What I Don’t Share

I’ve just spent many hours this weekend reading through the blogs people mentioned as a result of my previous post (Pimp your blog.) I  tried to comment on each one (a few wouldn’t accept my comments, so I had to give up.) On many blogs, I clicked through to other blogs, and found myself in yet another layer of amazing places.

This experience has left me in awe of people’s lives, and how much you share of your family, passions, homes, animals, lives, and thoughts. It’s been an eye-opener as to the range of topics and openness one can experience on a blog.

In this blog I share stories about our farm, which sometimes feels like too narrow a focus. As a result, there are many things that I don’t share.

…I don’t share how insecure I am as a writer, and how publishing 8 books in 6 years has wrecked havoc with my waistline. (It turns out a piece of soft bread slathered with butter is not a cure for insecurity.) I don’t like that I’m insecure, but it doesn’t go away, no matter how many books I’ve published. And, strangely enough, these extra 30 pounds aren’t going away either.

…I don’t share how hard it can be to maintain a long-term relationship. Every relationship has rough times, but these last few years there were moments when I thought the train was going to derail. To continue the metaphor, we thankfully are once again back on track.

…I don’t share how hard it is for me to express my emotions, such as my deep gratitude to those people who read my books, who like them, and who take the time to tell me. (This helps a bit with the insecurity mentioned above.) Or how thankful I am that my life is filled with kind people, that I’m healthy, fairly sane, and am able to do what I love every day.

…I don’t share that it’s hard for me to hug strangers even though I’d like to. Perhaps I should consider that when someone has read your memoir and knows a great deal about you, they really aren’t strangers. So should we ever meet, please don’t hesitate to give me a hug… It’ll be good for me.

18 thoughts on “

  1. I will be happy to give you a hug if we ever meet! For as many times as I have read Hit By A Farm (and will get my hands on Sheepish as soon as I can) it is hard to fathom not “knowing” you.

    And while yes, this blog is about your farm – that also means it is about you. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I think most of us are hesitant to share too much of ourselves. Maybe it’s our world today that has made us so. Perhaps it’s our own insecurities. If we aren’t honest and open, we think we won’t be judged.

    But how much we miss out on in life and in relationships by not letting our warm, open, loving, true selves be seen by others. I’ll betcha if we could manage to do that more often, it would make others feel good. Like being the first one to initiate that hug.

  3. Oh, bless you. Of course it’s hard. It’s all hard. And the natural isolation of farm life can make outreach of any kind a double challenge, especially when the daily grind of animal chores teaches you that your emotions have to be stuffed in a back pocket if the work’s gonna get done. For me, blogging is a twofold discipline. First, the exercise is a way to keep my “outreach” muscles from withering. Second, it’s an exercise in holding myself accountable to the belief that my words *do* matter, both to me and to others. There are things I don’t share, too– my blog tends to have a fairly positive spin– but I appreciate the blogs of others who can be forthright about their own hard times. It helps my own courage.

  4. As a new farmer, your books were and are very important to me. Hit by the Farm and Compassionate Carnivore were smooth and fun to read. They give me much needed confidence when I begin to question the sanity of my life change from suburban gardener to rural farmer. I have also enjoyed this blog and look forward to reading it. I can’t wait for sheepish to come out.

  5. I used to share much of my personal life, not the down and dirty, but some hard health issues I was dealing with. My husband got into politics and well, some sick nut job “Googled” me, twisted things how she wanted to and I decided personal wasn’t the way to go. I try to stick with just fiber, although I will occasionally give a glimpse into my personal world. When I started blogging, there wasn’t Facebook, etc and it was how a bunch of us, who met on an online forum shared our families, watched our children grow, etc and then it became tainted for me. I have lots of free patterns and I keep the blog up, get lots of hits daily due to links from elsewhere, but if I could do it again, I would have done it all under an fictitious name. Personal experience and you learn.

    The irony here is you wrote a book about your life and laid it all out for us to read and enjoy and yet you feel insecure? I would revel in it.

    Long-term relationships, marriage, whatever-it’s all hard work and I never, ever discuss it on any open forum. It’s the hardest thing you have to do in your life. It’s amazing the work that goes into a relationship and we all have times when it would be easier to just “run away”.

    Emotions-my husband taught me in our 16 years together to always let people know how you feel. If you love them, tell them. Who would have thought it was so simple. I’ve come full circle with my emotions in the past 16 years and it was fairly easy to do. Same with hugging, etc. You just have to realize, we’re all the same and have the same issues, just at different time. I don’t hold back any longer because you never know if you’ll ever have that chance again.

    Life is filled with twists and turns and yes, being grateful for what you have is important because it could be gone tomorrow and I realize that even at my worst time, someone had it harder than me.

    So, I am happy you stopped by my blog and commented, appreciated your book and how you allowed total strangers into your world. I am also in awe that you have written books and had them published. So here’s a virtual hug.

  6. Beautiful post! and your books are fabulous! I already told you when I first came to your blog, but I’m telling you again. Because as a writer myself, I know its important to know that what you spend your whole life doing is actually important and matters to someone else. I think your blog is fabulous and think you’re probably equally as fabulous in person!

  7. Thank YOU for taking the time to visit our blogs, I know life can be hectic on a working farm plus being an author with deadlines and public to please 🙂 ! You are right, there are some great people out in blogland trying their best to do great things for their family, I just love the cameraderie I get for being able to speak my mind and share things with others that share the same interests, there is so much goodness still out there, it’s just a bit harder to find these days.

    And “fairly sane”? That’s the best we all can hope for so you are doing well!:)

  8. FYI (and I speak from experience), Dairy Queen is not a cure for insecurity either. I appreciate the candidness in your post. As for sharing, we all must find our own comfort level. Deneen’s experience is troubling. I have gone to comment moderation due to some hurtful comments made on my blog by people who I do not know. I guess we all need to be aware that there are icky people out there. As for your writing, you have NOTHING to be insecure about. Consider yourself hugged!

  9. Oh, so many wise women. Thanks for your comments. And Deneen, uff da. So sorry you had problems. Definitely a cautionary tale for bloggers.

    But since only nice people farm, all should be well here. 🙂

  10. I am just finishing reading “The Compassionate Carnivore” and I am so sorry it is almost finished. I may just start over when I reach the last page. I read “Hit by a Farm”. and feel the same way about it. I have so many notes and your quotes up on my wall. I’m sure I will find more on the second read.
    My daughter is the farmer and I’m here to help and support her and I certainly identified with a lot of what you described. I love my daughter and her husband and now I also love the farm. And I can’t wait for you to write more books. I love them, Thank You!!!

  11. My comment was just my ruminating about how much I miss just regular blogging, not meant to scare anyone or make anyone change how they feel about blogging. If anything, “fiber folks” are by and large a wonderful group of people. This person was a “stalker” who had nothing to do with the blogging world and you can’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch.

    Just realized you have another book coming out and am thrilled (for you) and for me as a reader. Looking forward to it.

  12. It has always been a fantasy of mine to start another anonymous blog where I talk about the hard things and the naked truth and the less than positive things that I am feeling and experiencing. How did it feel to write a post that wasn’t all about the farm and funny? Did it make you feel any less secure? Many times, I feel uncomfortable sharing so much, even if it is just the good stuff. I am still not sure WHY I blog. Unlike you, I am not a writer. Oh and – I felt like my blog had been visited by a celebrity when you stopped by : )

  13. I sense many hugs in my future. 🙂

    Michaele, interesting question. How did I feel? Like I’d been drinking…only I hadn’t been! I think I like the idea of mixing it up a bit, perhaps sharing deeper thoughts about farming, etc.

    Just need a shovel to find those deeper thoughts… 🙂

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this. I tend to put people on pedestals — that everyone is else is so much more together/secure, so this is a lovely reminder that even people I regard as successful are human, too.
    I love what you said in your comment about feeling like you’d been drinking, but hadn’t — that’s exactly how I feel when I’m about to post something particularly close to my heart. Actually, it’s more like a ‘I’ve been drinking and I’m about to throw up’ feeling. Whenever I get close to that, I’m always tempted to hit ‘delete’ but then I remind myself that this creates an opportunity for self-acceptance and love (ack!). Putting yourself out there, warts and all, is terrifying and liberating. Please keep at it…

  15. It was so fun to sift through all the blogs that people had shared and I too found myself visiting many of them and meandering through the blogosphere. Thank you for doing that– I have found some new “communities” to be part of. Sometimes I feel it’s hard enough to keep up with my friends and family let alone folks I “know” in the virtual world. But it is good to connect (even it just by reading about their lives) with people living similar lives or pursuing interesting adventures and vocations online.

    I think you underestimate your writing and the amount and depth of information you convey. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I LOVED “Hit By a Farm”. I think your writing is heartfelt and open. Same with your blog. I think you have conveyed your insecurities and frustrations in entertaining and moving ways. I don’t get the sense that your farm is some kind of fairy land. It’s a real farm with real work and trials/errors. But there is a commitment there and a desire to live a particular lifestyle, regardless of the difficulties. You balance the joys and tribulations quite well and do a fabulous job of putting that in ink.

    On the weight–find a Zumba class.

    I’m a bigtime hugger–life’s just too short–many hugs to you!

    And thanks for sharing your gifts.

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