A few weeks ago, I was enjoying a glass of wine with two of my new WIB (women in business) friends. They asked how the blog was going and I mentioned to them that all was great, but I wasn’t sure if anyone was even reading it. You see, I explained to them, even though my SHE-friends would comment during the week about my blog to me, NOT ONE PERSON was commenting in the comment section of the blog, only 200 had actually signed up to receive my weekly post by email and those 2 things were what I was using to gauge the “success” of the blog. “What if I’m doing this writing so faithfully and from the heart and no one is actually paying attention?” Their comments included everything from, “I think lots of bloggers feel that way” to “You should totally blog about THAT!” Then, two weeks ago, I began receiving a handful of emails after my post went live, thanking me for my message. Then, my college-aged daughter, Alexa, told me she read my blog and liked it. Really? Interesting…
So this past week, I had a former WIB friend who had moved out of state several years ago reach out to me by phone since she was going to be in Dallas for 2 days. Her opening statement was, “I read your blog every week. I love it. It is helping me through some really tough times right now.” As we talked on and she shared some of her current challenges, I encouraged her, shared some of my thoughts (since she asked) and she ended our conversation with, “Please don’t stop writing and posting your blog. I really need them.” There it was, again.
And finally, yesterday in the grocery store, I ran into a very dear long-time friend that I have not seen in a while. Her “stuff” the last several years, like mine, has been a bit surreal and difficult, but the first words out of her mouth after we hugged in the middle of some aisle of Albertsons, “Darlene, I love your blog. I read it every week. Your words and insight really hit home.” We chatted a bit longer about our kids, our forever-changed lives and what our futures might hold. I love seeing her happy and hopeful. And there it was. The realization that maybe my blog posts are hitting home for women. Maybe they are sharing it with their SHE-friends. Maybe, just maybe, all of these awesome women going thru their own “stuff” were finding a bit of light from my own life experiences. I was walking my talk and sharing it with the world of SHE, and the SHEs were watching, even when I did not realize it.
What I was feeling these past few weeks and what my eyes were opened up to in all of these recent comments and experiences reminded me of my son’s college essay written over 5 years ago, as Austin made application to Texas A&M and talked a bit about our life-altering challenges when he was only 10 years old. He wrote,
“However, this huge obstacle did not stop me from where I wanted to go. I learned a lot about life and about hardships. Not everything in life comes easy, especially the things you really want. I also learned a lot from my mom. My mom was a true role model during this situation, as she could have let this situation get the best of her. Having something like this happen, she could have just dug a hole and cowered. However, she decided to keep being a mom and work two jobs to pay for private school education for two kids. I learned a lot about perseverance and fortitude through these actions.”
He emailed the essay to me late one night to ask me to check it over for any spelling or grammatical errors, so it was the first thing I saw when I awakened the next morning. I grabbed a cup of coffee, opened the essay and began reading. My eyes welled, and then the tears trickled down my face, while no one was watching. Because that little boy and his baby sister had experienced the unthinkable as young children and, years later, shared that while I was walking my talk – quite honestly, they were the only two reasons I got up in the morning many a day – his big brown eyes are her gorgeous baby blues were watching. They were watching every step in every moment of every day. And I never realized it until that moment. THAT realization and the memory of that realization changes everything.
SHE-friends, take a moment to reflect on your “talk.” Reflect on your “walk.” Do YOU walk your talk? Be honest, look hard, because it does matter. You see, just as I know you are reading this today, Sunday, I am smiling. I would still love for you to comment on the blog site comment section, sign up to receive the weekly post email and even share it with your SHE-friends. But, mostly, I am smiling because I am walking my talk and I know that you are watching, feeling, reacting and that means the world to me. And I now know that my daughter is doing the same and that, my SHE-friends, is priceless.
Note from the SHE files: Walk your talk and shine your light. Someone is always watching.