All beginnings are hard. 'Be patient, David...All beginnings are hard. You cannot swallow all the world at one time.'
I say it to myself today when I stand before a new class at the beginning of a school year or am about to start a new book or research paper: 'All beginnings are hard...Especially a beginning that you make by yourself. That's the hardest beginning of all.'
Abbreviated excerpts from In The Beginning by Chaim Potok.
A New Blog
When I began blogging in 2006, blogging wasn't new but it still seemed fresh. There was something satisfying about creating a space, writing words, sharing pictures and having friends and family comment or reply. Grandparents loved it and I loved keeping up with my friends who were on this same homeschooling journey that I was on. It was encouraging to read their posts with my cup of tea first thing in the morning. It was so easy to share and the feedback was so positive that I began to share more and more of our lives on the blog. The boys were little and they were cute and the things they did were cute.
But as they got older and we became more 'connected' and people who we didn't know began to find their way to my blog there was this little part of me that cringed. That cringe grew over the years. I watched other bloggers make up cute names for their children to give them some anonymity but that felt awkward for me. My dear friend Beth of Ebenezer Stories and I began to have this conversation. As her children grew into adults and began leaving the nest she drew back from talking about them on her blog and even questioned having shared so much when they were children. Now she has grandchildren and she still shares on her blog but it is good to think seriously about these things.
When You Blog You Live Both In and Out of the Frame
At that same time bloggers began to have a conversation with their audience assuring them that they were sharing an edited version of their life. They "lived outside the frame" and things were messy and life was not as perfect as it seemed on the blog. I loved how some bloggers like Myquillyn Smith of The Nester and Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience began to focus on the imperfectness of life. My friend Kelly Keller of Kelly's Musings started a series I love called Proof of Life which reveals all those crazy things that we are tempted to leave 'outside the frame'. Another blogger that I followed Tonya Peckover of Study In Brown pulled back entirely for a time and that was also right and good.
How Does Technology Affect the Privacy of Our Children?
Along came Picasa and its' uncanny face recognition ability. It was able to tell the difference between baby pictures of my boys when I often had to use environmental cues to do so. Then my pediatrician began to ask to scan their palms when we went in for annual exams and I just put the brakes on. I pulled a lot of pictures and some blog posts down which I felt were too personal. By that point I had already changed the kind of posts that I wrote, but honestly - I just wanted a do over. So I stopped posting all together and made my blog private. I knew that if I began to blog again that I would do it differently but I just wasn't sure what that meant.
I still don't have this all figured out. I will be bringing over some posts from my original blog to here. Some of them I will edit. My blog will focus more on my thoughts, my reading, things I make, and my design and illustration work. I now use Facebook for the kinds of posts and pictures that I used to blog about so that grandparents and family and friends feel connected. I probably still tend to overshare there but I often ask the boys if they mind - especially the older ones.
I use Instagram and do post pictures of the boys there. Without realizing it when I began to use Instagram I did not use the boy's names. That is an intentional choice now. I keep Twitter just for me - I share my silly thoughts and my thoughtful thoughts, sometimes about school, sometimes about family but nothing truly personal - especially about the boys. I want to post as things really are - a similar idea to Kelly's Proof of Life to show that life is not perfect but it is good. It is grace and mercy which carry us through - not our own goodness.
Life is Not Perfect But It is Good
So here in this space and moment I begin again.