Report: mixed success
December is now officially in the books. I’m glad to say I set another NaBloPoMo challenge for myself and met that challenge. I successfully posted every day in November and December of 2009.
I say mixed success, however, since I also accepted a voluntary challenge issued by NaBloPoMo in the month of December and sucked it hard. To “give” something every day and then blog out it. Wow, what a vicious challenge that turned out to be.
The month started promisingly and I think I made it about six days in before giving up. Because my financial situation is rather grim right now, I had decided when accepting the challenge it wouldn’t and couldn’t be simply about money.
So I failed at that. I did find some other ways to give during the rest of the month but they were few and far between, and since I was off the challenge by then, I kept them to myself.
Overall, though, I think the month was a success. I met the post every day goal and I did manage to increase my normal giving output and I’m glad about that. Hopefully there will be some ongoing goodness that comes from that.
I’m not exactly sure what the future holds for this blog now, but I do know this. No more challenges! 🙂 If I post every day it will be because I feel like it.
See you tomorrow! 🙂
Taking more nibbles at giving
OK it has been a couple days so it’s time for an update on this whole “giving” thing.
I’ve been close to throwing in the towel because it is so hard to think of something to give every … single … day. But, as of now, I’m still hanging in there by the skin of my teeth. However, I reserve the right to Palin this task at any time. 🙂
Here is an update on how I handled the 2nd and 3rd days of the month.
I have started a humble canned food drive in my home town. Nothing major, but we’ll see what we can bring in for the local food bank. I’ll be working on this the rest of the month.
Also in my home town, I decided to do something to support a local restaurant. The weakened economy has hit our local restaurants hard and several good places have closed, including some of my personal favorites. I think that when discretionary funds get squeezed in the budget by an economy like this, eating out must be one of the first things to take a hit. So I selected one of my favorite local restaurants at random and fired up my Photoshop and made them a web banner. I then arranged for that advertising to be shown on a popular local web site at no charge. Hopefully they will like my creativity on their banner and it send them much-needed business.
Now all I have to do is think up something to give for today. I can’t handle the pressure! Argh! 🙂
What I decided to give
I wrote yesterday that I had decided to do the NoBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) challenge … again. In short, that’s a committment to post every day for an entire month. I did it last month and it didn’t kill me so I’ve decided to do it in December as well.
This time, however, I’m accepting the voluntary challenge to give “something” to someone every day of the month “and then blog about it.”
Yesterday was actually Day #1 to go out in the world and “give” something. I recently learned about something known as the BRCA1 human gene mutation. The name of the gene, BRCA1, actually means “Breast Cancer 1, early onset.” According to Wikipedia, some mutations of this gene “are associated with a significant increase in the risk of breast cancer, as well as other cancers.” I originally learned about this from a fellow WordPress blogger. She’s already had some surgery and is facing more soon. I decided this was the arena where I wanted to do my first “give.”
I have since learned that women diagnosed with this gene mutation can have increased risk for breast cancer of 87% or higher. Following this sort of a diagnosis a procedure known as prophylactic mastectomy is often prescribed. “Prophylactic” means “preventative” and “mastectomy” is the “medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely.” In other words, healthy breasts are to be removed simply because the risk of cancer is so amazingly high. This really floored me.
A few more thoughts about this giving thing. First, I didn’t want it to be simply about money. For one thing, I can’t afford it, especially now. So that really ramps up the pressure on how to do this challenge. Money may occasionally fill the bill (heh) but I’d rather make this challenge about giving something else. Second, each “give” doesn’t have to be something major. It’ll probably be embarrassing but some days I may be forced to report back and say, “I stopped by the park and picked up someone else’s dog poop.” 🙂
Lastly, I still reserve the right to be negative all I want. This is my crib, yo, and I’ll roll that way when I want. I don’t want the challenge getting all up in that grill, yo.
So anywho … I researched BRCA1 and found the web site www.facingourrisk.org. This is the official web site for FORCE which stands for Facing Our Risk of Cancer EMPOWERED. Their beautiful mission statement is: “To improve the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.” Bingo! That was exactly what I was looking for. I had already decided I wouldn’t be making a cash donation, as much as I want to, so I examined the web site for other ways to help. I thought maybe I could find an awareness badge or something I could put on my web site.
Then I saw the “Volunteer” link under “How to Help” and I made up my mind. I was going to volunteer! So I sent in an email offering to help and listing my meager skills and asking if there was in any small way I might be able to help. I have already received an enthusiastic response and will be talking to them soon. I’m excited about it.
That’s about it for now. I’ll try to report back later how the volunteering goes. In the meantime, yikes, I already have to find something else to “give” today. What have I gotten myself into???
The giving of ye olde syrup
Hot on the heels of November and still feeling flushed with success, I have decided to undertake another voluntary challenge. I have signed up with NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) again.
The mission I have accepted is, once again, to blog every day for the month of December, but this time there is a twist: “… give something, to someone, every day of the month, and then blog about it.” NaBloPoMo goes on to say, “The goal is to act with kindness …”
Yikes. Bring on the syrupy sweetness. 🙂
This was an impulsive decision (aren’t they all) so the clock is seriously clicking down on today and finding something to give. I’ll be back to let you know how that works out. Somehow I don’t think the video in the previous post is going to count.
An update from the shouter
The end of a month is a milestone of sorts. As we put November 2009 to bed, I thought I would share a few random thoughts about my blogging experience so far.
With this posting I have successfully met the self-imposed challenge of posting at least once a day for an entire month. Woot! Late in October I signed up to become an “official” NaBlaPoMo blog. My brain is so hyperactive with background noise it was actually fairly easy to do. Setting a goal and meeting that goal: Not something you’ll find me doing all that often. 🙂
To celebrate, I started off this post with a graph showing the activity of this blog as reported by the WordPress stats function. The graph shows “views per week.” I’m still a new kid on the block. I’ve only been doing this for 10 weeks. But the overall trend seems promising. When CNN and FOX News start calling to get my opinion on things I’ll be sure to let you know. And yes, the Y-Axis labels have been omitted to prevent the leaking of critical proprietary statistical information. Ha!
The WordPress dashboard tells me that in those 10 weeks I have posted 128 times using a whopping total of 681 tags. That makes this post number 129. And while someone like They Call Me Jane has yet to write her 100th post, she has already hit the 1,000 comments milestone. Me? With more posts than her I’m about 40.1 percent there.
I hope that this blog makes you laugh and occasionally prompts you to think. I deeply appreciate those of you who read and share my private thoughts (since I’m doing this anonymously). It has been a lot of fun and I’ve met some wonderful and amazing people that I already consider to be friends. I plan to keep writing full throttle and see where this blog takes me. Horton could hear a Who. It’s nice to know that the outside world can sometimes hear my shouts from the abyss, too.
Midday post of miscellany
Just some random what nots:
Have a great day, all!