A few weeks ago, I wrote that my feet are smoother and healthier than ever after a full year of consistent pedicures. An unusual topic, and yet I am writing about them again. Well, not my smooth, tiny feet, but about consistency and growth. This week marks the first anniversary of my blog posts. I am proud of myself for consistently showing up week after week. I have kept this commitment to myself. I used to be a woman that honored commitments I made to others, but not always herself. If someone else was depending on me, then I showed up. The old me would quit on herself with regularity.
- No one read my post: Quit
- Too tired to write: Quit
- Emily is sick: Quit
- I was ill: Quit
- We are going on vacation: Quit
- Nothing to write about: Quit
- I don’t feel motivated: Quit
You get the idea. I used to be a quitter. Especially when the only one who I was accountable to was myself. I did not see anything wrong with that. I was only letting myself down, and no one would know or care. The change happened when I realized I would know, and it mattered. I matter. Because it was important to me, I would prioritize getting it published.
When I committed to writing a blog, I told myself I would do it each week no matter what. My thought process was simple. I told myself, “Billie, you are the boss. Your boss expects you to post a piece of work every Tuesday at 11:11 am. Period.” It may sound funny, but I knew if my boss told me I had to do a post every week or would lose my job, you are damned sure I would have it done. (I hope my real boss doesn’t get any ideas.)
I have posted some content every single week. Not all of my posts have been literary masterpieces. To be very clear, none of them are. They have been a way to share tools to help others grow and learn. There have been stories of gratitude for loved ones. Some are honoring loved ones who have passed, and some are important in my life today. I have written about the struggles of isolation and caring for my disabled daughter. I have written about fading friendships, invitations that didn’t come, and managing stress. I have posted pieces on self-care and tools to reduce stress. Keys to handling the holidays without regret. The topics are wide and varied.
When I started writing a year ago, I did not know where this adventure would lead. I was building a coaching business. I wanted to provide information to help other caregivers in the trenches. Women who may feel overwhelmed and lonely. Caregivers who are struggling. Some are barely hanging on by a thread. For many parents raising children (and adults) with disabilities, emotions vacillate between exhaustion and overwhelm. My intent was to reach these women and help show them how to care for themselves. Provide the reader with manageable, tiny action steps to add to their resource toolbox. I also wanted to share some of my experiences in the trenches. I want them to see there is light even in the darkest days. We, caregivers, are strong, valuable, capable, and tougher than our challenges and struggles.
I did not expect that a year of writing would teach me so much about myself. I discovered that I love to write. I forgot the joy that can be found in expressing my thoughts in written form. I uncovered memories of my parents and childhood that have been buried for years. I was delighted to share parts of my life. I was surprised and delighted at some of the memories that surfaced on this journey. I have overcome challenges in my marriage and raising a child with disabilities. As I recalled some things I have overcome, I realized I am a strong woman. I am sensitive, empathetic, and soft, but I am also a fighter, a fixer, and a problem solver.
In celebration of a year of posts, I decided to create two lists. The first list is the top five blog posts of the past year. The ones that had the most views, likes, comments, and even a re-post, or two:
As more people find my website and my posts, I have had more interactions. Most of these posts, except for Fasten Your Seatbelt are more recent posts. Fasten Your Seatbelt was my first repost on findingcoopersvoice.com. It was such an exciting thrill to have something I wrote posted to another site.
My top five have some overlaps:
- You Always Have Something to Give
- When Gratitude Eludes You
- A Badass Woman I Called Mom
- Fasten Your Seatbelt
- Gratitude is a Practice
My favorites, except Fasten Your Seatbelt, are also recent posts. It is not because these posts got more views than earlier posts. My recent posts reflect my growth as a writer. When I started this blog in 2021, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just decided to write. I wanted to keep writing short and bite-sized. They conveyed a short message that did not expand and explore thoughts or concepts. By writing consistently, week after week, my skill is developing. It is reflected in my work. By consistently writing, I am getting better at it. I am not J.K. Rawlings or Jodi Picoult, but I am not measuring against anyone else but me. As I learn and grow, I am excited to see where my writing takes me in 2022.
I would love to know which post was your favorite or topics you would like me to write about in future posts. I appreciate the caregivers, readers, and friends who read my writing. I am honored and grateful that you show up each week.