Thought I’d have an opening song. For me, the tone of the first word fits this post.
In life, I’m not a “Look at me – see what I did” type of person. There are times I even prefer walking away or without fanfare. Of even do something without recognition. A friend told me that one of the reasons they like dancing with me is because I don’t bring attention to myself or the couple. I just dance. That’s a private side of me, but I must admit – I appreciate positive praise and recognition when it’s timely – more during because (to me and at times) after-the-fact seems shallow – contrived.
It is interesting how I’ve ended this place that has been part of me for over a decade. I knew I couldn’t just walk away from my regulars – leaving them wondering “Whatever happened to Frank?” I just couldn’t. On the other hand, just maybe – this formal closing series is something I needed for myself along while respecting my readers.
When I started my little corner of the world on 28 August 2008, I had no idea what I would do and for how long. Beyond writing a post and having people read and comment, I had no clue about what was to come. The respect, friendships, encouragement, and more have blown me away.
Some say a blog’s average life span is 3 years – and to think I’ve gone strong for 11+ years. Guess that means I did OK. Well, at least in these terms.
Many stats are worthless, but I’ve enjoyed watching them: 2,304 posts, 13,531 categories/topics, 442,397 visits, 96,911 comments, 8,017 followers. They cause me to smile – but I’m most proud of my longevity, versatility and the way I’ve handled myself here. Stats will also make me laugh in the future when I receive notifications of a new follower in the days to come. You know that’s going to happen. Maybe I’ll see the day when the counter rolls over to 500,000.
My first post was short – a mere 11 sentences with 166 words. The excerpt below is from that first post.
To readers I promise insight, yet will respect comments from others. I will be respectful to all as bashing is not my style, thus hope others are the same. Disagreement and criticism are fine, but it should be done with class. Other times I will simply provide information for readers to use.” (28 Aug 2008)
With much unknown ahead of me at that time, little did I know how those words would resonate in this final post over 11 years later.. Yes – I accomplished it!
I plan on leaving this blog up and hope to continue visiting and commenting on blogs. Maybe not as regular, but yes – you are important to me! You are part of me. We are friends who have never met. But, I hope to stay away for the rest of the month of February – or at least only be limited because I have some things I must do. Maybe I will start snooping around sometime in March.
My future plans? As long as I’m able, I want to keep doing what I’m doing: ballroom dance, walking, travel, golf, working at the golf course, and whatever else. I’ve started playing a bit of pickleball. In terms of blogging, wisdom tells me to beware of saying “never” because one never knows what lies ahead. I don’t plan to post here again – but I’ll let the future determine what I do on WordPress. Maybe I would use the mailing list here as a future announcement post.
Personally, I would love to turn the beach walking series into a podcast. That’s easier said than done, I’ve done the research – I know that endeavor requires a lot of work, especially for what I visioned – so, I doubt if that happens because I don’t want to dedicate that much time to the task.
I can say that I secured beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com just in case I proceed. If I move forward with the idea, I can’t imagine not letting many of you know. If I don’t do the podcasts, maybe I’ll return to blogging by solely focusing on beach walks. Maybe I’ll use this platform for an announcement to get the word out. Time will also answer that question. Therefore, I ask you to keep me notification active.
I enjoy research. I enjoy writing. I enjoy interacting with visitors. To me, those are very important factors of blogging. I try to practice what I believe. If someone takes the time to comment, I feel obligated to be welcoming and reply with something meaningful. Then again, that’s time consuming – let alone reciprocating and visiting my favorite blogs. One of the reasons I’m stepping away is failing to meet my self-imposed values and standards.
I’ve tried to be true to myself here – that is, being who I am – well, at least who I think am. Each of us are different and complex in our own way – that defines humanity – and, I know I’m far from perfect.
In person, I try to be personable, friendly, and kind (but some people make that difficult). I have a sense of humor (that some don’t understand). I’m definitely a thinker and a contrarian one at that – yet not confrontational. Yes, I’m a talker, but not a nonstop talker who continues talking when they inhale. Emotional endings to movies can cause a tear or two. I’ve shed more than a few tears here recently – and YES, my eyes are blue. I’m average size and build (5’10.5″) and 67th birthday is coming soon. Cheers to other Aquarians.
The closing process has been a reflection opportunity. Throughout my life, and no matter the endeavor, I’ve wanted the following: acceptance, respect, and appreciation while being part of something. I think those build my self-esteem. My work career is where I discovered my contrarian nature. Overall, I didn’t feel valued – the feeling of swimming against the current or being alone on an island. But, I had the desire and confidence to push forward with my ideas and approach – and in many ways, mission accomplished.
My contrarian nature, desire, and confidence continued here, and my readers here have made me feel valued – yes; accepted, respected, and appreciated. I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me! Because of you, I’m a better person today than when I started this blog on 28 August 2008.
I also believe YOU are the ones that kept me going for so long! For me, some of the praise you have given me the past few weeks is a bit of a shock. Appreciative yes – but I’m still surprised. Simply put, I’m wired to think more what you have done for me as opposed for what I’ve done for you. After all, I’m just being myself. Maybe just a different view of selfishness.
I recently received an email about comments on the closing agenda post, and the person asked if I realized how much I had affected people. To be honest, I had not – so the message caused me to look at those comments in a different light. My impact on people here has never ended my mind. I’m not one who focuses on himself. In the comments of the final two posts I’ve included locations of commenters, which says two things to me – the world has touched me – and it seems I have touched the world. Now that’s an overwhelming thought. All I can say is, “Wow and thanks for allowing me into your life!”
It’s been a fabulous 11+ years – and I have no regrets. Blogging has been a gift, and you the treasure inside that gift. Thank you for being you and for visiting my little corner of the world. Thank you for accepting me and my quirks. Thank you for your role in making this a friendly place. Thank you for making me a better blogger. Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for building my confidence in humanity. Hosting has been an honor and a pleasure that you have made easy.
Thanks to everyone for reinforcing my belief that the majority of people in the world are good, and for helping me take my little corner of the world beyond my wildest dreams. I love the people here! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.