I just attended a zoom call with area children’s writers and illustrators to discuss blogging. When I’d first heard about the call, I didn’t think I wanted to attend because I’m not a typical writer-blogger. I don’t only blog about children’s writing and children’s books. I blog for me, about whatever strikes my fancy. I didn’t think I’d have anything to offer the discussion, but at the last moment decided to attend.
I’m glad I did. Because while there are many different approaches to blogging –sites, content, focus, etc.–there is no right or wrong way to blog. As I shared in a breakout room discussion, the only way to blog “incorrectly” is to stress about the blogging. My philosophy is that if it’s not enjoyable, why bother?
For instance, I happen to (among many other things) enjoy goats. They never fail to bring a smile. So this right here? This is an example of a successful blog post.
So here’s something from 2014 that I feel good about: I finally went ahead and made some changes to our bathroom. For years I’ve wanted to get rid of the white plastic tub surround that was installed poorly and, therefore, buckled and pulled away from the wall along the top of the tub. It was impossible to keep clean and I couldn’t take baths because it’s difficult to relax when everything at eye level = YUCK. (When showering, I was actually grateful for my poor vision because then I could kinda, sorta pretend the bathroom looked all right.)
I knew I wanted something new but couldn’t decide what that something new would be, and decisions are not my friends. At least, decisions didn’t used to be my friends. We’re still not BFFs, but we’re doing better. Once I put in the call to the general contractor a friend had recommended waaay back in May, I made decisions Bing-Bang-Boom. Tile? Got it. Accent tile? Found it. New vanity top and sink? Check. Paint? Check again. Window treatment? Okay, that took a couple tries but not for lack of decision-making, but because of dimensions. Shower curtain? Done.
My bathroom went from feeling cold and dreary to being one of my favorite places in the house. In fact, I’m sitting on the edge of the tub right now.
I tend to withdraw when things get rough, which explains why this has probably been the year I’ve blogged least frequently. 2014 has been a non-stop year of challenges for me and the people closest to me (and a whole lot of people I only know via the news). More than once I’ve threatened to stab 2014 between the eyes. And way more than that, I’ve screamed at 2014 to go fuck itself.
Did 2014 care? Not in the least. Were my threats of violence and profanity healthy responses to a year that closed out by kicking my family squarely in the ‘nads? I’d say that’s an affirmative, but your mileage may vary.
Looking back on the past year, I’m struck by how I kept expecting things to improve. Starting in January with my glute/hip/lower back issues that kept me from running and lifting weights and yoga and hooping and all the other stuff that helps keep me sane, I was positive that in the next week or so I’d regain my physical self and, therefore, also my emotional equilibrium. But it never happened, at least, not 100 percent. However, the shit kept coming and I had to make-do with what my body could handle. And when that wasn’t enough to raise my endorphin levels, my thoughts turned stabby. So maybe that’s why I’m feeling especially worn down right now: in hindsight, that optimism feels so naive and pathetic. I didn’t get all better and it never got easier.
Which is why I’m torn about welcoming a new year. This last one sucked sucked sucked and the next might, too. On the other hand, 2015 is still shiny and full of hope and no one’s had a chance yet to stab it between the eyes. I’d call dibs, but maybe me and mine will catch a break this time around and there won’t be any need.
Happy New Year.
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE by Stephan Pastis
Maybe we should forget Facebook and Twitter, and drive traffic to our blogs via public restrooms!
(There once was a Tracyworld from Nantucket . . .)