A TO Z REFLECTIONS AND FAREWELL

A to Z Challenge 2018 - Reflecting and Farewelling

IT'S A WRAP!

Well, it's hard to believe that the A to Z Challenge is now a thing of the past. For four weeks (minus three Sundays) I was immersed in blogs from all over the world - and more themes than I could imagine! I've learned about travel, other countries, sailingfamily history, sewing, thriving, daily lifeself-improvementhobbies, podcastspoetry, music, spirituality, philosophy, and so much more.

I reconnected with bloggers I've met from previous years and met lots of new friends. I've learned new stuff, commented on blogs until my fingertips went numb, and still managed to get through my normal daily activities - although I think my Fitbit was buzzing me more than normal to tell me to get up and move before my butt was as numb as my fingertips!

A TO Z(EN)

As anyone who has stumbled across my blog during April would know, my theme for the month was the A to Z(en) of Life - with thanks to the Dalai Lama who provided the heading for each letter of the alphabet. I loved the fact that a lot of the topics fitted right in with what I write about on the blog and were the perfect opportunity to remind myself to be more relaxed and in the "moment". 

It was also a great opportunity to scour the internet for quotes that applied to each day's topic - and we all know that I love a great quote. I've added them all to my Pinterest boards and I hope some found their way to the boards of those who stopped by for a visit. I'm a huge fan of Pinterest - it gives me the excuse to look at pretty dresses, kittens, and all sorts of sundry pictures that catch my eye. If you haven't been to visit my Pinterest page, you can pop across HERE (you'll see that pink is my favourite Pinterest colour!)

All good things must come to an end - Geoffrey Chaucer

A FEW STATISTICS

Just as a bit of a wind-up I thought I'd make a note of a few of the numbers from the month. It wasn't all from the AtoZ because I have other bloggy friends (and non-bloggy friends) who visit and who I visit, but the AtoZ would have played a big part in the month's statistics. So here is a brief overview:

Extra views of my blog for April: I had an extra 4,000 page views this month over and above my usual views. It was due to posting more and also to the extra visits from fellow AtoZers and my usual lovely visitors popping in more regularly.

Approximate number of comments Received: 750 (from AtoZers and my blogging buddies)

Approximate number of comments I've Made: 900 (that's on AtoZ posts plus all my normal commenting on blogs I love to follow)

FREE E-BOOK

To teach myself a new skill, I decided to put all my A to Zen posts together into a free e-book. If you'd like a free copy just click HERE and it will tell you how to get hold of one. It's my first ever e-book and there may be more in the future (depending on whether anyone asks for this one!)

REFLECTIONS

So, that's the AtoZ for 2018 in a nutshell for me - fun and exhausting. It took over a big part of my headspace and leisure time in the weeks leading up to it when I was putting together my posts (I like to be well prepared and not panicking on the night before a post is due to go up!) It also filled my time and brain through April as I zipped around all over the world of bloggers checking out what they had to say for the day and leaving my thoughts behind me in the comments as I went.

I'm really grateful to all those who read my posts each day and especially to those who left a comment. It's been a blast but I'm glad it's a memory now and I can relax back into my new "Zen" self and not have my blog so front and centre in my world.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Were you bored to death by me posting every day? Are you relieved that I'm back to my normal twice a week posts? I hope I didn't scare anyone away and that you are back to share the Midlife journey with me. Don't forget to link up with the #MLSTL party on Wednesdays if you're a Midlifer who blogs about interesting stuff and please pop over and help yourself to a copy of my e-book and share the Zen love. 



A to Z Challenge 2018 - Reflecting and Farewelling

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#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and I'm tackling the A to Zen of Life (via the Dalai Lama)

82 comments

  1. Great wrap up post Leanne and I enjoyed your theme immensely. Congratulations on putting together your e-book which looks great and keeps all of your wisdom in one place. I haven't actually looked at my stats but yours are impressive. I know you pushed me,or should that read encouraged me to do the challenge this year and I'm so pleased you did. However, I feel lost now!!! Not posting,commenting and replying everyday has left a huge hole in my day LOL:)

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    1. I know what you mean about having a hole in your day Sue - I actually have managed to read a book, think about doing some study and maybe even take up a new hobby (thinking's as far as I've gotten - but that's a luxury after being so full on over April!) It's nice to kick back a bit and we can focus on #MLSTL and our normal posts again - phew! I wonder if we'll both be signing up again in 2019??

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  2. Bravos, Leanne, for completing the AtoZ Challenge with impressive stats and your first e-book. I enjoyed reading your AtoZ posts even though I didn't have enough time to leave a comment for all of them. Look forward to joining you and Sue at MLSTL on Wednesday. We also have a monthly Wellness Wednesday link up on May 9. Please feel free to link any wellness-related post that you'd like to share.

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    1. I didn't get to reply to the comments on my posts over the AtoZ Natalie - I was so busy zooming around commenting all over the place on my usual blogs I read + all the AtoZ ones I found - it's nice to be able to focus in on CTH again and reply to people and enjoy MLSTL etc. Thanks for hanging in with me through the Challenge xx

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  3. Oh, my goodness! What a great idea to turn this beautiful series of posts into an e-book. Not even sure how you do that. Bravo!! I wouldn't know how to act with an extra 400 views to my blog, let alone 4K! So proud of you.

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    1. Thanks Leslie - it was definitely full on for the month and the amount of extra reading, visiting and commenting takes so much time! I couldn't reply to the comments on my blog as well or I'd never have made it to work (or to bed!) Thanks for reading some of them and for your kind comments x

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  4. You did such an amazing job again this year, Leanne, congratulations!
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every of your posts, and above all, reconnecting with you 💖
    Have a lovely month of May applying your Zen and all. Do you have a miniature Zen garden, btw?
    https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/2017/05/how-to-make-your-own-sandy-zen-garden.html

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    1. I think my E-Book will have to be my version of my sandy zen garden Tamara - although I actually have some time now for drawing circles in the sand - I didn't in April! Looking forward to seeing what you decide to do next year - because I suspect we'll both be silly enough to sign up again!

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  5. I loved finding you, and probably re-visited you most often. We were both often on the link list at the same time - maybe similar timezones?
    I have to thank you, too, as yours is the first "reflection" post I'm reading, and I'm not at all sure what to write, so thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Hi Red - I've been over to your blog and left a comment - it has certainly been a full on month and I've enjoyed your posts too - one of the biggest benefits of the AtoZ is meeting new bloggers all over the world and it motivates me to be crazy enough to keep signing up each year!

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  6. Hari om
    :-)
    It was interesting to me how much more intense it was than my usual daily entries...even on the teaching blog! It was exhausting but also very rewarding. For me it is not the numbers, but the connections made which delight. Happy onward blogging!!! YAM xx

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    1. I think it's all the extra blogs we get to read and comment on Yam - everyone is posting every day so there's so much new stuff and to get around to them all and still have some time to eat and sleep is a major achievement! Still, I'll probably sign up again next year - I love a good challenge!

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  7. Wowsers - those stats are impressive. As you know, whilst I posted this year (pre-scheduling many of my posts) I didn't do the formal signup thing & really didn't follow anyone other than you & Sue - and then that was only until we left for France & I had no laptop etc. Your theme was fab & will make a great ebook.

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    1. Thanks Jo - I enjoyed reading the blocks of posts you put up. I expected to see more French stuff - but when I read your first French post today I see that there are more to come - I'm looking forward to them x

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  8. You're a Queen Blogger that's for sure! My jaw dropped when I read EXTRA 4000 views - you've certainly come a long way from starting off! But I'm sure you're easy to read writing style has a lot to do with that - well done :-).

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    1. Thanks Hannah - it blows my mind how many bloggers visited me - and how many I visited in return - no wonder I have calluses on my typing fingers! You might get inspired and join in next year - you'll have to think of a theme xx

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  9. Have so enjoyed your posts and love the idea of putting together an e-book!
    Enjoy the downtime!

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    1. You too Laura - I can see you sitting idly in one of your boats on the lake - sipping wine and wondering what to do with all the spare time you've suddenly gained!

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  10. Well, it sounds like it was a lot of work for you, but you got some great traffic to your blog!

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    1. It definitely generates a bit more traffic Amy - but there is also a lot of return visiting - you have to love the process or you'd drown before the halfway mark - so many give up because it's a big undertaking if you're already busy.

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  11. Congratulations! An a e-book to boot, Congratulations again!! I admire your fortitude and I am glad it turned out to be a boost to your site.

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    1. Thanks Haralee - it always increases my views for the month from the sheer volume of extra posts - and the kindness of those who stick with me through it :)

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  12. Goodness, I can see why your fingers went numb and the Fitbit kept buzzing you (it can be a bit annoying sometimes) with those statistics! Creating an e-book was genius!

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    1. The buzzing Fitbit is becoming my nemesis Candi - it reminds me of how sedentary my life is (I'm glad the feature stops at 6pm or I'd be buzzed to death by now!)

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  13. Very inspiring, Leanne. Maybe I'll do it next year. You're smart to put it all in an e-book. Great job!!

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    1. You'd be most welcome to join us Laurie - you meet a lot of new people who aren't in the same Midlife Women circles as those we encounter regularly. I really enjoy finding new blogs and seeing what they come up with for the Challenge.

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  14. Congratulations on a challenge well met. And how clever of you to put together an e-book! I'm still in post-April-craziness recovery, but I'm enjoying practicing my zen attitude.

    DeborahWeber

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    1. I'm LOVING not running around every day (and evening) catching up on everyone Deb - it's nice to have little snippets now and to only be posting a couple of times a week again - I'm feeling much more 'Zen'!

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  15. I enjoyed most of the posts. Some days I needed more fluff than substance. lol My problem not yours. As is always true some posts were more attuned to where I am in life right now. Congratulations on completing the challenge.

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    1. I'm the same Victoria - I am so amazed at the people who read my posts every day - if you managed once or twice a week I'm still beyond flattered (and you did that and more xx)

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  16. I've enjoyed reading your Zen posts. I also love the quote from Ellen you have on your sidebar. I am a little past cresting the hill at 63 but hope you don't mind if I continue to follow you.

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. I'm looking at the crest of the hill being more of a plateau Janet - that way we can all stay up there a lot longer before we slowly coast down the other side (to the snack that's waiting for us!) Loved meeting you through the challenge x

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  17. Congratulations on finishing! I read many (but not all) of your posts and am ordering the ebook for that reason. April turned out to be quite stressful for me, so I didn't even look at my stats. I crested the hill a little ahead of you and am just going to coast for a little bit. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. I was the same Alana - I read where I could, commented when I could, and tried to have some time to breathe in between. I'm glad I only work part-time or I wouldn't have found any time to eat or sleep in April! Thanks for ordering my book - I feel very loved x

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  18. Wow, Leanne. When I read this I realize just how much the A to Z makes the participants grow. Inspiring!

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    1. It really does open up the blogging world for me Diane - I meet so many new bloggers who are all busy in their little parts of the interwebs and I would never have met them if it wasn't for the Challenge. You'll have to try it one year with your poems!

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  19. Congrats on finishing the A to Z Challenge. I really enjoyed reading your posts. It is amazing how much time we seem to get back once it's done. It will definitely be easier to find my zen again now that the challenge is done. Weekends In Maine

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    1. I have time to kill now that the Challenge is over Karen - all those comments and all the reading certainly takes up a chunk of time that is now mine to play with again - hence the e-book and being ahead of myself with my May posts. Loved catching up with you again and hopefully we'll both be silly enough to sign up again next year!

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  20. What a successful A to Zen!

    SSG xxx

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    1. It was great SSG - kind of a marathon though and lovely to cross that finish line in one piece!

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  21. Hi, Leanne - I thoroughly enjoyed your A to Z Series (as you may have guessed when I greedily requested your eBook as well). :) I was also thoroughly impressed that you stopped by so many blogs during the Challenge, made very meaningful comments and never missed a post. (You now have a "Perfect Attendance Award" to prove it!) As I mentioned in another comment, I may be avoiding you next February and March for fear of you suggesting I do another Challenge. Until then, I will be a regular follower. See you at your next post!

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    1. I have my Perfect Attendance Award framed and mounted on my cyber office wall Donna - along with those strange blogging awards that you get given in the early days! It was a great time wasn't it? Definitely stay away from me in Feb/March next year because I have a sneaking suspicion I might be signing up to run down that rabbit hole again (it always looks like fun in hindsight!)

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  22. The only thing that could possibly inspire me to do the challenge is the meeting of new folks.... but then, I remember how challenging it was to follow just 5 folks all the way through from A to Z (you were one) and cannot imagine how you followed so many. Congrats to you for completing, for turning it into an eBook (so cool) and for making so many new connections. You inspire me!

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    1. I was so honoured that you stuck with me through the Challenge Pat - especially when you weren't in the middle of it yourself! And thanks for asking for my e-book - it made me feel loved xx

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  23. I enjoyed getting to know you and felt so inspired by you this year! I look forward to reading more by you in the future. Melanie's Stories

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    1. It's been a great adventure hasn't it Melanie? I hope it inspires you to keep blogging regularly. I'll be back to two or three posts a week from now on and loving having all that spare time again - my husband might get to see me without a laptop in between us!

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  24. I enjoyed your A to Zen theme through the challenge! Congratulations on finishing - and WOW - that's a lot of comments! Kudos to you.

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    1. Thanks - it was quite an odyssey wasn't it Trisha? It's nice to have it behind me but now I need to fill my days again - shouldn't be too hard I imagine :)

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  25. Wow, 4000 extra visits and 750 comments? No wonder your fingers (and butt) were numb! I give you and Sue credit for doing this each year. A few years ago I did a Blogtoberfest that included blogging every day. So I did for 31 days and burned out. I just couldn't keep up and a lot of the posts were just a picture with quotes and no insight from me. After the month was over I realized that was not for me and I'm glad to be at the 2 to 3 days per week that I've been maintaining.

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    1. It's a big undertaking Jennifer - and it takes the freshness out of blogging when you're producing at that frequency and also trying to support as many other bloggers as you can in the process. It's nice to head back to 2 to 3 days like you mentioned - it is my sweet spot I think.

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  26. I've never attempted an every day blogging challenge, and I am in awe of those of you who attempt it and SUCCEED! Congratulations!

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    1. It's not for the faint hearted Michele - you have to have a theme that makes it easy to write posts about each letter or you hit a pothole and give up (quite a few don't make it to the end)

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  27. Well done Leanne, awesome effort.

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes Jan - it's nice to have done it and nice to be finished too!

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  28. Outstanding Reflections post. Your April sounds like a nice success. I've tweeted out the link to this post and hopefully that will bring you some book requests.

    Congrats on an excellent job in completing the Challenge.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thanks for popping back in for a final visit Arlee and for your magnificent efforts at pulling the whole thing together every year - I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be back for more next year! I really appreciate the tweet too - and so does my e-book :)

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  29. Hi Leanne I loved your e-book and great to hear you are looking at study - any ideas of topic? We are going great guns with #MLSTL and we have both tried something out of the box with our posts this week. Sharing on social media, my friend x

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    1. Hi Sue - I'm thinking of something writing based through that free online tertiary study course. It sounds like it might have some relevant subjects to improve my blogging as well as making my brain work harder.

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  30. Leanne, I am so impressed by your accomplishment, even more so after having read your statistics! I've read many of the A-Z posts, but confess to missing several, so I am happy to hear you created an eBook. I am going to download it now. Thanks, as always, for hosting the #MLSTL party!

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    1. Thanks so much for asking for my e-book Christie - I really appreciated your support and for reading any of my posts through the month. If you weren't doing the Challenge it was a big ask to pop in here regularly for the whole month xx

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  31. Commented when I read earlier. Now I'll share for #MLSTL.

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    1. Thanks Trisha - I really appreciate you sharing as well as commenting xx

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  32. Well done on completing the A-Z challenge Leanne! I was not at all bored by your daily posts though have to admit I didn't read every one of them. It's hard to find balance in life, so I try not to be sitting at the computer every day. I don't know how you did it but good on you! Fantastic idea to turn it all into an eBook!

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    1. I would really not expect anyone who wasn't mired in the Challenge to read all the posts Min, any time you visit and read something it's appreciated - it's all about keeping some semblence of balance in our lives - and mine went out the window in April - it became 85% blogging and 15% whatever else I had to do in my waking hours!

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  33. I may not have posted on a bunch of your A-Z blogs but I read of all them and enjoy them. They were good. I couldn't complete that challenge. Great job you did. #MLSTL

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    1. That's so nice that you read them Patrick - it's a lot to keep seeing new posts popping up and committing to reading them - I really appreciate it :-)

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  34. Wow. Very impressive round up, Leanne, congratulations!
    When I moved and needed a focus in my everyday life, I committed to a daily blog post for all of 2015. Then I continued into some of 2016. I think it was around 500 blog posts in a row. Some were short and sweet, others longer. It was a challenge set by me and I also called it quits when I was ready!
    #lifethisweek 19/52. Next week's optional prompt is #shareyoursnaps4. Denyse

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    1. 500 daily posts is an awesome achievement Denyse! I find that by the end of April I've had more than enough of daily posting and I'm glad to return to my 2 to 3 a week routine. It's hard to find time for everything if I spend hours on my blog every day.

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  35. I loved your theme Leanne and looked forward to checking in every day to see you hat you had to say. Congratulations on your e-book. I'm also feeling a little lost and thinking of next years theme where I plan to be much more organised.

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    1. Thanks so much for your visits Jenali - I tried to visit back whenever I could and yes, I'm already mulling over potential topics for next year too - I think we're both just a little bit crazy!

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  36. Congrats on your views! WOW! I have enjoyed reading the A to Z posts. Lots of work put into it I am sure. You must be a little relieved to go back to the twice a week posts ;)

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    1. I'm more than a little relieved to get back to twice a week Cherie - it was full on over April (but still seems to be going at top speed atm) I'm hoping to get back into some semblence of normal life soon!

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  37. Hi Leanne,
    Now that A-Z is finished and, more importantly, that the weather here in Canada has gone straight from winter to summer, I have so much work to do outdoors. I can't imagine posting daily as Denyse did, or even two or three times a week like you and Sue. I'm pretty much able now to just write a post a week, and try to keep up with reading and commenting on one post a week from each of my favourite bloggers - including you :)

    I'm impressed that you are already thinking about next year's A-Z challenge. I may change my mind but at this point, it's a one-and-done for me. Would you please send me your e-book? Although I read every single post, I'd love to have it all together in one spot for future reference.

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    1. I thought it was one and done for me too Karen - back in 2016! Now it's three and maybe another next year! When I hit "L" I was thinking "why, why, why Delilah?" to quote Tom Jones- but then it just kept rolling and now I'm thinking I could do it again! I'm half way through May and still feeling like blogging is taking up too much of my time, I'm hoping as all the AtoZ stuff fades away I'll feel like my life has a bit more balance to it again. It did have the added benefit of meeting new friends though x

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  38. Great stats Leanne and well deserved! I loved all your posts and saved them to my Pinterest board as I went. I’ll definitely look into downloading the ebook, fab idea!! #mlstl

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    1. Hi Deb - another Pinterest fan!! I can't understand people who don't have a little bit of secret love for Pinterest (maybe it's just for cyber hoarders??) I'd love you to have the e-book, just let me know and I'll email you a copy x

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  39. I'm just impressed that you could actually write something every day, what an achievement and what a great idea to turn that work into an e-book. I didn't read all your posts but I loved those that I did get to xx

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    1. I think once you have a theme (and the Dalai Lama was nice enough to give me the heading for each letter!) then you just roll along. Some nights I wrote two or three and then I'd go for a few days without writing any. Preparing in advance was definitely the secret to not drowning though.

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  40. What a lovely A to Z Reflections post and it's so good to hear the improved blog statistics. That's an impressive number of comments you made. You've turned your blog posts into an e book ? How wonderful and I will certainly download it because sadly, I didn't make it to your blog every day in April, despite the best will in the world. The A to Z was super and I'm glad it's over.

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    1. I tried to get to all the blogs I was following every day Kalpanaa, but there were some days when it got pretty hard and I know I missed a few along the way here and there. It's the intention that counts and the friends we make though isn't it?

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  41. Congratulations on completing the challenge. I really enjoyed your posts and I'm glad I discovered your blog.

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  42. Congratulations on your first book and on finishing the challenge
    Debbie

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