The Final Installment --- Year 2007
Dear 41 yr old self: Yeah. Um, you didn’t do it, did you? You made all those grand, sweeping statements last year about priority and goals and not wasting time, and then what did you do? Wasted a whole damn lot of it. Right here on this computer. You had plans, my friend, plans. What happened??? You bought a scrapbook kit to make an album marking your 40th year --- it’s still sitting over there in the box, unopened, along with all your Europe vacation photos you never got around to scrapbooking. You bought a DVD burner to make copies of all your old home movies --- you’re not even half finished yet. Your treadmill is still covered with clothes you intend to ebay, but haven’t gotten around to yet. Did you walk on it a single time this year? No, I didn’t think so.
Most pathetically, how many times did your kids ask you to do something or look at something or watch something … only for you to turn around in your computer chair and say, “Give me one second” …. Only to look up and ten or twenty minutes had gone by? Yeah, that’s what I thought. You switched from Caringbridge to Blogger, only instead of saving time, I think you’re spending MORE time online. In between typing the updates, and proof-reading them, and good heavens, trying to simply THINK of something to type about sometimes, and downloading and resizing and uploading photos, and updating Flickr …. I’m not sure this Blogger thing is working out. I think for this, our 41st year, we need to re-establish some guidelines. The end.
And that is where my birthday letters to myself ended earlier this month. And I have to tell you, in all honesty, that the gift I gave myself last week was permission to shut down this site. Because as much as I enjoy it, DANG, can it ever be time consuming! The composing, the updating, the work with the photos. It’s fun, but I felt like there were so many other things I *could* be, *should* be, doing with my time.
The flip side is, I still have things I’d like to share with you all. You know, if you’ll have me. Some travel this fall, our upcoming move, personal stuff --- it’s really a lot of fun to write, and definitely worthwhile and rewarding when people actually respond. And it’s a great, convenient way for people all over the country, especially those who have been kind and gracious enough to follow us since Kendrie’s CB days, to keep up with us if they still want to. But I was starting to think, “Is it worth it? Am I enjoying it enough to justify continuing?”
Blaine, actually, is the one who swung the pendulum in favor of me pressing on. I was bemoaning the fact that since I started online a few years ago, my all-time favorite hobby, scrapbooking, has really taken a back seat; how I felt like I was failing to document my kids’ lives like I wanted. Blaine looked at me and said, “Isn’t that what you’re doing with your blog? Just in a different way?” and I realized he was right. So what if my little blog isn’t setting the world on fire? So what if I can’t think of something to write every single day? So what if I don’t get a hundred comments on every entry? (Although seriously, people, I see my site counter going up, so quit lurking and say hello every now and then.)
I blog because it’s (mostly) fun. Because I get (mostly) positive feedback. Because it provides me with an actual, physical copy of the activities and happenings of our lives, both good and bad. Because *I* enjoy it. And people enjoying it with me are an added bonus.
So my birthday gift to myself is now revised. Instead of gifting myself with permission to shut down this blog, I now gift myself with no more stressing if I can’t think of anything witty or wise to say. Gifting myself permission to skip a day or two here and there -- especially weekends -- if I want. Gifting myself permission to save time and type a one-liner every now and then --- not every post has to be ten thousand words or anything, even though they usually are, just because I'm so chatty and once I get started I can't seem to stop and then, ooh, I always think of something else I want to tell you and something else and I'm so guilty of abusing the run-on sentence and then ... wait, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, gifting myself to feel OK about moving “Update blog” farther down on the priority list each day. Allowing myself to do other things I also enjoy, and do them first if I want. In fact, do them first because I *should*.
I’ll admit -- I’m leaving my original gift (of shutting down the site) to myself in the cabinet. I’m not going to pull on the shiny bow and un-wrap it just yet. I’ll go a couple more months and see how this new, relaxed attitude works out. Maybe some of you will still be interested in what I have to say and be willing to stick around. Maybe I’ll come to a perfect happy medium with my other hobbies and not feel sucked into this computer all the time. Maybe I’ll decide I’m too OCD and make it a New Years Resolution to quit, instead of a birthday gift. But I’ll stick it out at least until the first of the year. So if you’re willing to join me for a while longer, well, thanks.
And at long last, almost two weeks after the actual birthday, the letters are finished.