there’s no “i” in blog; thoughts on a year

February 20th, 2012

I’m so proud to be celebrating my blog’s first birthday today. Over the last few days I’ve re-read some of my earliest posts and am really pleased with how far I’ve come. I’ve added new features, improved my photography skills and shared parts of my life (and myself) that I never dreamed I would have put “out there”.

I also took a look at my “about” page. I hadn’t gone there in some time and I was curious: had I kept to the original goals that I had set for myself?

“I vowed to really give thought to what makes me happy,  how I like to spend my time, and what I’m most passionate about.”

I can honestly say that, overall, the answer is “yes”.

So what happens now?

Well,  for the most part I’ll continue to do what I’ve been doing , which is writing about the things I love – baking, cooking, gardening and “favorite finds“. I will continue sharing my adventures in parenting my three amazing children.  And I will be adding some new features too, that I’m very excited about (stay tuned….).

There will be other changes too. I will no longer be featuring a regular favor-“ette” Friday. Although it’s been fun doing this little weekly segment, it’s felt more like a chore of late, and definitely less spontaneous. Keeping to a weekly commitment started to sap some of the fun out of it, so I’m going to take a break. That said, I will always share a great find – whether it’s an “ette”, or something bigger. It just may be on a Tuesday.

I’m also coming to the end of the “Year in My Garden” series, and at a very poignant time in my career. About five years ago I was diagnosed with basal joint arthritis in my left hand. It has since spread to my right hand and gotten progressively worse.  I started intensive physical therapy this month, and  have been instructed to give up container plantings – the part of my business that I love the most. Fortunately, landscape design poses no stress on my hands so I can continue that facet of my work, but I have yet to fully accept the reality of this.

Ironically, the creation of this blog couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. I’m doing more baking than ever, which makes me so happy. And I can continue to write about gardening here, sharing knowledge and information with you. I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason, and I’m grateful that I’ve put this outlet in place at a time when there is definitely a void that needs to be filled.

But it’s become about so much more than just filling a void, in ways that I could have never anticipated when I started what I thought would be a very isolated, insular journey. In fact it’s been anything BUT that, and I am so very grateful to the people in my life – both old and new – who proved this to me.

The blogging community is – hands down – the nicest, most supportive, LEAST competitive group of professionals I’ve ever met. I have had many (many) careers in my life and this is the first time I have experienced such an overwhelming and complete sense of community, generosity and enthusiasm. We are truly all in this together, regardless of degree of success, experience, or size of readership. We rally for each other, answer questions willingly and thoughtfully, and “tweet”, “share”, “like” and “pin” the hell out of one another’s posts. This blows me away on a daily basis.

I also want to acknowledge and thank you, my readers. That you spend any of your precious time reading my posts – and writing such awesome, lovely comments – truly means the world to me. It validates that what I’m doing is possibly? Maybe? Kind of? Good. Ish. I’m grateful on a daily basis that you choose to join me here.

And finally, I would not be writing any of this – either today or over the past year – if it weren’t for my husband, Mike. A year ago I shared with Mike my need to make a major change in my life, but didn’t quite know what that meant, or how I should go about it. And he simply looked at me and said, “you work too hard and are too creative not to be happy. So figure out what makes you happy”.

And with that, a blog was born.

But he didn’t stop there.

He sat and spent HOURS figuring out things like domain names, WordPress templates and HootSuite. He bought me a camera so that I could improve the look of my pictures. He was, and still is, a great source of ideas and brainstorming as I navigate this still-new process. And he tells me how proud he is of me for building something from the ground up.

His support, wisdom and love allow me the freedom, confidence and peace of mind to pursue pretty much whatever it is that I want to do. It’s genuine, with no strings attached, and applies not only to the creation of this blog but to my day-to-day life with him.

Thank you Mike – for just about everything.

Year two?

Bring it!

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