THIS post is mostly for me, so that instead of these thoughts bothering me I can just place them on my blog and hopefully not worry about it too much in the future. So, if you want to avoid reading the LOOONG subsequent stream of consciousness, I recommend stopping in the middle to read an excerpt from my mom’s 1981 journal and then looking at the halloween costume ideas at the end.
This disclaimer is probably also unnecessary, however I must say that even doing a blog is something that I have embarked upon somewhat tentatively. It was like dyeing my hair for the first time, getting a cell phone, or reading The DaVinci Code or a certain series of Vampire novels…I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, knew everyone else was, and partly due to that held out for as long as I could “aus moralischen Gründen” all the while knowing that it was really inevitable that I would eventually do it and probably enjoy it in the end.
I do enjoy having a blog. I took great care to maintain a nice teacher website for my students for the last 4 years, so doing a blog is similar in some aspects. It is fun to create something and then hit the publish button and see how it looks on the real site. It is very appealing that it is an easy way for family and friends to quickly see a little slice of our lives. I much prefer adding things to the blog than worrying about posting stuff (and squandering time) on Facebook.
Yet there are some things I am hesitant about starting a blog. What I don’t enjoy is (again) the feeling that I am succumbing to some sort of collective conscious I am not sure if I want to be a part of. Do I want this to be another “Mommy blog?” No, not really. Especially after seeing today on a blog Joanie forwarded me that the blog author “wrote [her] thesis on American mommy blogs.”
Can I stop myself though from wanting to post pictures and thoughts and things about Fiona? So, I guess I can’t avoid it, and I can’t avoid wanting to add this disclaimer that it is not like I expect even close friends and family to wait with bated breath for the next picture of Fiona or description of her recent developmental milestone. That being said, it is probably what this blog will be about in a large sense, because she’s our first child and we have waited for her for a long time.
I also don’t want to start viewing my life as a blog- Going throughout my day thinking, “Now, how could I post about this?” I looked at a beautiful blog entry yesterday. It was gorgeous pictures of a woman’s hike with her husband and children. The pictures were breathtaking and it ended with a picture of the workers at the restaurant they went to after the hike and her cup of espresso. I enjoyed the scene by scene nature shots and even the artistic quality of the pictures in the cafe. However, that last picture of the espresso bugged me. It broke the idyllic quality of the whole post. Instead of enjoying it for itself, and leaving it at that, I was stuck with the image in my head of her sitting at that cafe with her family holding the camera at the right angle to get that last shot. Was she able to enjoy that hike? Or was she thinking the whole time…ok, now I’m going to take a picture of this, so I can add it to this. What was her husband thinking? Did it matter to him, or was he hoping she would put her camera away and just enjoy the moment?
The last thing, and actually the reason why I wanted to write this in the first place ( the other reasons above just kind of came out as I was writing, so I guess they were bugging me too) is that I want to release the pressure I have been putting on myself for how I feel this blog should be. I feel that I should update it regularly and that the posts should be in consecutive order. So, I haven’t posted much about Germany (even though we have been here for a month) because I keep telling myself that I need to do a post on our time with Rijen’s family in SLC or Lauren’s wedding first! Well, writing this post is going to free me from the blog shackles I have put on myself.
From this point on, I am not going to worry about getting a post done. I am a procrastinator, but there is no boss of the internet or Professor WordPress who is going to take me to task. So, if I do 3 posts a week and then nothing is new for months, so be it. I will try to be more regular, but I am not going to make such a trivial thing as a blog give me any added stress. I also am not going to worry about the posts being in sequence. My next post may be about Oktoberfest, and then I will maybe post about something that happened in April. Who cares! The main thing is that I have started a blog, and this is why I am now glad that I have:
For me it is a way to start keeping a record of my life again. My mother started me out writing in journals when I could barely even write. She had these journals for me with the year printed on the spine and each page was divided into several days, so there was just a short space for me to write a picture or a sentence. I remember her helping me to think of how I would depict the event of the day. For example, I remember going to the Utah Museum of Natural History when I was probably 5 or 6 and getting my hands painted. In my journal entry I wrote about that and drew a picture of what my hands looked like.
That is just one example of several I can think of. When I got a little older, I remember resisting writing in those journals. My mom still got me one every year, up to 1987 or 1988 and in those later years it really felt like a chore. When I packed them up along with the rest of my things left in the San Jose house, I remember seeing all the blank days and being disappointed that I hadn’t followed my mom’s directive more diligently, as it was so entertaining to see what I had written and drawn as a small child.
My mother also remains an example in personal journaling as I have been reading through her 1981 journal. It is actually lying on the table next to this computer as I type- a simple brown book with the word “Journal” embossed in gold on the front. The embossing has faded a bit. Here is a random excerpt: Ok, changed my mind, not so random. I’m choosing one to match the date:
10/29 Raked in backyard- got up lots of leaves- put out fertilizer in back and front yard. Cut out Heather’s costume and Aledia’s housecoat. It started snowing about 3PM- went down to Heather’s school to get her after school- much snow falling- went into ballet- snow stopped- I went to two fabric stores and we got hamburgers and fries at Wendy’s for dinner. We ate them in car becasue we had to get to Alphabet Station before it closed. We bought paper there for Heather’s costume. Heather practiced when we got home- and I sewed on Aleida’s housecoat. Then we worked on Heather’s “Rubic’s Cube” costume. It looked really good. Daryl called later and we talked for about an hour. It was G—-T—-‘s viewing tonight but I did not go. He died day before yesterday of cancer.
On the facing page, is a picture of a face I had drawn, some scribbles and outline of my little hand. Right now, her journal is my biggest link to her, and my only way to connect to her as a mother. Although her entry is very straightforward, it says a lot about her life then. Completing necessary chores, picking daughter up from school, going to dance class. It may have been a mundane day for her and writing it down may have seemed trivial, however could she have ever known that her little daughter who ate fries and a Wendy’s hamburger with her in the car while the snow was falling would be sitting next to a window looking out at the autumn trees and reading about this very day, 28 years later?
SO with no more self-imposed pressure and with my mother’s journal to inspire me, I am going to continue on with this blog and hopefully it may bring some sort of worth to those who read it, but if not, I’m not going to worry about it because at the least it is meaningful to me. By the way Heather, what about that rubik’s cube costume? And Aleida, a housecoat? Stylish! Do you guys remember that Halloween at all?
So, I do feel that posts aren’t very interesting without a picture, so here are some last minute Halloween costume ideas. Since Fiona will be the only one dressing up this year, I have to live vicariously through these pictures:
Postscript: There is something to be said about handwriting- I am happy to blog as it is easier for me to do this (and more entertaining) than write in a book- however I just love seeing my mom’s handwriting again. So, maybe a combination of both?