Through one of those things where you read a comment on a blog you love, and the comment has a link to it and you click on the link because hey, otherwise there is work to do and really, we can't have that, I found an essay by a blogger who calls herself Chicky Chicky Baby. The post talks about bloggers who have decided to pack it in (and haven't we all felt like that at one time or another), and it has this little gem of an idea:
What has depressed me the most, however, is the idea that people are pulling out cardboard boxes and newspaper to pack it up and others are picking this time, when the person is saying 'See Ya Later', to tell the blogger how much they've loved their writing and that they're really going to miss them. Why do we wait until the end to tell other's how much we really enjoyed having them around? Why do we wait for that final post, or the one threatening to end it all, to say "No! Don't go! I love having you around! Your writing means something to me."?
Why don't we tell someone that we care about them, or dare I say "love" them, before they're walking out the door?
People who know me - and some of you know me well - know that I am very forthcoming with my appreciation. It's a decision I made some years back, when I was feeling underappreciated: I resolved then to make sure people who I respect, enjoy, and yes, "love" are aware of how much they mean to me.
I'm relentless about it, and I have found it to be one of the most rewarding changes I have made in my life and my way of thinking. It never fails to bring me joy to tell someone how much they add to my life. It really is a gift I give to myself, and what's lovely is that it is always appreciated by those who I share it with.
Allison was at a slumber party recently with a bunch of students in her Education faculty, and they played a game where one by one, each of the people at the party would sit in a chair (sometimes, I'm sure, uncomfortably), and every other person in the room would point out one positive quality about the person in the hot seat. It didn't have to be a big thing - one person told Allison "I love how you get excited to be sitting next to a person in class who you've never sat beside before". That seemingly insignificant quality speaks to a larger facet of her personality that is utterly engaging and wonderful - her interest in other people and her joy in discovering new friends.
As I say, I make a point of privately telling people I care about them, so I don't need to do that here. What I think might be fun, though, is every now and again (perhaps every Friday?) to pick out five people whose blogs I enjoy and tell them so. In doing so, I hope to encourage you to go discover how terrific these people are.
My selections will be more or less random, so no fair sooking if you don't see your name this week - chances are it will be there next week. Trust me - if you're on my blogroll, you're there because I like what you do and how you do it. That said, I need to start somewhere ...
... and Doc Ern is as good a place as any. Erin's posts are always filled with humour and life, and I adore reading about her adventures in birding. She is a self-avowed "nerd" (even owning a shirt that reads "Talk nerdy to me") ... but I think that she's actually pretty cool. Erin loves the outdoors and loves animals (this is starting to sound like her Playboy centrefold Profile, isn't it?) and spends her days in a lab where she is a research scientist. So yeah ... nerd. But definitely not the kind of nerd we used to have at my school..
Speaking of cool nerds, Kelly is about the coolest. Her writing often takes my breath away - crisp images, clever references, and such a positive, healthy outlook on life and relationships and all things trivial and not. I don't check every blog on my blogroll every day. But hers, I do. And I have never been disappointed. Allison and I have both said "Doesn't she sound like somebody you could really be friends with?" Allison is 22. I'm ... not. I think it says something about Kelly that we both think she'd be a good pal..
Also on my list of bloggers whose writing has never disappointed me is William. When I need to laugh, that's where I go. This is one very talented, very funny guy. He writes about his relationships - with his wife and his kids and his brothers and parents - in a very honest, open, and kind way and weaves in lovely, self-deprecating humour to make sure nobody gets hurt.
Speaking of honest writing - and for good measure, some pretty damn fine photography - I can't do this first piece without mentioning one of my oldest and dearest friends on the internet, Laura. Laura's writing - especially some of her stream-of-consciousness rambles - never fails to make me smile. And she takes some killer pictures of the place she lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida and the shorebirds and animals she encounters. Plus - smartest dog around.
And finally (for this week), go visit Wordgirl. I don't read any better writing, online or in books, than she routinely - and, it seems, effortlessly - spills into her posts. She is brilliant and funny and thoughtful and writes incisively and articulately about things that matter, and there is a very good reason she's been seconded to write a regular piece for a parenting blog called The Imperfect Parent. She writes with sparkling wit and an elegance to which we should all aspire.
So there you are. This week's Friday Five. I think they're terrific, and I want them to know that and I want you to know that and go visit them and later on we can all gather on a hilltop and raise our Cokes in one hand and our candles in the other and it will be a big ol' love fest. Or else go for a beer.
More next Friday, unless I forget.