Author and writing coach Natalie Goldberg said it well, “Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.”
With its similarities to journaling, I think Natalie would find value in blogging. I’d like to share with you what blogging has taught me in the hope that you might also blog with a benefit and purpose as you pursue a dating – or not dating – life.
This is something I’ve wanted to focus on for a couple of months but describing the pursuit of “One of the Ones” kept sidetracking me. Of course, since the dating life is a key focus of this blog, I’ll be incorporating dating stories into today’s post. I might even discuss sex (a tease so you will read to the end).
Let’s sit back and enjoy my own 4th of July light lunch creation: ricotta cheese and plain Greek yogurt mixed with fresh cherries and blueberries and chopped walnuts or almonds. If the ricotta and yogurt are low fat, you will have a heart-healthy patriotic lunch. Let me know if you want details on the quantities.
Blogging has shown me that the very act of putting fingers to keyboard or pen to paper – the writing process – can help me figure something out. At a deeper level, it helps determine and clarify my views on a particular person or situation.
Let me illustrate with an example from my recent dating history. After meeting Mr. D who was separated from his 3rd wife, I was on the fence about whether I should consider dating him since there was a possibility his marriage was not over. As I wrote about our meeting, I realized that I could not throw away the possibility of a relationship with someone who almost immediately inspired chemistry, connection, and intimacy. My gut said no, my heart said yes…but the writing process told me to let my heart win this one – even if I got hurt at some point. So write (pun intended) or wrong, that’s the direction I went in until Mr. D fired himself to preserve both of our hearts.
Blogging also motivates me to not give up the dating life. I may be frustrated or exhausted by the process but I know I have to carry on — not only for my ultimate benefit but also for yours. I started this blog to hopefully inspire and motivate others to jump into the dating pool after a hiatus.
Writing this blog reminds me of lessons learned so that I can truly incorporate those lessons into my life on an ongoing basis. When I described the steps I took to get ready to date, I reclaimed my commitment to continue working on myself. Self- improvement and strengthening one’s independence are essential parts of the post-divorce healing process.
Related to this, blogging provides a sense of accountability. I take action steps to move life forward since I have committed to them in the blog and have said to you, dear readers, that these steps are important and WE should do them. So I force myself to go to meet-ups when I might not be feeling terribly social. Or I go on a second date with a guy I’m on the fence about not only to see if he’s One of the Ones but also to have the experience, learn from it, and share it with you.
Part of the blogger’s modus operandi is to seek inspiration, knowledge, and familiarity with the landscape of the topic at hand. So I read other blogs and listen to podcasts on a similar theme of dating and relationships. The side effect is I benefit from the wisdom, perspective, and often the sense of humor provided by others on a similar journey. Case in point: The podcast, Women of Uncertain Age. I enjoyed being a guest on this week’s show to talk about dating in your 60s. Additional side effect/benefit of blogging: Meeting other bloggers and podcasters.
Blogging also encourages the creation of a personal philosophy. Writing this post, for example, has given me a philosophy and credo on blogging.
Finally, blogging provides a creative outlet – so important for everyone and at every stage of life. So even if you don’t create a blog, buy a journal or an inexpensive composition book and “write like a motherfucker” as Cheryl Strayed said in her classic book, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.
O.K. so I didn’t talk about sex this time. But it’s coming, no pun intended. And I will have a surprise interview with a noted expert some time this month.
Until next week, happy dating or not dating.