Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day meta-post

crayon sorting

At the start of this year, I read this approach to New Year's resolutions: Choose something simple and specific and do that one thing every day for a month. Then choose a different goal/habit for the next month.

I liked this idea. I generated a list of virtuous habits I'd like to cultivate. Then I had trouble settling on one for January. I made my bed four days in a row. Then I did sit-ups two days in a row. I managed 64 ounces of water maybe 12 days last month? I had trouble choosing, so I set my sights on February. And I kind of threw "simple" out the window.

Since Tobin's birth in 2006, this blog has been a place for us to share stories about our (not so) little (anymore) family. But as life became busier, we weren't sharing as often. Of course, busyness wasn't the only factor. Facebook and Twitter made it easier to share tidbits here and there. Still, I felt compelled to share a little more--and perhaps go about it in a more structured way.

Another inspirational thing I read in January was "Don't Carpe Diem" by Glennon Melton. What I took from it was this: Being a mama is hard work, so don't make it even more difficult by feeling guilty for not enjoying it all the time. But treasure those moments when you do realize why it's all so totally worth it.

I decided to post on this blog every day in February. So that I could focus a little more on what is truly precious in my life every single day. And share some of that with you.

Here are some reflections as I wind up this month-long project:
  • I truly enjoy writing. I always have. When I worked full-time during Tobin's first two years of life, I wrote stuff like this. Sure, that was a different kind of writing but some part of me actually enjoyed writing every work day. And writing about my kids combines two loves for me.
  • It's very easy for me to write lengthy posts. And I don't necessarily have time to do that. In the future, I'm going to try to make most my posts a little more succinct, a bit smaller in scale.
  • Our home abounds with blog content. Goodness knows chronicling Evan's adventures alone could keep me writing nonstop. Setting a goal to blog daily helped me organize that content better. I generated a list of topic ideas and would choose from those. I didn't always pick from that list but it was nonetheless very helpful.
  • As I went through the month, I became a little more systematic in my approach. I would jot down notes that would later jog my memory or sometimes serve as the inspiration for an entire post. Most of the time when I wrote I would upload pictures to Flickr first, then write. I think this more structured approach will make regular posting easier.
  • I've been pleased with how I've been able to use the blog this month to also regularly post pictures of the kids, vis-à-vis Flickr. There are so many pictures we've taken that have just languished on our hard drive. I used to think of posting pics and blogging as two separate tasks, neither of which I ever felt I had time to do. But now I think of them as complementary, or at least coordinated. This month, I'd have an idea for a post and take pictures with that post in mind. Other times, a picture I just happened to take would inspire a post.
  • I like taking pictures of the kids. I like our new camera. It's not a fancy camera, but I'm sure there's more I could learn about taking better pictures--beyond my preference for avoiding the flash.
  • I have no aspirations to make this blog more than what it is: a place to share our stories, especially with the too many of our loved ones who live too far away from us. We love you all!
  • Obviously, daily posting is unsustainable. Among other things, I need to get more sleep, make sure I know where Evan is at all times, vacuum more frequently and catch up on my DVR.
  • My kids are as awesome as I thought they were.

Overwhelmingly, this February project has been a positive experience. Going forward, I'm committed to posting on a regular schedule, although I'm not sure what that precise schedule will be. But keep reading! I--make that, we (hint, hint)--will be back with more stories and pictures about our impossibly sweet life.

But I will be taking at least tomorrow off to watch the last four hours of Downton Abbey.


Sewconsult said...

I don't comment much any more, but read as often as I see a new post. I enjoy hearing how the kids are progressing, gaining new abilities and being down-right-cute! Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't post as often as you like. Life gets in the way sometimes. Hope you read mine occasionally.
Aunt B.

allison said...

Thank you Beckie. You are one of the reasons I post. Thank you for loving my babies!

Purplelew said...

It has been so special to have the blogs everyday. You have a gift for writing. Thank you for sharing with us that are so far away. You and Matt are such awesome parents. And the children just get cuter and cuter.
Hope you get to finish Downton Abbey. I love that series!
Love, Louise

allison said...

Thank you Louise! I'm so glad you've enjoyed the blog. I know you and Bethany are two of our most loyal readers/fans/supporters. I did watch one of the last two episodes of Downton yesterday. It is so good! Love you!