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Whilst it is true that virtually anyone can sign up for, write, and manage a blog, it has never been something that I have done lightly.

‘Words,’ as the french philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre has said, ‘are loaded pistols.’

They carry with them, I believe, a level of responsibility and you should be very careful both how you wield them and who you point them at.

So when you are told that your blog, and thus your words, are ‘inspiring’ it can be a particularly touching thing and something that I must admit I find both incredibly humbling and incredibly honoring.

This morning I received notification that Carla Renee from the Seasons Change, and change blog had nominated this blog for the ‘Inspiring Blog Award’ and I have to tell you that the honor that this nomination holds in my heart is beyond my ability to describe.  As is my appreciation for her incredibly kind words when explaining this nomination on her blog.

The truth is that any recognition for your work seems, well to me anyway, always to hold far more value when it comes from someone who’s work you yourself respect.  This value is only increased in my estimation by the fact that this award appears not to be one that is issued lightly.

Like most of these nominations, there are certain thing that you are required to do when accepting the nomination and I have to say that for me personally both of the two main requirements are things that I struggle with.

The first is to nominate 7 other blogs or bloggers which you yourself find inspiring and this is difficult for me as I am not someone who is easily inspired.

The second requirement is to list 7 things to say about yourself that you would not ordinarily put on a blog.  At first I was like, “Hello!  If I would not ordinarily put them on a blog it is because I really don’t feel comfortable sharing them.”  But the fact is that I can see how actually the exercise of doing this can potentially be quite liberating.

So with no further ado let me deal with those two requirements in turn…

Firstly 7 blogs or bloggers that inspire me…

Indeed there are numerous blogs out there which I truly enjoy visiting and there have been numerous individual articles that I have read which truly have inspired me.   Actually Carla Renee’s blog would rank very highly amongst my seven but since Carla Renee already has the award and since I don’t want to be accused of reciprocal nominating here are my 7 in no particular order…

1.  In This Room

I know next to nothing of the person who writes this blog other than they signed up to follow Voices of Glass sometime yesterday and that when I received notification (in the wee small hours of the night/morning) of this fact I visited their blog to see who they were.  I then spent an  hour or so reading though their past posts and was incredibly touched and indeed inspired by their honesty and candor.  Whilst I might personally find some of the language that they have used more colorful than I myself would use it is never gratuitous and is perfectly understandable.

2. The Mirth of Despair

Fractured Angel, as I know the person who runs this blog, has always been a great source of encouragement when it comes to my own blog and my own journey through my mental health.  I visit her blog on a  regular basis and truly appreciate her writing style and down to earth approach and so very often her words lift me.

3.  As The Pendulum Swings

This blog is run by Lulu, again someone who has always been a great source of encouragement to me and again a blogger whose blog I visit on a regular basis.  In terms of inspiration, I have to tell you that, just as with Fractured Angel and her blog, I get as much from the care and compassion that they demonstrate in the way they respond to comments as I do from the pieces that they write.

4.  Manic Muses

A blog which offers both personal journals and also relevant topical and up to date information concerning mental health related issues and which I thoroughly enjoy visiting and reading.  It inspires me how they look beyond their own personal mental health issues.

5.  An Imperfect Christian’s Blog

The blogger of this particular blog has a propensity towards being ‘real’.  I like ‘realness’.  Right or wrong is, when it is not in the context of an argument or confrontation far less important than ‘realness’ in my book.  It is refreshing to see.

6.  bi[polar]curious

Sarah, for that I think is the name of the person who writes this particular blog, is again ‘real’ in her writing.  I enjoy that and when I am feeling low I often go to her blog for a pick me up.  Not seeking simple distraction or even humorous quips but something gritty and real and tangible, I often find it there.

7.  Living With A Black Dog

I love the name of this blog and I love the way that the person writing the blog deals with life and records it in a no frills – what you see is what you get – almost understated kind of way.  The things that she writes about are things that I can easily relate to even though we have very different lives.

OK so there you have it  7 blogs in which I find something inspirational.

And so on to the second and in many ways the more difficult of the two requirements.  7 things to say about myself that I wouldn’t ordinarily share on a blog..

Deep breath and here goes…

7 things I wouldn’t ordinarily share on a blog…

1.  I can read upside down almost as easily as I can right way up.  By that I don’t mean if both I and the book are upside down – that would be nothing special other than actually getting me upside down in the first place.  No I mean I can turn a book upside down and read it almost as easily as if it were the right way up.  It makes for amusement on buses and things when people notice your book is the wrong way up.

2.  I am always losing my glasses.  Trust me if they gave out awards for losing glasses…….I probably wouldn’t be able to read it as a result of my not being able to find my glasses.

3.  As a child I grew up with a father who had a crow as a familiar who would tell him whenever we did things wrong – even things he could not possibly know about because they happened outside of the house and away from anyone I knew.

4. I used to make Weetabix sandwiches. Yep it is true.  When I was younger I would have Weetabix for breakfast and would butter a slice of bread (it had to be real butter) and then just before I have finished the Weetabix I would make a sandwich by spreading some Weetabix on the slice of bread folding it over and eating it.  Yummy!

5.  It amuses me that even though I suffer from Paranoia, the follow feature and the fact that I have numerous people following me via this blog doesn’t agitate me.

6.  I can’t tolerate intolerance 🙂    Ok I admit it that one was just a joke, but I do dislike bigotry, intolerance and injustice.

7.  I truly dislike cussing and bad language.  I think we should strive to elevate ourselves and each other out of that kind of practice.

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