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Guest Posts Lyfe Treat Yourself Tuesday

The Importance of Blog Engagement and Comments

My true Tough Talk post for this week was actually posted yesterday as a guest post on my dear friend Laura’s blog, The Gluten Free Treadmill. It was actually ironic and highly beneficial that this post, which discusses how to change your perspective when you change your life, went up yesterday. Monday was a big day for me: I started actively applying for new CPT jobs. There will be a great deal more discussion on this in the near and not so terribly far future, so stay tuned for that. But I truly hope that you will visit her site (for reasons as to why to do so, see here. Or just trust me. Or do both.) and contribute to the discussion. You know I love a good discussion.

Sometimes I even think deep thoughts!

Sometimes I even think deep thoughts!

This week, and the next couple of weeks, are proving to be a little bit difficult for me, content-wise. Not because I don’t have anything to day. Believe you me, sometimes I find that I have the most to say on the days I am convinced that I have writer’s block. Right now, I am having a great deal of trouble because I am overwhelmed by all of the things that I want to tell you all, to discuss, to get your reactions on, to share. From new foodie tidbits (obvs, come back tomorrow, I’ve got somethings you DON’T want to miss) to reflections on huge life moments. Monday was the one year anniversary of Alex becoming an MD; Wednesday will be the one-year anniversary of us moving into our Chicago apartment, and, of course, this coming Monday will be the one year anniversary of our marriage. That brings up a swell of emotions that, coupled with all of the thoughts swirling in my head as I try to get my feet on solid ground with this whole CPT thing, makes it hard for me to focus.

Basically. I've become Zoe.

Basically. I’ve become Zoe.

In short, I needed an impromptu guest post for Tuesday. But I decided this Monday night. What’s a girl to do? I went to yoga Monday night and got my answer–as Tanya so perfectly stated in the intention for class, I could “break through, or break down.” A perfect sentiment for my life and also this tiny little situation. I thought about not even posting at all today (GASP), but I realized that I had the perfect guest post already written, I just didn’t know it: YOUR COMMENTS. One of the reasons that I love, I truly adore, writing this blog, and being friends with, and following your blogs, lies in the discussions that occur in the comments. When I first started reading blogs, years ago, I used to love to troll the comments–often what others had to say in their reactions could be far greater and more thought provoking than the post material itself. Much has changed about the blog world since–now, people do a much better job of providing rich material in their posts, but I think (actually, I know because I am quite guilty of it, though I wish I weren’t) that sometimes we forget how truly lush the content of the comment section can be. And I wanted to pay a little homage to that today by highlighting an exchange that happened in the comments of my Saturday post.

If we are going to talk about real things, we must go to the center of all learning EVER. The Academical Village at UVA.

If we are going to talk about real things, we must go to the center of all learning EVER. The Academical Village at UVA.

So I’m treating you all to the first guest post by the woman who brought you the Suz, “your mommy, Clare.” We all know that she can always be counted on for some excellent musings. Where do you think I get my sheer and unadulterated brilliance from? People can’t be this awesome of their own accord–it has to start SOMEWHERE. Atlanta Half Weekend 002 Mom: I’d love to be your first victim…….um, client! But, I’m not in Chicago………
I’ve got all sorts of chronic physical issues that have to be considered.
In Atlanta, I have a wonderful CPT (Jim). However, with my back/hip injuries and, resulting compromised body structure, I need the counsel of a number of people. Each looks at me in a different light and the combination of advice and coaching has been extremely beneficial for me.
You are a great mentor/coach–you got me through that Georgia Publix half marathon and that was a major feat (feet) in itself.
When you are meeting potential clients, look them in the eye, give a firm handshake, smile and then listen to what they have to say……it may take them awhile to get around to the nitty-gritty of their needs Me: Awwww, well, you will forever be my first client. I just need others to back me–the business world is probably a little bit tired of hearing, Well, my MOM thinks I’m AWESOME. And I’m so glad that you have Jim–he is fabulous, and I think you like him because he has a similar energy to me :D Mom: Ok, then I’ll stop telling you how awesome you are! I promise! Side note: don’t you dare. but times HAVE changed, and mercifully….I’m proud of you and not afraid to say it……imagine my reaction to “Dad, I’ve been named as the new head of ______ department at the bank, its a great promotion” and his response—”that’s nice, but you should be home with your children, that’s where you belong”

Michael Anderson (Of Running Around the Bend–Another great, great blog that I BESEECH you to check out): Clare – that is such a harsh thing to hear … and I remember when my wife and I were first married being at her sister’s house for Easter, and my wife’s sister had gone back to work part time (at a craft store), and was forever looking for her father’s validation. She was asking him, he was saying ‘don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear my answer’ … and this went in circles until he finally told her – basically he thought she was a bad mother by going back to work.

Yay.

Lisa had already decided she wanted to stay home if we could afford it, so when we bought a house we made sure my paycheck could manage the mortgage. We decided that we didn’t care what people thought – because everyoe is bound to have an opinion, and the only one that matters is between the two of us. Our kids are in high school now, and things seem just fine.

BTW – I love coming to blogs and seeing parents chiming in like that. Don’t ever stop saying your daughter is awesome :)

Mom: She is awesome, isn’t she? teehee (I got it in there, didn’t I ?) I was, and still am, a working mom and my kids are both wonderful adults! It wasn’t easy, but it never is for any family! In the mornings, we’d get our briefcases, they’d get their backpacks and we all went to our “jobs.” The kids went to school, that was their job, and we went to work, that was our job, then we’d have supper together as a family. I think they really benefitted from seeing both parents working/contributing, whether it was paying work or not…… Each of us made a our own contribution to our family…….in whatever way worked best for each of us at the time. Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate your support.

Me: (replying to Mom): I wear my dresses and party shoes because that is what my mommy wears to work! (at the tender age of 3)

Me (but in direct response to Michael’s comment because of how I got the alerts): my mom is pretty awesome. It’s where I get it from, lol. And we have so many great “advice” stories like that. Ie: Immediately after my aunt had twin girls, my grandmother told her, “Congratulations, but you owe John (the husband) a boy.” When my mom told one of her best friend’s aunts (named Tancy, by the way) about her fiance (my father)’s “people” and that he was from Rochester, NY, she cut her off, saying “I don’t want to hear another word” and stormed off, leaving my mom standing there. OOOOooohhh the South. Speaking of, I have another guest post re Southernisms coming up on a friend’s blog in the next few weeks–it’ll be a good one :D I think that I’m basically the reason that my mom has gotten so much flack for how she does things–sure, she got a lot of it before, but ever since I was born, she’s gotten even more. Because she went back to work. Because I and my brother weren’t raised Catholic, and are the children of (gasp) YANKEE. Because I didn’t MAKE MY DEBUT. and she LET ME. And I didn’t get married in a church, or have a reception at the Driving Club. That is a huge part of why I will forever back my mom and help to accomplish anything she sets her mind to–she has always done the same for me.

Sure, this isn’t the most serious of exchanges, for the most part. But I think it truly goes to show the thought, emotion, and reflection that can go into the comment section, and that can develop across comments, if you are willing to look and to take the time. No, we can’t always comment for paragraphs, but next time you see that someone did, take a moment–or even save it for later if you don’t have the time right then–and read what they have to say. A few days ago I saw an SOS on Twitter from Mrs. Deborah that was asking for help for a friend and involved yoga. So I took it up and when over to Mary’s blog, poked around in the comments, and realized that I had a really good idea as to why she was having the problems she was having. And who knows–maybe a fellow reader will pick it up and it will help them too.

Commenting on each other’s blogs serves a variety of purposes: it raises your profile (I’ve found so many great blogs through the comments sections), it actively supports your friends, but most importantly, commenting is an open forum of knowledge and community. Take advantage of it. 

Sometimes the real post isn’t the post at all. 

Thank you to fellow Chicagoan Becky for allowing me to take a little time off tonight and spoil you all with some Mama Clare knowledge!

Merci, Becky!

Merci, Becky!

Be straight with me–do you sometimes find that you rush through a blog post, or through a comment, just for the sake of commenting? 

Laura recently asked how we can make the blog world feel more inclusive. How can we make commenting more interactive?

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