Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why I do this

Blogging is such a humbling, empowering, and frightening thing to do.  Each day when I hit that 'publish' button, my words, thoughts, photos, moments, and ideas go flying out there somewhere into the world of the internet.  Sitting in my own home, sometimes with a napping baby in my lap, or a cup of coffee nearby, it's easy to type something out and send it off.  I mean, who is going to read it anyway.  And then comments come back, and someone mentions it at a get together, or my mom calls to ask how somethings going, I mean there is actually someone reading those words. 

Still, many people who visit here are people I don't know, or people who I know only over the world of the internet (of course there are a few of you out there that I do actually know).  This means that the world I present on my blog can actually appear as my real life. I mean, except for those few people I know out there, all you really know about me is what you see here, or what I choose to put here. 

When I blog, I can put aside the fact that I am a relatively quiet person who enjoys a chat with a friend over a loud party.  Each time I push that publish button, I put myself out there, hoping that someone likes my photos, or my words, or my ideas.  We challenge our children's creativity and thinking constantly, I guess this blog is my challenge, my push outside the comfort zone. I suppose putting a little pressure on myself once in a while isn't a terrible thing.  And the best part, there are other people out there like me: reflecting on their lives and then sharing them out there or commenting and sharing their thoughts here.

When I read back over my blog, the one overwhelming feeling I get is - wow - the person living that life seems so cool, oh wait a second, that is actually me.  I always have happy kids who are engaged in meaningful activities, our yard is endlessly fruitful with beauty at every turn, and the only problems that occur are actually blessings in disguise that lead to deeper understanding and meaning in life.  I have a vision of how the day unfolds for the person who lives this life.  She gets up before the kids, writes a blog post, greets her family with hugs and cups of tea, sings songs while they dress, and then proceeds to lead them through a day of peaceful, natural exploration where the baby naps and dinner is served (direct from the garden) at six followed by a calm and quiet evening and a restful night.

And this is where the disconnect comes, because my life and my days are likely just as topsy-turvy and  full of mistakes as the next person.  In reality, I usually get up after the twins and Dave because the baby's kept me up, if I can help it, I don't talk to anyone for the first 30 minutes and a cup of coffee (which I actually gave up 6 months ago - hah), this is followed by a sibling argument that lasts for 15 minutes and leaves me feeling dejected, then I work hard to get the baby to nap only to have her wake up 10 minutes later, and the day keeps going from there.  In my home there are tears, rivalry, sleepless nights, dirty floors, piles of laundry, and all the rest.

But when I blog, I can ignore all those unpleasant, ugly, parts of life, (I mean - who wants to see pictures of my dirty house and grumpy kids?) and I can pull out those creative and lovely moments.  In reality, this blog is not a place to inspire other people, it is a place to inspire myself.  Here in this space I force myself to be better, to see things in the best light, and to marvel at every moment, even the ugly, tough ones.  Here I am at my best, even when I'm at my worst.  Because really this life we lead is pretty... darn... beautiful.

For all of you out there that read my words, thanks for visiting!  I appreciate you more than I can say.

This is me in British Columbia on a sailing/mountaineering trip with friends in 2005 - I look way cooler than I feel now!


  1. So perfectly put. Exactly how I feel about my space, it is a space to inspire me, a place where I can look deep inside to find the beauty in our everyday even is it doesn't appear beautiful on the outside :) Thanks for sharing Gretchen.

    And great picture.

  2. Oh Gretchen - you are SO cool. Look at all you do! Plus, you're the same good good person you have been since you were a little girl - that says a lot.

  3. Great post. I feel the same way when I publish a blog post. I wonder how people view my life through my blog and how different that is from my actual life! I am a naturally shy person, but like you I can put that aside when I'm writing a post.

  4. Your blog inspires me to get outside the "classical" box and find adventure and learning in the everyday and mostly outside (cause you have a great parcel of land).
    Thank you for sharing your unique style and those precious babes with us;)
    Your blogger friend and follower Sara.

  5. I am a new reader and subscriber and have only read one or two posts, and wanted to introduce myself! I'm Natalia and I grew up on farms but since I've had my own family I've always been in town. Not very good success at gardening either. :( I was wondering where in BC that picture was--I live in BC and have traveled around it some. Just curious. It is incredibly beautiful here. I haven't done what you were doing there though...although I did rapel once or twice down a small cliff years ago. :) I really appreciated this post and look forward to getting to know you more through your blog.

  6. Hi Gretchen,

    I stumbled onto your blog today and I'm am so glad I did. Your post on blogging is so beautifully written and is exactly the way I feel. I haven't even told anyone I blog yet! The only ones who know are my husband and kids. It is scary putting yourself out there. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. Blessings to you and yours.

  7. Hi Gretchen

    I just stumbled upon your blog today via Amanda at The Habit of Being. This post truly resonates with me. I am so glad I found it. I am a relatively new mom (my daughter is now 15 months old) and many of your reasons for blogging are very similar to my own. It's so comforting to know that there are other women out there who understand and know what I am going through. You will now be added to my Google Reader :)

    Thank you for sharing - keep writing and enjoying this beautiful life.

    1. Thanks for coming by - I just checked out your blog - so glad I can follow along with you.

  8. Hi Gretchen,

    I'm Heidi, from South Carolina. I've blogged for many years and my little hiatus is to find new blogs to read and find new online blogger friends. I'm glad I found you, although I'm not sure how I hopped from blog to blog, how I got here.. haha

    Your email subscription isn't working. Says it isn't available. Sadly, I hope not to lose you. My blogz start at Look forward to reading more of your blogs.



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