Taking Writing Risks

I did something a little wacky.  I submitted an article for publication in Brevity Magazine.  Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t know what is crazier: Submitting the article or telling you about all it.  The thought of both is making me a little queasy right now.

I submitted a short, non-fiction story.  And as I think back to when I first started this blog; I would have never had the courage to do something like this.  I barely have it now.  When it comes to writing, I am still in a constant state of anxious indecisiveness with every blog post. My “revision” counter for this one has capped out at 25.  Should I hit the publish button? Could I make it better? How do I make it better? Is it good enough? Am I good enough? 

Those questions combined leads to a bigger one.  Is the potential literary reward worth the risk of putting yourself out there?  That is a big gamble.  The idea of having something published is a huge, massive thing.  I don’t care if 5 or 50000 people read the magazine. That is the reward.  But, the risk of rejection?  This soon into my writing venture?  The thought of taking a chance and ending up with a bruised ego, and one that is already a bit blemished I might add, has me reeling. And worried I may have made a mistake.

While the graphic reads “How to”, it may be better read “How to???.”  I guess first things first, I should probably start by managing my expectations.  State my goal and get myself mentally prepared for the probable repudiation.  Now you see, here I feel like I should type something like “Oh, I’m not expecting much.  Maybe just some feedback”.  In fact I did type something similar to that.  I had to delete it. It wasn’t the truth. Obviously, I’m expecting something.  I would have never wasted my time or the $3.00 it cost to submit it if I wasn’t. But then again, perhaps “expecting” is the wrong word.  I think “hopeful” is more apt in this situation.  It’s better to be hopeful than expectant in most things.  I am expecting a response.  I am hopeful that it is one of acceptance and not of rejection. That’s my goal. Yes, that’s much better.

However this pans out, I really wanted to write about it.  This blog has made me think about things in ways I haven’t before. Never in my life have I set personal goals for myself or stepped so far out of my comfort zone.  I’ve never put myself in a position for open critique. Not like this anyway. And even if no one reads these posts. I like to think that it keeps me honest.  It keeps me aspiring to do something or be something more. Take risks. I really love what this has turned into. And if that’s all this ever is, just something I enjoying doing, then that’s ok. But I really hope that I never lose the desire to try for something bigger.

Goals:

Have my non-fiction short story published on in Brevity Magazine

WordPress Goals:

367 views for month of Sept – Current Sept Views: 225

200 WordPress followers by Dec, 31st – Current WordPress followers: 127

Finding a Place and Purpose For Your Blog. And How To Succeed Once You’ve Found It.

 

One question I’ve asked myself from the very beginning is “What is this blog going to be and what am I looking to get out of it?”  There’s only so many posts you can do about not knowing what to post, am I right?  It certainly seems to be a common theme amongst new bloggers.

There must be hundreds of thousands of posts, e-books, courses and probably other super cool types of media that I’ve never even heard of out there offering tips on blogging.  “How to grow your blog”. “How to get more followers on your blog”. “How to convert views to reader engagement on your blog.” But has anyone ever noticed that these “tips” are very much geared towards people who are selling something?  An e-course, e-book, or service?  I have nothing to sell.  That’s not what I’m here for, and neither, I suspect, are a majority of bloggers.  While some of these tips can easily transcend different niches, most of those are common knowledge.  Things like “post consistently” or “use proper tags and categories.”   I have read post after post that promised to help me and my blog grow, and unfortunately, I have yet to find my golden nugget of knowledge that will transform this blog into something more.

Here’s one of my issues:  When deciding on topics to blog about.  Do you rely solely on your passions or do you find yourself leaning towards a genre you know is heavily populated with followers?  For example: Two of the most preeminent niches for blogging is fashion/beauty and travel.  Those niches are filled with amazing blogs that have some of the best content and subscriber stats in the industry.  Sadly, for my, I am neither a trend setter or a jet setter.  I’m more of a couch setter.  As in, I’m gonna set on this couch and binge watch “This is us” all weekend so as to get mentally prepared for the upcoming second season.

As I have said many times at this point, I started this blog because I needed a creative outlet.  Parts of my life were in complete chaos, and I longed for a way to free up some valuable head space that was essential in me functioning as adult human.  As the days went by, and the posts published, lo and behold, this blog achieved just that.  And as I went along, my blog took its shape.  I was finding my niche.  In time, my posts became less and less about a traumatic event that occurred to a family member and they became about different aspects of family relationships, recipes, blogging, and life.  And while I have nothing to sell, I like to think that people may enjoy reading what I write regardless.

So, here’s my plan.  You’re welcome to follow along with me if you’d like.  I make no guarantees that this will help you and your blogging endeavors but it’s good to have a plan nonetheless.

Now that you know your niche, and even if you’re not quite there yet: Figure out what do you want to get out of this blog? What is your desired outcome?

This may very well be the most important thing of all.  But, you need to be honest with yourself.  If you say something like “nothing really, I just want it to be like a diary.” Then you have your answer. However, If that were the case, than presumably you would have your posts set to private, not public…  But that’s none of my business. Moral of the story is, if you’re not honest with yourself about your goals, you’ll never reach them.  Let’s say, you’re writing just to write.  Doesn’t matter to you if anyone reads it, likes or comments on it.  That’s fine, then base your goals with that in mind. But, I’d be willing to bet that once you see those stats moving, your blogging ambitions will change.  And it’s ok if they do.  Don’t be ashamed, or afraid of saying what you really want.  Do you want to write amazing content and become the next Jenny Lawson or Arriana Huffington? Who doesn’t!?!?  While those are some super lofty goals, whose to say you can’t achieve them?

Speaking of goals… Set some!

I’ve actually been putting this into play the last couple of months.  Go to your Stats and click on insights.  Those stats are what I base my goals on.

  • For the month of August, I had 2 short term goals
    • Reach 100 WordPress followers by the end of the month . I kid you not, I achieved that at about 11pm 2 nights ago.  I have 122 followers in total.
    •  Get more than 241 views this month in order to beat last months.  I surpased that goal by 46.
  • Long Term Goals –
    • Do at least 1 blog post every week for the rest of the year.
    • So, something I really love delving into is conversion rates.  This isn’t laid out for you in stats.  It’s an equation you can do on your own if you like analytics.  If you go under your blog post tab, it will show you all of your published posts, their number of views, likes and comments.  I measure how well a post did by dividing the number of views, by the number of likes.  For example, If my latest post has been viewed by 11 people so far and it received 5 WordPress likes, I consider that to be a pretty good conversion rate.  I could go on and on about these sorts of facts and figures, but I digress.  By the end of the year, I would like my view to like conversion rate to be 50% or better.
    • Try to get a total of 200 followers between WordPress, Email subscribers, and twitter.

As of right now, that’s my plan.  What’s yours? Any tips or insight to you’d to share?

 

 

I’ve been nominated for The Versatile​ blogger award?!?!

Thank you to the wonderful gal over at Runaway Nuns and Leprechauns for the nomination of the Versatile Blogger Award.  I was shocked to read the post yesterday.  I’ve only been doing this for a short time, and it means so much.  Now, there are rules that apply to this award.  They are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers of your choice.
  4. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

 

So here we here we go.  Seven Facts:

  1. My eye color changes depending on the weather.  I think this may be fairly common, but I’ve never heard anyone else I know mention it.
  2. I was a volunteer firefighter for several years.
  3. I think that mint flavor should only be in toothpaste or gum.  I don’t understand how people can mix it with chocolate.  Yuck,
  4. I’m pretty sure  I was blocked on Facebook by the kicker of the Cincinnati Bengals. I really love the Bengals and have a thing for kickers. Apparently, he didn’t appreciate my adoration.
  5. I really really despise making lists about myself.  But rules are rules.
  6. I would give just about anything to have a goat named Cheese
  7. I prefer lake swimming to ocean swimming.

 

And the nominees are….

 

  1. Weird Guy With A Dog
  2. Not A Grouch
  3. A Beautiful Disaster
  4. Stitch and Shizzle
  5. The Writers Desk
  6. In The Garden
  7. A Thousand Bits of Paper
  8. Official Blog Of Kristy Gherlone
  9. The Webb Homestead
  10. Cooking with a Wallflower

 

 

A Procrastinator’s​ Guide To Tackling The To-Do List: Blogging Edition

First, A little back story.

I thought of the title for this blog post out of the blue one day.  So I quickly opened my WordPress app and typed it in. I hit save, under the Drafts tab.  Making absolutely sure that I didn’t accidentally hit the publish button.  That is the worst!  Publishing something before it’s ready, aaarrgh. It’s awful!  Anyway, as I was double checking that I didn’t post it instead of saving it.  I got the idea for the super cute graphic.  I immediately clicked on my Word Swag app and created the image you see above. And I LOVE it.  In fact, I love it so much, that I’ve started laying the ground work for this to be a series.  And I am super excited!

As I started typing and formatting this post I found myself back spacing and rearranging sentences a lot.  I just couldn’t get the concept to flow the way I wanted it to.  And then I realized why…. I am a procrastinator.  Procrasntintor’s aren’t usually the ones who write about getting things done.  We also aren’t the type of people to be made an example of when referencing expeditious task completion.  Something weird to note, that this is only in my personal life.  Like getting an oil change, or canceling a subscription. Which reminds me, I never canceled my husbands Dollar Shave Club subscription.  Shit.

Professionally speaking, I couldn’t be more opposite.  I’m known to watch my inbox like a hawk.  Always at the ready for the next task.  For me, there is nothing better than being asked to do something, completing it and sending back a “Done!” email.  My work inbox is pristine.  As I left yesterday for a week’s vacation, I didn’t even have to scroll.  All emails were visible on one page.  That feeling, for me, is pure contentment.

So, how do I get this, and the subsequent series posts I’m planning, to translate from personal procrastinator to every day efficient?   There only seems to be one solution.  I am going to try to fix something, that for the last 33 years of my life, has been one of the most predominant personality traits I have.  I’m going to become “The Blogger Formally Known As A Procrastinator.” You guys, my husband is going to be so effing excited when he reads this.

We’re now at the point where you may be asking yourself “why would I take advice from a woman who admittedly, can barely make a list of “to-do’s” to do the to-do’s.?” And I think that is a very fair question. My answer is this:  This post is meant for the people like me.  The people to enjoy getting things done, but in their own, type B personality, kind of way.  The type of people who may appear disorganized, and lackadaisical to some. But in all actuality do, for the most part,  have their shit together.

The To-Do:  Writing a Blog Post

This blog has been an eye-opening experience.  If you have been with me since the beginning you may recall my post Surviving Succulents.  In it, I wrote about starting projects and not finishing them. And how this project, this blog, was going to be different.  And while I’ve only been at this for about 9 months, it is the longest I’ve ever stuck with something like this.  And I still love it like I did at the beginning.  I think that is one of the most important things for a procrastinator.  And my first blogging To-Do.  Blog about something you love.  Or something that challenges you, whether it be a specific topic or niche.  Maybe even daring to try a different style. Like poetry, short stories or nonfiction.  In my very limited experience, I’ve found that writing about something you love, or something that you have an interest in, comes a lot easier and therefore quicker than something you don’t.

That brings me to my next To-Do, well this is more of a to-don’t.  Don’t force it.  Readers will be able to tell.  One of the followers of my blog recently commented that “It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.” And he is exactly right.  Just because you haven’t published a post in a while doesn’t mean that you’re failing or even that you’re procrastinating. Maybe you haven’t found the spark.  I’ve talked about the spark before.  It’s what I consider to be the moment you get an idea that you’re excited about.  When everything just comes rushing to you and you’re inspired. That spark can come at any time and even multiple times within a single post.  For example, I started this post on May 29th.  Almost 2 months ago.  And here I am just finishing it up.  I don’t know what it was about the last couple of days, but a majority of this post has only just been written in that time.  And that’s ok.  I didn’t want to write it to just to say that I posted something.  I wanted to write it to be good.  To be helpful.  Honestly, I don’t know if it will be either of those things, but fingers crossed.

And the last To-Do is to try to set aside time each day to work on your blog.  It doesn’t have to be hours, or at a set time every day.   Even if all you have is 15 minutes.  Go to your blog, under your drafts, and read what you’ve already written.  Add a sentence or two.  Rewrite a paragraph.  Touch up the graphic.  Do research on a topic you’re working on.  Whatever it may be, just DO something within your blog.  I guarantee the more you do that, the more quality content you’ll produce.

So that’s that.  My very first edition of “Turning To-Do’s into Ta-Da’s.”  Now, I am no expert on matters of blogging or most things really.  And while these tips are more common knowledge tidbits than insider secrets.  I hope they offer insight.  I hope this comes off as more of a pep talk than anything.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Don’t worry about what others with think (this is still my biggest hurdle).  Because, from what I can tell, the bloggers who have the most followers aren’t necessarily the people who produce the most content.  And I think, by just doing these very basic things, you will greatly increase the chances of creating an amazing (Ta-Da!!!)  blog post.

 

 

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

A Place For Maine Writers, Bloggers and Photographers

 

Hi there! My name is Darci and am still fairly new to blogging.  I noticed that there aren’t any FB groups dedicated to bloggers in Maine.  I thought this would be a great place to first connect, and see if there may be in interested in joining one.  If there is, than I’d be very happy to get one going.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to be involved. Just comment below!

 

Thanks!

Beginners Bloggers Block

I started out strong. Just over eight months ago.  I was blogging often, having a fairly clear, concise point with each post.  The feedback I got was amazing.  People told me that what I was writing was relatable and how they looked forward to my posts. But, as the weeks went on, I found myself blogging less and less and less.  At one point going more than a month without posting a single thing.

I would still go to WordPress almost every day.  Just under the “Reader” tab.  I would scroll through my saved categories, spending a majority of my time under “Blogging”.   A common post I’d see would fall along the lines of “So, I haven’t posted in a while.” or “Things have been really hectic lately and I haven’t logged in”.  Listen, I get it. I do.  Life gets busy and things come up.  But I couldn’t help but wonder…  Were they really too busy for days, weeks, on end or maybe it’s because they didn’t have something to say? Something they were proud of, or inspired by, or excited about. And by no fault of their own necessarily.

It’s so very easy to rely on an excuse, rather than admit that you’ve maybe lost motivation.  Or perhaps, you’ve been looking for inspiration and have come up empty handed.  I find that so many of my posts have come to fruition because I was inspired by something.  Something happened or I read something.  Whatever it was, was so amazing that it just compelled me to write. To tell the WordPress world all about it.

A few weeks ago, I got the blogging itch.  The one where you need to write something down, purely for the sake of writing.  But, I didn’t know what to write about.  I needed inspiration in real bad way.  So I went over to  Dream Big, Dream Often, to see what the author had been up to. He has a fantastic blog.  Every day he publishes posts that are not only thought-provoking, but also entice engagement from a seemingly very diverse audience.  I’m pretty new to this, but even I know that is no small feat.  And as I scrolled and read, there it was. A simple blog post, about nothing really. It was maybe 3 or 4 sentances long.  In the post, he had asked a question about social media usage. I answered, and in my response, I typed the title of this post.  That’s all I needed, I had my inspiration.

When inspiration hits, there’s no other way to describe it other than a spark.  When I have an idea for a post that I’m excited about, there is nothing that will stop me from writing, editing, revising and hitting that beautiful blue “publish” button.  My eyes light up, you can see the wheels turning and from there, my fingers glide over the alphabet keys with the utmost of ease.  You never know where the spark will come from or when it will strike.  But thankfully, inevitably, it does.  Whether it’s slight or fierce, sooner or later, you’ll have a creative urge that will bring you back from that merciless thing called writers block.

Mischance, Migraines and Milestones

These three “M” words won’t mean much to most, but to me, they are perfectly entwined.  For better or worse.

A few people have mentioned recently that I hadn’t done a blog post in a while.  And they are right in a way. I haven’t done a public blog post in over a month.  But, I have been writing. I have a few posts drafted and edited, ready to go when the time is right.  I did, however want to write something to check in, in a way.  With myself more than anything.


 

Mischance – An old-timey word for bad luck.  Bad luck is what started this blogging journey. When my brother was in his work accident, I needed this outlet so badly.  And as his recovery has progressed, I realized it’s no loner my story to tell.  My perspective at this stage is a sort of a moot point.  He has his voice and can post his updates as he sees fit.  That may be hard for some, family especially, whereas he’s very stingy with his information, but that’s his choice.

One of the main reasons I haven’t been posting is because I’ve been having a lot of migraines lately.  I had never had a headache in my entire life, until about a year and a half ago.  Except a hangover headache.  Had plenty of them.  Stress does weird things to a person’s body, and mine apparently deals with stress in this form.  I’ve lived a fairly stress free life, which I am incredibly grateful for.  But, I think it’s catching up with me now.  I’ve been through a few different types of medicine, and recently switched it again, and so far so good. Hence, this blog post.

It has been 6 months since I started this blog.  It was a milestone I wasn’t sure I’d see.  Even though I had made a couple of posts at the beginning about my motivation and wanting to see this through. There is always a little doubt.  Can I do it?  Do people want to read it?  Does it matter if they do or don’t?  I can do it.  I have no doubt of that.  My self-confidence shakes a little when it comes to the last two questions.  I guess we’ll see how this goes along.  Maybe I will answer them at my 1 year milestone.

 

As my Meme would say – “To Us”

As the year comes to an end today, and we reflect on the year past, there are surely lots of things to be remembered.  Good and bad.  It’s what we make of the year to come that matters most now.  Looking at things with rose-colored glasses is difficult for some, and I am that “some”.

While the traditional New Year’s Eve song “Auld Lang Syne” isn’t necessarily relevant to my life right now, it is a symbol of new beginnings. It brings us into a new year. A new state of mind. Resolutions, promises, and expectations. 2016 seems to be a year some would like to forget. If you find  yourself on any sort of social media, you will inevitably see things like “worst year ever!” or a growing list of hashtags with similar sentiments. Celebrity deaths aside, it would appear that more people than usual have experienced hardships, tragedies or loss this last 365 days.

I find myself coming up short on the positives often. Every year on my birthday, I get a call from a friend of mine. Her name is Katie, we’ve known each other since elementary school and she is a rose-colored glasses kind of girl.  She does this thing on birthdays. She’ll ask “What was the three best things about this past year? And what three things are you looking forward to in the next year?” I turned 33 on November 22nd, and I knew the call was coming. I had tried to prepare for it.  I dug deep for answers to both questions. So deep, in fact, I don’t remember what I said. I think maybe I’ve forgotten because the responses I gave her maybe weren’t the truth, or particularly important. Except one answer. In response to the best thing about last year was “I moved home.” That’s all I had, but it was a big one.  When she called,  my brother was still in the hospital.  Our lives were in a mild form of chaos.  I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I had tunnel vision, and I mean like longest tunnel in the world vision, with only my running lights on.  What I could see, was very dim.

I know that I am more negative than I intend to be.  I envy the optimists, the positive Polly’s of the world.  Negativity creeps up on me. I’ll start a sentence or story with the intentions of it being neutral, and before I know it, it’s taken a turn south. Or when I’m preparing for something.  An event, not in a social way, but more of an outcome of something.   It’s hard to see when you’ve crossed over from being prepared to pessimist. “Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best” is a saying that sums up my outlook most days.  I don’t see that perspective changing for me. While I believe in this saying wholeheartedly, it does, more often than not, tend to slant towards pessimism Negativity spreads like a weed, while the opposite somehow takes more care and nurturing to hit not just mainstream media, but self-acknowledgement.

But in this time of reflection, I’d like to publicly declare my one and only resolution attempt for 2017. I will be that positive Polly. No more negative Nancy. I will make a serious attempt to see the best of situations and speak only to that. Not in the annoying overbearing way some people do, but in a realistic, non-condescending way. A way that doesn’t demean the gravity or seriousness in the situation, but simply emphasizes the best possible outcome.

With all that being said, or typed rather.  I’m going to start the new year early.  My rosey glasses are on.  I’m going to take today and celebrate the end of an unforgettable year.  For better or worse, it is done with.  I will raise, perhaps a few glasses of champagne tonight.  As I have been known to do, often without a special occasion.  We will move on to the next year and I’ll do my absolute best to make it one where #bestyearever will be my most often used hashtag.  As soon as I figure out how to use hashtags…

 

To Us!

Surviving Succulents – Part Two

I had no idea there was going to be a “Part Two” when I wrote the original.  But here we are.

Guys!  What I wrote about in the original post almost happened (If you’ve just started reading my blog, you can find the original here).  I almost gave up.  My blog hit a bump in the road and I wavered.  I have been counting the days since my last post, but couldn’t bring myself to write anything.  And here’s why.

Do you ever have an idea or vision of how you want something to play out.  Or how you want something to look?  We’ve all seen those “10 epic pinterest fails” lists of people who try to create or recreate something amazing that they’ve seen and have come up so very embarrassingly short.

When something doesn’t quite seem to be turning out the way I had envisioned, I immediately start a quiet downward spiral.  Most of the time, when this happens nobody can see this slippery slope of doubt and over-thinking.  It sneaks up on you. Even I find myself being surprised by its onset.  I try to fight through it.  Find a way around it.  Fix it.  But more times than not, it gets the better of me.  I can’t get past my shortcoming.

Let me give you an example:  Kruno’s parents had been looking forward to a traditional American Thanksgiving.  And I had the added pressure (all internal) of transporting the meal to Boston the next day to celebrate with JJ, my dad, and aunt Nanette.  I had imagined a Norman Rockwell-esq presentation at both my house and the hospital.  However realistic or unrealistic it was.  I had a vision.  I prepped two separate turkeys, one for each day.  I timed out everything perfectly and at the second basting session, when I removed the roaster lid, all I saw was bone.  I had cooked both turkeys upside down.  Kruno’s mom was beside me to watch as I prepared the most important meal of year.  She saw the horror on my face and the tears in my eyes.  The Norman Rockwell scene in my mind disintegrated just as the bottom half of the turkey’s had.  Lots of expletives started flowing out of my mouth. Along with sentences like “I ruined it, I ruined Thanksgiving.” and “How did I mess this up so badly?”

The turkey was delicious.  I didn’t ruin Thanksgiving.  It just wasn’t presentation worthy. But, that small detail, the vision of this beautiful whole turkey being presented on my grandmothers antique turkey platter, and not being able to have that image come to fruition, was enough to send me down that spiraling slippery slope.

So, back to my blogging bump in the road.

Two weeks ago I had an idea.  I wanted my blog to have it’s very own page for recipes.  My grandmother was a fantastic cook, my mother and aunt inherited her intuition and I like to think that I did too.  I reached out to my family for their copies of her recipes and was ready to start editing in a couple of days. I logged on.  I fiddled with the settings in WordPress, sought assistance through the handy “chat now” feature and researched everything I could find on relevent topics.  For days and days I tried to figure it out.  I knew how I wanted my site to look, and how I wanted it to read.  But everything I read and all the helpful chat people told me what I wanted wasn’t possible.  I couldn’t get passed it.  I’ve had several posts I’ve wanted to publish, but because of this hiccup, I couldn’t.  I even turned off my Facebook setting, so my friends couldn’t see what I was doing.  I didn’t want them to see if I made a mistake or if something looked weird.

Well, I figured it out today.  I fought my way up that damn slippery slope. I rose to the top and compromised on my vision.  My site is still under construction, but the template it set.  Content will be added soon.  And I’m happy.  Not just with the website, but that I didn’t give up.  I’ve given up on far too many things.  Too many ideas and projects.  But not today.

 

 

The Good and Bad in Goodbye

There are many ways to say “Goodbye”.  It can have many different undertones.  It can be sad or even happy in some cases, and other things in between.

My brother has hit a milestone in recovery from his work accident. After 46 days in the hospital, he has been transferred to rehabilitation in Boston. There, he will get his first prosthetic and soon start walking again.  We have been preparing for this day since he was out of the ICU.

J.J. doesn’t remember much of the ICU.  How could he?  When they first brought him in, he was hooked up to multiple machines and had 19 different bags of fluids hanging from what the nurses called his “Christmas tree”. As they days went on, and specifically after the amputation, periodically the nurses would come in and trim the tree. And soon enough he was down to barely a shrub.  During his stint in the ICU, those nurses were his lifeline.  They were our lifeline.  They barely left his room.  We relied on them for everything.  And they never did disappoint.

The day that J.J. was moved from the ICU to a regular room was one of those confusing types of goodbyes I’m talking about.  We said goodbye to our lifelines, and cried a little.  It was tough.  The uncertainty of it. What this new floor, with the new nurses was going to bring.

These men and women were every bit as amazing as the last bunch.  The nurses seemed to love J.J. like a member of their family.  Some brought him in homemade food. They hung out with him in the middle of the night when he couldn’t sleep.  They checked in on him even when he wasn’t assigned as their patient.  J.J. loved them too.  He had a system, how he liked things. Certain pillows in certain places on the bed.  All the nurses knew this secret, sometimes unspoken system, and obliged.  If they were ever bothered or annoyed by his requests, they certainly didn’t let on.

On Friday November 18th, J.J. was told that he was ready for Spaulding. He would leave Monday morning.  I asked him a few times if he was excited.  He response was always the same.  “Yes and no.”  I know the decision to leave CMMC was a hard one for him.  But his case worker assured him that Spaulding was the place to be.  That Sunday, we said goodbye to a couple of our favorite nurses.  Shelby, Kristen and Abby.  I started to cry, and so did they.  J.J. said “way to go, Darc.”

Monday came, more goodbyes were said.  I’m sure there were fewer tears considering I wasn’t there. They loaded him into the ambulance and headed to Boston. He’ll be at Spaulding for about 4-6 weeks.  The facility is amazing.  It’s a state of the art, futuristic looking place right on the harbor.  While the first day was tough, just getting accustomed to their way of doing things, J.J. knows this is where he needs to be.  And in time, saying goodbye to the people here will be just like before.

To all his nurses at CMMC, we miss you terribly!