Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Bit of Retrospection and a Big Thank You!

It’s day 31 in the Word Count’s 2011 Blogathon, and “I Made it!!”  I posted on my blog once a day for 31 days!  It’s been a challenge for sure in several ways, but I’ve never been one to back off from a challenge and well, when you add the possibility of prizes, I’m “all in.”  After all, mom always says, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”

I’ve learned so much from participating in the 2011 Blogathon.  Especially since I didn’t even have a blog prior to April 15.  As you can imagine, I did a lot of scrambling those last couple of weeks of April to get a blog made because I had committed to the Blogathon and there was no turning back. 

My main reason for joining was simple.  A communications major from eons ago, I had chosen the mother-path over the career-path after our only child was born.  But our baby was in college now and the path to rejoining my career had reappeared.  It was time to divert paths. 

I wanted to jump back in to my career field, but social media and technology had changed the game, and I hadn’t kept up with it as well as I should have.  From website design, Twitter, Facebook and blogging, I had dropped the ball a bit.  But what better way to learn how to blog than to join a Blogathon?  That was my thinking anyway! 

And oh, boy…did I ever learn a lot!  Throughout my 31 days of May I’ve learned:
  • how to join Google groups
  • actually use Twitter (I’ve had an account for about a year and never used it)
  • participate in a Twitter chat
  • understand the value of Twitter
  • how to post a photo on my blog
  • download (or is it upload?) a video to YouTube
  • how to post a video on my blog
  • how to link to other web pages on my blog
  • that Blogger isn’t the best platform for my blog (thank you Blogger for those stressful two days of no service!)
  • how to use PollDaddy
I could go on and on about the technical skills I’ve learned, but what I found possibly most valuable and honestly a real eye-opener is what I learned about myself the past 31 days by reading the blogathoners’ blogs.  This was an added bonus that I never expected.

My self-reflection began almost immediately when I visited Chain the Wolf on May 1.  Although Susan’s description wasn’t my exact situation, it put into perspective and made me realize that I’ve been my own worst enemy from moving forward professionally.

A few days later Jan Udlock’s blog hit home and had me evaluating my life and career even more.  Over and over again, I was confronted by your blogs to re-evaluate myself and what I wasn’t doing. It was as if someone was placing a mirror in front of my life and pointing out the flaws or at least the missed opportunities. 

I have to admit at times it was painful.  I don’t know many who like to be shown their flaws, but overall it was a huge game-changer.  Because of this blogathon I have committed to myself that I “WILL” move forward which means taking a risk that I’ve been putting off, and I “WILL” invest in myself.  I’ve been so focused on being a mom first and having a career second that I fell way behind in my career field, but it’s time to correct that.  The way I see it is that I’ve still got another probably 30 years to work.  My career life has not passed me by, and there is still plenty of time.  Michelle, your success alone has taught me that I “can” re-enter the working world and make a big impact…as you have.  It’s time to take action and “live in the moment.” 

All of this retrospection comes courtesy of the 2011 Blogathon and its participants and for that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart! 


  1. I am blown away, thank you so much. Your reasons for blogging sound so similar to my own that I wanted to share this post that I wrote about why I started blogging when I was re-entering the workforce close to four years ago.

    I write about people making mid-life transformations on a regular basis at SecondAct.com (which you should definitely check out if you haven't already). Not only is it doable, it's a life affirming and powerful. As you've discovered, the only one holding you back is you. So go get it!

    Michelle Rafter

    Making life work as a writer and mom

  2. Hey Julie,
    What an honor to be mentioned in your post today. But remember if you weren't ready to read those words, you wouldn't have seen them. They wouldn't have made an impact on your life. But they did.

    So it must mean that you are ready to make a change or take a new step! It's okay to be fearful 'cause courage means taking the step even though you feel fear. I'm so excited for you.