I’ve got to be cautious with this blog, from the sounds of it I have become a cold weather namby-pamby. Sitting on the deck yesterday morning in a stiff breeze, and slight drizzle I had my jacket over a sweatshirt, over a long sleeve tee shirt, and a short sleeve tee over it. True layering, but I went the opposite direction as I kept adding more layers with no intention of removing any of it. The temperature was 50 F, (10 C), not historically cold but cool none the less. My mistake was posting on facebook a line from a Joan Biaz song that I had rattling around in my head, “Outside my cell, sure as hell, it looks like rain.” adding to it I stated, “man I’m tired of looking at raindrops on the window.” Now my wife and I are Northerners she from upstate New York and me from the hockey capital of Canada, Minnesota. We have many relatives and friends enduring the worst freeze and blizzards in many years, I have never received so many comments from one sentence. I am going with the everyone had fun with it theory, sheepishly my reply was “Yeh, but it’s wet”, that did me no good at all. I received another round, all of the guff I took began to become funny. My final comment was to my oldest sister who lives in Duluth, (yeh, the epicenter of nasty weather) I wrote “OK, I will make a video of what it is like to live in 50F (10 C) weather with the wind, and intensive sun, it’s almost time to get out the sun rake and clean this mess up.” I see in my mind relatives and friends on the edge of their chairs waiting for it, that’s unlikely but the video may be fun to create.
The rain continued all day it wasn’t heavy or steady, intermittent and breezy, the kind of rain we need. I spent the remainder of the day reading and writing two blogs, neither had to do with the weather. What I began thinking about as I read was all of the information at our fingertips, every subject under the sun is covered, on the sites who’s niche is outer space it covers what isn’t under the sun. There is so much content to digest and make sense of it’s no wonder there is so much stress in our society.
Not only is information available on every subject imaginable but every aspect is covered from every angle, it’s no wonder headlines are so important. News has never traveled faster over greater distances than it does in our wired-up world, we are far away from the days of sending messages via the Post Office. Indeed, I don’t really believe this but during the last election, I read several pieces describing how young people in college don’t know how to mail their ballots. I’m not buying into that narrative, I have 8 grandkids of college age and they are smart, they all know how to post mail.
My rule of thumb is if I read three articles on a subject and they all make the same claims I begin to believe it which drives me to investigate further. I will then make a decision on it and form what I call an official position, it could be as simple as it doesn’t matter to I’m writing my Congressman right now.
Other peoples blogs are a great resource, one challenge is there are so many of them on any subject a person is interested in. I don’t know how many I read every day, many of the major news outlets solicit blogs which makes it difficult to determine if it is written by a professional or a novice like me. Each morning in my email is at least 10 blogs I read them after the local newspaper, (yes I’m a newspaper subscriber), I comment on many of them when I can identify with the subject matter. My niche is self-reliance, self-awareness, and personal responsibility, it covers a large area. I read homesteading, bushcraft, poetry, and story blogs, most are written by people 40 years and older. I avoid politics, religion, anything on guns or abortion, and most controversial subjects, I read for pleasure. I have a difficult time ignoring blogs written about Australia and New Zealand, I have never been to either but find them fascinating. Saltwater crocodiles and Hippopotamus are two subjects I am unable to pass up, as well as stories on the farm. My favorite blog is written by an Australian man my age (67) who lives in Sydney and writes about pubs, he travels far and wide to talk about them including old photos next to new photos to show the contrast.
I would like if the blogging sites added another button next to the “like”, something like “read”, it leans towards like but is more of an indifference opinion. I feel as if it’s important for the writer to know who reads their articles often with a profile photo next to the button. I will most of the time press “like” or leave a comment, otherwise I’m just another number next to visits.
There are plenty of writers, in my niche, when self-reliance is searched in Google there are 244,000,000 articles, nearly the population of the United States, I don’t imagine page 120,000 ever gets looked at. There are in my opinion plenty of readers as well, prior to moving my blog I had on average 1500 readers a month. I am off of Facebook, and I deleted my Twitter account, joining several others I found a Twitter or Facebook account is needed. I created a new Twitter account, one is better than the two I maintained previously. I am still on the family Facebook page but I rarely post and hardly ever post my blog.
As with many bloggers I struggle with headlines that are interesting enough to draw a reader in, some mediocre blogs do well because of great headlines and some great blogs don’t do so well due to poor lead-ins. There are subjects that attract more readers as well, make $2,000 a week from home, blogging for beginners, and anything to do with money all do well. I suspect most of those sites are counting “followers” and planning on making a lot of money from their blog. Most long-time bloggers understand it is a marathon and not a 50-yard dash, we accept things as they are.
Blogging is good for introverts, speaking for myself it allows me to express my thoughts and ideas without having a face to face conversation. I feel as if I am more able to express myself when I see my comments in written form, I’m not trying to sell anything I’m merely attempting to motivate and encourage the readers.
I have two advantages over a lot of readers, I cannot walk, and I am 80% deaf if the TV is on I read closed caption which is more challenging than reading a screen or hard copy. As you can imagine being immobile to a great extent and not able to hear well I spend a great deal of time reading. I really do believe I have an advantage over many people in that regard, I use a pocket talker with headphones that allow me to turn the world off when it gets too noisy which is often, my preferred world is silent, it explains my aversion to face to face conversations.
Thank you for reading my blog, this one is rambling but still essential in our quest to be as self-reliant as we can be. Being self-aware of our limits and expertise are valuable tools, knowing when to accept full responsibility for our actions completes the trinity and adds to our self-confidence and well being. Thanks again for reading and sharing.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self-Reliance