One of the ideas he’s suggested more than a few times, but that I’ve resisted writing about up to this point, is the subject of bloggers themselves. Who are they? Why do they do what they do? Don’t they have anything better to do with their time?
I’m not exactly why I’ve shied away from this topic, something about not wanting to delve too deeply into the fact that I spend time blogging that might “better” be spent actually doing my day job, or playing a dreaded, never-ending game of Candy Land with my kids, or running, or cooking, or reading, or, well, you name it. There are only so many hours in the day, and here I am blogging! Aren’t I always bitching about how time poor I am? Couldn’t I get in one more yoga class per week if I stopped this nonsense?
Yes, yes, I probably could. And I have to admit that there are days that I don’t feel like blogging, at all; I have no good ideas and I’d rather clean my bathroom (yes, it’s that bad sometimes) but it’s my turn, and I’m not about to let Jacquie or Ellie down. I have no illusions that I’d be letting anyone else down, I’ve never been crazy enough to think “I must do this for my adoring public!” But me skipping a post would mess up the Me and You and Ellie schedule, and I’m not about to do that to my dear co-bloggers.
Beyond that, though, there’s another reason I do it….. I do it as an outlet, a creative outlet. M&Y&E provides me with a space to lay out my thoughts, in words and pictures, however wacky, silly, or stupid they may be.
Sometimes my posts suck, sometimes they don’t. But always, or almost always (unless they really suck), I feel a sense of satisfaction once the post is published. So when I read the title and subtitle of a press release yesterday that said:
Study: Want to be happier? Be more grateful
Want to quickly improve your happiness and satisfaction with life? Research done at Kent State University shows the pen may be a mighty weapon
I had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment. Well, not so much of an “ah-ha” moment, as a reaffirmation of what I already know -- expressing yourself is freeing.
The Kent State press release went on to reveal that expressive writing, in this case the weekly writing of letters of gratitude, increased happiness and feelings of gratitude in the study participants, and further, that expressive writing is often associated with fewer health problems, decreased depression, an improved immune system, and improved grades.
Is something as simple as expressive writing something we can all do to be happier?
I think it is. And I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful to Jacquie and Ellie for sharing the space with me, and to anyone who reads, or reads and comments on M&Y&E.
I’ve been grateful for the blog when annoying or bad things happen. It gives me another way to think about an inconvenience such as being stuck, hungover in a tiny airport with two kids for hours on end, or receiving mother’s day flowers picked out by my ex-husband's girlfriend. It somehow provides some levity in these types of situations; if nothing else, we bloggers think to ourselves, it will make for a good blog post.
So, here’s the challenge for you, in this week of giving thanks: to whom do you owe a letter of gratitude? And when are you going to volunteer to be a M&Y&E guest blogger?