Finding Purpose: Why I Blog

meaning-of-life-purpose-of-life

Everyone needs a purpose in life.

The older I get, and the more I experience new life (like the birth of my first grandchild), and the deaths of those I love (like the recent loss of my brother), the more I ponder my life’s purpose….  the legacy I might leave behind…  how people will remember me.

When I started this blog two and a half years ago on May 18, 2014 – just for fun and on the encouragement of my BFF’s daughter (my McHendy daughter, Jackie), I wasn’t sure what I was doing or what to expect.  I think I secretly thought I might be the next Ree Drummond or Rachel Ray and get rich and famous.  It was all about me.

But after posting daily for almost 1,000 days, it’s become something very different.  It hasn’t brought me the kind of fame or fortune I clandestinely fantasized about in the beginning.  But what it has become – is a purpose…  a personal mission of sorts…  a small way of giving to the world…  a place to encourage (and maybe even inspire) people to embrace the simple moments of life to cherish… especially those “in between” moments.

I have a very fulfilling career and full-time job I love that keeps me busy as the Director of Strategic Projects and Office of the CEO for a hospice and home health company.  I have a husband of almost 35 years, two grown sons, an amazing daughter-in-law and another soon-to-be, and a baby granddaugher that bring such joy to my life (and of course there is also Charlie!).  I have the most amazing BFFs a “girl” could ask for.

Yet, I still believe I need to have something that is my personal legacy, and that is what my blog has grown to be for me.  When I consider my few talents and gifts, I have often been told my greatest is that of an “encourager” or “influencer.”  I’ve taken many a DISC Personality Asssessment, and I am always an out-and-out straight High “I.”  I have taken “Spiritual Gift Assessments” that tell me I have the gift of “exhortation” or encouragement.  Hubby tells me I have the gift of “gab!”  So why not use that gift – one that comes so easily to me – to benefit others?

I have never had difficulty talking with strangers.  My goal in any situation, whether it be greeting the receptionist at an office, the UPS delivery person, the garbage collector, or a less-than-happy cashier at the grocery store, is to leave them smiling.  Not sure why it is important to me – but it is.

And that is my goal here too.  The goal of this blog is not to “show off” what I have or what I can do or to make you think my life is all peachy and perfect.  My life is not perfect.  That is not what I want people to think.  In fact, my life is far from perfect… like all of ours are!  I have an estranged relationship with my mother, I was separated from my birth father for 39 years until six and a half years ago, my brother struggled so severely with alcoholism that he took his own life by stepping in front of a train…  I struggle with my weight and have always been “chubby,” I’m not particularly attractive, I have no musical talent whatsoever….  the list could go on.  I tell you this not for pity or sympathy or for you to disagree.  I tell you this so that it might allow you to know that despite life’s challenges and adversity, we can still seek to find the joy.  We can still be kind.  We can still feel love.  There are still many, many moments to cherish…  And we must seek them, and we must appreciate them.

So no matter how busy my day, and knowing there is no monetary or fame reward or prize to be given for posting every day, I still make sure I do.  I spend a bit of time, often late at night, writing a post that might encourage you, that might make you smile, that might inspire you to bake or cook something new or paint something, or just look at something differently.  It might be a few words that will remind you of something that makes you happy.  Sometimes I am typing it at 11 pm with only one eye open.  Other times I get ahead by four or five posts and give myself a break.  But I still make it a personal goal to post something everyday (that appears at 6am EST) for my dear followers to either start their day (if they are living in my part of the world) or end their day (for my cherished blog follower friends in Latvia or Ireland or Australia or Japan).

So even on my toughest days, I seek to find something good and encouraging, because in encouraging you, I am rewarded in an even more profound way than could be achieved with fame or fortune.  I feel my life has a personal purpose.  I feel I am giving something of value to the world.  I feel I might be remembered… for being kind.  I might be creating my legacy.

Do you think about your life’s purpose?  Your legacy?  What you will be remembered for?

None of us know when our last year or day or breath will be, so my simple message is: Cherish the Moments!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

93 thoughts on “Finding Purpose: Why I Blog

  1. As you know, I’m not an english speaker. After this post, I would love to write loooong comment (in latvian!!!) of how you inspired me, how you saved me from struggle, how you made me smile, how you beet there for me. And I’m saying “you”, not “your blog”, because I feel that all you “do” here are comming from your heart. And today you confirmed that this is not to “show off”. (I don’t know if these words in english sends out the message that is in my head in latvian :D) In one word – LOVE.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Lovely post Jodi. This is what makes your blog so special. Your artwork, your photos and everything you share is from the heart. I don’t really think about what I will be remembered for. For me, it is just about being kind and understanding to those I meet now. I have gone off at a tangent. I called in to say Happy New Year!!! Wishing you and your family all the very best for 2017.
    Flo x

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  3. You certainly are everything you aspire to be and more! I think you are as famous as Rachel Ray (at least to me you are!) You are leaving a wonderful legacy behind you Jodi! I’m sorry to hear about your brother. My niece took her life 3 years ago and it was horrible. I’m so glad we found each other on the blogs and I hope we remain friends for a very very long time!

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  4. Love how you shared your heart in this post! For others to see into your BEAUTIFUL heart is wonderful. You are leaving behind an inspiring legacy for your children and your friends! Not because you can cook and draw so incredibly well but because of your beautiful, loving and caring heart. Some of the strongest most loving hearts, have seen the deepest sorrow. Remember the cracks, are how the light shines in!
    Thanks for sharing your light every day on here and keep it going!
    Hugs again as you continue to deal with your recent loss. Such a painful thing to go through and my heart does ache for you, but I know you will make it! You will keep climbing out of the valley and keep cherishing the happy moments IN BETWEEN what real life throws at us! ❤ ya!

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  5. You are a gift to all who know you, dear Jodi! Your inspiring blog posts give so many more of us the chance to enjoy you and your many talents. We began blogging at the same time and it has been pure joy to watch you grow in so many ways, Jodi. My legacy is the nearly 700 young students that I joyfully taught during my career. I dedicated my life to inspiring them to love learning, become readers and writers, and to know that there are no hands too small to help the world. In my retirement, ‘my kids’ continue to bring me joy and make me proud of them! Today I am busy sharing kindness, encouragement, and a warm smile! Sending warm hugs to you ♡

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a wonderful legacy you have indeed, dear Dawn, in those 700 wonderful students you taught. And you continue here. You have encouraged me on so many days in so many ways! Thank YOU, Dawn! Thank you! Hugs back!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jodi, I started my blog with a mission to share art and haiku to anyone who needs a dose of art. Although there may be ways to monetize blogs, I feel it’s important somehow to stick to my original drive. Keep up the wonderful work!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a lovely insight into your “being” Jodi. In world that celebrates perfection (whatever that is), and where success is so often portrayed as extreme materialism, it is refreshing to read about somebody who has not only experienced much the same, or similar, to ourselves… but is prepared to state it in public! There are so many “masks” being worn simply because of a perception that certain issues depict weakness; or that we will be rejected if we are open. Of course we are always going to meet individuals that refuse to understand, but we will also meet so many who can relate (albeit privately) and possibly become very supportive. Your openness will no doubt inspire others to assess their own circumstances, and probably think .. “Yes! I can shake off my past and move forward also!”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely post, Jodi, and I think it illustrates why I look forward to reading your blog–it’s both personal and universal. You share who you are and your individual journey, while it also describes a journey we share: finding meaning, giving our talents to the world, being a place of refuge for people who are hurting or searching. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow – do I do that?! Oh Donna! Thank you so much for this insight. I love the way you put that – personal and universal. When you think about it – that pretty much is how life is – huh?! Thank YOU so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jodi, I think sharing the not so perfect parts of our lives is so important. We are inundated daily with what we believe to be other people living fuller, richer, happier & more successful lives. Most days, I too, try to inspire & focus on the positive but I do think that sharing some of the more vulnerable parts of ourselves or the challenges we face is just as important.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts & for your inspiration my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lynn! I think it is important too. It is sometimes a balance that I don’t want to convey a perception that everything is perfect and wonderful, but I also don’t want to dwell on negativity. I just felt it important this week, not sure why, to open up a bit of that vulnerability. It was just in my heart. And I do want others to know they are not alone in these circumstances or feelings and we can overcome. Thanks again for your friendship and kindness!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. oh dear Jodi, you are the ultimate encourager, supporter, smile giver and sunshine in my day! I will never forget the first comment you left on my blog, you said, “I see we have a lot in common, I hope you’ll come visit me” I did, and found out that we do, and felt like I’d instantly found a friend. Like you, I basically started my blog for myself, to push myself creatively, a goal to achieve. But I quickly learned that blogging isn’t solo, blogging is friendship, sharing and caring, and I am so glad to be part of such an incredible group. I don’t want to be Ree or Rachael, but I do want to share ideas, tutorials, recipes and any kind of inspirations I have, with others in hopes that they will enrich their lives in some way. Yes, the ultimate gift is giving…I am saving this post to my secret Pinterest board, Courage, where I have special things when I need encouragement. Thank you sweet girl…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my sweet “soulmate” 🙂 Jenna! How cute that you would remember my first comment….. I didn’t remember. I feel like I have known you forever, and I am so inspired by you! You are so encouraging and loving and creative! Thanks for being here for me! xo

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  11. Beautiful post Jodi, and you have certainly taught me more than anything is to ‘Cherish the Moments’. You know if is difficult for me say or write, but I will make an exception for you because you are special – I love your blog and I love having you as a friend. We will meet in person – I look forward to that day. If your purpose is to inspire – you achieve it each and every day. Happy Wednesday. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Jodi, wonderful inspirational post! The daily offerings are your legacy cornerstones. Life’s purpose, your legacy, what you will be remembered for, all more important the older we get. Thanks, Jodi. It made me think and put things in perspective. Over the years, I’ve hoped Before Sundown remember what made you smile has made good on its theme for followers. Work continues on a book, Sunset Inn, to leave history (WWII & years before), linked to the hidden truth about a famous German grandfather, and a stoic German grandmother. By 2016, I was the only living grandparent left for five granddaughters. This Christmas within a day, two granddaughters shared news that I would be a great-grandmother twice in August. Their due dates within a week or two. I’d say my legacy and purpose in life has been set. I just need to live another 20+ years! 💛 Christine

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  13. I like what you’re saying here, Jodi. I feel blogs evolve, much the same as we as people do. They may not always be what we thought they were going to be at the start, but they are who we are and ultimately leave a piece of us out there for others to find. I love what you post and you inspire me and others to set and accomplish goals we have, while letting people know that decency and family matter. Not a bad legacy, hey? Happy New Year Jodi. ‘O)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Happy New Year to you and your family. Your posts are always an inspiration, love your thoughts, watercolors, Charlie’s posts and photos. Keep on giving encouragement and using your many talents. Can I ask what breed Charlie is, we lost our Ranger in November and come Spring will be thinking about filling an empty space in our hearts. Here’s to 2017.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so so much Carol! I greatly appreciate. I wish I could tell you what breed Charlie is, but he is adopted, and was found on the streets. It is only a guess as to what all he is or even how old he is. All I do know is – he is full of love and brings a lot of joy to our lives. Sorry to hear of the loss of your Ranger – it sure does create an empty space in your heart. As hard as it seems to believe and is to hear, you will fall so in love with another and give it a wonderful home and life. Thank you again for writing and for sharing your encouragement to me!

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  15. You have made a difference in my life, my friend! ❤ Thank you for sharing from your heart today and every day! You inspire me to do the same. I try to spread JOY on my blog with my art. Some days I don’t feel JOYFUL but that is the funny part… when I create with the intention of JOY, it makes me feel that way too! 🌈🌸🎨💕

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  16. What a touching post Jodi! You inspire me each and every day and are a bright moment for me every time I come to visit. I cherish YOU Jodi! ❤ I'm not sure I've ever thought much about my legacy. At this point in my life I can only hope my 17-year-old daughter will someday come to realize I am not mean and stupid and that I love her unconditionally. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh – thank you Kathryn! and I am sure you daughter will see the light – it might take a few more years – but hang in there! She already knows you love her unconditionally – just wait until in a few years she tells you how she always knew and how much it meant and how important you are to her. It will come. Promise! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m struggling with how to respond to your words because sometimes words just aren’t enough.
    How do I explain the smile I know is guaranteed each time I see you appear in my mail. How do you thank someone who shows compassion, consideration, joy, and love in everything she expresses and shares on here for us to enjoy. It’s obvious to anyone who has read your words for any period of time that you are “all in” with every post.
    Not everyone can make that claim. You can.
    Perfection is unattainable and incredibly overrated. What you offer here is as good as it gets. Lifeinbetween has never been better.
    Keep doing what you do.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh sweet George! Now I have no words…. No words to thank you for the gift of your words and kindness and encouragement! Thank you! Thank YOU from the bottom and middle and top of my heart! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Jodi,

    You ask “What is my purpose, why was I put here?”. I used to ask it every day, not quite often as before. I remember the lyrics from a Van Zant song my son told me about. “If you want to hear God laugh tell him your plan.”. We are here, for God’s purpose. Each smile you bring, each joy you experience, your husband, children, daughter in law’s and yes, those gran babies are all in his plan. Enjoy the journey, embrace the good and with all tragedy, there is grief but also the chance to celebrate the life of those we lost. To share with others the light they brought into our lives. Keep doing what you do, your art gives us pause to reflect on the beauty around us, your smile warms the room you enter, your food nourishes those you feed, your comments gives strength to those who need to go on. God Bless you, your purpose, his plan is having you so unselfishly share yourself with us. Thanks for being our friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a wonderful post. I am so glad to hear the history of your blog. I hope we can reconnect in person someday but for now I am glad we are FB friends. I find it beyond admirable that you blog everyday. What an amazing accomplishment!
    I also always try to leave strangers and my friends with a smile on their face. I think of it as my mission. I have morning drop off duty in the parent loop at the school I teach in. I make sure no matter what my mood or what type of weather I am standing outside in, to tell every child good morning with a great big smile on my face. I also make sure to tell every parent/day care provider to have a great day.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting down and reading this post. I’m so happy I found you. I love to see your beautiful artwork. I wish I could post daily. My life is just not in that season yet, I suppose. I am a work in progress. It’s amazing to see where we start with our blogs and how the “spirit” moves us in other directions.

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  21. Dear Jodi, I have always looked forward to your daily posts and even when I’m swamped with emails I always keeps yours saved until I can read them. I did think you had the perfect life. I know you are a great cook, have wonderful friends and family, have become a talented painter and I think your beauty shines from within and on the surface. Thank you for sharing your ‘imperfections’ with us. It makes you even more real and special in my eyes. Love Carol

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  22. I very rarely print off other people’s blog posts (aside from recipes I want to try), but I couldn’t hit the “print” button fast enough with this one. It will go in my file where I keep stuff that is worth reading again, and worth sharing with others.
    What makes your blog so special is exactly what you are writing about in this post. It’s obvious that you are writing it to encourage, comfort and inspire other people, and personally, I think that is the most important legacy that any one can ever leave. Your writing (and art) has helped me many times, and I know it has done the same for others.
    Thanks, also, for being so open about the hard things in your life. I think that’s such an important message to send, especially today, when too many people buy into the idea that we must be perfect people, and worse, that if we have had a difficult past that we are somehow forever damaged and can never live a good life. We can’t change the past, but we absolutely can create the kind of life we want to live now. Like you, I have found creativity to be a huge help in that area.
    Lastly (dang, sorry for writing a book here), THANKS for validating what I’ve always secretly thought is my life’s purpose too. To help, encourage, and maybe just make life a little bit easier and little bit brighter for others. Not the sort of thing that can be put on a resume, but the older I get, the more I realize that is what I care about the most! Thanks Jodi…for being you…and for sharing your wonderful self!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you so much cynthia! the past week has been difficult, but still many joyful, good moments to cherish. life goes on – and there is much good to experience and share. 🙂 ❤

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  23. Dearest Jodi, I can tell that you are fully loaded with emotion just now and I am tremendously impressed by the way you have spun kindness from grief as if by some Rumpelstitskin-like magic. Know that your positivity is contagious and your kindness an inspiration. Your legacy will be hard to tie down…a web of gossamer light reaching across the globe. Happy, happy New Year.xxx

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  24. Pingback: A Blog’s Purpose | Muddling Through My Middle Age

  25. This a great post and I agree with so much of what you say is the purpose of blogging – my reasons are so very similar. Your dedication is admirable and I look forward to reading more of your posts! Thanks for summing up he purpose of bogging so well.

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  26. After reading your comment on my blog today, I had to search yours because I was obviously missing some information. I’m not sure how I missed this post, but I’m so very sorry for your loss Jodi.
    Your blog is by far one of my favorite blogs I visit (and I visit many). Your warmth, your talent, your kindness all shine through bright and clear. I’m very glad to have found you and I hope that we can actually have that lunch soon because I look forward to meeting you in person. Thank you for this honest and inspiring post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh sweet Sylvia – that is ok – it was during the holiday time – and everyone is busy. Thank you for going back, and thank you for your kind comments. Yours is by far one of my faves too – and I can’t wait to meet you too! We will!!!

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  27. I started blogging on May 13th 2010, Jodi, so both of our blogs fall under the star sign of Taurus. Just thought I’d mention that. I started as an experiment, not knowing where I would go and how long I would stay at blogging, yet I’m still here. Posting (almost) every day, or then trying to catch up numbers-wise as though I had done so. I use my blog as an escape – and a way to try to spread a little surreal fun around the world. I enjoy it. And who knows, one day I’ll post that post (or you will…) which will bring in all the fame and fortune we could ever dream of. I’ll be happy with just the fortune, though… I’m quite shy and private, and fame wouldn’t suit me, I don’t think.
    I love your blog, by the way, and don’t feel as good as I could do when I miss posts… but time’s short, so I do what I can! Or at least try to catch up when I can! 😀

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  28. I absolutely love this post Jodi and am so glad I found my way here from Ann Coleman’s blog. I feel exactly the same way about my blog although I didn’t realise that when I started it nearly two years ago. The realisation just grew. I look forward to exploring more if your blog. Warmest wishes from Melbourne.

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  29. Thank you. You said exactly what I feel. You expressed it all beautifully. We are here TO BE. Not to be more of anything, or less of anything. Not to be rich or funny, happy or wise. Just TO BE. And blogging is a great place to write our way of ‘being,’ and ask others to share with us their BEING also. That’s why I love to blog.

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  30. I think you are right. A blog is a good blog if it offers its readers something of value. Not necessarily tangible or material value, but hope, encouragement, laughter, or an encouragement to do something with one’s life: walk, cycle, make, etc. Thanks for sharing your insights.

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  31. Jodi,

    You have captured what I have felt off and on. I haven’t been blogging nearly as long as you have, but discouragement has no schedule. I’ve felt discouraged so I can definitely relate to this. I was encouraged by your experience, really. I will remember when I feel like shutting it all down that writing is my purpose and so is encouraging others. Therefore, anytime I feel like the quill pen’s tip is dry, I will remember there is a jar of purpose nearby that’s screaming, “Dip the pen again!”

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  32. Pingback: Just loved it – Travel with Me..

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