GratiTuesday: Blugging

I have been thinking about bringing back regular GratiTuesday posts for a while. Not only do I have much to be grateful for, I firmly believe that maintaining an attitude of gratitude improves mental health. And, frankly, who couldn’t use a bit of a mental health boast right about now?

I entered this special community of bloggers a little over six years ago. At that time, I was mainly focused on coming up with interesting topics, writing clearly and concisely, and trying not to embarrass myself too much with typos and grammar fails. Never did I envision the tremendous riches that I would get back. Through this community, I have learned about life in various parts of the world, discovered fascinatingly different lifestyles, been introduced to talented writers and artists, and – most of all – I’ve met the most kind, welcoming, engaging, and generous group of people.

Now, as we hunker down all over the world and do what we can to flatten the curve, I’ve come to appreciate my blogging community even more. Through what we write on our blogs and in our comments to each other, we show our concern for each other’s safety, we share our worry and challenges, we help each other remain positive, and we connect in ways that makes us feel less alone.

Whether we write about the topic du jour or we help take everyone’s mind off it by writing about anything but, the virtual connection is what’s important. Through our blogs, we are saying: “we’re here,” “we’re OK,” “I hope you are doing well,” “we’ll get through this.”

It’s easy to feel unmoored right now, but the blugs I’ve received from the bloggers I follow have made me feel less adrift. Blogging has always been a great way to connect with others, now blugging has made those connections even stronger.

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

92 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: Blugging”

  1. I’m glad you are bringing it back. You are so right—there is so much to be grateful for, including your posts.

    By the way, I continue to be unable to “like” your post. Very weird. So instead, I’ll just TELL you I like it. 😊

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    1. Hi Shelley! I’m not sure what’s the matter with my like button. I know that I have trouble sometimes “liking” on my cell phone (it does some weird flippy thing) but not on my tablet or desktop. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and letting me know. Blugs to you 🙂

  2. Yay, Janis, I’m glad to see that you will join the blogging world again! Blugging– a great concept, and I have been blessed with virtual hugs in the form of lots of links to Sunday Stills and recently, well wishes for my mom’s passing. I am grateful that she passed when she did, otherwise we would not be able to be with her or say goodbye. I am also grateful that we can get out and walk out dogs and at least get some exercise now that gyms and other leisure spaces are closed. Here is a big virtual blug-hug from me from Sacramento!

    1. Hi Terri! There have been so many good wishes and encouraging words on the blogosphere lately, it really is a delight. That you got to say goodbye to your mother truly is a blessing. Good to know that you are still getting out for exercise. So much is closing down here but we are still able to walk the neighborhood, thank goodness. Blugs to you and your family!

  3. I too am extremely grateful for the blogging community along with all those special folks that we’ve taken for granted – farmers, processing plant workers, truck drivers, distribution center workers, stockers, cashiers, pharmacists, healthcare workers, and all those other essential workers that along with our first responders are keeping us safe while we all band together to flatten this curve. Hugs from the Granite State. 🙂

  4. So true. I’ve turned off the news and even friends who do too much whining. I love reading about other people’s experiences and the silly, goofy parts of life that are so easy to overlook right now. Bloggers are besties!

      1. It sneaks in everything we write because it’s so big. The day-to-day is affected by it. I’d love to feel normal again. Remember when we only worried about the lettuce? Those were the good days.

  5. Yes! Blugging!! A couple of local people told me they were getting lonely, so we’re going to meet on a porch. We’ll be in fresh air and at least six feet apart. They are used to working with others all day and miss those contacts. In contrast, I am never lonely. I have family under the same roof, and scores of blogging friends to chat with all over the world. I never imagined having so many interesting conversations going on all the time. How blessed we all are to have each other!!

  6. Wonderful and timely Janis! I’m grateful for my health, gardening weather, Apple TV and the local grocery stores who have most of what we need (ringing us up with cheer.)

  7. I’m seeing a few bloggers re-emerge into the blogosphere. Welcome. We’re here for you, especially if you bring us treats. Like links to something to do. Or stories from your salad days. Or comments scattered hither and yon like pixie dust. Good to see you back, Janis.

    1. Hi Ally. I’ve been back for a while (didn’t you notice? 🙂 ) but my GratiTuesday posts had taken a hiatus. So you want stories of my “salad days,” huh? Are those days of my youth, or when we could reliably get fruit and vegetables at the store? Blugs to you!

  8. Blugging…I think you’re starting a new trend, Janis. I’m glad you’re bringing back your GratiTuesday. Gratitude is something that I’ve been feeling a lot this month. Blugs to you 🙂

  9. Janis, this is a sentiment I have often shared on my blog and through comments. The positivism that permeates this arena is more contagious than any virus ever could be. Feeling “unmoored” is an accurate description of how many people must feel right now. I am happy to have found safe harbor here, among fellow bloggers. Take care and keep spreading sunshine!

  10. Sounds like a wonderful idea Janis. For the first time in a very long time, I feel inspired to write & to share. Gratitude coming at ya😘💕

  11. You are so right in everything you mention here, Janis! Much to be grateful for, not in the least the blogging community. Thing for me is that I’m pretty much always alone, so that virtual connection has its usual importance.

    I actually didn’t feel like blogging last week (my mind is too busy with figuring out how to stay comfortable and “moored” somewhere), but pulled the plug and mainly wrote my post about us and the COVID-19 to inform others about our situation. That’s why I started blogging over a decade ago, to share our adventures with family, friends, and readers.

    As our camping options diminish and we might get kicked out of our current spot, Florida remains the same – people everywhere, hot weather, and bugs. We will see where we take it from here. I now have time to write a more lengthy post, hopefully tomorrow. Unless we get kicked out. Haha.

    1. I’m so glad that you’ve been able to keep us up-to-date with your travels. Although this situation is stressful for everyone, I can’t imagine not having a secure homebase to isolate in. I hope you are able to stay in your current spot for the foreseeable future. Fingers crossed that you will be able to write that lengthy post! Blugs to you, Mark, and Maya!

  12. It really is the most positive and uplifting online experience I’ve had! (Well, to be honest, the others have been very much the opposite.) Thanks for checking in and reminding us all that community – no matter its form – is a wonderful thing, especially in exceptional times. Stay healthy, safe, and sane!

    1. I always love looking at the photos that many bloggers share, but the ones you recently posted of the horses and the flowers in your area opened up my recently closed in world. So beautiful and so different from what is outside my windows. Stay “healthy, safe, and sane”… sounds like a good plan. Blugs from the west coast!

  13. I love the concept of blugging! On my blog today I offer to send a card in the mail to anyone who requests one, my version of blugging. We are such a warm community.

    1. Your offer to send cards to those who are feeling lonely and disconnected (aren’t we all in some way?) is so thoughtful. I’m not a fan of using the phone but have made an extra effort the last few weeks. It’s important to stay as connected as we can. Stay well!

    1. Hi Joanne! Isn’t it great that we can all find lots to be grateful for at times like this? The blogging community has been so positive and supportive to each other. Even when one of needs to rant now and then, we have found a safe place to do so. Blugs to you and your family!

  14. I am drawn back to the blogs these last few weeks exactly because of positive interaction and sense of community that they offer. When I post, it feels awkward to not make at least a cursory mention of you-know-what-19. It feels “tone deaf” and obtuse – yet… dwelling on the topic only deepens the sense of panic and anxiety and I don’t want to do that, either.

    I don’t have the answer, but I do have a blug for you. Be well!

    1. Hi Maggie. Before all this happened, I started writing several posts about this and that. All are partially done and I’m having a hard time finishing them right now. That being said, I really, really appreciate the posts I read (including yours) that have nothing to do with “you-know-what-19.” Yes, it’s the elephant in the room, but isn’t it nice to turn our attention to the other things that make the room so lovely? Thank you for my blug! Warm blugs to you, also.

  15. I do love that new word, blugging, and it has a fun quirky visual to it 🙂 And it is not overly gushy as some people do tend to be excessively “gushy” for me feels somewhat insincere. Anyway, I am pleased you will be blogging more as time goes on. Take care, Janis.

  16. Blugging is new to me – did you coin that word? Let’s get technical here…instead of saying “virual hug” is it now bloggerese to say “blug”?
    HA!
    I think I’ll stay blogger bi-lingual and say both! And I think now’s a great time to bring back gratitude tuesday, Janis.
    virtual hugs and blugs
    😎

  17. Janis – here are bunches of blugs sent across the many miles that separate us. I also enjoyed your GratiTuesday feature as well as your very cool Mexican doors on Thursdays. I hope you can dig some of them out from your archives as Norm suggested to brighten our days. It’s so hard not to dwell on what is going on outside our homes, but, as you know, there are always blogging buddies just a click or two away. I started my blog in 2013 but never had any WordPress followers until November 2017 and my question to that follower was “how did you find me?” He probably thought I was crazy!! It’s been all uphill from there. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the blugs, Linda! I was amazed when I received my first comment and follower too… such a great feeling. I have quite a few doors in my archives so I hope to participate in Norm’s link-up a few times during the next month or so. Take care and enjoy your spring!

      1. That’s funny Janis – I had only two e-mail subscribers before that (friends) so it was quite a shock. I’ll look forward to more unique and colorful doors posted by you on Norm’s site. Enjoy your Spring and safe safe.

  18. Thanks for the Blug, Janis. It is marvelous how we have become friends through our regular correspondence of posts and comments. I am grateful for the virtual hug. It’s a lot better than therapy.

      1. If I recall correctly, it was your seven bridges post that originally connected us. That was almost four years ago. Perfect timing!

  19. Well said, Janis! I am also very grateful for my blogging community. They are a tremendous source of support for a difficult time. Thanks for being a part of mine.

  20. I agree 100%. I love this community and all the support I’ve received. It’s a challenging time for everyone and we need to stick together (figuratively, of course). Blugs to you!! ❤️❤️

  21. I’ve always loved your GratiTuesdays! And Blugging is awesome. Today I’m spending time connecting on-line, as we are in day 14 of our self-imposed exile. Hubby is a risk target, so we went to shelter-in-place rules early on (Ohio just did mandatory 2 days ago). I’m finding connecting on line is helping me know I’m not alone – in my fears, my personal challenges, and my worries. Blugs to you!!

    1. Although we’ve gone out – very carefully – for groceries a few times, we have been sheltering for a while too. I try to get a walk in at least 4-5 times a week also. Unfortunately, they had to close down the parks because some people weren’t paying attention to the social distancing rules so my walks are around the neighborhood only. It’s so important to not feel a sense of isolation too much so connecting online is a true lifeline. Blugs to you and your husband! Stay safe.

  22. I love this, Janis! You have summed up beautifully how I feel, “virtual hugs through blogging.” I see what you mean about a common thread running through blogs “connection.” And, gratitude. You brought tears to my eyes, Janis. Beautiful words. Virtual hugs to you and I look forward to connecting soon. xx

  23. Bravo, Janis, bravo! Something that we began saying to our kids when they were little came to mind when I read your post. Whenever one of them would take a spill on a bike, have a disagreement with a friend or run smack into some other “disaster of the day,” as long as it wasn’t too serious, we would advise them to “Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and go on your merry way.” Not that I’m making light of the COVID-19 situation, but Americans are a resilient bunch and we’ll find a way through this miserable situation by making smart choices and reaching out to others in appropriate ways. Some of us will even coin new terms! Thanks for such an upbeat post!

    1. Although the uncertainty is unnerving, I agree that we will get through this. I have no problem sheltering for a while if that means we will all be better off in the long run. Maintaining a strong sense of community through blogging and other (appropriately distant) connections is important to our mental health. Although I’ve often thought it would be nice to live in a less dense area, lately I have found it uplifting to be able to talk to our various neighbors over the fence. Thank you for your lovely comment… I’m so happy you gave me a head’s up so I could find it in my spam file. 🙂

  24. Well said, Janis. I couldn’t agree more. These connections have always been important, but now more than ever. Blugs to you! Stay safe!

  25. Janis, I completely agree with you. We are just settling into a rental home, day #2 and trying to get organized as quickly as possible with supplies in the fridge and getting ourselves ready to hunker down. I am just starting to catch up on blog reading and am so enjoying hearing everyone’s perspective and how we are all coping with this new reality and the challenges that we are all facing. Having a blogging community for support and a personal connection at a distance is most meaningful at this time in history when connections with each other, as you highlight, become more important than ever.

    Peta

    1. Hi Peta! I’m glad that you are settling in (where did you end up?) and preparing yourselves for this new reality. We all hope it won’t last long but, hopefully, we do what we can to stay safe. The blogging community is helping me maintain a positive attitude and assures me that we aren’t alone… even though we are practicing social distancing 🙂 Take good care and bring us up to date when you can.

      1. I found one of those in an old post, too. Not a grammatical error, per se, but a space between the last letter and the period. Next week I’m starting my first course in a copy editing certificate program, so once I have that, I’d better not have any errors. The shame!

  26. Hi Janis! As usual (it seems) I’m late coming to this post but I wanted to reach out and add to your “BLUGS” this week. This is the first time I’ve heard of that but love it. Thank you for that idea. And it was great to see you in “visual” yesterday. I’m already looking forward to the next. ~Kathy

  27. I love the concept of Blugging and am too grateful for the community. I started my blog when repairs kept us behind the rest of the fleet crossing the Pacific, often leaving me alone with no one to connect to but The Captain. I ebb and flow through the community as we are traveling full time, but its participants are often on my mind, and I am delighted when we slow down for a bit so I can reconnect. It looks like we’ll all have plenty of time on our hands in the immediate future.

    1. Even though “blugging” was just a silly word I made up, as I saw more and more sincere wishes for each other’s safety and good health going around the blogosphere, it made me even more aware of the connections we’ve made with each other. My blogging friends, including you, have made this current cariziness easier for me to cope with.

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