Monday, February 8, 2010

Ode to Joy(ce)

I have been blogging for a bit over a year now. I didn't celebrate my blogiversary with a memorial post. But the passing of the one year mark has gotten me thinking recently about why I blog and what I have gained from it.

First, I've learned lots of new words: blogiversary, blogosphere, blogstipation, blogerati, blurker, to name just a few. Increasing one's lexicon is always good, right?  Even with words that aren't really words, right?

And blogging got me writing again. Writing was something I used to do a long time ago, mainly for myself. But I always loved it, thought I was decent at it, was always critical of others' (their writings, that is) and secretly wanted to write stuff that someone other than me would read. With blogging, I really don't know how much of this blather is really being read (except for the few commentors, thank you!) but it gets it out of me and makes me want to do more.

Blogging and my photography work well together. The images incite stories and the stories beg for pictures. Perfect match. Here's one that has absolutely nothing to do with anything I am saying, but I brought up photography so I felt like I had to include at least one image here.  And you may see these chairs in another setting, another post, another day.

Through blogging, I've connected with some really great photographers, writers, mothers, artists, and ordinary people doing amazing and simple things. As a stay-at-home mom, sometimes my world could get pretty small and routine. My world expanded once I entered the blogosphere.

One of the biggest benefits I have reaped from this blogging endeavor is one that was a bit unexpected. I have connected with my family through blogging. My family is spread out across the country and, in the not so distant past, across the world. None of us are good "phone people".  And we only see each other maybe a few times a year and those visits are usually hurried and chaotic and typically not conducive to good quality sharing time. You don't always get to say what you want or need to say. So I blog. I tell stories of silly things that happen, I share my warped slant on the mundane, I show my images so they can see what I see. I feel like we are having a conversation each time I click the "publish post" button.  Maybe I have a knack for one-sided conversations.  But that's not good, is it?

Anyway, I realized another benefit of these one-sided blogversations (another new word!) when it occurred to me that I really got to know someone through her blog that I had already known for more than 25 years. My sister-in-law, Joyce started her blog a bit over a year ago and she inspired me to start my own. Over the year-plus of blog entries, I came to know more about her than I had gleaned in the preceding 25 years. I learned that she is a really good writer. I knew she had a good sense of humor (a requirement to thrive in our family), but I didn't realize how funny she was in her own right. I knew she was a patient, thoughtful person (a requirement for marrying into our family) but her blog holds many examples of her patience and thoughtfulness in action.

How is it possible to know someone for so many years and not really know that much about them? Easy. You never live in the same city. You are always in a different stage of life. Even though our age difference now seems minor, when she came into our family I was just cracking open my first container of Tickle and was more than a decade away from marriage. (So as to not get Joyce mad at me To be fair, I was much older when I got married than Joyce was when she did.) And more recently, her youngest started college as mine started kindergarten. (To keep the peace again, To be fair again, I was the late bloomer on having children as well as getting married.) My nest is only empty for a few hours a day while her babies are making their own nests now.  Our lives never really had common ground until we met in the blogosphere.

My blog has been read by people clear on the other side of the planet, people I don't even know. But my point is that while blogs are generally intended to be sent out to any and all who happen upon them, I've benefited from blogging in a way that really is close to home. So thank you Joyce for inspiring me to start my blog.  It's been a great year!


  1. This is so true. I've loved reading more about your life and keeping up with my cousins! Plus I never knew you were such a good photographer until you started blogging! sweet post! Love you!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I'm not a big reader but do enjoy reading your blog. Forgot about Tickle :)

  3. I'll claim my age...that's okay : ) Thanks for the kind words. And you're has been fun knowing you in another way through your writing. Congrats on your blog! Oh and I love the photo...we want those chairs.


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