One year ago today I took the blogging plunge. It’s been quite the ride. I started with one blog and now have six (mostly just reference blogs—food indexes and such). I’ve clicked “publish” more than 300 times. I’ve taken hundreds of pictures, and I’ve spent countless hours thinking, composing, and editing. I’ve written about everything from airing my dirty laundry to laundry detergent, from husbands to husbandry, from feminine issues to feminism, from birthdays to birth stories, from tearing up the creek to tearing up the town, from smashed fingers and gashed heads to smooshed apples and smashed potatoes, from dumb mistakes to dumbness, from haircuts to hairy issues, and all the stuff in between, most of which has been recipes.
“Detailing the minutia of my existence in a determined effort to make it more enjoyable—for me” is the phrase I came up with to describe this blog (you can see it in the upper right hand corner by my blue shoes). Has this blog served to make me enjoy my life more? Hm, I would have to say yes....and no. Let’s start with the no.
I don’t think my life is any more enjoyable than it used to be. The Daily Drudge—paying bills, buying milk, emptying the dish drainer, washing peed-on sheets, kneading bread—has not been transported to a level of rhapsodic ecstasy. Those parts of my life are still just as dirty, messy, draining, and boring as they were pre-blog.
The truth is, the act of writing this blog can be quite draining, too. I struggle to finagle the time to write, and the constant pressure to get the words out (a mental sort of constipation, if you will) can make me irritable. Furthermore, I mentally fly away to another world when I sit down to write, a world of cool phrases and thought-provoking ideas, and this being-here-and-yet-not-being-here state of being can cause my immediate family members to develop a case of Blog Resentmentitis. I do see the irony.
And yet, I need this creative outlet, or rather, I need a creative outlet; if I didn’t have the blog, I would have something else, and whatever that creative outlet is (be it teaching Sunday school, mentoring a teen, being a foster parent, making cheeses), it would be accompanied by the same tensions and frustrations that come with this blog. This is how life is, one giant balancing act complete with Give and Take, Push and Pull, and maybe, if you’re lucky, some clowns thrown in for good measure.
This blog has provided me with a space to be creative, my artist’s palette, so to speak, and for that I am grateful. I love the satisfaction that comes from arranging words and photographs into a shareable format; I love hearing back from people that appreciate my work; and I love, love, love learning that my work has been meaningful to somebody. (While I like writing for the sake of writing, you, my dear readers, and your comments have been the icing on my bloggy cake. So here’s a big bear hug to all of you who read my blatherings, and here’s a giant bear hug to all of you who blither right back at me. Thank you!)
This past year of blogging hasn’t been all roses and it hasn’t been a magic cure-all to my mild malaise, but it has provided me with a platform from which I can soapbox to my heart’s content, and boy oh boy, do I like to soapbox. So I think I’ll stick with it, this thing called a blog, continuing to teeter-totter my way through as I try to find the balance between living my life and writing about my life.
Year Number Two, here I come!
One year ago: Reasons for blogging