January 20, 2006
Right off the bat I want to say THANK YOU for all of your comments on my last post. They really helped me. I'm feeling much more positive about any surgery G may have in the near future and a lot of it has to do with your anecdotes. I really appreciate you all coming out to support us - it means so much.
I'm glad that I feel comfortable sharing these aspects of my life with you. I've read some posts lately about what makes a good blog and one of the things that struck me (I'm sorry - I don't remember where) was the idea that people share a bit more of their life than just the knitting. I'm one of those people that puts it all out there - not just on the blog but in my life in general. I have a hard time being anything but honest, so it's not unusual for me to tell you I'm having an anxiety attack five mintues after meeting you (and please - if I do meet you and tell you this - do NOT take it personally.) I am the way I am and every day I learn to love myself a little bit more - warts and all. I like to share my life with G - at least a little bit - because he is such a huge part of who I am. We've grown up together and he is my best friend in every sense of the word. We work extremely hard on our relationship and I am so proud of what we've built together - why not shout it from the rooftops? Thanks for indulging me.
I feel it's important for me to share the not so great parts of my (our) life too. The infertility, the anxiety - all those warts I've grown to love. Or at least tolerate. Love might be too strong a word here. Every time I've put that part of myself out there I've gotten wonderful comments and emails thanking me. Supporting me. If I can help one other person say to themselves - I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS - then I feel like I've accomplished something and maybe, just maybe, the pain I've had in my life wasn't just for my own torture. We all have our own pain. It's NOTHING to be ashamed of - it is what it is and maybe putting it out there smooths the way for acceptance, and hopefully, ultimately, relief. Peace of mind. That's the end goal always. Peace. Of. Mind.
Which brings me to the point: One of the other things I've been seeing in blogland lately is stuff about blog etiquette. Do you reply to every comment you receive? Do you return the comment on a commenters blog? It's been weighing on me lately because I fear I've been really lax with my reciprocity. Back when the blog was young(er) I tried to respond to every email. And comment back to those bloggers who came to visit. I'd like to think it's how I cultivated my best blog relationships. You see, I take relationships VERY SERIOUSLY. I try to be polite to all people I meet because that's how I would want them to treat me. (Oh and the guy I flipped off the other day in the car - DOUCHE!) If you are my friend I will give you the shirt off my back with no questions asked. So it's become a little bit overwhelming to me IN THE BEST, MOST WONDERFUL, INCREDIBLE way to see just how many of you have started reading this blog and coming out to be my friend and give me support. I'm afraid I don't have enough shirts.
I haven't had time lately to answer every email and visit every blog and I feel bad about that. Please know (and I'm incapable of lying so you have to know it's true) I APPRECIATE every visit and comment I get. And I THANK YOU for your friendship and support and well, just plain reading this blog day in and day out.
Between the JKAL and a big project I've been working on, I've been a little bit nuts. Add to that the fact that I'm crying half the day away, and well, let's just say it's a good thing email is paperless. Otherwise you'd all be getting waterlogged drippy letters and how much fun is that? I'm trying my hardest to keep these connections, new and old, alive. I may not be perfect, but I'm trying.
One last note - the Jaywalker KAL. I fear my last post - the big update post about how the JKAL has taken on a life of its own - may have left room for interpretation. I am not turing people away. I don't want to turn people away. I'm keeping it under my control until the prizes are given away on the 14th. Then, I'll revisit what the best course of events is for the KAL. I enjoy it. I'm glad people are still getting involved. I just never imagined it would or could get so big. The rest of that post was a philosophical examination on trends and why people decide to get involved or not. Nothing more. Nothing less. That said, the updates will be late today. I'm waiting for the cable guy and have to move crap around in the house so he can get to the TV.
Thank you again for reading the blog. It's such a warm and fuzzy kind of validation. You know?
Posted by Cara at January 20, 2006 09:22 AM
You are so honest and sincere. You put your feelings out there and want no pity. It is difficult to face our demons and when we have the world at our finger tips there is no reason to face them alone. As you found out you are are not alone in your anxiety. That you share what you feel may helps others to deal with the truth that causes them pain. That you for being you and being true to you, too. XOXO
Posted by: margene at January 20, 2006 09:37 AM
One of the things I love about your blog is that you do share yourself, not just your knitting. Your honesty makes it feel like we already know you. =)
As far as responding to comments, I am still new enough that I try to answer all of the comments I get, and the mail that comes in from people that don't want to comment. You reach a point where it just isn't feasible to answer each and every comment though. I know that I don't take it personally when I don't get a response to my comments on any blog.
I know that I appreciate YOU and the time you take putting this all together for our enjoyment.
Posted by: Bethe at January 20, 2006 09:41 AM
HUGS, C. Just going to take a moment and say thank you for your friendship. You are the best kind of friend - passionate, dedicated, loving. These qualities come out not just in your relationships, but in everything that you do, from your writing to your photography to your knitting and blogging. Just wanted to let you know that it's appreciated. And as Margene just wrote, your honesty and sincerity are what make it all so REAL. Love you!
Posted by: Jen at January 20, 2006 09:44 AM
I read your blog every day; I have never commented; maybe because that's not always my way. But I absolutely love your blog, admire your candor and sincerely hope your husband will find some relief for his pain. Please know that prayers and best wishes are coming your way from a spinner and knitter who, in spite of my silence, feels a strong connection to you. (BTW, No need to respond ;)
Posted by: delia at January 20, 2006 09:50 AM
girlfriend! I wish I had a blog like yours --- where I could put it all out there. Alas, I don't, which is why I give such great 'phone' as you like to say. Keep it coming!
Posted by: ann at January 20, 2006 09:52 AM
I am much the same way with the giving-the-shirt-off-your-back thing and the comment-answering guilt. I am able to answer the comments I get on my blog, but I have nowhere near the amount of readers I think you do.
I assume that you read all of the comments you get, but really you can't be expected to sit at your computer what would be ALL DAY just so you could respond to everyone. You are allowed to live in "real life" and I think most people understand that. Besides, if you don't have a "real life" what would you post about? ;)
You're doing fabulous, girlie. Take care of you and yourself and know that your bloggy friends are around if you need us.
Posted by: Rosemary at January 20, 2006 09:52 AM
First of all I meant to tell you that my T. is a Physical Therapist if you ever want/need advice okay?
I love it when people share other things about their life other than just the crafty stuff.
I don't reply to everyone because not everyone has an e-mail addy on my Bog comments. I try to when I can though. I also try to make sure I visit my Bloglines and comment when I can. See, when you wake up at 5:15am you get a lot of internetting done.
Posted by: Scout at January 20, 2006 09:54 AM
Thank you for your honesty and sharing. I'm a 'newbie' blogger and I've learned a lot from all the blogs I read and I love the community that develops. You got me thinking about some stuff, though, which is a good thing!
Posted by: Dene at January 20, 2006 10:00 AM
When I comment on any blog, I never expect a response. If the blogger's response were expected, it would be a conversation, not a comment.
Bloggers are already giving so much by simply blogging, anyway.
Love your blog! Hang in there, and best to G.
Posted by: anne at January 20, 2006 10:01 AM
I love reading your blog for as many reasons as you list and more - you are honest, share everything, and are downright funny!
Posted by: Stacey at January 20, 2006 10:02 AM
My best to you, Cara. *hugs*
Posted by: Lolly at January 20, 2006 10:06 AM
Thanks again for sharing, Cara. *hug* I think you're doing great for how much you have going on right now!!
Posted by: Chris at January 20, 2006 10:17 AM
I comment without expectation. I do it because something in the post resonates with me. I'm not always the best about commenting, but I try to as often as I can. However, I don't expect a reply or a reciprocal comment. I do try to reply to my comments, but only when I feel like I have something to say in return and when time allows. This is not to say that I don't really love it when I get comments or when someone emails me back, I love the friends I have made in that way, but I consider it a bonus. And, I am glad that you are so kind to those you meet because I didn't know you at all before MDS&W and left there feeling like I had met a very interesting person, even if it was just for a few yarn shopping hours.
Posted by: sarah b. at January 20, 2006 10:19 AM
I try to email back to all of my comments but with my job and all the other things I take on, I sometimes can't - but I try my best. I think people understand when I can't get to everyone. All my best to you and G. - sending cyber hugs.
Posted by: Marie at January 20, 2006 10:22 AM
First off, Happy belated birthday to you!
I am sorry to hear about George. My Father had knee replacement surgery last year, and because of thes wonderful genes, I am sure it is my future as well.
As for comments, I do try to respond to the comments....but sometimes there just isn't time. Not that I am that popular....I just don't get much computer time :-)
Posted by: Jenn at January 20, 2006 10:40 AM
Blog etiquette is a strange thing. I try incredibly hard to maintain my anonymity on the net thanks to my stalker-ish ex-husband, but I post about nearly everything that goes on in my life. Sometimes I get loads of unsolicited advice, sometimes I get criticism (from knitter who want only knitting content and from non-knitter who wish I'd quit blathering on about my knitting and get back to being a bitter divorcee), but mostly I get kindness and support. It's been a great experience, but I don't answer every single comment. I wish I had time to do that, but it's not possible. Hell, I wish I had time to comment everywhere, too. And holy cow, was I stunned when I asked people to delurk and got nearly 90 comments in a day. WTF?
So...what I'm trying to say is "don't worry about it." Just keep knitting. Just keep blogging. We'll be here whether or not you reply to our comments.
Posted by: Snow at January 20, 2006 10:50 AM
I think if you get like 20+ comments to most of your entries its acceptable that you won't get a reply. When I comment to wendyknits for example, I don't expect a reply.
Sometimes I am pleasently suprised.
I try to respond to most of the comments to mine, but I know I don't all the time and well I don't get that terribly many.
Posted by: pixie at January 20, 2006 10:53 AM
You have warts?
Oh man, I'm so not your friend anymore.
Posted by: Bookish Wendy at January 20, 2006 10:56 AM
it is how you share yourself so fully is that creates your magnetism! I know that's what drew me to you.
As far as blog ettiquette, I don't expect responses from comments, but it does feel great when you're responded to!
Posted by: margaux at January 20, 2006 10:58 AM
My blog is still at the point where I can reply personally to every comment. But, I recognize that there may come a time (if I ever get popular enough) when that won't be possible. So, I completely understand that sometimes you answer a comment and sometimes you don't. I never take it personally! And I don't comment so that I'll get a reply, I comment so you know I've been here and read what you had to say.
And, really I enjoy your blog so much. You are honest about everything and don't hide the bad side of life. And when you're happy about something? You are over the top with that, too. It's awesome, really, Cara.
Posted by: Carole at January 20, 2006 11:02 AM
I love how transparent you are, because I'm not naturally that way (while hubby is). Opposites attract, I suppose, and I aspire to be a more open person like you. I do so like people who are REAL. I can't stand pretension.
And I really appreciate how nice you are...even to total strangers who can't figure out how to print the Jaywalker pattern without cutting off the edges;-)
Posted by: Wendi at January 20, 2006 11:08 AM
I wish I could be more open on my blog, but my partner has specifically requested that it not become the Truman Show. He's my best friend and I don't want to make him uncomfortable -- I'd stop blogging first. Keep on letting it hang out -- I'm there in spirit and cheering you on at every turn.
As to comments, I've learned not to take a lack of a reply personally. Heck, I don't get that many comments and I have a hard time keeping up. Besides, its tough to think of something nice and clever to say to everyone who comments, maybe I should content myself with just saying thanks for stopping by and reading, but it seems shallow. But, if I say nothing I get anxious and worry that I've offended someone. See where this is going? Total paralysis.
P.S. Thanks for leaving a comment about my Jaywalkers! I know how hard you're working to keep up with everyone. Phew, now I don't need to reply...
Posted by: anmiryam at January 20, 2006 11:26 AM
I reply to comments left on my blog when I feel like I have something to say, or a question to be answered. There is no way we could spend time reponding to every comment. Where would it end? I leave this comment, you reply, then I feel obligated to reply, then you reply, and so on and so on and so on. None of us would get any knitting or blogging done. Commenting is a like light conversation at a cocktail party. You exchange pleasantries with strangers and friends alike and conversations develop on their own. No pressure. Mix and mingle as you like.
Posted by: Kat at January 20, 2006 11:28 AM
I love to visit you, Cara! You make me smile, and because of your enthusiasm and your openness, I feel so welcome whenever I stop by. And besides, my yarn stash would be nothing without your inspiration! The only thing better about visiting you would be getting to do it in person.
Posted by: Jane at January 20, 2006 11:30 AM
I try to reply to all of the comments that I get, but that's because my blog is still relatively small. It's a busy day when I get 20 comments, and some of those are me replying to those who have commented! I know when I visit blogs where the comments number upwards of 50 on a daily basis that I'm probably not going to get a reply to my comment, and I'm cool with that. After all, if you were replying to all our comments, when would you find time to KNIT?
I'm still working my way through the Jaywalker pattern, but since it's a gift for a friend who reads my blog, it must be kept top secret. No updates on the blog and therefore, no joining in this KAL. Maybe the next one, though...
Oh, and my mother (age 58) had both her knees replaced last year and says that the relief is amazing. Her near future holds hip replacements, I think, but I'm sure she'll pull through that just as well. So tell G that if it comes to that it will be tough, but nothing he can't deal with since he's been living with such pain for years. I think he and my mom are cut from that same trooper cloth.
Posted by: Julie H. at January 20, 2006 12:06 PM
I think it is great that you are so open. That's a lot of the reason why I started my blog. I have such a tendency to be so closed and not let anyone really know who I am, not even my boyfriend 100%. This experience of blogging is helping me, slowly, learn how to let go and not guard myself so much. I'm truly envious of people who put themselves out there.
Posted by: Jenny at January 20, 2006 12:28 PM
Hi, Cara. G is going to do great! I truly believe the right attitude makes for at least 75% of a good recovery (the other 25% being the doc, nurse, etc.). I had knee replacement surgery in October for about the same reasons you are saying G is going through. After an MRI showed my knee had NO cartilage left to repair, a replacement was my only option. I am only 49, so the thoughts of any joint replacement surgery about blew me away. I do have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia as well, so was told I could expect a longer recovery time. Well, I am a single mom and am my only source of income, so no way could I lay around when I needed to be at work earning my ayrn money. I was a very determined woman and worked very hard during therapy, etc. I was back to work -- fulltime- after 9 days! Long story short, believe with all your heart that G will be fine. Help him through his therapy (don't let him wimp out, no matter how much it hurts), and give him lots of love. He really will be better than ever! Good luck!!!
Posted by: Kristy at January 20, 2006 12:42 PM
Oh, Cara, we're all just crazy about you. And I think everyone knows they're appreciated, as well. (At least I do.) I never expect a response to a comment, but I think it's very kind of you to try to keep up with everyone. Best thoughts for G. xox,
Posted by: Julia at January 20, 2006 01:01 PM
What a nice post. It is important for bloggers to set their boundaries on what they'll post for themselves and their readers. It also helps commentors understand why questions might not get answered, what is appropriate to say etc. You've got your own little kingdom here and you can run it how you like!
I don't respond to all my commentors and often don't reply to any at all. It depends on my time, mood and what they say. Sometimes I get into little conversations with people that are fun and other times they don't write back to my reply. I just go with the flow and try not to stress about it.
Posted by: Steph at January 20, 2006 01:12 PM
I have truly enjoyed reading your blog over the past year. For me, it is the first blog stop on my favorites list. I enjoy your frank discussions about things that are happening in the knitting blogosphere, as well as in your personal life. I can relate to many of the issues that you are currently dealing with: I have dealt with infertility, anxiety, and "outsider" issues. Your thought-provoking writing and beautiful photography makes your blog my favorite place to be on the Internet :)
Thank you, Cara, for sharing so much with us!
Posted by: Kristina at January 20, 2006 01:42 PM
Oh, I try to answer all the comments, but I'm in bloggerworld so often don't have an email for reply. Some comments don't beg a response, just little hellos, other comments spawn entire posts to the blog.
Posted by: Sylvia at January 20, 2006 01:45 PM
Thank you for sharing honestly on your blog. I’m not a regular reader, but I’ve popped in here and there. Especially since I kept reading about your JKAL everywhere. =) I wanted to share that I have a co-worker who had hip-replacement surgery when she was 40 years old. She hit her one-year mark this month and she is doing *great*. Because she is a very active woman, her doctor chose a really sturdy hip for her. I think it has titanium (and something else) in it, and her doctor told her that it should last her lifetime. She was back at work about 2.5 months after her surgery. She has told me that she’s really glad she had the surgery because she’s no longer in constant pain. She still has occasional pain (especially if she does something a bit too strenuous), but it’s much better than the intense pain she used to get after walking for ten minutes. Best wishes to you and George.
Posted by: caitlyn at January 20, 2006 02:06 PM
Always read your blog and admire your openess. Isn't it amazing how people think alike, my blog enrty today is called " How do you blogg?" :-)
Posted by: janine at January 20, 2006 02:14 PM
Dude, you rock. Mwah.
Posted by: Lee Ann at January 20, 2006 03:01 PM
What they all say...
Posted by: Vicki at January 20, 2006 03:12 PM
Your honesty and sincerity is part of what got me hooked on your blog.
You are fabulous, and we all love ya for exactly who you are.
Maybe we should start a Cara fan club.........
Hang in there, all of us in blogland are thinking of you and you have lots of good, happy, loving, positive thoughts being sent your way.
Posted by: Sarah at January 20, 2006 04:49 PM
First of all - you are wonderful! I'm a total newbie blogger and the only reason I started it is that I read yours and something clicked. I realized that blogging was the best way to talk knitting to people who actually cared about knitting and not just those who tolerated my knit-speak because they love me. Seeing the great job that you do gives me something to aspire to. It's no wonder that everyone responds to you like they do. Keep it up!
Posted by: Hillary at January 20, 2006 05:08 PM
That's all for now. But more to come later. XO
Posted by: Norma at January 20, 2006 06:18 PM
I love your blog Cara. I look forward to reading it every day - and you usually make me smile (which is a really good thing right now!). If I had hundreds of comments on my blog, I wouldn't be able to respond to each one either - what I'm saying is, don't worry about it!
Take care of yourself. And your hubby.
Posted by: Angelia at January 20, 2006 07:49 PM
Cara, you are such a sweetie! I love the fact that you do expose your warts - and they are endearing warts, believe me. I comment, when I do, because I feel moved or intrigued or tickled and I feel like it at that moment, but don't expect a response. In fact, the time factor is often a part of why I comment or don't. Blogging is fun and commenting is fun - it shouldn't be a chore. Chelle
Posted by: Chelle at January 21, 2006 07:35 AM
i just wanted to tell you that i have a friend who's hip was killing him he was in so much pain. but he waited until til his 90 year old mother had the operation first ;-) once he saw how well she did, he had it right away. and all he can say is, why did i wait so long? you can see it in his face how much better he feels :-)
Posted by: vanessa at January 27, 2006 05:40 PM