It’s always fun to look back over the analytics for my site and see what posts have been popular and which ones slide by unnoticed.
A post I wrote three years ago continues to be the most-read, and a cool graphic I made last year gets pinned and repinned on Pinterest constantly, making it a common visit as well. Meanwhile, some of my personal favourites – ones that were so raw and honest my hand shook as I hit “post” – are far from viral. I am sure every writer has those darling pieces that seemed certain to change the world but received little response.
#1 Top Post: How I Knew It Was Time to Quit Drinking This post is read and shared on my site more than any other, perhaps because it answers a desperate question that Google is constantly being asked: how do I know when to quit? Even more interesting than the post itself are the 1000+ (!) comments and interactions that follow.
#2 Top Post: Up and Down the Empathy Spectrum I wrote this to work out my
understanding of emotional intelligence, sometimes called EQ to show it as a balancing factor to IQ. In doing so, I made a graphic to show the difference between apathy, co-dependence, narcissism, and empathy which turned out quite nicely if I do say so myself. Someone kindly shared it to Pinterest and it has made the rounds there, which was a happy surprise when I was searching for hairstyles and new recipes one day and saw my own graphic float by!
#3 Top Post: Is Non-Alcoholic Beer a Safe Option for Alcoholics? This is a contentious question and I have taken some major slams for my opinion but hey, I get it: Some people protect their sobriety ferociously because it is life or death. I wrote this over two years ago and got several “you’re gonna relapse!” messages as a result, but as you can see I am still going strong despite the occasional non-alcoholic beer. Check it out and consider where you stand on this issue.
If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t post it. But….looking back I sometimes cringe at my obvious denial or shortsightedness in some posts. It is tempting to go back and edit out those parts, or at least provide a sidebar to explain my evolution of perspective, but I’ve decided to let them stand as written to document my overall of growth and change.
The ones I’ve highlighted below were especially insightful as I wrote them and sparked some great exchanges in the comments sections.
Are You A Recovery Hero? My English degree comes in handy occasionally, like trying to sort out my life according to narrative tools like the hero’s journey.
Don’t Give Up I felt sick to my stomach after posting this utterly vulnerable truth bomb but willing to lay it all out there in hopes of helping someone. It did help others, it still does. And it still scares me a little.
The Drama Triangle I love this tool, love it. Understanding the Karpman Drama Triangle changed my life. Check it out and see how you can apply this powerful insight to address patterns of behaviour you fall into yourself.
A big part of my recovery has involved stepping back from my addiction to approval, people pleasing, and generally caring wayyyy too much what others think (see “Backsplash on the Sunshine Whore” ) . Some say that pleasing is simply a form of manipulation, and well THAT’S not flattering, now is it?
So all self-awareness, manipulation, and approval drooling aside, it’s beyond wonderful when someone unexpectedly dumps a bucket of sunshine my way. I was mucking through a difficult week and as always, the flow of comment notifications on my blog was providing a lifeline; taking me out of myself to connect with others who understand the journey. Each notification of a comment or new subscriber brightens my day, truly. A comment from Maggie at sobercourage.com was literally full of sunshine: “Hi, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award!” (Thank you, Maggie – so kind of you.)
As it turns out, The Sunshine Award is all about spreading bloggity goodness – thanking those we appreciate while introducing readers to other great writers and sharing a bit about ourselves in the process. It works like this:
To accept the award, each awardee must do the following:
- Display the award on your blog.
- Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who nominated you.
- List 10 interesting things about yourself.
- Present 10 deserving bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.
- Link to the awardees and let them know of the nomination.
So…without further adieu…..10 (Interesting?)Things About Me:
- I have an amputated finger on my right hand – the result of a childhood accident. I have always been very self-conscious of this and constantly try to keep it discretely out of view. In spite of this, I am right handed and play guitar.
- I am ridiculously photogenic but look utterly average in person. I assume people are disappointed to meet me in real life if they’ve seen me first in pictures. I was approached at the age of 12 by a modeling agent and spent a few years as a gangly self-conscious teen model. “You have a photogenic face,” she said and I thought that was a compliment but it’s not really. I hated being on display and never asked my opinion; hated the priority placed on looks over brains. I was called for a shoot with a major skiwear company in 1986 but then they noticed my “handicap” (their actual words), by which they meant my missing finger (see above) , and I was un-selected. That was it for modeling for me but I am grateful for the poise and polish I gained in the training…and the knowledge that I’d rather be heard than seen (but preferably both).
- I am going to become a grandmother this summer – I don’t know if that interests anyone but my husband and I are super excited for our son and his wife. We can’t wait to welcome a new little bebop to the family!
- My family skis almost every weekend in winter and I must say I am pretty good for an almost-grandma. I love being healthy and active almost as much as I love eating pizza and ice cream.
- I have been on the cover of Profit magazine in Canada (not as a model but as myself), and have been featured in Chatelaine and Alberta Venture in stories about women in business. I’ve always thought this was pretty cool, but now those magazines are in a box in the closet and well, life carries on. (I was on a plane once and the woman next to me was reading a magazine. I looked at the page and saw my own picture looking back at me. “Excuse me,” I said, “what magazine is that?” She looked up and flashed the cover at me without even realizing that I was the SAME person she was reading about (see item 2 re: photogenic people who look different in real life). I was twitching in my seat with excitement. I knew about the piece but not that they had a photo or were featuring me specifically – to see it in print was a surprise. But I was too shy to tell the woman reading it that she was reading about ME. I quietly bought 2 copies as soon as the plane landed.)
- One of my first jobs was working for a company called Scheme-A-Dream that sent out costumed actors to events. You could call them for singing telegrams, clowns, gorilla-grams, you name it. I didn’t last very long at that.
- Another one of my early jobs was cleaning rental units after the tenants moved out. This was really disgusting, dispiriting work because it made me so sad how people could live in filth and then leave it behind for a teenager (me) to clean up for $7 an hour. I keep my house quite spotless because I would hate to die suddenly and leave a mess for someone else.
- I peed my pants in sixth grade on a school camping trip because I was too scared of bears to pee in the woods. I thought I might get my first ever period at any moment (I’d just read “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret” and I was obsessed with menstruation) and I knew that bears like the smell of blood. I have carried the shame of this incident with me for 35 years. Now you may have it for your reading enjoyment.
- I have a grey dog named Copper. This is confusing for people, especially because I also have a copper-coloured dog named Scout.
- I don’t have a single tattoo anywhere and I am holding out in the hopes that someday being pale, freckled, and completely un-tatooed will be in vogue.
There you have it. Now, more importantly, here are 10 fabulous bloggers upon whom I now bestow (…in my best Oprah shouty voice…) THE SUNSHINE AWARD: