So, sometimes blogging makes me want to tear my hair out...
But behind the scenes of my normal posts ('normal'?) I'm currently doing quite a lot of improvements, putting in extra bits of CSS, reorganising some of my topics and info. pages - some of this you may notice, some you probably won't but it should make the whole process of blogging easier. And during all this tweeking, it's made me re-examine why I do this and what I want to get out of it.
I've also been getting some absolutely gorgeous compliments about Fanbloomingtastic and it's sister www.absobloominglutely.tumblr.com. One in particular was impressed at the amount of content I have on here.
I had to remind my friend that I haven't had a 'proper' proper job in the 2 years I've been here. I've been on a deliberate 2 year sabbatical to get us all settled in, learn some new skills and work out what I want to do "when I grow up". (Gulp, the 2 years are up on 9th November..... just saying, gulp).
So I thought I'd work out why I do this and these are the '10' reasons I came up with:
- It helps me keep in touch with my family and friends, the ones thousands of miles away across an ocean and the newer ones I'm finding in the USA and all around the world. It's a way of letting people know how I'm getting on and what I'm up to. This is particularly reassuring for people who worry if I'm ok.
- It's a way to feel part of something. The blogging community is huge and growing. I can connect with bloggers back home in the UK. I can read blogs of other burlesquers and home renovators/decorators (and often these 2 groups overlap!) Hopefully reading some of the best blogs around will help me improve my blogging skills and I'm gradually trying improve my diy and craft 'tutorials' on here. I also like taking part in memes (Silent Sunday, Metal Mummy's Movie Meme, 10 Things You Don't Know About Me) every so often which again makes me feel part of something. I did take part in IComLeavWe, international comments leaving week one month and should do something like this more often, it was fun and really enlightening.
- Feeling part of something bigger and being able to connect with others who are into similar things is also particularly useful because I have severe social anxiety. On the days (and weeks) when I can't leave the house, at least I know I'm not alone, the blogosphere is there. And if you count 140 characters at a time as mini-blogging, then Twitter is often my safety net/blanket.
- I don't 'work' work. So blogging keeps me busy. When I'm on top of my blogging, it gives me a routine, something to think about and plan for. I also get a wonderful rush of achievement each time I hit the 'publish' button and I know I've actually finished something.
- Blogging also keeps me sane-ish (see no. 3 too). I can unload my thoughts so they don't keep running around my head, I can share my experiences and get feedback that most times I'm not alone in what I'm going through. The need to 'do stuff' so I can have things to blog about gets me out of bed it's true, but more importantly gets me thinking creatively and makes me look at the world with inquisitive eyes. Blogging feels therapeutic and was one of the things that my Mental Health Care Team persuaded me to get into when I first started treatment for my cyclothymia back in the UK. They know their onions (which is another British expression I discovered recently that Americans don't understand - it means they know what they're talking about).
- I have a terrible memory. Part of this I blame on my family, who also have terrible memories.....I think (I have no evidence that it is hereditary, but that doesn't stop me believing it. I think Middlesbrough are a decent football team and I've no evidence for that either). The other part (which science is discovering more and more about) is my depression. So my blog is an essential tool, an online journal to help me remember. Because my cyclothymia also causes me, when I do remember, to make negative experiences far stronger (or more prolific) than the positive, my blog is there to remind me that there are good days as well as bad.
- My blogs aren't just there to help me remember, I hope that they'll also be a record for my kids of what we got up to and how we coped in our first few years in the USA. I'm useless at scrapbooking and still haven't finished their baby books, so at least their tweenage and teenage years will be recorded for them to look back on.
- I like doing silly things and what's the fun of laughing at yourself alone? Isn't that a sure sign of madness? Darn, I could have been diagnosed years earlier if that's the case ;) So as it's good to share, I can now feel less guilty about doing silly things if I take photos and and tell you about them. I pretend I'm actually doing them to make you smile. Sssssh, this is my belief and I'm sticking to it.
- I blog partly to examine differences (and similarities) between the UK and US. Hopefully my blog might be stumbled over by someone else thinking about or due to move to the USA and our experiences might make the transition a little easier. I hope my explaining some of the wierd and wonderful things about the UK AND the USA might help others understand that we're no so different after all.
- One day, there is the tiniest of possibilities that I might want to write a book and this blog will then be a tremendous resource of ideas, memories and perhaps even actual content....it's my online virtual journal and writing notebook.
- Yep, you guessed it - this list of 10 things actually goes all the way up to 11. Did you expect anything less from a Spinal Tap fan? So no. 11 - having a blog makes me take photos, makes me keep a pictorial record of our lives when I might otherwise forget to get the camera out and snap my fast-growing children. I bet if you're a parent (or if you're a pet owner) you took hundreds and hundreds of photos of your new addition in the early days, weeks, year......but normally do we carry on taking pics? Nope. If I didn't blog I reckon I'd actually forget to take pictures. When I look back on the photos posted on the blog and all additional ones that didn't make it, they're a lovely record of what I've been up to and how my kids are changing (too darn quickly).
So there you go, this is why I blog. If you're a blogger and stopping by, why not tell me and everyone else why you blog? Just click on the 'comments' or 'Disqus' link below (yes, I know this is hard to see.....this is one of the many improvements I'm trying to make to the site, it needs to be done). Or if there's the slightest chance that reading this prompts you blog yourself, let me know so I can follow your adventures too! :)