For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Life…blogging…and a new look

You may have noticed that things look a little different around the blog.

I’ve written many posts about my reading and blogging slumps this past year. I took some time off – both from reading and blogging and that helped but even so blogging hasn’t been as fun as it used to be and I have considered quitting quite often.

TMI warning…

While I was already unsure of my future with the blog something else, more personal, was happening in my life. My father had been battling Parkinson’s Disease. He lost that fight last week. As anyone who has cared for an ailing parent knows it’s an all consuming, emotional experience. I’m an only child and my mom passed away when I was 16, so this is a particularly difficult loss for me.

So what does this have to do with blogging?

Blogging is very different from when I started almost 4 years ago. It’s harder to stay at the top of your game and have a normal life outside of blogging, it’s competitive, there are weekly meltdowns and temper tantrums, it’s increasingly difficult to keep up with ALL the books, the formatting is @*&!….you get the idea.

It’s so easy to look at all the downsides these days and say why bother?

Because this past year it was you, my fellow bloggers and followers, that were there for me when I needed it. You sent me flowers, books, candy, home made cookies and emails just to check in on me. You listened to me vent, you shared your experiences with me. Even those of you that had no clue what was going on cheered me up daily with your tweets and blog comments without even knowing it.

And THAT’S what blogging is all about. The connections. The friendships. I haven’t even met most of you in person but you were there for me and I can’t even begin to tell you all how much I appreciate it.

I NEED to blog. I’m not sure what form it will take. As you can tell, I opted to change my look to a basic (but I think cute) design. I may be obsessed with books one week, music, movies or my cat the next. The point is I’m not going to worry about it anymore. I now know why I blog and stats/follower #’s/ the “right” content be damned.

Thanks for listening to me ramble…and for being here. I hope you stick around.

* Design by PixieDustTemplates – Whimsical graphic design

58 comments:

  1. I like your new design! It's so pretty (:

    I can only imagine how hard that must be. My grandfather in the end barely recognised me and my brother, and he had terrible pains that no doctor could explain. It must be even worse if it's your father.

    Doesn't matter if you blog about books or movies (or cats, cats are awesome!), we, your readers, aren't going anywhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :-)

      I'm sorry about your grandfather. Dementia was part of my father's illness too and it's such a horrible thing to go through. Both for them and the family.

      I definitely agree with the cat thing. I'm sure mine will be plotting his blog takeover.

      Delete
  2. I'm so sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers go out to you.
    And for what it's worth, (<-- see what I did there? ;) ), I look forward to seeing what obsesses you each week. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!

      You are very clever lol I'll try not to harbor really weird obsessions :-)

      Delete
  3. I am sorry for your loss. I'm glad you are sticking around and blogging. Go with what feels right for you. Whatever that is. I love following blogs that are more about the real person and not the stats. I'll look forward to what ever you blog about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      I'm finding myself following more blogs that have a mix of reviews and personal too.

      Delete
  4. Hugs to you.

    Great new blog look too. And I am glad you are still blogging, I do love it, and yes there is a lot going on around me but we can just fly under the radar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hoping to avoid the drama llama and just have fun :-)

      Delete
  5. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you in the difficult and life-altering time.

    I do like your simple, clean blog look. I'm not that keen on cats as close contact makes my eyes itch and water. But I do like pictures of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be a virtual cat - no allergies! lol

      Thank you :-)

      Delete
  6. Oh Karen!! Hugs and much love back to you!

    We're glad you're sticking around and hanging in there with us burn outs! LOL
    I had the same thoughts these past months too because it's just been difficult to get back into reading. And work is just making it more difficult to do all this blogging too. But I'm taking it slow and I'm glad I had you and other bloggers at my back shifting me back into reading. Stay in there with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My reading habits have changed so much recently. Now I let myself read when I feel like it and don't force myself when I don't.

      I'm even catching up on all the movies and TV shows I've been missing.

      xoxo

      Delete
  7. Karen, I'm so very sorry. I just sent you an email.
    I'm glad you're not quitting the blog. You can't, after you made the blog so pretty. I've been feeling a little down about blogging too. I was so behind on comments and went to catch up, and strangely, that made me feel so much better. Sometimes I forget how many great friends I've made through the blog.
    Sending you virtual hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how I feel. We get caught up in getting the post up! lol but it's the interactions that make it so much fun.

      You are one of those people who was there for me and I thank you SO much :-)

      Delete
  8. Successful new look! Woop. I'm loving it, really. I'm glad you will keep on blogging, what would I do without your new music recs? (I know there is Twitter but is not the same). And reviews and other stuff too, of course lol

    Many hugs to you. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU for helping me pick this design! After me sending you many...many...many this is "it" emails lol

      You can't get rid of me. I will find you.

      XOXO - love you

      Delete
    2. Aaaaand *cough* feel free to join me and guest post a review or music pick *cough*

      Delete
    3. You are welcome, I'm glad I could help and flattered that you asked me :) <3

      Right back at ya, my friend. Love you too, and I know! I'm doing that I promise, just need to think really good music :D

      Delete
  9. I adore you new look and I am so sorry about the loss of your father. I know that he put a strong fight in the end. I love you and send you a million billion hugs. Vent away and read and blog how you want :) xxxoooo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it Julie.

      You have been the most supportive, amazing friend. Love you and your fluffy unicorns!

      Delete
  10. I sent you an e-mail. I'm so sorry about your dad. I'm glad you are not quitting blogging because I like to keep up with you. I agree with you that it's the connections...I like to see what my bloggy friends are doing no matter what their weekly obsession is. I am looking forward to some pet obsessions though.

    But, I do know how you feel...I'm not going to worry anymore either. There's too much other stuff to worry about. I do like your new look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've made so many good friends through the blog. I would miss everyone too much.

      Thanks for everything Pam :-)

      Delete
  11. *looks around* *panics* WHERE AM I!?! It's...so beautiful and well lit here.... :P

    Karen, i love your new bloggy design, it's wonderful, just like you! And I miss you...so you know what that means...i will be stalking your blog and making pointless comments on every post :)

    Alright, that's all i've got for now. LOVE YOOOOOOU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE YOU MORE!

      Good lighting is very important :-)

      Delete
  12. As the name of your blog states, For What It's Worth, I'm really sorry about your father. I will pray for him and your family to have strength and peace.

    A loss is hard. Take the time you need to grieve, regroup, and then come back. We'll be here.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh, Karen. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. *big hugs* Love you.

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jen (& for all the times you've let me vent/whine lol)

      Delete
  14. I am so, so sorry to hear about your father, Karen. I know that this has been a difficult time for you, and I do think about you often. I hope you and Kevin are managing as well as you can. {{hugs}}

    The blog looks wonderful. You know how much I admire your blog and you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andrea - you're sexy book rec's have been a nice escape for me the past year :-)

      Delete
  15. I can relate to the difficulties of taking care of a parent, while trying to juggle other life demands. Despite the challenges and your eventual loss, I'm happy you had the opportunity to be there for your father. You did a wonderful job keeping up your blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was very lucky to have been able to move him closer to me. It's been difficult but we also got to spend a lot of time together. Good memories :-)

      Delete
  16. So very sorry for your loss.

    Yesterday, on a trip to NYC, I met in person a blogger I've known for some time. Conversation was easy, and we had a good time. (And I am normally an introvert, so talking to stranger is difficult for me. But she wasn't a stranger.)

    I have made so many connections through blogging, and it seems that you have, too. I'm glad you're staying with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am painfully shy but I don't seem to have the same fears once I'm talking to my bloggy friends. I've met quite a few in person. I think we *know* each other in some weird way already. It's like a tribe of readers or something lol

      Delete
  17. So sorry to hear about your dad. Big hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, Karen.

    I'm glad you aren't quitting blogging - place wouldn't be the same without you. And I love the new look :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm glad you like it. I'm having trouble adjusting to the brightness lol

      Delete
  19. I really like the simple look! sometimes that's just the easiest.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your dad though. I hope you're surrounding yourself by people that you love, whether online or in person.

    Don't worry about blogging - do what you want, when you want. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am. I have great, supportive friends and a wonderful husband.

      I really like the simple design these days. I may do something more custom in the future but for now this works.

      Delete
  20. ((HUGS)) I'm so sorry for your loss! ((HUGS))

    I think you rock and so does your blog. Glad to hear that you are being kinder to yourself.... at least at blogging. On that note, do take care of yourself! You deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Melissa.

      I was very burned out with blogging but when I found that I didn't have time to recently I missed it. I'm not ready to go just yet lol

      Delete
  21. I'm so sorry for your loss, Karen. Lots of hugs coming your way.

    I think you should blog about whatever you want!! Your followers and friends will stick around whether you are blogging about books or something else! Oh, and I love the new look too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it Carrie.

      Right back at ya about doing what you want on your blog. I know we've shared some of the same blogging frustrations over the years.

      Delete
  22. Your design is perfect. And so sorry for your loss. It's never easy. So big *hugs* to you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hugs from me too! I still have both my parents, but I can imagine what you went through - especially with that kind of illness.
    You're right about the blogging thing...it's not about the competition - it shouldn't be. We talked about it at lenght in our beloved BBC sessions :). If it was all about reading and reviewing the latest books before everyone else (or most people), I shouldn't even be a blogger. So what? I'm not quitting. And I'm glad you aren't either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give them both a big hug!!

      I was never caught up in stats and #'s but I did feel pressured to read & review faster for awhile. It sucked all the joy out when I originally started blogging to talk about a lot of different things.

      I do find that I'm happiest when I get to talk to everyone though so I don't think I can quit :-)

      Delete
  24. Oh honey. *HUG* My grandpa passed from Parkinson's in 2006 and I lost my dad 2 years ago from diabetes. *HUG* I can feel your pain and my heart hurts for you. *HUG*

    You're right, the blogging community is pretty awesome.

    I loove your new look btw. It's so fresh and clean and easy on the eyes.

    I'm also SO glad to hear that you will be expanding and blogging about different things. Those are my favorite kinds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry. It's difficult to watch anyone you love suffer like that. {{HUGS}} back!

      I'm glad you like the new design. It reminds me of mint ice cream for some reason lol

      Delete
  25. Tackle *HUGGLES*!

    I love the new look and remember your life/health/personal things are always first!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Felicia. Your weekly doggie pics always cheered me up so thank you :-))

      Delete
  26. I've always enjoyed watching the superhero movies, but I never really connected to the comics or anything. Maybe it does have to do with the fact there were not many strong female heroines to look up to.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sometimes I get in moods and I struggle with remembering what the benefits to blogging are, as well. But I am so, so happy that you are still able to love and appreciate blogging, Karen! You would miss blogging and we would miss your presence, guaranteed. I am so sorry to hear about your father; I also lost my grandmother to Parkinson's last year and it was so hard to see her health deteriorate so fast before our eyes. One day they will find a cure for it, I'm sure. But my thoughts are with you at this time. Really, really love the new look!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dad had Parkinson's for almost a decade without any real symptoms then he just rapidly declined. It's so sad to watch and scary for them. I'm sorry about your grandmother. {hugs}

      I like the more personal touch on your blog Aylee. I think it's fine for bloggers to grow and change. I don't think we can all stay the same and have the same passion for the same things forever.

      I'm glad you like the new look ;-)

      Delete
  28. Oh, Karen--I'm so sorry to hear that your father passed away. (I've been offline recently so I missed this, so apologies that this comes so late as well.) I'm glad to hear that you are coming back with a renewed sense of purpose, though--I have to keep reminding myself as well that this is all supposed to be fun, and it's the quality, not the quantity, of everything that counts.

    Love to you. <3

    ReplyDelete