About once a year, I go through the blogging blues. Usually, it happens when my real life picks up pace for one reason or another, and blogging becomes a burden rather than a release.
I’m in that phase right now.
I think anyone who chronicles their daily lives for any length of time probably experiences these blues every now and then. I’ve been blogging now for almost EIGHT YEARS. That’s a lot of experiences. A lot of change. A lot of laughing. A lot of crying. And a whole heck of a lot of words.
But here’s the part that always brings me back to my computer: It’s also a whole lot of memories.
In the past four years, I have sat down at my computer and written 1,868 blog posts. So many, many nights, I have retreated to my little office to sort through whatever the day has brought me. Sitting at this keyboard is like sitting in a therapists office for me. I think with my hands when I write. And the act of writing through my life’s experiences keeps me focused and centered on what matters most in my life.
I come back to my computer every time for the readers, too. Over 676,000 unique people have visited my website over 7.8 million times. And 47,000 of these readers have left comments! And each of those comments come from readers who encourage me to keep my head up and push ahead. I have learned how to be a wife, a cook, a sister, a friend, a mother, a teacher, and a woman of faith from each of you. I’ve grown up here at this computer, and with each step I took, my readers have cheered for me, cried with me, prayed over me, and sometimes even gave me a good, swift kick in the pants when I needed it. We all need those real-life friends who walk with us through life, and I have a handful of those special women in my life. But having this network of imaginary friends is a gift that continues to shape and mold my life in the most unexpected ways.
Blogging for this long has brought a lot of shared experiences from people from all over the world, too. This little blog has been read in over 210 countries to date, and through each international imaginary friend I have connected with, I have come to the realization that the need to feel normal and real and connected to others is a universal and lifelong journey. I think my favorite comments I receive are the ones from people walking extremely different paths than me, and yet we find common ground. I’ve received comments from mothers in Africa, wives in Thailand, sisters in India, teenage girls in Germany, and the list goes on. I get emails and Facebook messages from gay couples, atheists, single moms, widower dads, military families, and the list goes on. And through each wide-reaching message from the corners of the globe, there is a common thread: We all want to be heard. To be seen. To be touched. To be inspired. To know that we are enough.
Sometimes, my real life takes over my computer – as it should – and blogging becomes a weight to carry. A job to do. And for a month or so a year, I drag my feet coming into my office. Or, I don’t do it at all. And I enjoy that time away. I sit on my couch and watch TV with Chris until midnight on weekdays! I take long walks after dinner! I read more! I let my kids stay up past their bedtimes! And all of those things are good and bring happiness to my life. Those are the experiences that life is made of. But eventually, my keyboard beckons.
And when that happens, I finally open the door to my office again. I dust off my desk, and I get back to telling my story. Because I live my life with my family, but I remember my life with my keyboard.
Those first two throw-back-to-2010 pictures were taken by the ever-amazing Jenn Hopkins Photography.