Thank You, My Friends!

Well, I’m officially back, rested and raring to tackle the new year.

But don’t think I’ve been too far away. No, I’ve been lurking, reading all my usual blogs and even putting in my two cents’ worth on occasion! I’ve missed you all fiercely — what is it about blogging that bonds us into a community, where we find acceptance and appreciation and support?

While I was AWOL, the friendly folks at WordPress were kind enough to provide me with a summary of my blogging achievements over 2012. I found them pretty fascinating, and it seems like a good way to ease myself back into things.

Now, I don’t want to hear anybody saying they don’t give two hoots about statistics. Of course you do. We all do! It’s the connections we make that are most important to us, but we can’t help looking at (obsessing over??) our stats. We feel a need to find out where our readers are coming from — in my case, most of you are from the U.S., but the Netherlands and Canada aren’t far behind. In fact. visitors arrived to my blog from 114 countries worldwide this year, something I have a hard time grasping! Thank you.

My blog had more than twice the number of views in 2012 that it had in 2011. My busiest day of the year came on Aug. 24 after I posted about the “fun” of another move-in day at the University of Notre Dame. And I was right — I hardly remember the trials of that hot August day, preferring I suppose to concentrate on the joys of having my son a student on that beautiful campus!

I averaged 1.5 posts per week — not great, compared to the prolific writers around me — but consistent. See, I’ve just found something to remedy in the new year!

My top referring sites were via Katybeth, Dawn, and Barb (along with Facebook and Google Reader). Thank you, my friends, for doing what you do to help publicize my presence here — I’ll be glad to return the favor in 2013, if you’ll let me know how!

Changing the subject, do you make new year’s resolutions? Typically, I find myself reiterating the same chant — lose a few pounds, exercise more, etc. — without regard for how I’m going to measure success. Or failure.

This year, however, begs for something more concrete, and so, herewith I set down the following goals (y’all hold me to them, ‘k??):

1) Blog twice a week. Hey, if I find I can do that easily, I might up the number, but I’ve got to start somewhere!

2) Finish my novel. I’m trudging around in the murky middle ground at present and, while I have a pretty good idea how it’s going to end, getting there is no easy feat.

3) Learn a programming language. Perhaps I’ll have to audit a class; perhaps I can teach myself. But it’s got to get done!

4) Lose five pounds — and keep them off. I’m not a candidate for bariatric surgery; I just want to feel better and look better.

5) Set up an author Website. No, I don’t have any books to publicize yet, but I want to be ready when the time comes!

Anybody want to take bets on whether I can attain these goals??

24 thoughts on “Thank You, My Friends!

  1. Hey, Debbie, Welcome “back” (though you were kind enough to respond to my posts during your break-much appreciated!) and congratulations on all your achievements. it’s such a pleasure to follow you and I’m not the least bit surprised your stats doubled over the year. Your goals are very do-able and I have no doubt you will nail them all. The 5-lb weight loss and keep it off will most likely be the most challenging one! Write on,my friend and I look forward to more fun stories in the New Year.:-)

    • Kathy, you’re wonderful at encouraging me — and yes, I suspect those “last five pounds” will be the hardest goal on my list! Wouldn’t it be fun if we could have a Cincy Reunion? I’m curious how many from our original sessions “stuck” with writing versus how many opted to pursue other goals. Wonder if Writer’s Digest ever hosts reunions?? Oh, well, you can bet I’ll keep following your journey in the new year!

  2. I had the same thoughts about blogging recently. The holidays, some back problems, and pressures at work kept me from writing and from visiting others’ blogs as often as I’d have liked over the past two months. I missed it. I missed the feeling of being connected with friends on a regular basis.

    I think you’ll do great with your resolutions. You’ve kept them realistic and given yourself a great chance for success! Happy New Year, my friend!

    • Thanks for your pep talk, Terri — I’m going to need everybody nagging on me if I’m to reach all five goals by Dec. 31, 2013!! You’d be surprised what taking a little break from blogging has done. I know I’ve got renewed energy and passion for it, probably because I missed everybody so much. Happy New Year to you and your family, too!

  3. Welcome back. Cheers to the New Year. choose three guiding words for the upcoming year. This seems to work better for me than resolutions. I’il bet you’ll succeed one hundred precent.

  4. If you averaged 1.5 posts a week, I think 2 per week is enough of a challenge to make you work for it, but not so much that you’re overwhelmed. I thought the programming language seemed hard, but then I saw your lose 5 pounds goal…shoot, I’d take the programming any day! (I have more than that to lose, but it seems the weight has bonded with me and isn’t ready to say farewell.) I think you have the drive to reach your goals. I look forward to seeing your progress in 2013 🙂

    I don’t do resolutions because my heart is never in them and I fail. I do better at tackling things at any other time of year.

    • That’s why I set the goals low (or rather, reachable!!). I was afraid I’d fail right off the bat if I set them too high. And you see, I’m “tricking” myself into accountability by publishing them for the world to see! And I expect everybody will want a detailed report by next December 31, haha!

  5. Welcome back. I pray that this year will be a great year of completed task that you planned for yourself. Don’t put unnessesarry pressure on yourself. We just don’t need added pressure but gentle leadings. I’ve had the weight lost goals for the past 3 years and have loss 81lbs. I have 28lbs to reach my goal this year which I know I will do. This year I made a few gentle goals but I’m going to make gentle adjustments. I had to do that with blogging. I feel much less pressured. If I have something to say…I’ll post….but I’ve been taking a lot of time off just to live life…gain experinces…feel things…hear from God and then post.

    I have so enjoyed your blog although it gets me to write. I do it because you are a blessing to me and you have been such a support to me. Thank you!! May the Lord fill your mind with many thoughts and things to write about in 2013!!

    • Tanya, your words are like healing balm to me — thank you! Congratulations on your weight loss. I have no doubts you’ll reach your goal! I know just what you mean about taking time off to live life. We can get so involved with staying in constant contact with others that we fail to LIVE. I surely don’t expect God to ask me how popular my blog was when I see Him face to face!!

  6. Everyone has to find their own rhythm, their own way of doing things, and it sounds as though you’ve got clarity on what you want to accomplish. I’m with so many others – that five pounds sounds like the toughest to me. Of course, I haven’t gotten my first five off, let alone my last five!

    I am trying to be more specific this year. For example – I will no longer eat while I’m sitting at the computer. Period. I figure that ought to be good for two pounds a week all by itself!

    Sure nice to see you back. Best wishes for the New Year – and what a wonderful photo of your dog!

    • Thanks for your understanding and support, Linda! I think your plan of refusing to eat while at your computer will be an excellent way to drop a few pounds! My big problem is a penchant for pasta and sweets. I suspect that, if I up my daily exercise program, that might prompt the extra pounds to fall off — maybe?? glad you like Darling Doggie’s new photo — he loves the snow!

  7. Congrats on your best day!!!! Your Puppy is SOOO beautiful I always wanted a Collie but I am not very active! I hear they like to RUN!!! I am trying to get the FAT hanging off my body OFF! Even now my tummy grumbles as it is snack time… OOH what choices will I make? Bad ones or good ones?

    • Hi Jasmine and Welcome! Darling Doggie actually is a Shetland Sheepdog, kind of looks like a miniature Collie but is a different breed altogether. He thanks you for your compliment and assures you he’s high maintenance — lots of brushing, lots of exercise. Oh, and he’s pretty vocal, too, so if you don’t like dogs who talk and sing, forget getting a Sheltie! Still, he’s got the most amazing, loyal personality and is very sensitive to my moods. I’m off to browse through your blog now — see you there!

  8. Five pounds? Lose only 5 pounds? I’m envious of that! I’ll feel that way when I’ve lost 25…in other words…..I’ve got a bit more to lose than that. I look forward to moving along through the new year with you too – always fun to visit here. Best to you in finishing that novel! How far are you into it?

    • Ah, Barb, sometimes it feels as if it will NEVER get finished!! I’m guessing I’m about halfway through, based on typical word counts for contemporary novels. The good thing is, I’ve loosely plotted out the “rest of the story,” so if I can just make my lazy self sit down and write, I might have hopes of typing The End soon!

  9. Debbie, wish I only had 5 pounds to lose, but I know what you mean. When I have been able to lose 5, I always feel so much better health-wise. But then I inevitably gain them back. Sigh.
    I have every confidence in you that all your goals will be attained. Best of luck to you, my dear!

    • Thanks, Monica — this is actually the first time I’ve set down my goals/resolutions for everyone to see! I’m hoping that will keep me honest and spur me toward reaching them (rather than my usual make-an-excuse, make-any-excuse avenue, ha!)

  10. Glad you are back Debbie and I am betting you can do it all! My stats button has been inactivated, which has given me a reprieve from trying to figure out where I stand, which may be a blessing. Love the winter photo of your dog!

    • My Sheltie thanks you for the compliment, Pat, and I can assure you, it WILL go to his head, ha! There’s a thought — inactivating the stats button. I’m betting that would have a huge bearing on all of us! Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  11. Pingback: Half-year Review of Goals | Musings by an ND Domer's Mom

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