During this time I e-mailed other bloggers a lot. Most responded with encouragement, but two in particular offered words of advice that stirred me up inside. I quickly printed their e-mails and taped them to the wall above my desk for inspiration.
Elise Bauer of Simple Recipes was first. I’d found her website through an article that appeared in Redbook about inspiring female bloggers. Not only are Elise’s recipes delicious and her photography stunning, but it turns out she’s also a really nice human being. Her advice was straightforward and simple.
Buy an Apple computer. Acknowledge that the learning curve will be steep and you’ll have to work hard at this before you begin to see results. And, go for it because your goal is within reach.
That last part really grabbed me because she didn’t have to say it. But she did…
Tim Carter of AsktheBuilder.com responded within hours of Elise Bauer. I’d found Tim through a Wall Street Journal article that profiled people who were making more than a million dollars a year through their websites. He’d built his site from scratch and it gave me hope that I could do the same. In a weak moment I asked the builder what to do with the doubt I was feeling with this project. He responded by issuing me a challenge.
“How badly do you want this? If you want it badly enough you will not let anything stop you. Only people with diligence, discipline and determination make it. Are you one of those?”
Strong words from a stranger that gave me the final kick in the tail that I needed. I launched the site a few months later having taught myself how to build it.
Along the way, there have been many other people whose support and encouragement have been invaluable. My husband, of course. My mother. Several friends and extended family members…
But these days I’m happy to report that it’s also the readers — everyday folks who stumble upon this site and take a moment to leave a comment after a post or reply to an e-mail to say thanks for a response I’ve provided to one of their questions.
Here’s some of the comments that have inspired me most:
“Maria, thank you for answering me so quickly. Your advice was spot-on and I will relay it to my brother and sister-in-law…”
“Your post really nailed-it.”
“I’m so glad I found this site!”
And the absolute best is when caregivers pitch in to help one another in the comments.
A reader named Anne writes:
“I got my mother a shower chair with a transfer bench recently. She won’t use it because she can’t figure out how to get the shower curtain around the chair so the water doesn’t get all over the bathroom floor. Ideas?”
Another reader uses the comment section to help…
“This is for Anne in regards to the shower curtain issue: Just cut 2 slits in the shower curtain, one on each side of the bench seat that extends outside the tub. Then just slide that “middle” piece of the shower curtain down into the bench seat crack, which allows the whole shower curtain to remain inside the tub. It takes a little practice because some of the bench seat cracks are wider on some shower transfer chairs than others, but it does the trick just perfect. Hope this helps.”
All of this — the words that inspired me to get going and the ones that keep me going — helps to convince me that I’m on the right path. I take them as small signs of a community that is just beginning to grow. One that I intend to nourish with everything I’ve got.
So HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone who’s reading this. I hope this website helps you to manage whatever caregiving challenge you may be facing and that you’ll come back again.