Change / Changing my ways / Moving On / Sorting it Out / Staying Positive

It’s Just a Journey, Focker

Sue hiking closeup

I’ve been on a journey, and somewhere along the way, my travels brought me to this place. It started innocently. What I thought I’d do is take on a steady project to give structure to my life where little existed at the time. I hoped, too, I would hone my writing skills. But mostly I hoped I would be able to provide comfort and support for people who are struggling in whatever manner by sharing my own struggles, if only to emphasize we are not alone as we face life’s challenges. Someone has been where you are and can relate. And even in the times when you experience something so unique that you feel nobody could possibly have gone through the same, perhaps you would embrace that at a minimum, there is always someone who cares and can support you even without knowing all the gory details. I didn’t realize that you would do that for me, too. I wanted to let you know that you are part of an amazing, powerful universe, and that is something we all have in common. I didn’t know that my writing about it would reinforce my awareness, too.


I did learn a bit about writing in the last two years. I could have written every single day and had to stop myself from getting TOO absorbed in this project. I can’t imagine how bloggers have trouble coming up with something to write about. I have the opposite problem. I have so many titles, first paragraphs, and potential topics, I can’t decide which to do next because they all feel worthy of pursuing. I always have something on my mind. Something always stirs me. I’m always open to learning a lesson, and I seem to find lessons in nearly everything that I touch and that touches me. I seek to relate and understand–myself, others, everything around me. I hoped that through the writing, I would find my center. Interestingly, when it comes to non-material things, no amount of searching yields the results you want. You cannot chase something down. You cannot capture it in your hands and keep it. You can only commit to the journey, and then sit back and watch your own personal show.


I’ve long believed I’ve had the ability to learn from others’ mistakes. My choices have often been influenced by an awareness of what other people have put themselves through. I’m motivated by what I DON’T WANT to have happen in my life. And understanding? Well, it’s all relative. It’s far easier to understand a math equation than to understand life. The questions and answers of life are infinite. No amount of my own awareness about the topic of understanding and how it is sometimes futile could have allowed me to really integrate it into my consciousness. There are some things we cannot learn from others. We must experience them first hand. Understanding “understanding” is one of them. I’m no more advanced on the topic than anyone else, other than to say I have experienced in these last two years that this desire to understand has no bounds and is potentially a source of unrest. Hence, I now see the wisdom in suggesting that efforts to “understand” and “know” might be futile and consuming, with no guarantee of an oasis in the desert.


And now, on to what has continued to motivate me to write on the topics I do: YOU. I simply have wanted to be part of the solution by helping my readers if I could, to foster healing, to provide support if my humble thoughts and words could. I’m grateful for the dialog I’ve had with my readers–for being able to help a few and feel helped by them as well. I’ve been frustrated by my inability to do more, to make a real difference. I put a lot into what I write. I put a lot of myself into the people I help in my real life. I stick it out way longer than I should. There’s a fine line between helping and enabling. In the end, we all need to be accountable for ourselves–myself included.


I wonder if I’ve been sticking it out way too long with Swimming in the Mud. It’s possible I’ve been my own enabler, allowing myself to indulge far too long in my struggles–major and minor. In the world we live in, all of my struggles–however immediate and threatening they appear to me–are minor. Even with my focus shifted towards my readers most of the time, it has taken too much energy to articulate those many emotions I struggle to put words to. I’ve never minded the effort because I wanted the writing to do more than just temporarily release my own thoughts and feelings. I wanted it to release my readers’ thoughts and feelings, too. I think it has for some. But, I also have been concerned that the seriousness of the content sometimes just adds to the negative energy in the universe. For all its good intent, I’ve had to admit that perhaps I have been part of the problem in the universe rather than the solution. Nothing would break my heart more.


In an effort to add to, not detract from, the positive energy around me, I know I need to shift my emphasis. It may mean the end of Swimming in the Mud as we know it or perhaps altogether. After these recent revelations, the name may not emit the positive healing I’ve been trying to promote. I know that when we are in the dark, we are drawn to the dark. I suppose I hoped that I could bridge the gap from dark to light by showing my dark, talking about it, and perhaps shed some light in the end–a glimmer of hope. Maybe by seeing a shred of light in an otherwise dark room, I could have inspired others to be intrigued by the light and head towards it as I have been doing.

As I said, it’s a journey. It’s just a journey. Thank you for being a part of it.



One more thing: In an effort to always improve and grow, I’d very much appreciate any constructive criticism and/or comments that would let me know what appeals to you about this blog, what has worked for you and what hasn’t. You know what my goals are. Did I meet them? If so, what types of posts did that best? And, if not, what qualities about my writing approach or what subject matter achieved the opposite result? If I end up revamping Swimming in the Mud entirely vs discarding it, I will take these comments to heart and try a better approach to actualize my intentions.

19 thoughts on “It’s Just a Journey, Focker

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, and for selfish reasons hope it does continue, in some form. But I understand that we all are evolving, and sometimes good things do end. Good luck in whatever lies ahead, in your writing and in your life.

    • Thank you so much for your support and kindness. I will continue to follow your blog and send positive thoughts to you as you continue your path of healing.

      I’ve updated my post with an ‘afterthought’ paragraph at the end asking for a certain type of feedback. If you get a chance to read it and have anything to add, I’d be very grateful. Thank you!

  2. I had been pondering along the same lines myself. The name of my blog ‘Almost Spring – transforming my life from we to me’ will lose its meaning once Summer comes along and I reach the new ‘me’. Do I then carry on with life privately, start a new blog, or change the name and the tone of the current blog? I am yet to decide.

    While I have progressed on my journey I have actively followed others who have been on the same (yet different) journey, either ahead of me, a bit behind me, or more or less beside me. As I have progressed (and that in itself is a great step – to admit that I have progressed), I have seen some who sadly haven’t, who are still back in the pain of the separation or – worse still – the pain of a dying marriage. However, there have been others who have been for me that spark of hope, someone to follow and guide me forward onto a positive path (albeit sometimes rocky) towards a better tomorrow. You have, for me, been one of those sparks of hope, radiating light for me to see by.

    Thank you so much and I hope you may continue to write about your journey.
    You have so much to give. I for one would love to hear about your next stage when hopefully you no longer have to swim against the mud and start instead to spread your wings and fly.

    • Elizabeth, you always take such great care to respond fully, giving so much of yourself in the reply. I know we have been walking parallel paths and will continue to for quite some time. I look forward to continue visiting with you on your blog and sharing points of view.

      Your first paragraph contains many of the questions that have stirred in my mind as well. It is the fate of travelers to come to a fork in the road, to be forced to decision. I just updated this post with an extra paragraph at the end seeking helpful feedback of a certain sort. If you get a chance to read it and have any suggestions, I’d be very open to hearing them. Thank you so much for being a steady follower thus far. Who knows where the road will lead?

  3. Names have meaning, sometimes they change meanings as your journey continues. Evolution happens, but just for my own entirely selfish reasons might I suggest to you Mud has healing properties and thus your swim could also be taken as such.


    • Hi, Val. I have thought about how Swimming in the Mud could possibly represent a joyful thing… a celebration of embracing all that seems imperfect but really is perfect as it is part of who we are. Perfectly imperfect. I’ve not done it, but I’ve heard jumping and playing in a mud hole is really liberating, bringing out the joyful child within us. That’s where I want to be always… with my joyful inner child. So, there may be a way after all to stay “in the mud” and still live my intention. We shall see. 🙂

      In the meantime, I just updated this post with an extra paragraph that seeks particular feedback that would guide me should I pursue the above possibility. If you get a chance to revisit the post and have anything you can offer, I would very much appreciate that gift from someone who I respect quite a lot. ❤

  4. Your journey proves your humanity, allows us to wallow in our own right along with you. This makes us fellows on the journey. Proof of a shared humanity. This is what works.

    We all start with goals, what works? The idea you allow yourself to wander without a big stick to beat yourself back onto the path. What works? Your quest, your humor, your questions and the idea you are not afraid to ask them.

    Personally? I like you, just the way you are. Muddy feet, thoughtful mind, open hear. Just the way you are.

    • Wow, Val. I suddenly feel very warm inside. Thank you for that. You give me much to think about. In the meantime, I still look forward to visiting with you on your pages, learning what lessons usually await there, and engaging in lively conversations. 🙂

      And as always, I wish you peace. ❤

  5. I agree with Val. You have to be you, b/c you are very loveable just the way you are. Making the connection is the most important thing to do and the honesty in your writings, your struggles makes this a very readable blog and one of the few I do read in my busy life. I suggest you go with your gut feelings about what it is you want to write. For that is your true guidance, from within. You/we never have a true sense of how many people are touched by our writings. For myself, I know there are many people who read my blog who never comment and I have to trust that whoever is supposed to read it, will read it. Follow your heart, always. That will never steer you wrong. And I, for one, hope to continue reading your blog, should you choose to continue. Whatever you choose, know that you HAVE made a difference. No doubt about it. From my heart to yours.

    • Wow, thanks so much for the constructive feedback and for the positive affirmations! I have a small, steady crew of core followers (yourself included) who let me know this blog still has a pulse. It’s so very hard to know whether what I give matters in any way. We can only surmise from how many sign up to receive emails, or visit the page and give us a nod in the form of a like or a comment. I suppose I’m in that space where doing something that “matters” is important… not for ego, but for wanting to give back for whatever good fortune has been bestowed upon me thus far. The better I do that, the more successful I feel at expressing my gratitude. And I truly do have so much to be grateful for. YOU, for instance! I’m so honored you include reading my posts in your busy life. I do with yours as well. 🙂


      • “Trust in the process” has been a message I’ve been receiving from many sources in the last half year. In my life, I’ve mostly equated “trust” with something that occurs between two people but have been focused lately on accepting it as applies to what lays ahead of me in life. Thank you much for the guidance.

  6. Beautifully written as always… even your darkness and lightness makes a difference… because the universe and your readers feel your love at your core… I believe we all wanted to heal the world as well as ourself… but we find out that each has his own journey and experience… no matter what… and there comes a time when we do all realise that living is for enjoying, giving ourself lots of me time… in whatever way… and the more joy we have, the more whole and colourful we are… and this shines through us… emanating out to others… no words are really necessary anymore… just joy…

    I only recently met you and do hope our friendship continues here… You will know in which direction your soul wants to take you… and I look forward to reading about it… Barbara

    • Hi, Barbara,
      I know there is plenty left in me to write about. I sense a shift in the waters though and a resultant need to take stock and prepare for something a bit different. It’s a feeling of calm reflection rather than frantic survival. This alone is a welcome thing. I will be in the hood–still connecting with you–as I gather up whatever it is I need. 🙂

      Thanks for your thoughtful reflections!

  7. I said that I would return to comment on this post and about your blog. From an overall perspective, I have gained a lot from you, not only from your posts, but also from your thoughtful replies to me. I know that you have been through a lot and yet you remain positive and strive to do more than simply survive. That positiveness in you has, on many bleak days, given me that spark of hope that I needed to continue. However, you have also never been too afraid to let me know how difficult the journey has been for you. So for me, someone who has always been inherently positive yet day after day found myself in a black hole, that simple message of kindness – ‘I have been there too’ – has been just as meaningful and helpful as the “you have to keep positive” message.
    These were some of your posts I found had a great message: ‘The Postman Cometh’ (Mar 01, 2012); ‘Forgiveness’ (Mar 11, 2012); ‘If you just smile’ (Apr 30, 2012); ‘Fear’ (Oct 20, 2012); ‘Divorce, Prepare for surgery mash-style’. I also loved all your ‘human needs’ posts. I found it interesting that you focussed on values as basic needs. That comes from the heart. Psychologists list tangible practical things (food, shelter, etc) as basic needs. You have a better ideal on needs- at what is within us – if we look for it.

    I think your own response to the last comment above is a good summary of the message I have received from you in navigating these tumultuous waters ‘calm reflection rather than frantic survival’.

    Best wishes in the next part of your journey.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Elizabeth. This feedback was invaluable. It contained that something extra I was hoping for… the reference to posts that touched you.

      As to the dual message you’ve gotten from my pages that include the “I’ve been there” sentiment, I know that when I was in the darkest moments, positive words of encouragement were appreciated though unable to truly seep in. It almost seems like what people offered was just a quick fix… “just think and do positive,” they’d say. I think when we’re really in there deeply, we simply need a trail of bread crumbs to lead us out vs the magic helicopter to haul us out. I say this because even though the helicopter (quick fix… jolt of positive) would be alluring, we know that gradual mending and healing of the heart is the only way out… one bread crumb at a time. You inspire me, Elizabeth, to continue this effort (of relating in the way I do) in some way. I will. Thank you for that.


      • I agree with what you say that sometimes those people who try and jolt you forward are too annoyingly depressing. One breadcrumb at a time…. but still slowly moving forward ……… yes that is the best way of looking at it.

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