With the end of November comes the end of NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, in case you missed the button promoting it at the top of the page. I’ve mostly loved posting every day and it’s definitely contributed to how I feel and think about writing in general these days, which is one of the reasons why the blog exists for me in the first place. (No, there will be no fun pictures or tales of cooking successes or mishaps with children here today, so I understand if you don’t stick around.)
It’s been neat looking back and – thankfully – not seeing more than a couple of posts that were done out of desperation for something to blog about. It’s been even neater to see what I made the most time for and to see how much we got done in the kitchen!
My biggest takeaway from the month? Oh, it’s really silly. All those kitchen photos have reminded me of the fact that, in spite of posting about which tiles to use for our backsplash, we still haven’t installed them! We are guilty of laziness or lack of motivation on many fronts, but in this case it was budget and the time to get companion tiles (we only have enough of the lovely old ones for accents). This morning I declared “that’s what I want for Christmas”, which is when my revelation struck. Amazing how glancing at a frozen image of a place one spends time in every day is what is needed to really SEE it. Amazing how I can have a moment where I think the installation of tiles in my kitchen will complete me or make me feel happy (actually, they will, but the pleasure will be fleeting and insubstantial, I know)!
No, truly, my biggest takeaway is a re-engagement with writing and why I want to do more of it. I started my adult life as someone who wanted to write, and I did write a lot and with ‘purpose’ for a brief period of time, before falling into a career where writing was one of many other necessary elements, but not in a form that ‘fed’ me. That was also before I had children and a family of my own, and became largely defined by them (by choice). Over the last year I’ve been battling through the mists to figure out what I want to write now, at this time of my life, and why. I’m still doing it, but posting daily in November definitely helped and pushed me along, quite a lot.
I generally hate blogs about real life that don’t share the downs and the bumps, but I’m probably as guilty as the next person in sticking to the sunny side of the street on my blog (mostly, anyway). Is it just the habit of putting on a brave face? I don’t know. I’ve got my share of distractions and worries, including a lovely child who can be so beset by anxiety that he changes the entire tone under our roof at times, but this isn’t the place for that. Perhaps another blog will be, or perhaps not.
This blog, hardly static I know as I’ve watched it changing over the past months, is still firmly about our life as former city folks who have moved to the country, about our adventures in bringing back to life a former berry farm (and that bringing back to life does not necessarily include berries, by the way, just the idea of working land that can sustain us in some way), with a focus on raising children, growing and cooking food, homemade and recycled solutions in all parts of our lives, and keeping our footprint as small and local as possible (which is a struggle in ways that are often beyond us, incidentally, as often as it is easy and completely natural in other ways).
Looking ahead, there are posts that I’ve had simmering in the back of my mind since I started this blog, more than a year ago. One of them is about the best parts of living in a small town, and I really must get to that next month, because it is close to my heart.
To close, some of my very favourite posts since starting here include this one, which was one of my shortest ever, this one, which is making me seriously long for the summer, this one about the very best family books and this one.