found who takes the most fascinating photos but I cannot tell her how they make me feel or how talented I think she is, and this has frustrated me!).

    Yes, I understand that 'if done right', (meaning, I assume, following blog etiquette?), posting daily, visiting, commenting, commenting on the commenting, thinking about what to post when you've already exhausted every possible nook and cranny, theme, trend, seasonal vignette....!! That's why I decided early on, (even to the disappointment of some 'advisers'), that I would take it at my own comfortable pace, when I feel inspired, or have something to say, or show, or vent...about. After all, I do not depend on my blog financially, (although, with the crisis in this country, I probably should!), so it doesn't really matter how many clicks, comments, likes, tweets...I receive. My intent as a blogger is to make friends, read interesting material, support and appreciate those in my circle; a MUTUAL ADMIRATION, if you will.

    I'm so happy that you came to the conclusion that blogging wasn't the cause of your (my, and probably half the population's!) dependence on approval, but simply an entertaining means of enjoying and supporting your little 'cyber sisterhood', bound not by blood, but by DNA activated passions for shared joys!

    "My baby and me
    We belong to a Mutual Admiration Society."

    Happy Tuesday,

    Poppy

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  8. Hi Dewena,
    So glad you have your priorities straightened out again :) Diabetes has touched my family so I have an inkling of its serious ramifications.
    Love your take on blogging~~a mutual admiration society :) I struggle with my reasons for blogging from time to time, give it up for awhile, but find myself once more distracted by it. It seems lovely to have "another world" out there. It gives dimension to my days...

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  9. Dewena, how do you do that? You put my mind, my concerns, my insecurities into words, and you do it so well. Yes, my insecurities have been with me all of my life, and yes, comments on my blog can temporarily lift me out of some of my insecurity. I even have times when I feel sorry for those who feel that they have to read my blog and come up with a kind comment. But, I never expected to feel such friendship with people I've never met. When someone, with whom I identify, invites me into their home and into their life, their mind, their heart, I can't help but feel a closeness to that person, even if I've never met them in person. Sometimes, I feel that I know a lot of bloggers better than I know friends whom I've known forever. Blogging is a strange, new world, and I imagine all who do it will spend a lot of time trying to figure it all out. For me, it's enough to know that I am "meeting" such interesting people and learning so many new things that I would never have had the opportunity to learn if it were not for blogging. Blogging keeps my eyes, ears, and mind open to new things. (At my age, that's important!)
    That little granddaughter is a doll. I think anybody would belong to her mutual admiration society. Love those pictures. I did go watch the video, since I was not familiar with this song (although I was certainly around then). I smiled all the way through it.
    So sorry about your health problems, but you obviously are not going to let your health slide downhill. That takes a lot of courage and determination. I'll say some prayers for you. Hugs, laurie

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  10. Dewena, We have to take care of ourselves...if we get sick or laid up ...who will hold our families or homes together. Not saying our husbands or children can't or won't do it. I just know that my health is my number one concern, it's my place to keep myself healthy and as fit as someone my age can be. Sugar is a back thing...but everything is , if not used in moderation. I'll pray for you to have your strength, I know we need that.Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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  11. Dewena,Love that baby picture just the sweetest!!! As far a blogging Yes it can be time consuming I do it for fun when I have time, and that is how it has to be for me. I am glad to hear you are working out and getting healthy. xoxo Marissa

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  12. Oh Dewena, we seem to be going through the same things in life at the same time. I have been concentrating on my health (diabetes), too, this last month and a half. It leaves little time for blogging, but maybe I was spending too much time anyway! As far as health issues go, I find that when I put "my mind to it", I can do anything, but I can't do everything! Baby and grandpa are as cute as can be together! Have a great week!

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  13. oh.
    dearest heart.
    dearest sister.
    tears in my eyes.
    joy at seeing my precious moment and her pawpaw. she is beautiful. and so is he.
    i have read every comment here. so many good deep thoughts from all your friends.
    you said everything i feel. it is past amazing now. it's ...
    almost like looking into a mirror.
    and i want that reflection to go on for a long time from tennessee.
    my best love. to you. and to your family. who must cherish you as i do. xo

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  14. FIrst of all, I love that song and thank you for reminding me of it.

    I'm also trying to live healthier and that involves cutting out sugar (most of the time.) I need to get more exercise, something I tend to shy away from, and I find the only way for me to ensure that I get it is to take walks and do outside chores.

    As for blogging, I love doing it and have never considered stopping. That being said, I have a continual struggle with reading other blogs and commenting. I find I don't have enough hours in the day if I also want to live my life, as well. I am always on myself about not commenting enough, about not stopping by my favorite blogs more often. I want to make an effort because I know how much comments mean to me, so surely they mean as much to other bloggers.

    I've never considered turning off comments but I know of other bloggers who have. Do what feels right for you, Dewena.

    xo
    Claudia

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  15. FIrst of all, I love that song and thank you for reminding me of it.

    I'm also trying to live healthier and that involves cutting out sugar (most of the time.) I need to get more exercise, something I tend to shy away from, and I find the only way for me to ensure that I get it is to take walks and do outside chores.

    As for blogging, I love doing it and have never considered stopping. That being said, I have a continual struggle with reading other blogs and commenting. I find I don't have enough hours in the day if I also want to live my life, as well. I am always on myself about not commenting enough, about not stopping by my favorite blogs more often. I want to make an effort because I know how much comments mean to me, so surely they mean as much to other bloggers.

    I've never considered turning off comments but I know of other bloggers who have. Do what feels right for you, Dewena.

    xo
    Claudia

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  16. You can be whatever you want to be.
    It will be OK with me.

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  17. How cute...the pics of your grand daughter and R.H. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be to have to control your diet like that :(

    Now as to blogging I often comment and just as often read, skim and don't comment. So I wouldn't feel guilty if I were you about that : ) I have some readers that visit and comment every day if I post that day and yet I don't have to return the favor because they write posts much much less and I'll catch up on theirs when they do. ( I am talking about over at Homespun...:)

    I actually started a second blog because I thought it would be easier to have two, lol. Meaning Homespun had alot of emphasis on the grandkids and if I wanted to blog about them for days on end because they'd been over a lot then where would I fit this or that post for such and such link party, and so on. I was also trying out different themes on homespun and nothing seemed to feel right so I was like oh I will just make a new blog! And leave Homespun "homey" :0)

    But that gives me freedom to post less or perhaps more casually over at homespun when I want to.

    I do remember you saying in a post last year ( or perhaps a half year ago ) that you wanted to blog less and you wanted to focus more on certain types of articles and it seems that is what you have done. Whenever I come over here I figure that I am going to get drawn in and love it and I always do and have. So I think that what is working for you now is just right !

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  18. Dewena,

    Sorry to hear about your health struggles and hope that you are getting things under control. I too, have struggled with my health and the issue of blogging. Balance has always been difficult for me and I continuously struggle to keep balance with eating (I'm terrible at that) blogging, getting things done around the house etc. I took a 5 month break from blogging and it worked for me. Do what works for you. I have to say that you are a terrific writer and it's good for your soul. I always enjoying hearing from you so I hope you don't decide to take a long break.

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  19. Just checking on you and wishing you success in making your changes.

    Sami

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