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My dearest Gentle Readers – my life recently has been a ferris wheel.  Although I prefer to think of life as a roller coaster ride – ups and downs, full speed ahead or chugging slowly uphill (BTW, have you ever thought during a roller coaster ride, on one of those slow ascents to the next peak, that if you got off it would be able to get there faster and use less energy?); thrills and scares, laughter and relief – all those feelings that go along with riding on a really great roller coaster.  But no matter how good a roller coaster might be, you always leave “home base” – whether eagerly or with some trepidation – and inevitably you return home.  Home to hop on again right away and take another ride, or home to stay for a while, recalling all the past thrills, and planning for another at some future date.

Yet, why am I writing about my life now as synonymous with riding a ferris wheel – especially when I have always believed my life as the definition of the very best roller coaster ride?  Because lately (for about the past eight or twelve months), I have made the big circle, over and over, counterclockwise – always on the same track.  The view, while generally lovely, is almost always the same.  Sometimes I am left swinging, temporarily stopped at the very peak.  I can relax as long as I don’t look down, and enjoy the vista, hoping that the bank of clouds I sometimes see in the western sky is not a thunderstorm brewing.  After the peak I start the descent, circling around with occasional stops and swings, legs dangling, while waiting for another experience to board and take the ride with me.

To put it less abstractly, my life has been fairly predictable, some views worth the climb, and a few with more than a little apprehension mixed in.  If this current life-view sounds depressing, then I will admit to it being that way sometimes, but no more than most people experience at various points in their lives; however, it has also been a life of reflection, constant inner joy and peace, lots of both happiness and sadness, with the emphasis on the happiness part.  Like everybody else, I have suffered loss and pain, grief and illness, but with more than my share of laughter and fun, work and fulfillment.  My life has been filled with the abundance of enough.

Because of four surgeries on my right hand and arm in the past twelve months, my Gentle Readers, I am tired. My regular readers will know that bouts of insomnia,  (even though they have occasionally been accompanied with spurts of creative genius 😀 ),  in addition to dealing with recovery from the surgeries, mending, physical and occupational therapy – have made my daily posting as part of the “Post-a-Day” challenge more and more difficult to carry out.  As reported on occasion, I have taken on the added challenge of writing my first book, as well as compiling a collection of my poetry in anticipation of e-publishing my own “chapbook.”  All very exciting and enjoyable for me, but also exhausting in light of the physical demands that are constantly present to one degree or another.

So – ta-da! – I am taking a break.  For real this time!  Even though I have announced taking such a hiatus in the past, I really believe that for now, for my own state of well-being, it is important that I do so.  But, to accomplish this, I need your help and advice.  My readership has been quite mercurial of late.  From the time I moved over to WordPress from Blogspot back at the end of Sepember 2010, I gained readers, and my stats increased monthly – at times doubling over the previous month.  This pattern continued every month until June, when I registered my first drop – by the significant amount of 20 percent.  July showed a very small increase from June, but August is currently on track to be equal or slightly below July’s levels.  This all sounds like a preoccupation with numbers, and I stress that it is not; what the stats have shown me, however, is that I am exhausted, and my writing definitely reflects that condition.

I was thrilled with the “bump up” that my three days of guest-bloggers produced!  My dear friends very generously brought with them their own loyal readers, and I am indeed grateful.  The question I put to all of you who are willing to answer is, do I  (a.) just quit cold-turkey for a specified (or unspecified) amount of time; (b) try and post something bi-weekly or weekly; (c) post monthly; or (d.) do a series of daily reposts from the past year and a half of blogging?  Some of you may have alternative suggestions; i.e., a photograph a day, or a poem a week, or a quote-a-day – whatever.  Another possibility is to cease altogether, and when able, to come back with a new and different blog.  All suggestions will be gratefully considered.  The main thing is, I don’t want to lose contact with any of you.  You have all brought me such joy and insight; you have shown me what good writing is – and hopefully rubbed off on me; and you have all been examples to me of grace and compassion and encouragement.

While I am gone – I expect my sabbatical to begin sometime next week, as I await your replies – please understand that I will continue to read your blogs; I will respsond occasionally, as time allows, and I will continue daily to include you – each and every one – in my prayers for your joy, peace, and continued growth.  In other words, I will always,  in all ways, wish for you all, the abundance of enough. . .

Oh! I almost forgot!  I must leave you with a little laugh – the following “Non Sequitur” cartoon by Wiley:

(Advice I am taking to heart as I write my own memori)

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