Monday, 25 August 2008

To blog OR not to blog...that is the question.....

Mr P has been away for the last few days, he comes home this evening.........I have been asking myself recently do I want to continue blogging..........when I started last November I was very much the novice, still am in many ways.........my garden has always been about nature, solitude and serenity. As I took my journey into the blogging world, I found, for me, it became more and more competitive........lovliest bloom, most interesting dragonfly, etc etc.......I was losing sight of the woman I am............first thing in the morning I would stroll my garden enjoying the peace and tranquility of everything that nature gave to me.........now I have camera in hand, looking for perfection, losing those precious moments I had come to cherish......
yesterday I took this photograph of a lovely dragonfly.....I did not upload it on my safari Sunday post because it was too plain, and that for me was the turning point......

whether a butterfly is brown............
and spotted..............
or stunningly blue......................they are all God's creatures and add to the richness of life............they each bring a gift to us, if only we take the time to see it..........


my beautiful native hops show me autumn is coming................is she less beautiful.........



than a colourful bloom
or a poppy that suddenly arrives at the close of summer......
for me no.........they all add to the garden...........
whatever the colour................
or texture...............and so my blogging friends I have decided to complete a blogging year.....sometime in November I will stop posting................I will, of course, visit those of you I call my friends.............friendship is something to treasure, as much as my garden.........I leave you with a quote from a book my daughter gave to me many years ago.................
Only in calm waters can you see your reflection, not in running waters.
Only in tranquillity can you find that resting place which stillness seeks..............




I am so lonely..................I wish I had a friend..................





Hello, when did you arrive......will you be my friend????






47 comments:

Dawny P said...

I can understand exactly what you are saying here Cheryl. You arwe right and I can identify wiht it myself.

It will be a sad day for me and lots of others when you stop, but we have to respect that. I for one wil miss your pictures and your wonderful take on life and this planet we inhabit. But I hope I will not lose touch with you.

Have a wonderful Monday xxxxx

TheCrone said...

Cheryl, while I totally respect and understand your wish to cease blogging, may I just say that I will miss your lovely posts and pics.

Can I convince you to take a short break instead?

Oh and I love your hops! I wish that we could grow hops in WA!

Cheryl said...

Dear Dawny.....you are most certainly someone I will stay in contact with, I now call you a friend........

Cheryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth said...

I can relate to your situation too. I purposefully leave my camera at home sometimes just so I can enjoy a walk without trying to capture everything. I tend to take pictures only a couple of days a week. This weekend I went to Toronto and took a bundle which I divided up into a week of posts. I often do this once a week. Because I work full time I have to blog in clumps. I don't feel guilty when I miss a few days and I do take a full week off a few times a year. Hope you can find a strategy that works. Your posts are lovely.

Cheryl said...

Hi Crone....thank you for your kind words.....I will think about what you have said.......who knows......


Hops are wonderful.....in Kent many people decorate their homes with them....hanging them from beams etc....it is wonderful to bring autumn into the house........

Goosey said...

Cheryl, I would miss your blog alot but I understand what you are saying...I feel the same as it is a huge time gobbler and I feel I should be doing something more worthy!
Perhaps make it a weekly blog to give yourself more space? Best wishes, Goosey

Cheryl said...

Thank you Ruth.....you have given me more to think about.....I am grateful......

Cheryl said...

Thanks Goosey.....you have given me even more to think about.......

Leanne said...

Cheryl, I understand too. I make a point of not takling my camera with me all the time when I go on my walks. Sometimes i just want to be at one with the countryside, not looking for the next photo opportunity. I think keeping it in balance is important. I will miss your beautiful photos though, you do have a gift not just with the camera, but for creating the right conditions for your garden to thrive, and for the wildlife to thrive there. Maybe dont give up completely, instead just post on a sunday for example? Whatever decision you make, I am pleased I have been able to enjoy your blog up to now, and I hope you do still visit blogland (and me!) from time to time!

blessings to you

leanne x

beckie said...

Cheryl, I sit here in disbelief! So mant thoughts running through my mind-accept your decision, beg you to reconsider, how will we continue on without you to show us how to better stewards of nature.
I do understand if you feel blogging has become a competition, but I don't think of it like that. I think of it as sharing who we are and whar we do in the garden. Yes, I like to show my prettiest flowers and plants, but I also show the sad ones and ask for help with them. I show my pathetic close ups of bees and butterflies and caterpillars just so I can share how excited I am at finding them in my gardens. I know I am rambling here, but I am trying to make the point that is doesn't have to be about the best.

Who is going to be my(our) teacher??? Who is going to show me (us) England and her flowers and nature? What will I(we) do if I(we) can't see nature through your eyes? I could go on and on-like seeing how dear Poppi is growing, how your water feature is doing, the old apple tree, is she still making it, the copse, is it still home to wonderful creatures?

Cheryl, I am feeling like my best friend is moving away and I'll never see her again. Please reconsider. Take some time off if you must, or think about doing your blog differently, but please, please don't stop your wonderful writing and the sharing of your life!!

Rose said...

Oh, dear Cheryl, where do I begin? I do hope you don't stop blogging; I would feel as if I were losing a good friend!

I completely understand what you are saying and how you feel, though. I have learned that I am and will never be a great photographer, yet I want a new camera, even though it takes wonderful pictures of my grandchildren, just to get better blogging photos! And some days I spend so much time in the morning writing or reading blogs that I miss the cool part of the day when I should be outside working in the garden. There's something wrong with this picture!

You have some stunning photos, Cheryl, but I come to visit to read what you have to say and to see the interesting things growing (and living!) in your garden, not to admire your photography. None of us want you to change who you are!

Maybe it's time to step back and just take a break for awhile. Perhaps you'll decide you miss it and can find some kind of compromise so that you're not focusing on the perfect post instead of enjoying the simple serenity of "being" in the garden. I like Goosey's idea about posting once a week (or maybe twice?).

I hope that you don't give up blogging--I've learned so much about bees from you these past few months! And your blog is always one I can count on for peace and inspiration. But whatever you decide, we'll respect your decision, Cheryl.

Cheryl said...

Hi Leanne.....I will always visit you....you are someone that I think of frequently....I need to know that you have found peace and happiness....we will stay friends whatever I decide to do....but thank you for your lovely comments.....

Cheryl said...

My dear Rose and Beckie.....I answer you together, because I can't think of one without the other......between you, you have made me cry....your comments are so lovely and for them I thank you both....I take on board everything you have said......it is a while before November visits, so there is plenty of time to think.......
I feel at the moment that I have made the right decision, things change I know, we shall see......

but you both know that I will keep in touch whatever happens.....you are good and true friends, my world would be less without you both in it.............

beckie said...

Just read your answer to Rose and my comment. I too am crying now. You are such a dear friend and I just don't wnat to lose you. But in the end, I will support what ever you decide to do. :(

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Ah Cheryl, I feel so torn by your decision! If your garden ceases to be your refuge and becomes another chore, I respect your decision, and know that you have to stay true to yourself. But selfishly, I wish that you would reconsider. I am new to the world of blogging, but I became "hooked" on yours very early. Your way of looking at your world is so unique, and has made me appreciate mine in a deeper way. Whatever you ultimately decide, I hope that we all come away richer for having "met" you and coming to know your keen appreciation for the smallest of God's creation in our gardens.

Cheryl said...

Thank you morning glory....it is so lovely to hear, that in a small way, I have made a difference to the way you look at your garden now.....

There are still many weeks until November knocks at the door......

John Young said...

Hi Cheryl, will continue to enjoy your pictures and words to the last post.

ladyluz said...

Dear Cheryl. I can really relate to what you're saying - to get back to just "being" with nature, rather than the ulterior of what to put on the blog. As Dawny said, it will be a sad day if you stop and we will respect that. I shall miss the beauty of your garden, my regular dose of Englishness and your words of wisdom.

After 5 years of creating this Mediterranean refuge, completing projects, experiencing the cycles of growing different fruits, veg and ornamental plants and working on garden mosaics, I was thinking I had nothing more to say. Of course, a garden is never finished but like you, I want time just to enjoy it.

Whatever you decide, I hope we will touch base now and then.

Cheryl said...

Thank you John....that is so kind....

Cheryl said...

Hi Ladyluz.....It has surprised me how many people feel the same way.......and it is good to know other peoples views......

I will of course visit your blog....I love to know what is happening in sunny Spain......

Casey said...

I love the photo of the "plain" dragonfly! I understand if feel some sort of pressure to compete, but I'll miss your lovely photos. I don't log on to see if you've taken pretty pictures, I log on to see what nature looks like in your part of the world.

I,too,thought that perhaps my blog was a little "boring," but then I figured if was that boring then everybody would stop reading. Sometimes it's nice just to see what's going on in someone else's life ~ it's always interesting to me!

I'll miss your backyard very much!

Q said...

My Dear Cheryl,
For every bug that you have saved, by showing their beauty, I thank you. For every bird you have saved, by reminding us to be full of care, I thank you. Most of all I thank you for sharing your love of the bees. Before I met you I did not know any one who loved the bugs as much as I do! Browns and blues and greens and yellows...nature is a rainbow of beautiful colors. Each bloom and bug as beautiful as the next...
Blogging for me is about sharing the joy of Mother Nature as you have done. If you do decide to put your journal up I would support you. I also would miss your musings and your bugs!
We will always be friends.
We talk with the bees and butterflies. We walk under the same moon. I will always be one with you and the bees.
You will know what is best for you.
Namaste dear friend,
Sherry, who dances with the bees

Rose said...

Cheryl, I just read your reply to Beckie and me as well as all the other comments. How sweet of you...but I certainly don't want to try to pressure you or make you feel guilty about giving up your blog.

Leanne made such a good comment about finding "balance"--I think that's very important. And Morning Glory's comment so eloquently says what I feel, too.

You are a special person, Cheryl!

Cheryl said...

Thank you Casey I am so grateful for your comments and clear vision on things......

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry.......you and I are and always will be kindred spirits....I will always stay in touch with you, I know that you understand me and I understand you....I value your words and photographs.....I will always visit Corner, for me it is a way of life..............

Tricia said...

Cheryl - there's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said.

I do empathise with your views though and, although a new visitor to your blog, I've always enjoyed it. Equally if "blogging" in itself becomes a chore then perhaps that's also a time to stop.

Now, if I haven't anything particular to say, I've stopped feeling that I "should" be posting something.

I shall continue to enjoy your posts for as long as I can.

Libbys Blog said...

OH Cheryl, I think it will be a great shame if you stop blogging! I do understand because as I hit the 1st year mark, I had become competitive and really wanted my 'hits' to go up. Then I stopped and thought and in fact what Lottie said made me think. she keeps her blog as a diary of what she does in the year, something to look back on. So thats how I started to view mine, I stopped blogging daily and only blogged if I wanted to, or had something to tell, more or less like an open diary! I feel alot better about blogging now and as you've seen recently I have been far too busy to blog!
But if you do decide to stop then as a friend I will respect that, and miss your beautiful garden, and stunning pictures.
By the way I don't mind if they are brightly coloured or brown and dull, insects and flowers, I just love this blog and the knowledge that you have and share.
{{hugs}}

Cheryl said...

Hi Libby thanks for your lovely comments.........your words have given me food for thought....lots to think about.............regardless of the outcome....I shall always visit you............xx

Cheryl said...

Thank you Tricia.....for your kind words.......

Terrie B x said...

Hi Cheryl......
I Totally understand your decision....
It has been a pleasure sharing your beautiful journey,your photo`s and of course your garden:)
Will certainly miss your posts but I wish you and your family `Many Blessings`....
Keep enjoying what you do:):):)because you do it beautifully...xxx

shirl said...

Hi there Cheryl :-D

I wish you well in whatever you decide to do even though we have only come across each other a few times in the last year. I can see that you have made many good friends :-D

In November I will have been blogging for two years. I had no thoughts on how I long I would blog for either. I considered stopping then too but, although time consuming I would agree, I get such a buzz out of sharing what goes on in my garden.

Yes, I do like the hits but I don’t see them in a competitive way. The only competition I have with my posts, photos and videos is with myself – I am a creative person. That is the way I am. On saying that, I am just as happy to post on the ordinary parts of the garden too. The flowers don’t need to be perfect when I photograph them and I post them in montages deliberately to capture the essence of the plants in my garden rather than single shots all the time. If I took it too seriously then, like you, it would be time to stop. If I felt pressure to post when I have nothing to share then that too would be a time to stop.

I also see each post as a record of what goes on in my garden and if I can share something (like getting wisteria flowers or increasing stock of Japanese Anemones) I so enjoy being able to - just as I would if someone was to walk around me garden with me.

However, at the moment time is an issue with me too as there are lots going on with my family. I agree completely that balance is the key. I also don’t like to post unless I have anything to say either. The same goes with comments on other blogs.

I see the nature part of my blog as a voyage of discovery as it is all new to me. I enjoy learning as I go. It sounds like many have learned from your posts. From the comments I have read above I can see that so many respect the respect you have for nature and it sounds like you have shared so much in your time blogging.

Well done you! All the best for the future :-D

Cheryl said...

Thanks Terrie....of course I will always drop by to see how life is with you and the crafters.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Shirl....thank you for your positive comments......time is also an issue with me as I have many other commitments.....perhaps I am not seeing things clearly at the moment, I don't know but thank you for your help......

Baker Watson said...

Your post here reminded me of the reasons people start blogs and how those reasons may change over time. I don't think so much of 'competition' but more the feeling that one has to 'deliver'. Each post must be up to a specific standard or style so as not to disappoint visitors. That pressure to deliver can lessen the real enjoyment of the blogging and the experiences you originally wanted to share through the blog.

I also thought of a recent post you made about the journals and other items of long-gone family members that you were recently looking through. One could sense the feeling of warmth that would come over you as you held them, slowly wandering through them page by page, and coming to know those individuals though their words and pictures.

In a way our blogs are a bit like those journals. Someday our descendants will look back on our blogs and learn more about us in a way that would surprise us. They will see us day-by-day. The will see what we did, what we saw, and the things that made an impression upon us. And the will learn about us.

In our minds it will not have the same feeling as reading the pages of an old journal or flipping the pages of a scrapbook of photo's wondering what surprises await us on the next page. But to them it will be a way of seeing us and learning about us. They will be able to read our words as though we are speaking directly to them. They will see the photo's of those things that we truly enjoyed and were a part of our life.

I'm not saying you should reconsider and continue to blog. That is for each person to decide. And I know you have several weeks left to ponder the situation. I just look forward to being able to visit for those weeks and enjoy your forays into the garden and the rich variety of plants and creatures you encounter.

Cheryl said...

Dear Baker....you have the most wonderful way with words....your comments touched me...thank you for your sincerity and for giving me more to think about.....

Terry said...

I've just found your blog and now you're stopping? I'm so sad! I love your photos! I can completely understand though. I've found myself worrying about getting a better photo of the butterflies in my garden instead of just sitting and enjoying them. Your post here reminds me I'm not alone and I need to remebmer to take time to stop and smell the flowers and just watch the butterflies! I hope you change your mind and stick around! :0)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh Cheryl, I can certainly appreciate how you might feel bogged down with blogging so often. Maybe just an occasional write up with pictures will be more to your liking. I would sure miss you and your garden if you go away. You are right about stopping if it feels like a dreaded job. I do hope you find a "happy" medium.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Blogging can certainly become very competitive. That's not what you want and it's not what I want either. I've thought about chucking it in too but have decided against it because of all the fun and joy my blog brings in my own life and in that of many others.

For me garden blogging is about spreading the joy and knowledge of gardening. About sharing your successes and failures. To show how wonderful nature is and to enjoy it all.:-)

Blotanical for instance I give a wide berth because of the competitiveness there. It's not for me, it will never be for me.

As you know I'm still blogging. I don't know for how long, that is something none of us really know.

I'd be sorry if you stopped blogging as your blog has become a favourite one of mine. I feel we are kindred spirits, even if we live so very far away from each other. :-)

But, feel free to stop blogging if that is what you really want. Reading all the comments here I have the impression that perhaps you are not as sure as you thought. That's fine, just go with the flow and what feels right for you Cheryl. And whatever you'll decide that's fine, no pressure!

Take care my dear!

Kim said...

I just found you through Shirl. I like what Baker Watson said. I've been blogging for a number of years but started garden blogging in a separate blog just a few months ago. Sometimes I get discouraged because I have no comments, and then I remind myself why I started in the first place. I love to take photos and I love to write. I'm not competing with anyone, I want to chronicle my garden for myself. I don't need commenters to do that, but I do need time. Sometimes, the blog gets neglected - if it's the garden or the blog, the garden always wins. I really liked what you said about even the plain being beautiful. I agree with you so strongly. Some of my favorite plants are not flashy. I may love them because of their quiet beauty, because Garden Man loves them (and I love him) or because a dear friend gave them to me. And ALL the beneficial critters in my garden are beautiful whether I take photos of them or not.

It sounds like I'm trying to get you to reconsider, but I'm not. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts. Hopefully you will see there are others of us who struggle with similar issues. I guess my bottom line for me is that if the blog doesn't bring ME pleasure, then I'll stop. Best of luck to you - it will be so nice to see what's going on across the pond from now until November.

I don't blog on Blogger, so if you want to see my blog, you can see it here.

Sheila said...

Dear Cheryl, I'm a little late with my comment, but I can only repeat what has been said here before I arrived.
I understand where you are coming from, and blogging is no fun when it becomes a chore. I haven't been around much this Summer, but would really miss you. Please reconsider, and perhaps limit your posts to a couple of times a week, with just a picture and a paragraph...?
WE would all appreciate it so much..
hugs
xx

Cheryl said...

Thank you Yolanda.....all that you say makes sense....as you say go with the flow and see what happens.....it has been valuable having so many comments and thinking on what other people have said.....

I love Bliss.....one of my favourites.....

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage said...

Cheryl,

I have read through all the other comments and have many of the same feelings. May I share some insights and perspective that I've gained being a steward over a wildlife habitat garden myself.

I have come to see my own blog as a way for me to journal what is going on in my garden and my life. I was never good at keeping a garden journal before I blogged. Now my blog is my garden journal. It helps me document the cycles of my garden, my home, and my life so that I can look back on it and experience the journey whenever I choose.

I only take my camera into the garden if I feel like putting on my "photographer" cap. Otherwise, I just let myself be a gardener and an observer--playing in the dirt and not caring about much else. If I experience something during that time that I want to record on my blog, then I make a mental note and continue gardening and being a steward over my wildlife habitat. If not, no big deal.

I don't post everyday. I post when I feel the need. Like Yolanda Elizabet, I avoid getting caught up in Blotanical's ratings system because it makes me nuts.

I've learned that I need to simply live my life, journal it for my own (and Hubby's) enjoyment, and let it be out there in case anyone else finds it enjoyable too.

Between now and November, you have a lot of thinking to do. I would hope that you are able to come to similar realizations as I have, and that you continue blogging simply for yourself.

Hugs,
Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Cheryl said...

Dear Cindy.....thank you for your comments....again really useful....and another perspective.....I am glad I posted on this issue as peoples comments have been so helpful......

ChrisND said...

First, thank you for what you have shared...I think it was a visit here that made me pay attention to other interests I have in the garden...not just the flowers. You are right, everything is worthy...even though some don't get to the front page.

After our vacation, I almost had the same feelings about blogging...when something is a chore, it has to change. For me that means once-in-a-while taking some time to connect with the wonderful blogs I read -- but then I also have to be selective, there are so many that are worthy to read and not enough time -- like the many shades of butterflies or the unique perspective of the hops you mention each one is to be enjoyed when the chance is in front of you.

I have found I don't often feel like putting something up all the time, so when that happens I won't. Like Cindy, this my version of a journal (and all the other photos I have at home). I will enjoy anything you wish to share...once a week, once a month, or once a year, or preserved in what you have already given.

Cheryl said...

Chris your comments touched me. thank you, people have been so warm and caring.....I will go with the flow for now......

Wendy said...

Oh Cheryl, I haven't visited your blog this week and didn't realize what was going on.

I have been going to post "The Evolution of a Blog" many times over the past few months. I wanted to relate how I've evolved with blogging. The ups and downs, the good and bad, but throughout, it's comments from people like you who make blogging fun; who make me feel important and worthy.

I started off blogging primarily about Cargiving. After a while I found it too sad. Somehow I found Beckie's dragonfly corner and it was such a happy blog. Then yours and others and I've had such fun!!
My own blog changed (or evolved) into gardening - then grandmothering - then just fun stuff.

There have been days when I don't want to sit down at the computer.
There are days when I am too tired; too sore; have nothing to say, etc. etc. etc.
But - I always come back. And I'm glad I do.

I have dealt with the "ego" thing (if you want to call it that). Everybody takes better pics than I do. Other people have more comments than I do. Others write better than I do. I don't have anything good to say. And on and on and on.

I understand about the plain dragonfly being a "turning point" for you. And it's good you are listening to your feelings.
But I want you to know that no matter what you post - it is good. Do you know why? Because it's yours!

I am learning to do what I love to do. And I love to write. I know that by practicing, my writing will get better. If I stop, then it won't. But blogging gives me control. I can write what I want. Post what I want. If it's not good, then people won't make comments. But I have come to a point where it's O.K. I'm blogging because I want to. In my own time. Days go by and I'm too busy. But when I'm ready - I'll blog. There is nobody standing over me with a stick saying "blog woman, blog!".

Cheryl, I do hope you will come to a place of peace in your heart. You are a caring and beautiful soul and whatever decision you make, I know it will be right for you.

Maybe it's just a change that's needed. Post about faeries. Post about family. You weave cute little stories with frogs....and bees... and other creatures.

November is a long way away. You don't need to make a decision yet....

Just read Beckie's comment and I agree with her 200%!! I did not want to sound emotional - but hey, she's right and I do feel emotional too!!
Blessed Bee