That’s how long I’ve toyed with the idea of launching my own blog. I did start one, actually, for about five minutes in 2008, posting badly-lit photos of my homemade dinners (chili! pork chops!) and a stack of books I was more excited, it turns out, to actually dive into than discuss.
Surprisingly, that blog fizzled. My inner blogger hasn’t.
She was in my head when we bucked convention and painted the kitchen in our first house a deep plum, choosing personality over the naysayers’ claims of decreased resale value. (We actually sold that house — in less than a week — for more than our asking price, but that’s a post for a different day.)
The voice was there as I hunted out new cross-stitching techniques, loving the craft despite its reputation as outdated and old-fashioned, recognizing the simplicity in its design and the satisfaction of seeing something you created decorating the places you love. Finished pieces are a road map of life lived: I can tell you what movie I was watching when I made that stitch, or what season we were in when I figured out that French knot.
She was the voice that followed me as I maneuvered new motherhood, searching for a manual that doesn’t exist, feeling sleep-deprived, but fulfilled, as I returned to a full-time job whose structure and creativity continue to make me a better parent.
I could create a journal of our family’s story, she said. I could share projects that work (and those that don’t), she pointed out. And then, one day, my inner blogger stopped being a whisper and stood up and shouted.
During a breakout session of a recent conference, the woman next to me reached into her bag and pulled out an iPad — and, instead of taking notes or referencing a website the speaker mentioned, proceeded to log on to Pinterest and scroll through homemade flip-flop wreaths and five-minute CrossFit plans. IN THE MIDDLE OF A PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE.
I was appalled — and something inside me snapped.
My Grandma Styck, one of the wisest and kindest people I’ve known, often told us, “Only boring people get bored.” And in that moment, as I watched this woman next to me “like” a DIY monogrammed travel mug because she couldn’t handle sitting quietly and listening to an (albeit boring) speaker for 15 more minutes, it occurred to me that there are millions of people on the Internet talking, but we could use some of those conversations to be real. To make people think, to have points that matter, to generate discussion and encourage compassion. Maybe, the voice in the back of my head said, your words could help move the needle of empathy, sincerity, and knowledge back toward center.
Or, I could just share my mom’s lasagna recipe with the world. Because that, in itself, is a gift, my friends.
So, here goes: my contribution to the ever-growing blogosphere. Join me as I celebrate sensibility, one project, one meal, one day at a time.