Pre-caffeinated Wisdom

Ugh, I really hate that I'm addicted to caffeine.

Sometimes, I wonder how it happened. I don't tend to drink what I would consider to be an excessive amount of coffee and, when I do drink it, it's only decent-quality instant coffee, (if there is such a thing), as opposed to anything strong. I would have, I should think, maybe one or two mugs a day except when I am working. That is probably my downfall but even then, I think my intake increased by a mug. Maybe two. I always thought addicts were the ones who had upwards of 8+ mugs a day.

Foolish me.

I think I proved yesterday just how dependent I am on coffee in the morning to make me feel human because I suffered through until about 11am thinking that I was 'coming down with something' because I was lethargic and still yawning and then, with one miraculous brew, I was saved. I don't think I'll wait as long today. I tried to cut caffeine out because it was the easiest way to deal with my slightly elevated blood pressure; I guess I'll have to start exercising instead.

Before I juice myself up though, it occured to me last night that some further explanation might be needed as to why I felt the sudden need to start up a blog. To be honest, a lot of the motivation and drive came from the blogs I actually read. This is something that started a couple of years back when I was a member of, merrily swapping postcards with other people around the globe. It was a good hobby because, at the time, I worked in an office so there were no issues getting things in the post and my 'feature wall' drew a lot of comments, mostly positive. At about the time I was winding down because I had too many postcards and not enough money, a fellow postcrosser posted something on the forums that pointed me in the direction of Christi Thomas and I have honestly never looked back. As a teacher and Peter Pan advocate, children draw me in far more effectively than adults tend to and when I first started reading her blog, Christi was still alive. The journey her mother has allowed readers to take with her has been a real eye-opener and I constantly struggle to use the Thomas' example to make me a better person. The jury's still out on whether I've made any progress but the seed was definitely planted.

After 'finding Christi', I found myself submersing in the culture of blogs and journals online for children living with cancer, maybe not a topic people would consider particularly upbeat but that's because they don't know these kids. As a teacher, children are constantly motivating and impressing me on a daily basis. Cancer kids and their huge armies of warriors do more than impress me; they blow me and my little ship completely out of the water. When have I ever known pain and sacrifice and true heartache? For that matter, when have I ever known pure, unadulterated joy? By comparison to these families, barely ever and I'm constantly humbled by their honesty, humour, humility and...wait, did I say honesty? Crap, alliteration fails me again. How about 'huge hearts'? (Double point score!) I am both something and nothing as a result of touching base on a daily basis with these amazing people and I feel very grateful. They lift me up.

As I began the daily ritual of checking on 'my kids' and their families, one thing began to stick out for me as a reason for why I was taking the time, outside my own selfishness. I am not particularly good at putting myself first, or even second and third, and for a while it worried me that I was sharing in something that I wasn't really connected to. Was it voyeuristic? It wasn't creepy that I was looking into a family's private moments and absorbing them with all the love and devotion of a daytime soap advocate, was it? For I while, I struggled to find a motivation that wasn't entirely self-serving and then a few commments across several blogs that seemed to touch upon the same point made me realise that, for these families, their reader-base is vital. Whether their child is still battling or won their eternal youth, blogging seems to be more than just a way for the families to keep people up-to-date and to vent when things get tough. Don't get me wrong, those things are paramount, but a common fear amongst parents, especially if their child has earnt their wings, is that the world is going to forget. The world goes on, new things are created, things change, entrophy continues, and their child isn't there. The footprints stop and families appear to live in understandable fear that the tide is going to reach up so far and with such persistence that, eventually, the imprints that do exist are going to vanish. I think I can just about empathise with that without being presumptuous.

So, me, I'm a footprint warrior. My one job? To remember. In some cases, the memories are still amassing and those long lines of appearing footprints are the most awesome things on Earth to watch form. In the cases where the line has stopped, I cherish what was achieved, feel blessed to have been allowed access to the breath-takingness of some of the best kids on the planet and I remember. Remembering is vital.

And now I'm sharing. I'll keep adding blogs as I find them and whilst I'm sure not all of them will fit this theme, expect that many will. Helping to keep someone's memory alive is an honour I didn't realise I had for a while and if I can convert more readers to my zombie hoard, that'll be a job well done. So that's why I blog. In the first instance, as a means of maybe forcing myself to get on with that process of improving my situation but also to act as another link in the chain. Didn't realise I was passionate about this kind of thing? Well, now you do.

So go read. Go on, I dare you. I double dare you. Race you there.


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