The Anatomy Of A Wave

I have a mental image of sitting in a classroom at some stage of my education and learning about the ocean, specifically about waves and these things called crests and troughs, the heights and depths.  The words always stuck with me as being highly descriptive, not something that I usually associate with science, and thus I have always remembered them.  When I sat down to write a blog post today–something I felt compelled to do because of some inner clock that forces me to post as often as possible–I was reminded of the anatomy of a wave–crest and trough, crest and trough–and thought to myself, Isn’t life just like that?  Sometimes sets of waves come crashing to the shore seemingly one after another, and other times the seas are gentle.  Sometimes there are super highs and despairing lows, but more often that not, there’s an in between.  I think this blog right now is somewhere in the in between, and I’m coming to accept that tranquility.

This blog began in 2008 right before Jax was born, mostly as a way to share photos of him with my family who lives far away.  Little did I know that it would take on a life of its own and friends would say to me, seemingly out of nowhere, “Oh, I love your blog!”  Really? I didn’t even know you read it.  Then people started saying, “I love your pictures! Have you ever thought of doing photos professionally?”  Compound that sudden interest with the social media revolution, and suddenly, the blog was going live in early 2011, more for public consumption than had ever been intended before.  The blog became a platform for my photography, and the world of Pinterest drove my posts.  Surprisingly, my little blog that was supposed to be just for me and my family had people introducing themselves to me in music class and gymnastics, knowing my kids’ faces and pseudonyms without me even knowing their names because they enjoyed reading it.  Looking back, it was a strange and surreal time in my life, when the blog was keeping me from losing my sanity in a world filled with preschool toys and dirty diapers.  To write something, convey something, produce something: that is how I grew to appreciate this quiet, beautiful town in Vermont.  Because I spent days writing about life here, somehow I grew to love it.

Those days were a flurry of early childhood survival, photography technique and oh-so-many crafts.  These days are much slower, and simpler.  The big kids go off to school, Little H and I play all day, visit friends, take a class or a walk, and then she naps.  My afternoons, which gape with time to be filled however I choose, are full of photography (and Christmas shopping!) but not so much blog-worthy moments.  Little H fought me to buckle her carseat today #thestruggleisreal would be Twitter-worthy, but this space has never been one for me to vent.  Sometimes a tragic Mom fail story does make the cut, but usually I try to keep this a positive, appreciative place to write down my memories of my children’s early years.  Because, as every middle-aged woman I have ever met will tell me, it goes so fast.  And with three kids, I know one day it will all blend together in a warm, happy blur, and I’ll be grateful I got it all down, the highs as well as the lows.  The crests and the troughs.

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Speaking of crests and troughs, what does this post have to do with waves anyway?  Well, any forced metaphor serves to tie a bigger idea to a smaller one, and my smaller idea is this–my days with Little H are joyous, but not terribly momentous, and I think the forced feeling of I should take a photo of this for the blog is having a two-fold reaction.  One, it is disingenuous and makes me feel like I’m being less present with her, and two, that feeling of forced pressure is making me rebel and say, Screw it, I’m not doing it at all.  I think it’s Bloggy Mom Burnout.  I’m missing the forest for the trees–I will have nothing to write about because I don’t want to do anything because I feel forced to document it.  Disingenuous indeed.

In addition to this feeling is a desire to separate this space from my photography, as you may have noticed from fewer professional photography posts.  The new year is going to see a new and improved photography website for me, complete with its own social media, so I won’t have a random photo shoot between posts about Jax losing his first tooth and Little H’s first haircut.  Separation of church and state will be good for my soul.  Back to basics.  More cresting, less troughing.

 Our afternoons with the big kids are action-packed, but not always worth documenting.  I don’t lug my camera with me everywhere I go anymore, and I don’t want to have to feel the pressure–which no one is giving me but myself–to increase the frequency of my posts simply to fill space.  Let me take photos of my kids doing uninteresting things because I need something to write about! Not the same as simply appreciating the small things, which I do with a completely full heart.  Sometimes it is just a calm sea, and lately that’s where we are.  The lows are not so low, but the highs are simple and quiet pleasures that don’t necessarily translate to posts or photographs.  Even my 365 project, which I have enjoyed immensely, is starting to feel like a task.

So my confession is that I think my posts here will be less frequent and I’m giving myself permission to allow that to happen.  It’s been happening anyway, but now I feel okay about it.  I know my life’s ambition is not to be a blogger, and maybe it’s time for the blog to come full circle and to be more about our life and less about public consumption.  I will still craft, and still Pin, and still share photos, but it will be because I think it is something worth sharing, not doing something with Little H simply because I need something to post.  I’m going to let our lives drive the posts, not the other way around, and I hope you will still come along for the ride with me.  Maybe this is just a trough, but what I know is that when our lives start to exist more outside the home as they are starting to, there will less for me to share.  And that’s an okay thing to accept, because just because there may be fewer crests, it doesn’t mean they won’t be as high as ever.  I just want to have my head on straight to appreciate them as they are happening, not looking at it all evolve through a lens.  Thanks for taking this journey with me.

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Why I Blog

Why do I blog?
It’s a question I’ve been asked, been pondering, been mulling over, been justifying quite a bit lately.  As I try to shape this space into something that people enjoy and can relate to, yet is still uniquely mine, I have to make choices and try to be interesting.  Try to engage, persuade, entertain, inform.  I blog to connect with the millions of people out there like me, who may or may not like me, but understand where I’m coming from.  To reconnect with people I’d lost touch with.  To stay connected with people I value and who live too damn far away.  To validate who I am and that I still have a brain.  To remind others I exist as a person, not just a mom, with interests and hobbies and goals.  To keep me honest and make me a better mom, because you’re watching.  To show off my kids and my photos, of course.  To stay close with family who also live to damn far away.  To keep J and E on your mind.
My blog is a reflection of who I am, but more of a persona.  It’s not all of me or all of my kids.  It’s who I allow you to see, and it’s not always the bright and shiny parts.  I did tell you that my kid peed in public, remember?  And that I was snubbed by mean moms at the playground.  I do like to brag about my kids and often I just want to show you a beautiful picture that I love.  I like to tell funny stories and embarrass myself every now and then, too.  I like to make people laugh and feel less alone.  I like to laugh and feel less alone.
And the best part is, it works.  All of those things happen on a daily basis and they are all true.  I have connected with people I don’t even know, who don’t know me and they don’t know my kids (although they wish they do).  Why is that not creepy?  Because it’s a community, a group of people who love the same things and are sharing a common experience.  Who bring me happiness by sharing a slice of theirs.  Who inspire me with the photographs.  Who make me weep with their honesty.
Like Zakary.  I just started reading her blog “Raising Colorado,” and I suggest you do the same.  Not only for her photos and her stories and her honesty, although all amazing, but because she’s a genuinely cool person.  And I know that for a fact.  Want to know how?
She recently made a random post about finding really cool note cards at Michael’s for a dollar.  She posted it because it made her happy.  It made me happy just looking at them, and jealous because I have no idea where the nearest Michael’s is.  I love note cards.  I love pink.  Her post is something I would have done, so I commented and told her what I just said.  Just to let her know that someone out in the world knew what she meant.  And you know what she did?  She emailed me, got my address, and look what came in the mail today:
My own little slice of happiness, straight from Colorado.  From someone I have never met.  Whose blog I have only commented on once.  People just don’t act that way anymore.
I told you it was a community.  I’m so happy that I chose to be a part of it.  And now I have awesome note cards, a great blog to follow, something to write about, and was pleasantly reminded about how cool people can be.  That’s why I blog.  Maybe you should, too.
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