Blogging for life

This article of mine originally appeared in Island Parent Magazine’s Family Resource Guide in October 2010.

Five years ago, I moved back to Victoria with my husband and vowed to take advantage of everything the city has to offer. It was the fall of 2005 and all I could think about were two things: I needed to create more opportunities for myself to enjoy life to its fullest, and I had to write about them. So, one day I created a blog. And the rest is written history.

In those days, having a blog was still a bit unusual. Even though millions of blogs were in existence at the time, nobody I knew had a blog and I’m sure most regular people hadn’t ever read one. Somehow I came up with the crazy notion that I should go about living my life, try to make it a bit more exciting, and start writing about it for all the world to see. I would blog as an exercise in creative writing and my “public” would keep me accountable to doing the things I said I wanted to do. I decided to name my blog “Shades of Bliss” in remembrance of Joseph Campbell’s famous suggestion to “follow your bliss.” The plan was to follow mine and write about it. I had no idea at that time how far that little idea would take me!

My first blog post in November that year was about experiencing the beauty of the salmon run at Victoria’s Goldstream Park. I wrote next about my delight in finding a purple pepper in my organic food box, and then about the horrific experience of almost eating a caterpillar in a salad. As a new blogger I started seeing possible blog posts in everyday situations. I tried to capture those “musings and other inspirations” (my blog’s tag line) in interesting ways.

I never imagined in those early blogging days that I would end up blogging for years. Sometimes I’ve had a ton of ideas to write about and other times I’ve had none. But I’ve always had a spot to put my thoughts when they’ve come to me and the knowledge that a few people might actually be reading them. More importantly, having a blog has always given me a reason to go out and do the things I want to do, even if it means doing them on my own. It’s even gotten me a few writing gigs that have helped me practice the craft—one of my original goals in starting the blog.

I never cared much about having a lot of blog followers as long as I could do what I wanted to do, enjoy the writing process, and keep some of my friends and family interested along the way. However, I must admit that I do get a little thrill when I get a message saying that someone—someone I don’t even know—has posted a comment.

My blog has become a home for stories about “the little things” that have made up my life so far. I now rely on it as part of my memory, as it captures so many of those precious little moments that may seem insignificant in parts but actually make up an incredible whole. But I’ve written about truly momentous occasions as well. Not surprisingly, when I became pregnant I turned to occasionally discussing a whole new topic area: motherhood.

Writing about pregnancy and then life with a baby who is fast growing into a little girl has been a joy. And it has also helped me to keep a balanced perspective about life as a parent. Blogging has been a tool for me to remember that I am not “just a mom” but a woman who still needs to make room for my other interests and needs. It always has reminded me to really think about how I’m spending the precious minutes of my days, and make sure that some of them are spent doing things just for me.

Now that my blog is five years old it’s hard to think about ever stopping blogging. My blog has helped me to live the kind of life I want to lead. And I still get excited when I come up with an idea to write about, draft my thoughts and then hit “publish” to send them out into the world. I hope that one day my daughter will be able to read my words and understand who I was at this point in my life. I hope she’ll realize that I am a woman who loves not only her but many other things in life. That would be my kind of bliss.

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