I've lost a few followers in the past couple of weeks (but thank you very much to the four new readers since I first drafted this post :). It isn't the first time people have unsubscribed, and I have no doubt it won't be the last! [And as an aside, the word 'followers' really needs reviewing Google!]
I'll be very honest with you...the first time it happened I was horrified. What have I done wrong? Why don't you like me any more? Can I make it up to you? Please come back :( And it wasn't just the first time that I felt that way either!

And then, last weekend after another spate of 'losses'...I laughed the next time it happened! Because I just knew that when I turned on the laptop there would be at least one less of you...and I found it amusing that my intuition was so spot on! Or that I'd actually willed it to happen because I'd focused on it (but that's a whole other 'law of attraction' post isn't it!)

But importantly, it started me thinking about success. What makes a blog successful? How do we measure that? Most of us use the number of followers as at least one of those measures don't we? If we're being honest. It's lovely to think that there are people out there who might like what we do...who appreciate the effort we're making...who 'get' us. But does it matter how many there are? The 'right' answer of course is no. But I suspect we do care...just a little bit. And I don't know about you, but I certainly get a thrill when the number ticks over one by one...as it did while I was editing this post!

So...success...what are the 'best' measures? I've decided it's not in the quantity, even though that's really lovely and I'm not denigrating it at all and I'm very grateful for the number of people who've clicked on the 'follow' button here. And I love to follow blogs...for me, it's a sign of appreciation of the effort someone has gone to. Have I 'unfollowed'? Yes I have, but not much. When I started to worry about getting to everyone I followed, making comments so you knew I was interested, it all got a bit too much. Now I regard following someone's blog as a big round of applause...but it doesn't mean I have to clap each and every day :)  

So I thought about what measures were important to me...and they are these:  
  • the fact that we make a connection with others...some stronger than others, true...but connections nonetheless; 
  • the sincerity and/or quality of what we present to each other; 
  • staying true to the many reasons we started doing this in the first place, or finding different, better reasons;
  • the care we take to think about and then compose something that we hope others might enjoy; 
  • the sharing of thoughts and ideas and discoveries and skills...or yes, even pretty pictures, whether it be with one person or a thousand :)

And then, my mind wandered off to one of my favourite pieces of writing...attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson (although I believe that is disputed)...it goes like this...you probably know it...

"To laugh often and love much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the approval of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give of one’s self;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived…
This is to have succeeded"

Nothing much there about numbers :)
So thanks so much for sticking with me...and for getting to the end of this long post! I've said it before, and I'll say it again...you're a top lot!