Aug 292013
 

I had reached a sort of inner stalemate again last weekend with my writing. It wasn’t for a lack of topics or stories that I have stored up in my noggin’ over a lifetime. But, I stopped abruptly and asked myself, “Where am I headed with this journey?”

Was my writing continuing to improve? I think so. Was I headed in a successful direction? Far too early to answer that. And would I be able to tie all of my Phoenix stories into the lifelong dream of writing a book about our life together? That one weighed heavily on me and there was a feeling of doubt cast upon me. By yours truly.

I know, I know. Stop asking the questions and just write and what is meant to be will be revealed when it’s meant for me to see it. Don’t stop believin’, right?

Then someone made the most simplest gesture that absolutely spun my head around. And this post is to say thank you!

By now, you’ve probably clicked on the video and can hear this sensational song. If you like it please continue to listen to it as you read because I wrote this post while doing the same. I have this deep connection to write my stories to music. I can’t explain it but it’s been that way my entire life. And by the way, I will always be a Steve Perry traditionalist.

I first heard this song some 30 years ago when it was released. And the memory I remember most  back then about it was living in California’s Central Valley and driving one late warm Spring afternoon as the day turned gently into evening. With the beautiful twilight creeping into my rear view mirror on this journey. I was zipping along a country road with vineyard row after vineyard row flying by on each side of me.

I was a nervous wreck because I had my very first official, steady girlfriend and I was headed to her farm to meet her parents for the first time. With my high-end Pioneer car stereo at the ready I pushed Journey’s “Escape” cassette tape into the player. A song that would stand strong as a mega hit 30 years later filled my soul as “Don’t Stop Believin'” surrounded the entire inside of my prized 1968 Firebird. I was filled with confidence and knew I would be in good favor with her parents. It wasn’t anything to do with a love sonnet but much more so about the calming feeling to always believe in myself.

So last weekend I was sitting in the computer chair staring at the screen. I didn’t even have a grasp on the computer mouse. I was fidgeting and couldn’t concentrate or focus. My thoughts kept bouncing around to the questions swirling around in my head. Those old demons of lack of self-confidence to low self-esteem knocking lightly on the door.

Phoenix had been lying on the bed and looked at me, “Ahem, someone didn’t sleep again last night…”
He was right. I had only slept for an hour in a day and a half and my insomnia had gotten the better of me.

So, I grabbed Phoenix’s leash and snapped on his collar. I gathered up my wallet, phone and car keys and we hopped into his Jeep and took off for a drive. We do this often whether to go get away for 30 minutes or hours. No itinerary or destination but I just talk to him as he sits next to me in the passenger seat and we listen to the radio.

It was when we were headed back to the house that the song above popped onto the radio station we were listening to. And I thought back to when I had first heard it and that won’t-be-defeated feeling I had inside that evening at the farm. All of the many other times I had heard that song, reflected back, and pushed on to whatever was going on in my life.

We got home and I decided to settle down and get back to writing as Phoenix was lying on the back porch step which is his favorite place. I think it’s more of my constant conversation with him that exhausts him than the actual drive itself. And the irony is I’m actually a very quiet person around people. Calm, peaceful solitude is not a neurosis but a blessing to me. Along with my music.

I looked at the computer screen and realized that I needed to purge a large portion of emails that had accumulated and had either been answered or required no further action. I was mindlessly going through this long, tedious process as there were a lot of them. Then I scrolled back up and something odd caught my eye. It was a Twitter email message notification.

Last month I had a teeth grinding, jaw clenching, bad experience with Twitter. I had clicked on a url link from a friend in a Twitter message who unbeknownst to her or me was a virus. And I had just helped perpetuate the virus right on down the line. I was super frustrated because I had the fortune to have about a dozen followers (yes, you read that correctly…only a dozen) and thought to myself, great now I will lose even those people because they will think I sent them a virus. Well, no one deleted me and now I have 29 followers but I’m still not comfortable with Twitter opposed to the other kabillion people on this planet who are.

I returned my look to the screen and the message pleasantly shocked me. I lit up inside.

I hollered for Phoenix, “Phoenix, come here!!!”
I could hear him thundering through the house and he came to a screeching halt a couple of feet away. He sat on his hind end, glared, and then sneered at me, “Now, what did you do?!”
I gave him a double take, “I didn’t do anything! Stop it.”
Phoenix, easing up his look to one of relief, “Oh cool. So, what’s up?”
Me, “This blogger I follow Re-Tweeted one of my posts.”
Him, “Treat?”
Me, “No, tweet. She resent one of my Tweets.”
Phoenix, “You are slurring your words. Yes, I would love a treat!”

*sigh*

I was absolutely stoked beyond belief! One gal who follows me on Twitter is a Golden Retriever lover and she had RT’d one of my posts earlier this summer. But, a fellow blogger had never done so. I just couldn’t believe it. It was a really nice gesture and the blogger had the forethought for a half minute in their busy day to that.

I didn’t get to see my mother much growing up and when I did it was often not the most positive experience. But, she firmly instilled in every part of my being some lifelong gifts and traits. To always be polite, have manners and say thank you. Open car doors and doors into buildings for women. Chew with your mouth shut and don’t talk with food in your mouth. To always make sure you not only listen to another but that you actually hear them. There’s a huge difference. And if someone does something nice for you always make sure you thank them sincerely, genuinely and promptly.

I sent a quick note to this blogger to thank them but it wasn’t enough to me. It’s like buying a gift card instead of taking the time to truly shop for something or even make something. In this case none of those were appropriate nor even an option. But, I could write a post and it would make me feel good that I shopped for something in my appreciative heart and made it with my very own words.

As I mentioned in this previous post I was introduced to the world of blog hopping by a lady who has become a very dear blogger friend of mine. And it was through these blog hops that this enormous new world opened up. I’ve met so many wonderful new blogger friends and actually taken an immense, heartfelt interest in their travels, cooking, experiences and day-to-day life sharing that they offer.

They are from all around the world and I have a keen interest in a specific group  of them of which I have all subscribed to. There is never an obligation on any level to either read or comment on any of their posts. But, I do so with genuine enjoyment and appreciation for what they have accomplished and continue to move forward with their journey and achieving their dreams. I’ve always made a note in my heart of appreciation to those that continue to come back each week and say hi with a wonderful comment on my site. I know it’s all about, Phoenix, but it always makes my day.

They are all primarily travel bloggers as I enjoy living vicariously through them. On a given Saturday I can hop all around the globe with these wonderfully nice people going from Poland, France, Italy, England, Germany, Belgium, Dubai, Thailand, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand up to Alaska and winding back down to the continental United States and then to Jamaica. And I know I’m spacing several of them off the top of my head. It’s the most amazing experience for me. And then Phoenix and I get to have these same people give us a virtual visit.

I look forward to thanking each and every one of them individually over time. But, this one today I came across by accident actually before I started doing the blog hops. This was actually the second post of her’s that I read because it was about Austria. And next to Germany it is one of my dream destinations. And well….it’s real short….but give it a quick read and you’ll understand how I was instantly hooked.

This amazing lady works full time and then travels around the world often on the holidays. As with many bloggers I’ve met, English is her second language but you would never know it. She is very friendly and engaging in her Comment section and she responds back to all commenters religiously which I find very appealing. I would encourage you to check it out her wonderful blog at Holiday Nomad.

That little gesture of her’s turned around my entire perspective and made for a really nice weekend. This is my way of saying thank you, Freya!  And to all of you, don’t stop believin’.

I will never stop believin’ in myself.

What is your favorite song or songs that inspire you?

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 40+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories, commentary, and (of course) my greatest love... my Golden Retriever, Phoenix.

  17 Responses to “My Blogging Journey Reminder, Don’t Stop Believin’”

  1. Very nice posting, I enjoyed it and the site you referred to. Thanks. Pete.

  2. P.S. Get some sleep, though………….
    Look into my response………look deeply into the response……..

    You are getting sleepy……………………………….very sleepy

    Your eye lids are getting heavy………………….very heavy

    sleep………………….sleep……………….sleep……………….
    (yawn)…..
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Thank you for your compliment and despite your much appreciated attempt at hypnosis it didn’t work. But as always you made me totally laugh out loud! You are the best, Pete! 🙂

  3. Hi Mike thank you so much for this wonderful post ! What a beautiful surprise. This is so kind of you. There are many songs that I love or that inspire me and just like you I love to write or work while listening to songs. Don’t stop believing is a beautiful song ! You are a great writer and I would love to read a book filled with stories of you and Phoenix. Both your post and this song made my day. Thank you so much and give Phoenix a big hug from me.

    • Freya, you are so very welcome! What a kind, warm gift you gave to Phoenix and I last weekend. Thank you for wonderful compliments because it’s bloggers you and my other circle of blogger friends I’ve made that I look up to! Hugs given to Phoenix and he says hugs back 🙂

  4. Mike, I have to say you’re the only male writer I know who is as openly, boundlessly enthusiastic as I am. That’s saying quite a lot :).

    I love this part of your mom’s legacy:
    Open car doors and doors into buildings for women. . . . To always make sure you not only listen to another but that you actually hear them. There’s a huge difference. And if someone does something nice for you always make sure you thank them sincerely, genuinely and promptly.

    Finally, the “won’t-be-defeated” feeling you describe is so important to cultivate in ourselves, especially when it comes to fulfilling our life-purpose. I find that becoming part of the blogging community (you, Suzanne of Boomeresque, Debra of Comm Before The Storm, etc.) is helping me, more than listening to any particular song. I’ve been blogging almost six years, but tend to feel quite down/discouraged that my number of subscribers remains quite small. I’ve hired a marketing person, and plan to do a site redesign — but building steady/returning readership is hard, or at least for me, it is. If you have any tips, I’d appreciate them. And thanks for your good comments at Diamond-Cut Life.

    Congratulations on getting reposted by a fellow blogger!

    • Alison, I obviously thoroughly enjoy your blog and that’s why I’m subscribed to it! I crossed a huge threshold over this past year via my blog and writing. I’ve always been so private with my writing all of my life. I kept taking teensy little baby steps each year. It was something I read from The Everywhereist last year when I first launched my blog. She essentially said to be yourself, take chances, be candid and people just crave to hear honesty and candor. So, with an enormous amount of trepidation and anxiety I posted a few things that I just cringed at what the reaction would be. And it turned into a total success. Thank you for your remarks on my bio mom. She is looking down smiling at that. So, keep staying the course. We will be in touch (obviously)…you’re doing fantastic! 🙂

  5. Wonderful writing Mike!

    I usually write to Classical Music:Bach, Mozart, Telemann. But then my brain is stuck in a Regency/Edwardian world almost all the time.
    Mike! You keep following people and their trips, even me! Get out there and just take one! I will never stop bugging you about just “doing it”. Go ahead take that trip, you will never regret it. Stop the day dreaming and GO!!

    • Hi Jennifer! One of the biggest supporters of my blog in always commenting as I attempting to pursue this dream of mine. Thank you! I could totally see classical music being a great choice for you. I will get there on that trip, Jenn! Please do keep on me to go despite how much I cringe every time you do lol 🙂

  6. It may help to know that I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter and it will probably always be thus. I’ve had my account hacked on Twitter and unbeknownst to me I sent out not so lovely tweets – until I figured it out and then apologized to everyone who had received one of them.

    It may also help to know that I have days in which I have to talk myself out of shutting down my blog and throwing my laptop out the door.

    In addition, it may help to know that Phoenix has your back. But you probably already knew that.

    • Oh thank you so much, Patti! I soooo needed to hear this from another of my blogger friends regarding Twitter. I just flat out don’t have time! And if I do some day I will delve more into it. I really liked your comments on your comment and especially Phoenix. Yes, despite our abrasive (yet life bond) relationship he always has my back. I think? LOL 🙂

  7. Mike, we have a lot in common. We both have a special canine companion, we both blog and try to keep up with social media, we are both sometimes consumed by self doubt ( actually, there seems to be a lot of that going around these days), and we both do quite a bit of not sleeping. However,I can’t write and listen to music even though every one else in my family can.I wish I could, but it is one of my shortcomings that doesn’t give me much agita—in the grand scheme of things. Write on!

    • I learned a new word re: “agita”! (had to look it up) You have no idea how much I appreciate you sharing what you did, Suzanne. As I totally look up to you. Everyone is different with the music thing and writing…I get it. And it is absolutely not a shortcoming! Thank you as always, my friend 🙂

  8. You know I burst out laughing when I read the part about the cassette player. You’re aging yourself there, Mike!
    But back to the song, which is a favorite of mine too, and your inner stalemate. We all have moments of doubt. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t but as the song says, Don’t stop believin’ – you just got to get on going. Some days it won’t make sense but we also have that internal compass that knows exactly where we’re going, even if we can’t see our next steps.

    • Great post and input, Marcia! Thank you. Yes, I need to always keep pushing forward when the doubt creeps in. And I really liked your last sentence about the internal compass. Oh btw…I’m glad I didn’t bring up 8 track collection I had 🙂

  9. Mike – I can definitely relate to the discouragement you sometimes feel on your blogging journey. To echo Marcia, we all have our doubts at times. When I feel discouraged by my blog, I remind myself that blogging is just a small fraction of my overall goal/purpose. While it plays an important role and I put a lot into it, it’s just a small piece of the pie. So keep your eyes set on the big picture and rest assured that you will write your book and that it will be a success. And people will buy it – I know I will! 😉

    • Wow, what an awesome comment like so many to this post, Dana! And that absolutely so nice what you said about the book 🙂 You caught me in a great way by the reminder to stay focused on the big picture. Thank you! 🙂

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