Complimentary Follow-Up

A time to slow down, read, quietly celebrate, and connect with family and friends, this holiday season has been. Like most people, I also spent time in reflection as we approached the year’s end. Reflection is an important part of my life and a core part of my personality, which may be true for most writers and poets. As a beneficial part of the learning process, I required reflection in the classroom, of both my students, through various writing activities, and of myself, through journaling and documenting. I have even taught other teachers reflection practices in professional development classes.

Part of my reflection time this week was spent revisiting and pondering what I have written in this forum, since beginning this blog in the fall of 2019. It is not often that I sit and scroll through my previously published posts and doing so stirred a mixture of emotions, including joy and astonishment at how much I have written over the last two years and the courage I have gained at sharing my voice (and my love of dance), since my first blog post. My poems are like children – I nurture them, then I release them into the world and let them exist apart from me. Unlike raising my own child, nurturing poems lasts only a few days, sometimes only a few hours, and I do check on my daughter more than once a year or two years!

While reflecting on my two-year blog activity, a few posts stood out to me as deserving a follow-up mention. I am highlighting four previously written posts on this first day of 2022. Three of the four follow-ups highlight amazing people who continue to inspire me, and the other is a sweet story that shares part of this post’s title. If you have been reading me for a while, you might remember one or all these posts:

Outward Change Reveals Inward Transformation” October 2019

One of my first posts, from October 2019, was a conversation that turned into an interview that turned into a story about one of my friends who I had recently learned was celebrating over a year of sobriety. I did not know drinking had taken control of her life, and among other things, my time with her reminded me how important it is to have meaningful conversations. We caught up a few days ago and I was thrilled to learn she is doing very well and is now celebrating over three and a half years of sobriety. I am so proud of her, and I am blessed to know her. I was and continue to be honored by her willingness to trust me with writing her story. She gave me her blessings to share this update.

Thank you for caring, Teacher” September 2020

In the intro to this post, I wrote about a young man at my local market whose body does not look like most bodies. Despite any physical challenges he may face, he carries himself with confidence and professionalism and he is always a bright light in the market. I have seen him many times since I wrote that post. I continue to learn from him as he continues to show patience, kindness, and compassion toward others, including me at the self-check line. haha His personality and strong work ethic earned him a new position with added responsibility. I am proud of him too!

“Complimentary Jar” November 2020 

A sweet fictional story written in poetic prose (w/audio) about a lady who learned to embrace compliments – writing them on tiny cards, and keeping them in glass jars through the years, until life brought her to a place where she needed to downsize and let go of many possessions, including the tiny notes. This story was inspired by my own journey of learning to accept compliments, rather than dismissing them. A relatable journey for many, as the comments revealed. A special poem for me, it found a place in the pages of my third Being a Woman poetry collection, subtitled Forthcoming. One of the jars, created for my post, resides on a counter next to my car keys, as a reminder to say thank you when complimented and yes, I do add to it on occasion.  

Life is a Mystery” November 2021

In a more recent post, I wrote about meeting a stranger who magically and coincidentally knows my all-time favorite teacher from my childhood. I hit a roadblock with outdated contact information, however, I do now know my teacher’s remarried last name and I found an address. I also have the “stranger’s” contact info, so I will continue my search after the holidays.

Whether you are reading my blog for the first time, since the beginning of my writing journey, or somewhere in between, please know I appreciate your time and support! Enjoy your day and may your 2022 bring you many wonderful moments to reflect on when this new year is done. Be well. 💗 Michele

Photos: My images taken while walking the trails during our rainy week. It was still raining last night! 🌦️ A week of rain in the Valley of the Sun. Notice the hot air balloons in the distance, in a few photos.

© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton

88 thoughts on “Complimentary Follow-Up

  1. Your poetry, reflections and photography continue to illuminate the hearts and minds of followers, and your love of dance is both a badge of honor, and really quite beautiful! Wishing you all the best in 2022, my friend. 🌞☺☺ And, thank you for sharing your recent photos, too.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow, this is amazing! This made me read your earlier posts to understand why they stood out among your other posts. And then I found out that I have already read and liked “Life is Mystery.”😊 Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sometimes feels longer and other days I feel like I just posted my first post (that was terrifying!). Thank you very much and wishing you a year of abundance, in all areas of your life. I look forward to more of your beautiful photos!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. haha It can feel like looking through an old photo album… Oh yeah, I forgot about that distant cousin! Wait, do I even know that person? 😂 We can be so caught up in the zone when writing that it sometimes feels like we are the observer, and the words are writing us. Like driving somewhere and not remembering the drive there. Thank you very much, David, for your ongoing support and thoughtful comments. 🙏🏻Happy New Year to you too! Wishing you continued writing successes, health for you and your family, and personal joy! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Michele, thank you for connecting, inspiring, and supporting through your beautiful words, photos, and voice. I’m grateful to have found you here, and look forward to enjoying more of your light and energy in 2022. Happy new year!❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are most welcome, Natalie. It is my privilege and pleasure to support and create in this space. 😊 I believe we should pursue our creative passions and share, if it feels like the right thing to do. Likewise, I enjoy and appreciate the connection to you! May your new year bring you your heart’s desire and may you continue to shine as a hot goddess. ✨💖

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  4. Angelic pic of you and the beautiful wallpapers of the clouds bring joy to the reader’s heart to feel your lovely writings my dear sweet Michele. It’s an amazing feel to read your thoughts n inspirations as always n I say it from my heart. Happy New Year. Stay safe n take care my sweetest friend 🤗❣😘😘🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, always so sweet! Thank you, Suma. 😇 Those gorgeous cloudy skies would make some nice wallpaper. 🌦️ I hope you had a joyful holiday with time to relax and enjoy your family and friends. May 2022 bring you continued success, health, love, and happiness. 💖

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    1. Yes, looking back can be good, or in your case, looking forward can be quite fine. 😂 Witty poet! Very funny, but, if one doesn’t love him/her/themself then none of the other reflecting matters, so thanks for your reflective perspective and the smiles! May your new year be a happy one, with more reflection and affection. 🎇

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A wonderful follow up, Michele. You are so thoughtful and meaningful, and your writing always reflects the deep joy you have for life and all the people in your life that touch you and that you touch. We are all lucky to be connected to you. Happy New Year, my dear friend! 💖🥳

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    1. Thank you, Jeff. 🙏🏻 I am humbled by your sweet and generous sentiment, and I am honored that my writing reveals a deep joy for life and fellow humans. ✍🏻💖 I feel the lucky one, to have a place to share a few words and other creative pursuits and to connect to thoughtful writers, like you. A happy and healthy new year to you too! 🌞🌳

      Liked by 1 person

  6. WOW Michele, your reflections are so profound, and so encouraging. I appreciate your humility and your genuine compassion. You have certainly penned a lot in a couple of years, but that’s because you are passionate and it shows through. I appreciate you and your audience appreciates you too. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your orbit my dear! Now, let’s dance! 👣💃🏻🎶🥳💃🏽🎤🎧🥰

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele, you are sooooo appreciated, my friend. 🙏🏼 Your words are truly magical, and heartwarming as always. 💖 I hope as this new week unfolds, it will bring you lots of love, peace, and productivity like you’ve never seen before. Spread those wings and soar baby!!! 🦅✈🐱‍🏍 Hugs and smooches!!! 🤗💋🥰

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  7. It was a pleasure to read about your blog reflections Michele. Your blogposts are always insightful and soulful to read. Feel blessed to be connected to you through this blog. Looking forward to read more of your posts in 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am most grateful for your beautiful comments, the connection to you, and for you taking the time to read my reflections during this holiday weekend. 🙏🏻I appreciate your posts – I have your last recipe on my shopping list. 😄 A creative and delicious year awaits us! 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A beautiful reflective post, Michele. I have been blessed to read you and it has been wonderful interacting with you through each orhers’ posts! Wish you a lovely new year ahead and may you be blessed always ❤️❤️🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are a shining star. 🌟 Thank you so much, Diana. It is and will continue to be an absolute delight reading your poems and connecting with you. Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy 2022 overflowing in blessings and abundance! 🤗 💐💖

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a lovely way to round out the pieces on your blog that may be new to people! It is hard to sum up one’s own work, but your little summaries of each piece you share and why each one is special to you are as magnificent as the nurtured writing.
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful reflections Michele.
    I remember your beautiful poems well.

    I loved and laughed at this line:

    “Unlike raising my own child, nurturing poems lasts only a few days, sometimes only a few hours, and I do check on my daughter more than once a year or two years!

    Beautiful pictures as well!
    💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Cindy. It means a lot to me that my poems left a lasting impression on you. 💗 I am glad you experienced some love and laughs with my raising child line. 😆 I apologize for the delayed response – I found your comment in my spam folder. 😞

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Another stunning post from you, dear Michele💗. Reading your reflections is an inspiring treat, with each line profoundly and gracefully written. Your photo is beyond gorgeous🤩

    Loved the ways your nourish your poetry, dance (and also your daughter 👩🏻‍🦰💕), all are simply the beautiful reflections of unique you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “My poems are like children – I nurture them, then I release them into the world and let them exist apart from me.” – This made me smile wide :)) I truly enjoy your blog – you create with such beauty and elegance. I loved reading the follow-ups of your 4 posts – it is so amazing when connections are made with, and through strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am happy to share some smiles. 😄 Your comments offer the same for me. Thank you very much for your thoughtful engagement and for your generosity of time and spirit. 🌻 Yes, connections add richness and greater meaning to life. 🙏🏻Thank you for yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear Michele, I admire your artistic talent. You are a versatile and great artist. Your amazing poems, thoughts, associations and ideas speak to the heart. And I am always looking forward to your beautiful photos. Keep on sharing your wonderful poetry and voice!
    Michele ❄🎈Wishing you and your loved ones a happy new year, filled with joy, peace and blessings in abundance. 🎀❄
    Rosie from Germany…🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, artist Rosie, for your beautiful feedback. Ours is a mutual admiration. 💕 I am grateful for your new year wishes and extend the same to you and your family, talented Rosie. 😊🌞🌻

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