Where’s the good news? Where’s the ‘and finally’?
Bring on the good news.
The world seems broken sometimes, doesn’t it? Yet at a time when we need good news, it’s thin on the ground. I remember watching the news when I was growing up. We looked forward to the ‘and finally’ at the end of the news bulletin, the good news story that enabled us to pick ourselves up after the hard-hitting headlines and stories of human tragedy. Somehow, the ‘and finally’ reminded us that despite all the hurt and pain in the world, there was still hope. Everything would be okay.
The ‘and finally’ was the spoonful of sugar that helped the bitter pill of bad news go down. That final good news story restored my faith in humanity. After hearing about the worst of human nature, it offered something to redress the balance. Sometimes, it was a story of triumph over adversity. Sometimes it was a feel-good piece about the birth of an endangered species in captivity. Sometimes it was a story about the strength of the human spirit, of selflessness or the kindness of strangers.
However, the last few weeks have been tough. The column inches of major newspapers have been filled with hate and vitriol and the headlines have recounted tales of racism in the aftermath of Brexit. I’ve felt dismayed. The two weeks of Jury Service I’ve just finished have only served to deepen my awareness of our broken society.
Now, more than ever, my heart yearns for the ‘and finally.’ The good news story to neutralise the bad.
My happy place.
So, although I have views and opinions on the state of the world and feel very strongly about what has happened in the UK and beyond, I just haven’t felt able to share those feelings on my blog. I’ve come to realise that my blog is my happy place. My safe haven. A place to share the positives. Even when I’m talking about my pet hates in Room 101 (here), it’s meant to be something fun and humorous. I’m making fun of myself and my own quirks and foibles (of which there are many!).
Don’t get me wrong, there have been occasions in the last 6 months when I’ve poured my heart out on the page, but so far these words remain unpublished. Somehow I don’t feel ready to share them here…Not yet. A few months ago I started writing a post about why I left the NHS. It was an emotional and cathartic experience. I spoke of my passion for the NHS and those who give their heart and soul to it every day but I grieved over the damage done by this government, whilst they claimed they were a safe pair of hands. Perhaps that’s a post for another time or perhaps I’ll never post it.
But let me be clear, although I haven’t shared my views on Brexit or other topics that have upset me or made me angry, I’m grateful to those bloggers who have. I’ve read some wonderfully heartfelt and articulate pieces on these subjects from bloggers who prove to me day after day that they are talented writers who deserve a wider audience (Slouching towards Thatcham and Island Living 365 posts are just a couple of examples). Perhaps a time will come, be it next week, next month or next year where I feel compelled to deal with those weighty issues too…Just not yet.
The elusive niche.
So what do I want to write about? Since starting my blog six months ago, I’ve felt under much pressure to find my ‘niche’. Apparently, if I don’t have a niche, I’ll struggle to attract readers and will be doomed to failure. No one will want to read my blog. Consequently, I’ve agonised over every post and asked myself if it’s what you want or if it’s something you’ll like so I can give you more of the same.
I’ve tied myself in knots wondering whether each post is in keeping with my so-called ‘niche’ and I’ve questioned whether I’m trying to cover too much ground. That’s when I have to remind myself that my blog is an extension of me and my interests are wide and varied. I love homes and interiors, money-saving, creative things, DIY and organising. Similarly, I love having an outlet to share my random musings about smart-one toilet dispensers or share my thoughts on wanting a dog but not being able to have a dog (here). At the end of the day I can only be myself: take me or leave me.
Maybe my niche isn’t a subject at all.
Whilst agonising over my ‘niche’ I explored my reluctance to share my concerns and opinions about current affairs and I had a lightbulb moment. I realised, deep down, I wanted my blog to be an ‘and finally.’ I wanted it to offer some good news, positivity, humour and escapism, not just for me, but hopefully for you. I like to encourage and make people laugh. When I look ahead to the stories I want to share and the ideas I have, I realise how much I’m motivated by the need to share something positive. Perhaps, I hadn’t realised how much I needed this blog to be my happy place…And hopefully, that’s what it has been for some of you.
Can I be your ‘and finally’?
So maybe my niche isn’t about the range of topics I cover. Maybe my niche has more to do with the sentiment and the flavour of my blog. Wouldn’t it be lovely if my niche wasn’t homes, interiors, money-saving or random musings, but positivity? Only you can answer that question but whatever my niche, I hope you’ll stay for the ride. You may need to be patient: I’m still finding my feet. Sometimes my subjects may seem a bit schizophrenic and not necessarily predictable. I just hope the flavour and sentiment of my blog will give you a good reason to keep coming back.
So are you in? Will you stick with me if I throw a ‘recipe’ curve ball at you one week and ’10 things you never knew about me’ the next? I hope the answer is ‘yes’.
In the spirit of ‘and finally’ I would like to share a video. Some of you may have seen it before but it never ceases to inspire me and move me. It’s the story of Doug Hoyt and his son, Rick. Rick was born with Cerebral Palsy and Doug and his wife were told to institutionalise him because he would be nothing more than a ‘vegetable’. Yet, with love and persistence Rick has gone on to read and write with the aid of a special computer and graduated from Boston University with a degree in special education.
Rick’s achievements didn’t stop there and in 1977 he asked his father if they could run in a race together to help a lacrosse player at his school who had become paralyzed. He wanted to prove that life went on no matter your disability. Dick Hoyt was not a runner and was 36 years old. After their first race Rick said, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped”.
Since then, they have gone on to compete together as ‘Team Hoyt’ in Ironman Triathlons. Theirs is a story of triumph over adversity and of being brave enough to say ‘I can.’
(If the Youtube video doesn’t appear below, CLICK HERE.)
Over to you.
How am I doing? What is it that brings you back here? What have been your favourite posts? Have you got any ‘and finally’s’ to share? After my ‘niche’ crisis of confidence, I would love to know what you think.
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P.S. I do believe in the ultimate ‘Good News’, the ultimate ‘and finally’, (John 3:16).
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