I read about blogging in the February 2006 issue of Businessweek. I went to Blogger.com and before I knew it, I started this blog. I have been dedicated to it since then. It really makes me happy to be able to express myself in such a public forum. I don't know if I have any readership. I have tried to get friends and family to visit it. I don't think any of them has done that. What nice friends and family I've got. No matter, I am still happy and find a lot of joy doing it. I have gone to other blogs and have found inspiration. Favorite blogs are Danny Gregory, Parisbreakfasts, and Chocolate and zucchini. I don't have that much time between a full time job, writing this blog (2-3 times a week), home ownership and checking on my stocks. To write for this blog, I have to read a lot so that I can more inspired. Someone once said, to write a book, one has to read half the library. We are a community of ordinary people doing what we love- whether it be cooking, painting or traveling. Blogging helps us live a more conscious life. We hone our observation skills so that even when we cook an ordinary meal, we can bring out our best china or the accoutrement we have purchased while traveling abroad and stage the meal, take a picture and post it on our blog. This way we are paying homage to an ordinary day. Eventually there are no ordinary days because we honor everyday and everything. Eventually it is not an ordinary life, it is a beautiful life. Collette said, 'Regardez.' Observe, look! That is what I do these days; slow down to observe; to capture the feeling of the moment; write it down; draw a picture or take a photograph. The Internet has brought into our ordinary lives a lot of opportunities to live an extraordinary life. Now I don't travel just so I can add notches to the totem pole of places visited. I chose places that are quaint and out of the ordinary. I go to record the delight of the senses- sound, smell and sight. There are lots of people doing their own thing and therefore making it a more interesting world. What if we didn't have Jeff Bezos, we would not have Amazon.com. It's my most favorite store in the world. Some women comes to mind, Mary Quant who invented the mini skirt, Rachel Ashwell, Cath Kidston and Martha Stewart and a host of others. It was not a Madame Curie kind of discovery but made important contributions to make the lives of women better and less tedious. If our lives could be less tedious and humdrum, to me, you are as important as Madame Curie! To me, the many artists out there like Danny Gregory are important. Their art, while not in the league of Picasso does in no way diminish their impact on my life. In fact, Danny Gregory in his book 'Creative Licence' has made more impact on my life. He started me on art- drawing and watercolors. The last time I did art was when I was 13. I had a teacher who never stopped belittling my work. That was over 40 years ago, since then, I never touched a sketch pad.......until a year ago. Now I can't stop. It's been a great joy. I'm still no good but it is not about good. It is about self-expression. I think lots of people out there have never allowed themselves the self-expression that they need, either friends and family have not been encouraging or they have been belittling themselves. I am in mental health and I've made an incredible living off of mental health. It is huge business,more than most people are aware of. If we were to be a little kinder to ourselves and others, we would not have this mental health crisis. I am very timid about exhibiting my work to family and friends. They only care to remember my mess up past and not recognise the fact that I've moved beyond my past. Be careful to protect your 'young crops'- your new self. A douse of criticism or nonchalance could kill the whole venture. I am very aware of it and have prospered because friends and family have no clue in the start of any venture. They only find out when the venture is well on its way and by then it can stand up to any criticism. My blog, in a way, is therapy. This is my 'Prozac!'