My blog is now just over a year old and this is my hundredth post. A lot has happened in the past year, and I can’t tell you what a joy it has been to have this outlet for my creative energy. I’ve been eyeing this milestone for a while now, and I’ve actually been doing a fair amount of procrastinating now that the time has come to write Post #100. What should I say? Should I try to be funny or wise or nonchalant? Does one hundred posts and a year of blogging matter? Is it worth celebrating or should I wait for a bigger milestone before I really try to make a big deal out of this?
Well, the answer to the last few questions is “of course I should make a big deal out of it” because it is a big deal to me. Like I said, this blog has been a fantastic outlet for my creativity and has inspired a lot of positive changes in my life. It has allowed me to start dreaming again after a time where I felt that dreaming was something for people other than myself. The internet is a big place and there is a spot for everyone who wants some real estate. And this humble little place is mine, all mine.
So, to celebrate this Happy Hundred I will compose a small list of things I have learned since I began this blog.
1. I love to write. When I was little I loved to read and write poetry. I continued to ply my angsty pen throughout my teenage years – some of that output makes me cringe and some of it is actually not half bad. In university I chose to do an Honours thesis for my undergraduate degree and I wrote a 190 page thesis for my Masters degree. It was an incredible amount of hard work, but seeing the final result was extremely gratifying. This blog has rekindled my authorial ambitions and encouraged me to use lovely polysyllabic words like “authorial.”
2. I have learned that blogging has its seasons. There will be slow times, there will be times when the words rush from my fingers like grasshoppers scattering before me on a hot summer afternoon in the prairies, and there will be times when I am so busy that I can scarcely string together a coherent sentence, let along prep it for publication.
In a perfect world I would be posting two to three times a week, but the tyranny of the immediate does have a tendency to … tyrannize… over my artistic endeavours. For example, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in about a month or so. This is because I have been up to my eyeballs in planning a fundraiser for my son’s school. This year I was in charge of public relations for the event and overseeing the silent auction portion of the evening. Lots of time and effort, but worth it. The event is over, so hopefully I’ll be able to post a little more frequently.
3. Learning how to manage my online presence is both fun and challenging. I must admit, watching my stats go up whenever I post does quite a lot for the ego, and I thank each and every person who has taken the time to read this blog. It is great to write and it is lovely to know that someone is actually reading what I have written!
Having this digital space also means that my life is fodder for the blog. It is very easy to go to an event, spend a lot of time taking what I hope will be cool photos, and plan out how I will write about what is going on. And in the middle of all that, I find that I haven’t really been present and I have missed actually being with my family. I become a journalist rather than a wife and mother. Furthermore, getting caught up in the digital world can sometimes do more harm than good.
All in all it has been an interesting exercise in personal branding – how “plugged in” should I be? I dabble in Twitter and Instagram and there is always Facebook, but promoting yourself and your ideas can be a little overwhelming. I guess, like all things, I am still learning to find the balance between living my life and writing about it.
4. Over these hundred posts I have learned that, with grace, I have the ability to be myself, regardless of whatever I encounter. If you have ever read Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (the book, mind you, not the appalling adaptation that they tried to pass off as a movie), you will know that Bridget encounters the Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If, at a critical time in her life. I re-read that book before Christmas and I found that Kipling’s poem really resonated with me. I was going to give you an excerpt, but here’s the whole thing:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a man, my son!
Keep your head, hold on to your virtue, don’t lose the common touch. Be a good leader, don’t stoop to lies and hate, seek the good, the true, and the beautiful. It’s that difficult, and that easy.
And that concludes my not-so-short list of things learned. Thank you, again, for reading what I write! I always love to hear your thoughts and comments, so keep them coming. Here’s to another hundred posts!