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Random Reassurance Week

Listen, I’m just going to lay it out there. It seems like it’s a shitty time for everyone. I know I’m not the only person out there who has been engaging in unconscious teeth grinding because I’m reading it across the blogosphere. Is it the change in season? The wave of losses that are rocking our community? The general depression that seems to be sweeping across the world when one considers affairs of state?

I felt so much better after I went out last night. I met up with Sell Crazy Someplace Else, Barren is the New Black, and Antigone Lost. We drank coffee and ate cookies and coveted shoes and talked about crickets for so long that I cringed the entire walk up to my house. Afterwards, we met up with a bunch of other bloggers including Uppercase Woman. Hugging Cecily is like drawing from a well. Her daughter is so lucky to have her as a mother. Do you know what I mean? I just think about how hard it is to be a little girl these days and how Tori is going to get these amazing hugs from her mother. She is so grounding.

And then I was in the shower this morning (if you haven’t noticed from past posts, I do all of my thinking in the shower and car and absolutely no thinking at other times of day) and I was thinking about how I just want to join one of those group hugging parties but I don’t really want strangers to touch me and I don’t really want to leave my house which…you know…makes it difficult to attend a party.

What I wanted was a virtual cuddle party. One that did not involve a random man groping me under the guise that we were cuddling or make me hold hands with someone who was very very very sweaty. But what would this look like online? A bunch of random comments that read like phone sex?: “I’m touching your arm right now.”

That wouldn’t make me feel good.

But what if people just left one nice thought about you or your blog? As in “I really like you header” or “You have great hair!” or “that last post you wrote was fantastic.”

Wouldn’t that make you feel good?

So on my way to BlogHer DC where I am speaking on a panel about how we can use online resources to support one another, I am declaring this Random Reassurance Week.

Oh, come on now, I’m just saying what we’re all thinking. We all want a virtual hug. These last few weeks have sucked and we all just want someone putting their virtual arms around us and grounding us. Perhaps you’re embarrassed to admit it, but I’m not. You can only ensure that you get what you need by asking so…I’m asking.

This is sort of a delurking/kindness week in one. If you’ve never commented on the person’s blog before (or rarely do), delurk and let them know that they’re appreciated. After all, what sort of message does a person receive if you read and run? If you do comment regularly or semi-regularly on the person’s blog, tell them one nice thing such as why you keep coming back to read their blog, what you like best about them, or what colour crayon they would be if they were a crayon.

Don’t feel as if you need to squeeze all of your kindness into today. Spread it out over the week. And since this doesn’t truly have a start date or end date, feel free to declare your own week on your own blog. Call it Random Reassurance Week and I’ll know exactly what you need from me as I read the post.

Just when you thought I could not get any more touchy-feely, I pull this out of my ass…

But, then again, you knew about my kumbaya-ness.


1 Vee { 10.13.08 at 5:27 am }

YAY I am there Mel ! I am missing my hugs badly at the moment and that is difficult for such a touchy feely person.

2 Jendeis { 10.13.08 at 7:13 am }

Great idea! I too felt so much better after seeing you gals. πŸ™‚

3 Jen { 10.13.08 at 7:25 am }

Dear Mel,

I think you are pretty.

I also think of you each time I find a cricket in my house.


4 Kristin { 10.13.08 at 7:35 am }

“Just when you thought I could not get any more touchy-feely, I pull this out of my ass…

But, then again, you knew about my kumbaya-ness.”

But Mel, this is what makes you so very special. You are always thinking of others and trying to make the world (or at least our corner of it) a better place.

5 MsPrufrock { 10.13.08 at 7:38 am }

This is perfect for me, as a non-touchy feely, distant, adopted British person.

I love how you are this paragon of all matters IF blog, yet you have such a deliciously foul mouth. Yes, that is a compliment. I know you haven’t exhibited said trait in this post, but I know what you’re capable of!

I am questioning the wisdom of complimenting you on swearing, when there are so many other great things to be said about you. I think this says much more about me, than it does about you.

6 bbrsbaby { 10.13.08 at 7:51 am }

Aw Mel I just wanted to send you a great big virtual hug (and not the creepy internet porn kind πŸ˜‰ )

Hope that things start looking up soon!

7 Julie { 10.13.08 at 7:57 am }

Wow, that kumbaya-ness totally makes your ass look tiny!

Hmm, I think I may need some practice at this.

8 Cara { 10.13.08 at 8:07 am }

Ahhh -Mel, You know I love nothing more than touchy-feely-lovey-dovey!

I’m in.

Wish I could be part of a real meet and greet, but alas internet hugs are all I’ll ever receive.

9 bleu { 10.13.08 at 8:42 am }

Sending you a big long hug Mel!!!!!

10 calliope { 10.13.08 at 8:42 am }

I think you are HAWT!
plus your kindness is so bright and powerful that I think it keeps many people afloat on their darkest of days.

It is a tough time for so many, my family included, and it is nice to think of all hugs on deck.


11 JJ { 10.13.08 at 9:04 am }

BIG OLE BLOGGY hug…love you Mel!

12 katdaphne { 10.13.08 at 9:12 am }

Delurking to say, I am bad at wisdom but pretty good at hugs. There — I threw one your way, did you catch it? xo

13 luna { 10.13.08 at 9:41 am }

I love how you pull these amazing ideas out of your ass!

big old cross-continental, straight-through-the-ether hug coming at you.

14 Tash { 10.13.08 at 9:54 am }

I just want you (and well, everyone) to know I’ve been a shitty poster of late (and losing my internet connection for three days is only part of the problem), but that I think of y’all — my friends in the computer — pretty much constantly.

So: HUG.

Also, I tossed around somewhere the idea of a non-posting-catch-up-on-commenting week? (NoPoDoCom Week?) For those of us with overwhelming readers? Just a thought. /wink

15 KandiB { 10.13.08 at 10:09 am }

I’ve never met you, or talked with you, but I imagine this amazing woman with so much wit and empathy oozing (but not in a saccarine-sick sorta way). We are blessed to have you coordinate all of this! I don’t know how you do it all, but am thankful nonetheless. I SO look forward to seeing how you bring everyone together. I would imagine that your crayon color would be fuschia.

16 Lisa { 10.13.08 at 10:23 am }

Boy, you’re timing couldn’t have been any better!! Thanks!!

17 nancy { 10.13.08 at 11:27 am }

This is really a nice idea. Good lord knows I need it. I look around me and it seems like I have everything I could ever want. But I am 100% completely heartbroken right now. I don’t even feel like living.

18 Not in the Water { 10.13.08 at 2:00 pm }

Oct. 16th is sweetest day…and each year for my cheering squad, I make them write one nice thing about the other girls anonymously.

The girls really love it and some of the notes really make ME feel good.

19 Erin { 10.13.08 at 2:13 pm }

Have a big hug from Atlanta, and a big Thank You! for all that you do for the IF/adoption communities.

20 Jess { 10.13.08 at 2:36 pm }

I’m sorry you’re feeling off lately Mel. Thinking of you!

21 zandor { 10.13.08 at 2:52 pm }

HUG… I also do a lot of my thinking in the shower. It is actually where I think of all of my blog posts mostly. Hug..

22 Princess Jo { 10.13.08 at 3:50 pm }

Long time lurker here!

Ahhh: tell me about it: I have just been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease….something always happens at this time of year for me…

So thanks Mel for this one beautiful idea!

Hugs all round!


23 Dory { 10.13.08 at 4:27 pm }

Yeah baby. What a great idea! Liked it enough to pull myself out of lurker mode (where my lazy arse stays a lot of the time lately) to send you a big virtual hug that says… “this too shall pass”.

24 astral { 10.13.08 at 5:09 pm }

{{hugs}} to you!!!! I think you are wonderful and grounding and full of wisdom and kindness!!

25 angrycanrn { 10.13.08 at 5:57 pm }

I agree there is a whole rash of shit going around the blogosphere.

I am not much for the touchy feely realm…..

but sending postive thoughts and wishes your way.


26 Martha { 10.13.08 at 6:14 pm }

((Hugs)) I will work on random acts of reassurance. I would like to start with you please. I hope you realize how many lives you have touched for the good with your actions and words.

27 Antigone { 10.13.08 at 6:22 pm }

That makes me a sad panda.

28 Lisa { 10.13.08 at 6:26 pm }

I am ever-impressed by how astonishingly present you are on this blog and in the amazing community you sustain. Seriously, I do not know how you do it. But obviously you were built to handle it all and meant for the role of IF Den Mama (among other, even more important, roles in your life).

Can we use your cute RRW graphic to promote the concept? πŸ™‚

29 kate { 10.13.08 at 7:25 pm }

Thank you for this blog. It has gotten me thorugh some very hard times thoughout this IF journey. I just wanted to let you know that. (((hugs)))

30 Samantha { 10.13.08 at 7:56 pm }

Hi Mel, you make me laugh and you make me cry – you have a great blog!

31 Somewhat Ordinary { 10.14.08 at 8:07 am }

Love ya, Mel!! You always come up with the best ideas!!

32 loribeth { 10.14.08 at 10:14 am }

My mother is visiting this week, so I have had very little time online to read, post or comment. (My blogreader is currently at 300+ items… & it's only Tuesday morning…!) But my first one is going out to you! Big (((hugs))) & thanks for all you do for us.

33 Bobbie { 10.14.08 at 1:29 pm }

I like your blog because it got me out of my comfort zone and made me stop lurking and just reading with ICLW. Thanks so much!

34 Grad3 { 10.14.08 at 1:57 pm }

Can you feel the bloggy love around you????? :)))) Hugs!

35 rebecca { 10.14.08 at 6:59 pm }

It was really great to meet you yesterday during our “speed date.” Randomly, I now reassure you.

rebecca (MeanLouise)

36 Kristen { 10.15.08 at 8:15 am }

I love this idea! Virtual hugs for everybody this week, especially those going through hard times. XOXO

37 Fertilized { 10.15.08 at 8:17 am }

wonderful. sorry i am a few days late. i hope with me being a little late, it will just prolong the reassurance.
i adore your spirit of kumbaya-ness greatly!

38 JamieD { 10.15.08 at 1:42 pm }

Don’t kid yourself – your kumbaya-ness is what keeps me coming back!

I have received so much reassurance in the past week my cup runneth over. It is only fair I spread the love.

Thank you so much for the love and the laughs. You are a bright light in this blogosphere!

39 annacyclopedia { 10.16.08 at 4:00 pm }

One thing I really love about you, Mel, is how generous you are – with your ideas, your energy, your affection, and your friendship. You are so inspiring in your generosity and I want you to know that the reason there is a support group in my city now is because I had been mulling over how I could be more like you, except I couldn’t do what you do cause I don’t know how and have no idea where you find the energy or the time and besides you are already you so the world doesn’t need me to come along and try to be you, too. And then it came to me – that you have created this space for all of us to come and share our experiences and find strength and support and information, and that I could do that, too. Just in a different format.

You are truly a bright light and I’m unable to tell you how grateful I am to have found you, and all of this. I feel my own glow is much stronger now that I am a part of this community that you care for so tenderly. Thank you.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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