March 8, 2014

Making a Difference

Dining room table and chairs….with Grumpy.

Tabor stirred my thinking this morning.  Not only had I thought I would accomplish more with my volunteering, I thought my blogging would be of more import, be of more value and weight similar to that of my hand written journals.

Tabor had this to say about herself this morning, “I am that person I promised I would never become.  I am ego-centric enough to have never seen myself as one of the "ladies who lunch."  There is nothing wrong with that group, but I always wanted to be the edgier one, the one who was REALLY making a difference, the one whom others liked but also looked a little askance at since I marched to my own drummer and they could not hear the beat of that drum.  I wanted to be the one that accomplished something special.  I wanted to be the one that was warmed deep inside by what I had accomplished, what I had given or helped complete.”

I wrote her a note back saying, “ When I was in my late twenties and early thirties, I did take part in changing my world here in a big way.  (These days)… I am really happy with my job as the book lady, but for a while I worried that the job wasn't at all meaningful”

In the seventies, at my very bottom of drug induced madness, my husband’s girlfriend suggested I keep a written journal.  I would always leave the latest journal sitting out readable by anyone who stopped by.  Unconsciously I shared my days in words and pictures with the whole world.  My friend Dale would stop in and always read the journal first then he would visit.  Don and others would too.  My old friend Monica remembers my journals well.  Over the years they evolved into this blog.  These journals made a giant difference in my life.

But I have few readers here.  That’s disappointed me greatly.  On Open Diary, I would get twenty notes plus a day, and I felt my blogging was reaching an audience.  On Blogger, most days I get six or seven notes a day.  I confess that I read many bloggers but don’t always leave notes.  That makes a difference a big difference in the number of notes any blogger gets.  The older I get, the slower I get.

Just as I am not changing the world by blogging, I am ploddingly slow as a volunteer.  I show up early, park in the wrong place, sit on a cushion, and wear arm braces.  I’m not a sight to inspire enthusiasm.  But I show up and can use a computer at slightly beyond a beginner level.  As I visit trees I planted downtown and see how they have grown, I can see what I have accomplished as a book lady or Facebook lady.  Even if I have not changed the world in a big way, I suit up and show up.

In the end, I wrote, “As I have more problems with parts of me wearing out, I've come to the decision that any time freely given is a good thing.”  I should have also told her loudly that her words here do make a difference to many of us every day.


  • Himself:  Looking for bowls to go with a mixer we want to donate, playing games, docenting.
  • Herself:  Writing, photographing, puttering.
  • Reading:  Finished Kinsey and Me.  Powerful writing.
  • Balance:  Puttering.  Showering and more puttering.


  • 19 comments:

    1. This is a powerful post, Mage and it really got me thinking. You're right though. How many comments you get is quite tied to how many people you visit and especially leave comments to. Then again if you can touch even one person, isn't that lovely? You touch me, Mage.

      Besides that you don't know how many people are reading and enjoying your posts, but just not commenting. I call them lurkers. :-). I have had friends tell me they are lurkers but too shy to comment.

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    2. Love that photo by the way.

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    3. I am a long years away from when I tried to make a difference protesting and volunteering. But I think that we did it while could counts for a lot. This is a different time now. I'll be 72 soon and I couldn't march or stand for more than 20 minutes. So we do other things. I'm sorry you don't get more readers, I love your posts and I admire the art you made that you have shared with us. You persevere.

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    4. I like to think that we could touch or inspire without knowing as we stumble along our daily activities...at least that sometimes gets me through the day. ;-)

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    5. I think we will never know how many people who we have met throughout our lives that we have made a difference to in some way. I know you touched me which is why I was so glad to re-connect. The fact, given all that you have had to deal with in terms of your health, etc., you do keep going and want to help others says a great deal. I love your blog - I went back and read many of the old posts because it allowed me to get to know you again. What joy it brought me! Keep going you mean a great deal to lots of people!

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    6. I didn't realize that I keep showing up as unknown. I fixed it.

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    7. I knew it was you, Monica. You have a strong, sure, Monica voice. :)

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    8. A difference in my life for sure. Your daily doings, your deep connection to friends and commitment to family, your determination to read, learn, collect, decorate, make art, exercise, and appreciate life inspire me every day. You and Tabor and Ernestine are constantly showing me ways to view life through the lens of grown up female intelligence and wisdom. I smile with pleasure at some of your antics and from time to time I'm moved beyond measure at a raw thought perfectly expressed by one of you. A small post on the right day can change my direction, bring clarity to a personal struggle or propel me to the gym when I was about to have ice cream instead.
      .

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    9. Do you know about the Amtrak residency for writers? Google it. I think you would be perfect!!

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    10. ear you daily my old friend...Katy

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    11. I usually visit your blog daily, but lurk most of the time. Sorry about that.

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    12. I'm a lurker who reads all your posts. On days when I just feel I can't write, I can still read.

      I promise, when my world improves and my writing returns, I will comment regularly again.

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    13. To putter or not to putter. I choose to putter these days. I used to worry about making a difference, but not any more. When I see my granddaughters enthusiasm for life, I knowDavid and I made a big difference. They will and are leading productive lives, and most importantly they are happy. Remember, the only thing that matters is love.

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    14. And you matter to me dear friend. I may be one of a few bloggers who write on your pages, but I am happy each time I read About your day. It's like being there!

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    15. I think we do make a difference. Often we won't see the results and oftentimes folks won't realize who was responsible for that difference. But that doesn't make it any less so. Blogging is a way to share but it's not always the way to making marks that are especially deep. (But just maybe you're affecting one of those lurkers in a profound way).

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    16. As do your words make a difference -- a big one in every life you touch.

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    17. I think the quality of the readers is more important then the volume. And yours seem a great lot.

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    18. I can't keep up with you. You are too prolific of a blogger for me to read on a regular basis. You do make a difference. I aspire to be as interesting as you. I aspire to capture life as you do.

      I hear what you are saying though. When it all winds down, we wonder if it was all that important. We become a bit like Solomon. In the end, it matters to those in our realm more than most of us will ever know that we cared enough to record some part of us that we wished to share. Your readers know and love you more than you know.

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    19. I can't keep up with you. You are too prolific of a blogger for me to read on a regular basis. You do make a difference. I aspire to be as interesting as you. I aspire to capture life as you do.

      I hear what you are saying though. When it all winds down, we wonder if it was all that important. We become a bit like Solomon. In the end, it matters to those in our realm more than most of us will ever know that we cared enough to record some part of us that we wished to share. Your readers know and love you more than you know.

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    Please, take just a moment to leave me a note. I really appreciate notes.

    SUNDAY

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