Blogging. It's a lifestyle.
As a blogger, I'm always "on." My blog is always in the back of my mind... my next post, new topics, a dozen half finished posts and a notebook full of ideas. I can get inspired at any time, in any place. I'll be engaged in a conversation, smiling and nodding, but in my head I'm already using the topic to create a mental outline for a blog post. Sometimes I'll realize I've essentially missed out on enjoying an entire event or activity because I was too busy taking photographs to make it blog-worthy. And I'm always trying to figure out when and where I'll find the time to finish and publish all the brilliant posts I'm constantly writing in my head. It's borderline obsessive.
I like to look at it as a carefully developed, productive habit.
I love it ... and I hate it.
life·style (noun) 1. “the way in which a person or group lives.”
If it’s done in all places and at all time, then it truly is the way you live. I've integrated the activity of blogging into my daily existence. I write when I can, where I can. My friends ask, "Is this blogworthy?" whenever we're together, and I've definitely said, "If it's not on the blog, it didn't happen" (and was only partially joking).
My blog is both a reflection and an extension of my life, and I've worked incredibly hard for almost ten years now to create what it is today. Millions of blogs exist worldwide, and I'm not trying to say there's anything particularly special about mine. But I've poured my heart and soul into this little corner of the interwebs, and I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished. I treasure this space, and value it as a detailed record of the person who I was, am, and will become.
Before Ryder was born at the beginning of May, I really felt like I had hit my stride with blogging. I posted consistently about varied topics. I worked with fellow bloggers to create a moderately successful weekly link up. I sponsored some of my favorite bloggers and even thought about offering sponsorship spots of my own. Companies began to ask me to write about them in exchange for free products. My posts sometimes received dozens of comments, and my stats were through the roof compared to just a year before. I felt like I was on the verge of "making it" as a blogger -- at least according to my own terms.
Then I gave birth to a miraculous tiny human, and everything changed.
I went from posting five times a week to just five times a month. And even those blogs were a struggle -- they definitely aren't a reflection of my best writing, and are essentially photo dumps of family trips and daily life with an infant.
My blog has become glorified Facebook.
I've felt a little bit of guilt about this, but I haven't let it consume me. I took the summer off work to spend with my son, so we could get to know each other. And blogging isn't the only thing I neglected. I fell out of touch with friends and co-workers, let my email inbox fill with hundreds of messages, maxed out my DVR, didn't read a single book, ignored social media in general and purposefully pretty much detached myself from the world. Stewart and Ryder were my only priority.
Sorry... but I'm not sorry.
I've missed writing in any sort of creative capacity, but in general I was able to put everything aside for four months and focus all of my attention on my husband and son. It's time that I'll never be able to re-create, and I'm so glad that I was able to maximize every precious moment with my family.
I can't say for certain where this blog will go from here. But I'm definitely not giving up blogging, and hope that my readers will stick with me, although I can't promise that Life As Always will continue to have the same content you're used to. Such is life.
For those of you who've followed along on my journey, thank you for your incredibly heartfelt and thoughtful comments. I'm so glad you're here, and whether you read every post or just stop by once in a while to see if I'm still alive, thanks for sticking around.