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Part of blogging–maybe the biggest, most important part, bigger than honing writing chops or sharing photos–is that it teaches you to recognise what’s special about your life. Unless you run a kvetching blog, the point of a blog is to highlight what’s most you that you think might bring a smile to people’s face.

Of course, the more I think about it, the less this statement seems like a universal. Some people kvetch. Sometimes it’s really funny. Or they criticise things, sometimes thoughtfully.

But the blogs I read regularly, the ones I like best, are the ones where people are living, happily and successfully, and preferably with a hefty dose of humour. They don’t live happily because they have money, or even good health; a surprising number of people I follow have physical or mental illnesses and/or are raising kids while going through grad school, etc. Because they live anyway. They’re happy anyway, happy enough to share with me a peak of their lives and show me how, despite illness, sometimes because of lack of money (I follow a lot of thrifters and crafters), they make themselves happy. It’s a trick of the mind.

And when I sit down to write a post, I focus on something that makes me happy. Something I’ve done that I think is a little bit clever. Some kindness a stranger showed another when they didn’t know anyone was watching. Something I think might brighten my readers’ day, even if only 25 people ever read it. And just like that, without thinking of worn-out mantras about thinking about others or counting one’s blessings, I’ve dedicated half an hour or more of my life to thinking about ways my life is good, or what will bring joy to others.

This is fortunate, as I am the first to roll my eyes at over-used formulations and sentiments often expressed and seldom acted upon. New Year’s resolution to ‘be nicer to people’? Whatever. Reminder to blog because my readers haven’t heard from me in a while? Much more important.

This post wrote itself, so I won’t delete it. Now let’s pretend you didn’t hear that. You know better, I know better. But it’s a nice social fiction. Here’s a picture of a furry animal to distract you.

NTS the Bear

Well, close enough.

Edit: I’ve been informed that some readers are seeing adverts with links at the bottom of the page. I don’t get paid by anyone, so if there’s a link without any explanation, treat it with extreme prejudice.