Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Is this Father Dragon's Farewell?

Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanugh. We post first Wednesday of each month and here writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Even if we start like this:

Hello, I am Father Dragon and I suffer of Busy Blogger Permanent Guilt Syndrome - BBPGS for short. I can't stand it anymore and after December, I plan to say goodbye and out-speed the ninja guy over there, who's been barricading the exit for months. Dragon is leaving the building...er, cave.

*Stops at Tassin's angry scowl.* What? Not good? *sigh* Appoint the Dwarf Taskmaster your therapist and he feels the dragon's boss already. All right, let's try again.

This may well be the most difficult post I've written so far. I've changed my  mind so many times I got my dwarves dizzy. I think I shouldn't even ask and yet I feel I must. Usually when something is bothering me, I don't give explanations. I just take action. However, staying silent doesn't make the thing that annoys you disappear. Silence only makes it fester. I can certify it so I'll speak trusting you'll help me be at peace with myself.

When I started blogging a year ago, I was ill and I couldn't do much. I started my blog to do something useful with my unlimited time and my thoughts.  I wanted to learn about writing and I sought to make friends. I wasn't sure if I would make any, because fire dragons' temper is always an issue when it comes to socializing. Seeking to fit in among humans, I researched and followed good advice about the blogging etiquette. I visited from 20 to 50+ blogs daily, answered every comment left in my blog and followed everybody back. I entered Bloghops, blogfests, the A to Z Challenge, and all cover reveals I would learn of.

All this proved to be extremely effective sooner than I expected. I was truly stunned and exhilarated for the wonderful people I was meeting on weekly basis.  My following darted from 1 to 170 in 6.2 months, and about a third of those followers became close blogger buddies. Paw on my heart, never in my 802 years of life have I ever felt more welcomed or cherished.

I don't have books or writing career to promote. I don't see the dragon cave as a platform for anything, except making honest friends. I shared my experience with you in the hope something of what I say might prove helpful in your journey. That and my time were all I had to give and I gave it gladly. It was little compared to what I received in return. You came here and gave me inspiration, courage, support and understanding. You made me better than I was.

After reading your worries, concerns and dreams, I wanted to show you that your potential was greater than you gave it credit for. I wanted you to see that you were more powerful than you thought you were. I wanted this so badly that you compelled me to prove myself stronger, to reach for denied horizons, to flap the rusty wings and challenge the odds to show you that the impossible only exists in our head. I fought my demons and I raised from the ground. I worked my dragon ass off to defeat my fears and improve my health. I did all necessary spiritual, physical and mental adjustments to improve chronic conditions to an almost non-existent level.

Dragon's life suddenly filled with possibilities that had been fool's dreams so far. I think I'm truly alive for the first time in centuries and it's all thanks to you. In trying to help you, you helped me to change my life. I feel in your debt...and also terribly conflicted.

I'm doing better, I have a job and dreams to fulfill. Doors that had slammed on my face in the past are opening wide now for me to go for my heart's desire, my passion. I would be a fool if I don't grasp and embrace this chance with all my strength. It might as well be my last chance for I'm not young anymore and as all dreams that are worth something, this one requires hard work and devotion.

As my life quality improved, time became scarce. I couldn't visit blogs and I couldn't return visits anymore. This lack of visiting weights on me so much that's driving me nuts with guilt trips. I feel I have no right to post if I can't visit anyone anymore. As a result, my posting has dropped even when there are times I do have things to say. I agonized over the thought that I will lose all friends I've made because I don't visit anymore. There is also the thought that if I post without visiting, no one would come, or would visit with the expectation that I would return the attention, and then feel betrayed if I don't.

I could handle the 2 hours that writing a post takes me, plus the minutes of answering comments here, maybe twice a month or so. But I can't additionally spare 20 minutes to read a post and commenting, multiplied by 60+. I'm still short of time as it is and knowing where I came from, it would be folly to push the line of health.

Since I do consider your time as precious as mine, I totally understand dropping the visits to a blogger that doesn't visit you back, dragon or not. The easiest, most logical and most comfortable thing for me to do is to hug you breathless, swear my endless love and gratitude to you and take my leave. Nevertheless, I'm here, humbly asking your opinion for one powerful reason.

The path that only leads to yourself often takes you nowhere.  My greatest achievement, my one big miracle didn't happen when I was thinking on myself. It happened when I was aiming on helping others. Some of you have said my blog has helped you and does you good. If I just leave, I would be selfishly thinking only on me. But I am where I am and have the chances I have also thanks to you. I still owe you. A year ago, I had my time and my thoughts to give you. Right now I only have my thoughts to give but if you'll still have them, I will give them to you along with my dragon heart.

So, what say you? Will you take what is in my power to offer at this time? Or should we say "Godspeed 'till next time"?

Either way is okay by me.  If I go or I stay, I'll be at peace with you and with myself because it was from common agreement. Also, those who already won a piece of my heart, please never fear to lose it (in case you're suffering BBPGS too). Visits or no visits, dragon's friendship will remain unaltered, like this sonnet.


89 comments:

  1. Busy Blogger Permanent Guilt Syndrome - BBPGS - a true affliction, I share it with you. The number of comments should never quash your voice. I hope in the end it doesn't but I do know the affliction. This month while I attempt to do NaNo, I'll make the attempt to visit posts, but I've done more reading than commenting. Time is the issue for me too and I have no answer, except that blogging like all writing shouldn't be about the numbers. Hugs and understanding from a fellow blogger.

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    1. Thank you for your understanding and more for the hugs! I should start working on a vaccine for that syndome. :)

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  2. The universe rewards a pure heart Sir. I know your feelings well here, because it weighs on my heart too. I joined the blogs to improve my writing and to make friends with like minded souls. I got back more than I feel I put into the relationships. It has built my confidence both with writing, and in my private life. I never expected such growth from my aging self either.

    I dare not advise you in your decision, as it is in my heart to pull back from the blogs - for a long while at the least. Leaving such good friends should not be an easy decision, but it is one that must be made alone and for the right reasons. *sighs* I feel your dilemma Al.

    Whatever you decide will be the right decision for you, and in this matter, I believe your best interest should take priority. Be well and be at peace with your life. You have enriched mine more than I can express in mere words. Hugs to you, dear friend.

    ........dhole

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    1. Hugs back at you, Donna. In the end, it will all come to priorities I think. I just have to be very clear what are those priorities and why. Thank you!

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  3. Noooooo. This blogger is more than happy to accept whatever you have to offer. Your huge heart and kindness have not touched, but reached out and grabbed so many people - me included. And true friendship doesn't keep score. What you can, when you can, is more than enough to enrich my world. Which would be seriously diminished if you were to leave. That said - it is your decision. Do what is right for you. Now and always.

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    1. You are one of those persons that make me feel so lucky and appreciated. Thank you for telling me this and thank you for your unfaltering support!

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  4. Aloha Al,

    It would give ME no greater pleasure - knowing you were sick last year - to see you stretch out your healthy wings and fly away (with the happy knowledge you could always return on YOUR schedule.)

    You'll always be a true friend to this former Irishman and I shall leave you with another quote from William Shakespeare - kinda :)

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that shares his post with me shall be my brother; be never so vile. This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in Mexico now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their blogs cheap whiles any speaks that wrote with us upon Father Dragon's day."

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    1. Mark, geez, you've touched my heart in ways I can't describe. Your words will resound for a very long time in my head. You've put a smile in my heart and I thank you so much for that, my brother!

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  5. Blogging is all about not having to follow any particular format or schedule, it's entirely up to you to do what you can and what you enjoy and let others engage with you or not. Once it starts feeling like an obligation it will eventually turn into a chore and from there it won't be much fun. Even if you post once a month, people who need to find you will find you. If anyone understands the time consuming nature of life it's other bloggers, so you'll always be among undertstanding friends.

    mood

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    1. Wisdom from a master. That's what I have always found in your words, Moody. You always bring light to my thoughts, thank you, and thank you for being here. :)

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  6. This is very much along the same thoughts I've had since Summer. The free time I once had was taken up by others things and I was lucky to have new posts up. To think I used to do five posts a week! Now I'm down to 3, but even that might change, too. I try to comment when I can, and I too hope that my lack of commenting isn't interpreted as "I don't care," because I do.

    I understand where you are coming from, Sir Dragon. It's times like this when you know who your friends are, and it continues to surprise me how many I have ... and you have. I may not always comment, but I always check my blog reading list. You can't get rid of me easily, you know. :)

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    1. I never thought it would be easy to get rid of comrades in arms, Sir David. Least of all when we've shared salt and virtual virgin snacks, hahaha. Thank you, my friend!

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  7. This blogger is more than happy to accept what you are able to offer. Post without guilt and fear of rejection, you have many friends out here who would hate to see you go. If blogging makes you happy we are here to listen. Take care my dragon friend.

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    1. I'm smiling, Suzanne. I really am. It is just as I hoped. Your words would help me find my peace and they are helping. Thank you!

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  8. No, no, no!! Don't you DARE stop blogging. I love your posts -- they're honest, emotionally deep, and yet you never forget the humor. You bare your soul, speak from your heart, and I feel honored every time I hear what you have to say. I can live with one less comment on my blog. I can't live without your uplifting posts.

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    1. Thank you for letting me know, Lexa. I won't forget this, I promise. Huge Dragon Hugs to you!

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  9. Hi Al Diaz,
    This is really an interesting post:
    Busy Blogger Permanent Guilt Syndrome - BBPGS -
    and the syndrom is really interesting too.
    Well said, I think most of us face this and overcome too LOL
    Keep inform
    Best
    Phil

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    1. Thank you for dropping by PV. I'll keep you informed of my findings on how to achieve balance, whenever I achieve it. ;)

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  10. Hi Al - lots of helpful thoughts here ... I blog very infrequently - sometimes once a fortnight ... I'd like to do so more often and sometimes get a run of every four or five days ... yet we're all friends, we're all bloggers and we understand your dilemma ... I'd love to hunker down in your cave and hibernate the winter away!

    However .. life is for living and you have regained your health, you have a job and other distractions not possible a year ago - enjoy life .... and from everyone's comments blog infrequently, but blog. My posts take me forever to write usually ... but if you can do yours in a couple of hours and do a few comments whenever ... then you'll be here with us ..

    But - your life and your family's life is frankly what's most important ... and your local friends and extended family (I guess there are dragon cousins and nieces and nephews) and then us ...

    Live and enjoy yourself whatever you do ... love the BBPGS idea .. just so pleased for you that life has settled down ... cheers Hilary

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    1. That's a very tempting idea, we can block the cave and sit around the fire and burn marshmallows as we tell each other scary stories about dwarves, hahaha.
      *Dragon hugs* I do hope you find your peace too, my friend. Thank you for your advice. It means a lot to me.

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  11. You know I will visit no matter what.
    And yes, I am still standing guard at the exit.
    You hit it - in helping others, we help ourselves, but if we only helped ourselves, it doesn't happen. I think we lose our own struggles and pain when we focus energies on others.
    We talk offline, so I know the dream you are pursuing. It's important. We will miss you while you pursue it, but our hearts would be crushed if you vanished forever.
    There is a balance. Scale back to find it.
    As you will see today, you are not the only one in a fix...

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    1. Funny I found the very same thing. Why? It still keeps amazing me just how different and how alike we are. Balance is such a difficult thing to achieve, don't you think?

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  12. Al,

    I had a feeling this was in the works...in your realm of considerations. A few months back, I believe I suggested taking it easier...not running at full steam all the time. It will quickly burn you out. And I believe it has.

    I too, want to support everyone, but I also need to think of my own well-being along the way. For the longest time, when I couldn't really keep up with the visiting (and I still can't), I'd go to a blog and the first thing I'd write is an apology for being late, or not visiting in awhile (I think you've seen those apologies)...I felt sooo guilty. And yes, the following of my blog did suffer.

    This is what I've concluded for myself: I love to write. I love to blog. I love to sing, dance, draw, paint, and do other things. I believe I can combine them all and enjoy them. Because I had to make some changes.

    I only blog once a week, and only visit blogs of others once/week, even if they post everyday. I don't do blogfests anymore, or cover reveals or launches, unless I really have the time. I figure many other people have that covered. I wish success to all.

    My following has taken a little bit of a hit, but nothing I can't weather. I don't have a book to promote, a platform to build (it's a little different for us fiction writers), other than writing as well as I can. I'm developing my blog to showcase my writing abilities, rather than as a learning platform, but will always have a theme or "lesson" if you will, to my posts.

    When I moved to WP, I lost so many followers, but now I have new ones. Don't concern yourself with numbers...it will drive you crazy. Do the best you can do, and be sure to make/take time for yourself. My last two posts have been about keeping your mind HEALTHY. Guilt is not healthy. Lose the guilt. We are all in this same boat together, and totally understand.

    No, I don't see how anybody does it. I didn't see how you did it. But you did. And now you're worse off for it (other than a decent following). I decided that rather than try to get followers by all the visiting, I'm more concerned with getting them via my blog's content and my writing abilities. Yes, I still visit, but I'm not killing myself to do it.

    Consider the "big" sites. I frequent them often and leave comments. I rarely get a reciprocal visit (although I see through stats that people come to my site from their site), but I go there for content. The comments I leave will hopefully interest people in who I am and what I'm about. Perhaps enough for them to follow me. Just this morning I got seven more followers, and none of them are from the IWSG group. None of them have I previously visited. They just came, via Twitter, FB, or the WordPress reader.

    It will happen, my friend. Slow down, you move too fast. Got to make the morning last. And then you'll be feeling groovy.

    Do what you need to do. I'll be there to support you regardless.

    Hugs,
    Mike

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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    1. I must confess you were right. I didn't heed your warning and it came out to be true. I do appreciate you've come to offer your opinion. I knew you would bring sense and experience to my pondering. I will heed the advice this time. Dragon Hugs, Mike. Your words always bring warm to the dragon's heart.

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  13. As you can see from the comments above, you are loved and would be missed. I will add my heartfelt thoughts to the chorus here and say you are not alone in your feelings of guilt over time issues. :) I'd say - and I plan on following my own advice - is blog when you have something you want to share. Don't worry about commenting on other blogs. People who truly want to share in what you have to offer will come to you. Will it be fewer numbers? Yes. But the true friends you've made will still support you.
    We do benefit from your words. To those of us who love you, it's not a matter of coming here just so we'll get a return visit. It's about reading what you have to say. Many of us have come to love you. Go fly, Father Dragon, and live your life. When you have time and space, come here and tell us what you've been doing. Don't worry about schedules. Time flows - sometimes fast, sometimes slow.

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    1. Thank you, dear lady. You've always been so supportive to me it's been a joy sharing the time we've shared. I love you too and your words cheer my heart. Really. Bolitas!

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  14. This is what bugs me about the blogging I've come to know over the past two years. Everyone seems to think it's a game of reciprocity, that people will only read you if you read them, and vice versa. It simply shouldn't be that way. If you like the material you like the material, not because you're getting something from it other than the pleasure of reading. I hate that you feel you've been painted into a corner because of the approach you originally took.

    Truth be told, I stopped visiting the Cave months ago because I noticed a huge change in the caretaking. The more followers you had the less personal it became, or it became less about your unique (and creative) viewpoint and more about other things that made it feel like an obligation.

    Now that you're at this crossroads, I hope you take it for the opportunity it is. You're considering dropping it entirely. You got what you needed, you gave what you needed. Maybe it's entirely selfish of me to want the blog I originally found back, but that's what I consider your best possible option going forward.

    Whatever you decide to do, I will support it, however. You never lost that. You are indeed a wise dragon.

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    1. And here comes Tony to smack the dragon back to reason, hahaha. Thanks, my friend! Smacking is sometimes how I get the head clearer, never fails. I will take your words into consideration and give them very deep thought, be sure about that. There is a LOT of truth in what you say. More than I want to admit right now. Thanks for speaking your mind, I really appreciate it.

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  15. I've been struggling with the same thing. I decided that I would go on hiatus through the holidays, and then, when I return in the spring, thin my blogging schedule out to about once a week. Social media is important, but if my writer's blog is keeping me from writing, what's the point?

    I hope you won't disappear completely. I've come to adore you, my lovable dragon, and I look forward to your posts. I hope you can find a way to stick around.

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    1. Dear sweet lady, you're so much corresponded. Honestly. So we could go after our goals and then appoint a date to gather at the cave and exchange our progress over some burnt marshmallows, yes? Dragon Hugs!

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    2. Absolutely. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. ;)

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  16. Oh please, Father Dragon, don't disappear completely. We would all miss you. I too understand what it is to be restricted for time although technically I am retired and supposedly don't have a lot to do. Not everyone can be like the ninja who manages to visit by the hundreds. Whatever your dream is, definitely pursue it and know that all of us who love you will be supporting you in thought anyway even if we don't have anything to comment on. Big grandmother!! hugs

    Hey if I am grandmother to an 802 yr old dragon, how old does that make me?

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    1. You would be a very young grandmother, Jo, hahaha. At your age, dragons are still hatchlings. :D Thanks for your support, and yes, I have to accept I can only do as much. I tried the ninja suit but they don't come in dragon size. Dragon hugs to my darling granny. :)

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  17. Al, first SHs. OK second, you will be missed, but I am learning to listen to my heart and go with my leading. It may not be the road most taken, but it's seldom wrong. Closing a blogging door now doesn't mean it can't reopen another time when/if the timing is right. You will be missed-- (obviously!) but my heart will be hoping you are making great strides in the life YOU want to create. Lots and lots of those hugs-- pull one out whenever you need it.

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    1. I cannot deny that my heart desires this so very much, Julie. I simply have to go for my greater goal. As Alex said, I must find a way to balance priorities. I definitively can always use of some spam hugging. Dragon hugs to you, my friend!

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  18. I understand your dilemma. Maybe pulling back, taking a break, a temporary furlough will do the trick for you. We all have to experiment with our time to see what works best. Social media blogging can be such a huge commitment. Writing blogging a bit less. Try it and see what happens. Let me know the results so I can add it to my blogging research data.

    We have to do what works best to help us reach our goals and you know best what you need to do. Or if you're like me, maybe not.

    Best wishes in whatever you choose to do. Blogging will be around for a long time and you can always come back for total immersion if you want to.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I am always happy to help scientific researches, Arlee. Thank you for offering your opinion. I do plan to go on vacation half of December anyway. I think it will do me good. I'll keep you posted. :)

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  19. Al, even if you post just once a month, its okay with us (I can see everyone nodding). Scale back, that way you can balance and manage well. Hugs. I would hate to see you stop blogging.

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    1. Thank you for your words, Rachna. I would certainly miss my hug pal too. Dragon hugs to you!

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  20. Hi, my name is Steve. And I suffer from BBPGS.

    I take numerous breaks throughout the year. Probably 6 - 8 weeks when added up. One needs to take a vacation from time to time.

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    1. Hi Steve, be welcome to the BBPGS group. I knew I was not alone in this. I vacation is one thing I shall do for sure. Thanks!

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  21. I hope that you decide to continue blogging even if it's only once in a while. You are a great gift to bloggers, as you always spread hope and good cheer. I have marked November 24th on my calendar, and hope that the celebration will continue. You are a very unique, and caring individual, and I wish you all the best.

    Julie

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    1. I'm so happy you'll be there. It really means a lot to me to be able to give back a bit of the special things you've gave me too. Thank you, Julie. Dragon hugs!

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  22. Just reading that you are feeling better and that you now have these doors open to you makes me so happy, Al. Whatever you decide to do, Father Dragon and this Cave will definitely remain in my heart. I wish you all the best in the world and will support any decision you make.

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    1. Thanks, Julie! You're in my heart too, and the hearts of my dwarves of course. We still are expecting a great day with you on December! Dwarves will be at their best behavior this time. Dragon Hugs!

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  23. I'm so glad things are going your way even if it means you're here less. Good luck.

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  24. What a time suck this blogging is! I so agree. But Holy Talking Cats, the friends, the relationships I've made along the way are way beyond incredible.
    What industry treats others like this? Helping giving their time and education. I can certainly think of none.
    I hope you know that your name alone is a win, Dad. I can call you 'dad' can't I? :P
    Cheers!

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    1. Hahaha, yes, you can. Thank you Huntress! I feel more like a fighter right now but I believe that's a win too. :D Cheers!

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  25. Al, do what feels right for you, your health, and your situation. However, I suspect that anyone who's been blogging for some time, can stop blogging cold turkey. My suggestion is to blog once a month or once a quarter (four times a year). That way we, your fans and followers and friends, will stay in touch. Wishing you all the best in whatever you decide.

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    1. You're so kind, Catherine. I will consider that option. I do want to stay in touch with so wonderful people such as yourself. I do hope to count with your presence on the 24th, though!

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  26. I hope this isn't farewell, Al.
    You have to do what is best for you but if you pop in once in a while to share your wisdom and keep inspiring us, count me in to be here. Those of us who truly care for the dragon don't need you to run around and feel pressure to comment on our blogs, we just enjoy what you have to say. Big hugs, and I hope you make peace with whichever direction you take.

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    1. You have no idea how relieving your words are. Now I see why my heart told me my friends could give me peace. Thank you, S.K. Dragon Hugs to you!

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  27. STAY! STAY! STAY! (I would offer a command for every dwarf, but just consider that a blanket statement)

    Blog when you can. Visit when you feel like it. I agree it's a community and all, but I think every single one of us understands that sometimes the pace is better than others. Do what you can when you can. I've posted when I don't have time to comment. Life has to have balance and we have to accept their are some limits to our abilities. Including dragons!

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    1. My dearest lady, I think the dwarves are echoing you already just because of your charming smile. :) Thank you very much for your understanding and support. Dragon hugs!

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  28. Mary Chapin Carpenter released an album called Time, Sex, Love. I don't know if ever an official explanation was offered but I tend to believe it is because those things are that which we cannot take back. Once the time is spent is gone, once you've committed to sex it's done, and once you've loved... Well, you get the idea. The big things take up a lot of space and you don't get do-overs.

    As for your question... I say do what is in your heart. If you decide to blog once a week and spend so many minutes per day reading and commenting... well, that is what works for you. We all are saturated with Life Commitments. I love reading your thoughts, but it makes me happy you just out there living a Big Life. Besides, if you live a Big Life you will have more to write about later....

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    1. Seize the moment, it's important. I have learned that too, through the centuries. Today never comes back. I've treasured every moment shared online with you, Robin. The wisdom of your words is a valuable feedback to my thinking process. Thank you for being you and for being my friend. Dragon hugs!

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  29. I must say, Dragons don't go... they don't fade away. I have had my exit plan for months now, life is getting in the way and life does. We need your humor, art and whit whenever you can... see so you cannot leave or fade. Make it mean more when you can make a post, we will come... if you need encouragement... I can send it, high fives too... heck if you want you can join my site and post when you need.. for fun, humor or a little screaming. I have been learning how to ghost post the last few months, to that life thing. I am not even here right now, I support your choice. Hopefully you can stick around, you are a always welcome in my home. In a totally manly way of course... be strong, be safe and be dragon!

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    1. That's like the most thoughtful offer anyone had given me. Thank you very much, Jeremy. You're a good friend and I do count you among mine. Thanks for your support and your words. Hahaha, and don't worry, I take them in a dragonly way, just as the dragon hug I send you. :)

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  30. We are made for community. We are only truly alive when we share with others and others share with us. I'm super familiar with this guilt you describe. Time is, and will always be, an issue. But I understand. You are in my heart.

    (sorry had to fix a bad typo)

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    1. You are in my heart too, Lynda. And well, you may join the BBPGS group too. A dragon hug!

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  31. I have mixed feelings about this post. On the one hand, I am overjoyed that you are doing better, health-wise! It warms my heart to know that your absence is due to an improvement in your quality of life--I'm so glad you're scarce because you're so busy now! On the other hand, while I understand your guilt over not having enough time to visit other blogs, I selfishly want you to keep posting, because I always enjoy hearing from you. Ultimately, whatever you decide, I wish you well. You will always be my favorite dragon!

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    1. I appreciate you letting me know how you feel, Lara. Thanks for your support and for your friendship. Huge dragon hugs for you. :D

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  32. This is indeed a feeling that I get. It just feels like I never have time.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. We got to organize better, right? :) Thanks for dropping by.

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  33. I have been absent more and more for a couple of months now myself, due to massive time restraints, my health restrictions and other various time sucking traps that have taken me away from blogging. I for one, am willing to accept whatever others can give. I will miss the Dragon and his wisdom should he fade away completely, but I would understand you need to do what's best for you. That being said, *my fingers are crossed you chose to stay!*

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    1. Sorry to hear you have been having problems with your health, Jaybird, you brave wonderfu woman. Thank you for coming, for your support, your understanding and for accepting my invitation. You're important to me too. I send you lots of dragon hugs and we'll still see each other around. :)

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  34. Hi Al,

    It truly is finding the right balance. It's also about not letting guilt dominate us. I know I struggle with getting the right balance. I spend several hours on my site commenting back to each person. By the time I've done that, visited sometimes up to a 100 sites, I'm totally exhausted. Blogging can be exhausting and yet, I try to think about all the positives within the right balance.

    Life seems to have improved for you. This heartens me. I respect whatever you decide to do. What I might suggest is to, without letting guilt get in the way, perhaps post when you want without feeling any undue pressure.

    You have a lot of support, my good friend. Keep embracing the fact that when we help each other, we help ourselves.

    In peace, your friend,

    Gary

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    1. Thanks for your suggestions and your support, Gary. I think that's what I'll end up doing as matter of fact. Balance is indeed the key and that's my goal. I also agree with you, that helping each other, we help ourselves. I won't forget that. Dragon Hugs.

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  35. Oh, how I would miss you.... Happy Friday....:)

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  36. I would miss you as well, Al!!!
    Yeah, you need to visit some blogs today. It's the How I Miss You blogfest.

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    1. Dragon overflew the blogsphere. Thanks!

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  37. I love the life and vibrancy that you've created here, but the loss of your blog I can handle. The loss of your friendship, I cannot.

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    1. My friendship you have it true and unconditional. And rest assured dragon's friendship is really REALLY hard to lose it, believe me.

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  38. Father Dragon, I would miss you and your huge dragon hugs, your vibrant thoughts, and your amazing posts. I also suffer from BBPGS. . . um, that thing, but I decided that I'm staying on. . . posting a little less, but hanging in there. I hope you can too. Even if you just post every once in a while, I would still love to read your thoughts.
    Also, though, I'm praising God that your health has improved and opportunities have opened up for you! I truly hope that you choose whatever works best in your life.

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    1. I knew we were many but we'll have to get rid of it for the good of all. I won't be completely gone, Tyrean. We've come to an agreement by general consensus. Dragon Hugs and thank you for coming and offering your support.

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  39. If following your dreams takes you away from us than I will miss you but wish you well. And I hope you'll stop back from time to time just to let us know the dragon is still flying.

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    1. You can be sure of that. Thank you for your understanding. :)

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  40. I do understand~ YOU are a generous spirit in blogland and I hope you get your dream~
    Yes, dragons do need to do a fly by once in a while..perhaps a tweet?!

    It is difficult to blog-my family does not share my enthusiasm-life does get in the way!
    I am happy doors are opening and you are on your way to soar with the eagles! Please do not singe their bald heads. Take care and best wishes

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    1. Hahaha, I promise I won't mess with eagles. Thank you, Ella. And yes, blogland will still hear from me. :)

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  41. Hang in there, Al. I think people need to see your struggles as well as your triumphs.....even if it's only once in a while.

    I know how you feel as my time for blogging has become more scarce. Either way, though, I'm glad to have met the Great Dragon and hope we can always keep in touch :)

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    1. Mark, my friend, I'm keeping in touch for sure. So many good people here, I just can't forget. :)

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  42. I think you should stop by whenever you can, and that will be a nice bonus for your faithful readers! And definitely walk through those doors that are opening!

    Come back when you have some exciting announcements to make, okay? :D

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    1. That's a promise, Trisha. Thanks for your words!

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  43. You make the most of what you have. Stop by then you can. Post when you can spare the time. It's all on you. You are a great addition to the blogging community regardless. And will always leave an imprint on my heart.
    Thanks!

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    1. And your sweetness have touched mine, Dani. Dragon Hugs and we still be seeing each other. :)

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  44. Evidently our blogging arcs have been mirror images -- I retreated and fell off of the blogosphere most of the past year, and have only recently returned, retired my old blog, and reappeared with a new, rebooted blog. You have come and gone in much of the space of my absence...

    I regret that I've only stumbled across your empty dragon's lair now that you're out and about from it. But who knows? Perhaps our paths shall yet cross again.

    Because, while my voice holds no sway in these parts, I bid you to stay -- at least at some level. At the level that you feel comfortable with, as time allows -- without guilt or the overloading force of "gotta". Blog when you want, if you want, simply because how find the time and you enjoy doing it. No schedule, no commitments, no pressure.

    Free yourself from the burden of blogging, and you might rediscover the fun of blogging.

    At least that's what my unasked-for opinion is...

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    1. I appreciate you took the time to comment, even if you're not regular here. I'll take your words into consideration, they are wise. Thank you very much for your insight and I hope our paths cross again too. :)

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