why I blog

My husband once said to me, "Hey babe, I'm glad you have a blog, because it makes me feel like I'll be able to remember our life."  And it's true, you know.  Anytime I browse through the archives of months or years gone by, I find myself startled to rediscover an experience or occasion I'd all but forgotten.  It's nice to have a place to collect the memories.  It's also nice to have a place to just write - something I love to do.

When I first started blogging (2003!  What?!), you had to walk to Blogger's headquarters barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways, to get a url and get started.  Okay, maybe not, but it certainly wasn't like it is today.  There were two or three templates to choose from, all of them hideous, and any customizations and edits you wanted to do you did by editing the html yourself.  There weren't even comments -- you had to use an external site to host comments, and then write that into your html code, too.  So when I wanted to change from a 2-column blog to a 3-column blog, for example, I'd do some google searches, find some tutorials, and when all else failed, phone a {very helpful geek} friend to make it happen.

Well, that was a long time ago, and blogs aren't the Xangas or Livejournals of the past anymore, aren't our personal spaces to post results from silly online quizzes, aren't the places where fonts like Comic Sans go to die amidst a graphic designer's nightmare of disorganized text colors and uneven margins.  No, blogs are truly aesthetic places, personal spots of beauty and thoughtfulness, word- and photo-filled nods to the lives of their individual writers and owners.

The blogosphere has become a place of daily inspiration.  When I started my blog in 2003 as a lonely college student in the midst of big transitions and changes, I had no idea how much the very experience of writing my own blog and reading the blogs of others would end up changing me.  Would deepen my aesthetic sense.  Would kindle a {very amateur} interest in photography, and prompt my husband to buy me a nice camera.  Would inspire me to make my home more beautiful, to try on a daring outfit from time to time, to read a good book, to be a better wife and mother, to make a new meal I'd never tried before.

Blogs are perhaps above all a way to connect.  That's why we all blog, isn't it?  We long to savor the moments, of course, to journal the thoughts and experiences we want to remember, sure.  But we also want to reach out to one another.  I think we all truly feel that -- whether we have one hundred readers or one thousand -- if one person is touched by what we have to say, if one reader writes to say, "I've felt that way too!", or, "You expressed just what I was thinking!", well, then we have succeeded.

And even as we're connecting with one another, then there are the ways we connect with ourselves, too, as we grow to understand ourselves more deeply and become more fully the people we want to be.

Here in my household, my husband and my brother-in-law and I have been known to look at one another from time to time and exclaim, "People, what is the meaning of life?"

And I'm not going to say that I think it's blogging.

But I do think that blogging helps me find it.

Because blogging helps me see the beauty, relish the moments, and remember that my life is rich and good.  Blogging helps me pause and remember to give thanks.  And that gratitude -- well, that, perhaps, begins to come close to the meaning of life.

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