‘If I sink without trace, at least I’ll know I’ve given it a shot!’
Elizabeth over at Margot & Barbara wrote this in her post advertising the start of her blog link-up called The Good Things. I enjoy Elizabeth’s blog and applaud the sentiment of focussing on positivity. I also admire her for initiating something new. It’s brave to invite others to join in with you and, when I read what she had written, it made me smile and I wanted to jump into the water with her for the adventure!
What could I write about though? I’m all about becoming plastic-free just now on my blog, but to try to work that into a topic about ‘the good things’ seemed a bit contrived – not to mention self-promoting!
But I care about my plastic-free topic, and I care about my blog and actually, it makes me happy. Really happy. In my life, this blog truly is A Good Thing!
Then suddenly I remembered that my next post (this very one that you are reading!) is my 100th blog post! So here it is, a post celebrating my blog and everything that goes with it. My good thing!
When I properly discovered blogs – loads of them, on all different topics – I realised how significant blogging was. People out there were doing exciting things, and had big opinions, and they were sharing. What an amazing way to learn. Suddenly I had access to opinions that weren’t delivered via media companies with hidden agendas.
Hilariously…as a direct result of all of this blog-reading…I was quickly contributing meaningfully to conversation about current affairs that I was having with friends and family in real life, with – I like to think! – fresh, clever and valid points. Some I’d formulated myself from these new sources of information, and others were
stolen sourced from what others had written. Previously, at best, I knew what the news headlines were. I enjoyed noting the surprise of those around me at my newfound knowledge. *Shhhh, don’t tell!*
After being a busy career girl, embroiled in a hands-on job that I felt made a difference in my community, being a stay-at-home-parent was a big shift for me. While I actively embraced the choice I made, I didn’t feel I was contributing to the world in any meaningful way, outside of my own four walls. This was the only part of my new full time parenting role that I wasn’t that keen on (baby sick aside). Starting a blog was a way to participate meaningfully in the world and keep my brain exercised.
As Elizabeth feels about her link-up though, for me blogging felt like a risk. What if I failed? My biggest worry was that I’d peter out….maybe write a couple of posts and then stop. Was ‘putting myself out there’ too big a challenge?
Happily though, the more I wrote, the quicker the ideas came and I loved that other bloggers welcomed me into this new world I’d stumbled into. I hadn’t expected to be part of a community. Writing for me has always been a solitary activity but, being partial to a bit of socialising in real life, it was a welcome perk.
My blog has evolved since its creation in early 2013. There have been good posts and bad. Weeks where I’ve worked hard on it and weeks I’ve absented myself. I’ve improved in some areas (I use photos now! And links!) while I’ve pitifully stood still in others (you still can’t subscribe by email…) but my blog makes me happy.
It has led me to experience things there is no way I’d have done if I didn’t blog. Has anyone else found themselves in someone’s hallway buying local produce when they actually thought their destination was to be a huge market?. It was totally bizarre, but our hosts were lovely and we discovered the chocolate coated rice cake for the first time – it’s a keeper!
That experience was part of my experiment to give up supermarkets for 28 days. I thought it’d be something interesting to write about, and hoped that it would keep my blogging momentum going. I’m not sure I really had any understanding at the time that, ethically, ditching the supermarket is an excellent thing to do. It ended up being a huge and really important step towards me becoming much more environmentally aware.
On the back of the supermarket posts, I was invited to blog to promote Zero Waste Week 2013, which opened my eyes to the issue of food waste. This got me cooking much more and made me realise that cooking isn’t just something people do because they have…well, sorry!….too much time on their hands! I now realise that the ability to prepare food is actually a life skill and that – even without a glass of wine – it can be a teensy bit enjoyable.
And it reduces your packaging waste. Who cares about that though?! Not me, until I read a blog post about Plastic Free July. Total madness, I thought on first read. Total crazy madness. But then I read more and it made sense dammit, and, you know, I was looking for something to write about and (oh bloody hell!)… why didn’t I just sign up for July 2014?
So here I am, a few weeks before July and I’m going try and go (disposable, single-use) plastic-free next month. But, do you know what? I’m glad I’m doing it. We live in a fragile planet, facing scary environmental issues and I’m actually making a small effort to help. Me. That makes me happy.
Without my blog I’d never have attempted any of the above and I wouldn’t have connected with any of the lovely, caring, funny, sensitive people who read my posts and let me know their thoughts and ideas. Sometimes they even share them on social media and I feel a little humbled. All of that makes me happy.
So there you go, 100 posts in, and I’m glad I’ve got my small space on the internet. I’ve got ideas. I don’t always articulate them perfectly, and I don’t always get things right, but I’m putting those ideas out there and even more importantly I’m learning from others. It makes me happy and that’s got to be a good thing, right?