Wednesday, 21 November 2007

John Stuart Mills

I was listening to a radio programme this afternoon about John Stuart Mills. I have heard of him but knew little about his life and work. Very interesting. At the end of the programme they quoted something he said: "Ask yourself if you are happy and you cease to be so." Interesting and I wonder how true it is. I suppose that if you start questioning your happiness, then you must have done so because you doubted it in the first place. Does this actually matter? I'm not sure. Mills statement might lead us to Socrates and 'The unexamined life if not worth living".

As I said in a previous blog, I am starting to put this blog together in chronological order. This has also led me to start re-reading it. It has been interesting reading and I have discovered some things I want to revisit. It has been rather like discovering your list of New Year's resolutions 8 months after you wrote them. I have discovered things that I have forgotten and realized that I don't want that to have happened. So, after all, I am not going to stop blogging, even if I'm the only one who reads the blog.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

More Musings

I've just reread my last posting and I realize that though I said that I don't feel lonely, I do have the need to feel part of a community. Writing the blog gives me a sense of being part of an on-line community. I'm never really sure if any one is reading this other than those I have already mentioned but I have a sense that their is some sort of an audience and that together we are community.

I became aware of this need for community when I went to Othona for my retreat. Perhaps, I wouldn't want the intensity of that kind of community for a prolonged period of time, but I will revisit from time to time through the coming year. The blog forms another part of the jig-saw of community.

In the suburbs of the south of England, community is hard to find. You must reach out for it and even create it for yourself. I tried in the year before my cancer was diagnosed to become part of a group, which was the Runnymede Town Twinning Association. That didn't work. The people were...not inclusive. I was there to act as their secretary for a town twinning trip to somewhere in Virginia. Ah well, I'll have to try again.

Yesterday, I decided that I wanted to have a copy of this blog. It seems to be much more vulnerable than paper and I don't want to loose it. I would also like to reread it in chronological order which is more difficult on-line. There is no easy way to do this so I've had to cut and paste it from the blog, starting last November. Once I have finished, I'll print off a few copies.

It's Saturday, our house is looking wonderful after its paint job and I am going to spend the weekend sorting it out, including taking lots to the Oxfam charity shop. Emma leaves for New York for a week's holiday on Monday and I have to do some sewing for her. Sewing is obviously an area of her education that I forgot. (I don't mind though Emma, if you are reading this!) I also have quite a bit of school work to do. I have been so tired of late that I have let a lot slide. I don't feel unwell but I do feel so very tired at times.

A good weekend to all!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Why does one blog or write in a journal

As you know I have been musing over the purpose of this blog now that I am no longer very sick and undergoing treatment. I decided that I would like to continue to keep a journal but that it need not be an on-line one. I ordered a Moleskine notebook (I love writing in them!) and on Sunday made my first entry. I wrote about writing journals, especially blogs, and why some people might have the need to do so. I explored my needs when I started the blog (share with others what was happening with me through an easily accessible format, explore how I was feeling through the treatment and recovery period, and write on a regular basis to get back into form) and tried to come up with an answer to the question: why do I do it and do I still need to.

So here I am still writing on line. I can't help but wonder if blogging also meets the need that some may have to share their thoughts with others, a social need. How egocentric that is, to think that others would be interested in what we have to say. I must admit that I enjoy the opportunity to share with others, especially to share things that I have found on the web that they might also be interested in as well. However, the question returns to haunt me. Is anyone out there reading this (other than my good friend Mary Jane, my sister-in-law and my daughters) and does that really matter. Surely, it must. Would I continue even if no one were reading?

My mother says that we write all journals with an audience in mind and therefore only share a part of our reality. Yes, that has been the case from time to time. There are things that I will only put down on paper. She would also say that I would only put down on paper that which I want to have read. I say yes again to that since there are moments in my life that I will never share with anyone so I certainly won't write about them.

Considering the fact that there are so many people blogging, there must be many who have the need to share their thoughts and lives. Does it make one feel less alone? I don't feel alone but others might!

Lots of questions to consider on a Tuesday afternoon.

Any comments from the outside world? Norma, you could always email me since you don't seem to be able to comment.

Best wishes to all!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Just read my previous post

I've fallen back into my life so easily after coming back from Dorset. I suppose that is to be expected. It's rather like New year's resolutions. You have great resolve at the time but quickly forget about them. However, I still have change in my mind and have tweaked my life in some ways. (More of that later.)

We were back for just a few days when Mr. Egloff, who does various work around the house for us, dropped by to say that he would start painting the dining room and kitchen, and the stairwell on the following Monday. We knew that he would be coming in the fall sometime but I had almost forgotten about it. We are now into the second week and the house has been transformed. It is a chaos but beneath the chaos is emerging a beautiful house. I can't quite believe that a coat of paint (expertly applied!) could make such a difference. We now know that we do want to buy the house and we also want him to continue upstairs and also into the living room.

(I'll post more later today!)