I spend a lot of time with this guy. Here we are at a playdate at Y17. That's his girlfriend, Olena, in the background.
To the small number of people who subscribe to this blog via reader or email (Hi Mom!):
Come check out my new look! I used this tutorial to make my own header, and I'm very pleased with the results. Now my blog looks all snazzy and professional (at least to my own admittedly untrained, non-professional eye), and I'm so proud of the fact that I did it myself and didn't spend any money.
Why, oh why, haven't I just given up on blogging already, you ask? I thought about it. I don't have a lot of free time anymore with this wildly demanding 10-month-old underfoot (literally, under my darn feet crawling around everywhere I go). At the end of the day though, I still see value in developing some sort of creative discipline, ad I'd like to be more faithful in carving out some time for it. I also read this super awesome, enlightening book, and it's inspired me to make some changes and let myself off the hook in some areas. Some of the changes that the book has inspired me to make around here are:
1. To clarify my purpose for blogging. I've decided that I only have the time and energy to blog for my own enjoyment and to keep my family and friends in the States updated. So I'm just going to write about whatever I want, mostly just my day to day adventures over here. If other people get something out of it, then great. But I really don't have the time to worry about stats or a following anymore. The pressure is off.
2. I simplified my little space. I got rid of the cluttered sidebar, transferred a lot of stuff onto separate pages (listed at the top), and generally trashed everything that wasn't serving a purpose.
3. I made it clear on my contact page and on my comments disclaimer page (ETA: I actually ended up taking this off because I thought it looked stupid, and it probably wasn't really necessary anyway) that I don't have time to respond to every email and comment anymore. Maybe no one will read it or pay attention to it, but I feel good that it's there. I feel like I now have the freedom to just write what I want without worrying about keeping up with every comment and email that comes my way. I'll still read them, and I'll respond when I can, but I can't really be on the ball with it. Especially with emails. I've gotten quite a few lovely emails from people, but most of them would require me to do some research in order to answer the questions the person has (tip: check out my rather extensive links and resources page). I definitely don't have time for that! If this puts people off from commenting or emailing me, that's okay. While I appreciate feedback (it's nice to know people actually read what you write), I now know that my purpose for blogging is not to see how many subscribers and comments I can get.
Enacting these changes is the only way I can have the freedom to keep writing and still be the kind of mom and wife that I want to be. I have no idea how so many moms with multiple children are able to maintain the awesome blogs that they do. I don't doubt that they're marvelous, engaged mothers. They must have extremely good time management skills. I'm a stay-at-home mom with a housekeeper (we're not rich, it's just more affordable in Asia) with ONE baby and I have no freaking time! I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don't have the village of extended family to provide assistance and childcare that a lot of people back home might have. That would certainly be nice!
So, if you're still interested in sticking around and reading what I have to say after I've basically said "I'm just going to blather on about my life now and I don't care what you people have to say about it," bless you! I hope you won't be disappointed.