'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menontemplayshunal; a bit D&M

Well, it's almost time. The challenge of A - Z postings is about to begin.  I remembered why it is that I didn't do it before - and it's not what you may think.

The actual writing is not that much of a challenge for me. Making it of sound quality can be, especially on a consistent basis. I have one of those minds which catches a theme and runs with it quite readily, but also has a tendency to see all sorts of sub-themes which are equally attractive and want exploring… so I have to practice what I preach and focus, focus, focus. Having a deadline, a challenge such as this one, tends to give me that focus.

The writing, then, is trundling along at a steady pace and a little ahead of the game.

No. What I have been reminded of is that, in the end, this is just a blog hop and I tend to find blog hops tedious. I learned very early on in my blogging 'career' that folk have a great deal of expectation around these things. Six years ago, when I hit the scene, there seemed to be endless 'memes' but I soon tired of the majority of them, for there was no genuine connection appearing. It seemed to be mainly about 'oi, great post now come look at me… linky linky linky…'

Nowadays, there seem to be less 'memes', and I think part of the reason is the rise in more 'immediate' media. As a general rule, those people who jumped on the bandwagon of memes prefer those 'flibbertigibbet' channels. It could also be that I have gradually filtered out most of that smash and grab stuff from my 'follow' list. I only follow blogs I am genuinely eager to read again. I find them through their comments on other folks blogs, or because they have found me and I sought to reciprocate. I do not feel obliged to comment every day at many of them (I have a core for whom I do because I like to build communications) and do not have the expectation of everyone who visits that they comment at my place… though it would be silly to deny that receiving comments does make the effort worthwhile. Especially for the 'd&m' posts such as the recent plastics series. What I have loved about blogging is forming both an inner and wider circle of contacts with whom, to a large extent, email contact has also been made and there is a proper sense of connection. I'm not interested in quantity, but definitely quality. Sometimes that means that old pals drop away (for many reasons) and new ones appear.

This brings us back to the A - Z thing. At 'control' earlier this week, there was a post about different aspects of expectation from the month ahead. One paragraph, in amongst others on the subject,  which glared at me was;

"...Most people do not manage to visit EVERY blog in the A to Z challenge in April. There were 1,344 blogs in 2016. And 1,509 in 2015. BUT, if everyone makes an effort to comment on as many blogs as your schedule will allow, there are good odds that everyone will be visited. "

Let me tell you loud and clear. I have a substantial 'community' already. As one who is increasing her more serious writing, it will be good to connect with a few others who are writing on similar or connected subjects (i.e. deep thought and meaning-of-life stuff), but I have no intention of even attempting to visit very many more than the fifteen or so I have already sniffed out from the master list. I am doing this challenge because I was requested to do so and a theme was clear to me immediately. It sort of suits a shift in the nature and tone of MENO-bloggy anyway and, well, I just like a challenge! I have no investment in gathering numbers or in having people drop by just to leave their links and comments which may not add to the conversations I hope the upcoming posts will generate.

Who among us goes out our front door of a morning with the expectation of saying 'hello' and then shaking the hand of every single person we pass by? I walk past many people in the street, but if I stopped to talk to all of them, there would be no depth to it and it would be more than a little exhausting. It can seem like a noble idea if it is to improve the feeling of belonging to each and every one. The truth is, there are many we might meet that way who we most definitely do not wish to meet again! By the same token, we always will meet those who are meant to leave a mark on our lives in some way (positive or negative) and likewise we to them. The flow of things will see to this.

The blogs I have scouted out already for this challenge are likely to add to my own scope on philosophy, poetry and so forth, but will also have views which may bring up some interesting and unexpected responses. That is a good thing. We need to be forced to think outside our boxes if we are to be fully engaged human beings.

Thus, as has been revealed earlier, my posts will be about expanding one's thinking and will send out a challenge or two of their own. If any of you would like to look at others in the A -Z, you may visit the master list and have a look at it for yourselves (not yer traditional bloghop...) There will certainly be something for everybody and you may indeed find at least one, if not 87, that will add to your online world and benefit life offline.


13 comments:

  1. Ohhhh we really like the combination of oblong and round shapes today and the fire in the middle now that is what I call a pop of interesting. Good luck with the A-Z challenge.
    Hugs HiC

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  2. Totally agree with you. Quality not quantity is the key to good communications (on the blog and elsewhere too).
    Best of luck with the challenge!
    Cheers, Gail.

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  3. Cool spiral today. Mom is in total agreement with you when it comes to communications with others. Just like friends, best to have a few good ones than a lot of not so good ones:)

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

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  4. I used to take part in one particular meme (ABC Wednesday), which I enjoyed doing and I did find one or two blogs there that I did like reading. On the whole however, most of it was fleeting and as you say: lovely post, now come look at mine. Plus it got quite tedious eventually.

    The only quite regular 'meme' I've got now is my own Photo on Sunday, but there is no blog hop involved. There are however comments if I do not post!

    Good luck with all the writing.

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  5. Who has time to go to 1500 blogs! I can barely keep up with the ones I follow! Love the art today.

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  6. yes... quality is THE key... although it is sometimes a challenge for me to find that quality between sooo much quantity ;O)))

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  7. I feel you are right. Many aren't posted daily. It's hard to figure out when to visit them, and to remember who posts weekly, for 7 memes!

    Many don't really read my posts. Which doesn't bother me, Yam, but when they post a comment those shows they didn't read it, a question I answered in the text, that is just silly!

    I also found that, even when I hosted Tuesdays, people didn't even visit me. Then, they wouldn't let me change the timing of my posting the host post. They demanded it be a certain time, in the afternoon. I could prepost it, but then, something always went wrong. It was so frustrating.
    I am being choosier these days. From one person, she was hosting a critter meme. Then toyed with the idea of having someone take it over. Both Eileen and I offered. Then she took it back, but wasn't posting the host post on a consistent time.
    Then, Eileen began to post Saturday's Critters. I enjoy that one. There are a lot of participants, and I ended up just visiting people who visited me.
    I have now stopped visiting people who consistently do not visit me. As you say, there is no connection.
    I had another person who was a daily visitor, from the US. I pointed out that she posted photos of her niece's classmates on her blogpost, and perhaps they didn't like that. She felt that the parents know people are taking photos. She took that as negative. However, my daughter's school is having issues with a man who keeps doing this. It didn't seem right.
    I next posted a comment that she didn't have copyright to post a particular photo, and that bloggers do get sued. Strike two. When I asked how she was (she has health issues), and I hadn't heard from her, she said we '"weren't a good fit" for blogging. Sigh.

    Anyway, thank for listening. have fun with the A-Z!

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    1. The other thing happening, people aren't posting on blogs, but posting reams of photos on Facebook. No stories, or background with them. Just photos. cheers from across the pond!

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    2. Hari OM
      Hi Jenn!
      I think that is the Instagram effect; to date, I still am only on Blogger/G+. No booking face, clicking grams, sticking pins, twittering or any other fast and feastly fingerworking for this gal. I appreciate that there are folk who feel they cannot keep up with family sufficiently without these things, or that they absolutely must be 'up' with gossip. Not me.

      Earlier in blogging I found myself paddling like crazy to keep up with commenting, but am much gentler on myself now. I have a few 'dailies' and a few every-other-day-or-two where I make sure to keep my 'voice' heard, but really, there are other things to do in life!

      Thanks for you engaged comment &*<> Yxx

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  8. that is why i don't do meme or blog hops. the only hops i do are when 3 of my favorites have one, i participate but don't hop much... i only allot so much time a day for commenting/reading and when i first started i was spending hours and hours keeping up. i comment on about 20 per day. i always felt bad if i participated and then did not follow the links.

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    1. Hari OM
      Yes, Sandra, that is the thing - the intimation that one is somehow lacking if one is not 'keeping up'! There ought to be no more obligation to interact online than there is in the flesh. If one wishes to be a wallflower, so be it. I love that you have chosen me as 'one of yours'! &*> Yxx

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  9. I have to discipline myself and make time to visit other blogs. This is my first A to Z, and when I looked at the master list, I nearly panicked - the bigger challenge would be attempting to stop by each one! I'm making an effort, but I'm also being realistic with my time.

    You make good points re: memes and blog hops. This virtual world of ours really is an ever changing landscape. Instagram entertains, informs, and advertises with pictures. Regardless, I still find joy in reading the the words of others, and I will continue to make time to do just that. gabaroo.org

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    1. Hari OM
      Yes, for the most part the challenge is, as I suspected, about folk seeking attention for their own blogs rather than actually wanting to form proper connections - for the most part anyway. I have a saturation point and it was reached after day one! Am more than happy with the little focus list I now have on my bookmarks bar and am not visiting the google lists at all.

      Thank you for visiting this preparatory post. Yxx

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