All kidding aside


All kidding aside, there’s a reason I decided to start this blog, a reason I’m keeping it light, and a reason my focus is broad. I’m actively working to not sweat the small stuff where this endeavor is concerned (and it ain’t easy for me) because, in the end, I’m doing it for me, not the blogging experts and critics of the world. And if I can make some readers smile or think in the process, well, that’s a happy bonus.

Six months ago I became a mother for the first time. About six months before that I quit my job, took a break from my graduate studies, stepped back from several volunteer commitments, and took some time off to prepare myself and my home for the impending arrival of our little Julian Murphy. I’d spent the better part of the previous decade working full time during the day, and attending classes, study groups, board meetings and networking functions every evening. I was exhausted. And I knew once Murphy arrived on the scene I would have very little time for me for quite a while. It was an incredible blessing to have had that time off to rest, reflect, and refocus my life. It’s a greater blessing still that I’m now able to stay home with him and soak up our precious time together while he’s young.

I love my new role as a mother and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t miss waking up to a digital alarm clock (although some mornings I wish desperately that my human alarm clock had a snooze button). I don’t miss spending upwards of two hours in traffic each work day. I don’t miss all-staff standing meetings, time sheets, project management software, or progress reports. I don’t miss being underpaid and underutilized. And I don’t miss the feeling that my talent, passion, dedication, and commitment to personal and professional development was never quite enough to lift me to the next rung of a ladder leading somewhere I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go.

Clearly I wasn’t always happy and fulfilled by my lifestyle prior to baby. In fact, sometimes I was downright miserable, as jumping the proverbial corporate ship six times in ten years might indicate. But the one thing that kept me going was the opportunity at least once every day – in a discussion forum for an online class, around the coffee pot at work, at a committee meeting for one of the nonprofits I supported – to express myself and to be energized by the ideas and fresh perspectives of people of all ages and persuasions. I miss that.

Sometimes I feel mommy tunnel vision setting in, especially on days when my little man seems to be demanding every. single. minute. of my time and attention (he’s even trying to “help” me write this now). The distance between the here-and-now and my time spent as co-worker, artist, citizen, board member, food-lover, student, world traveler, drinking buddy, and activist feels like it’s growing. But I’m still all of those things. My blog won’t be too narrowly-focused because I don’t want my life to become too narrowly-focused. It’s my forum for self-expression, and I’m not only somebody’s mama – I’m MeMe.

Bloggers and trolls are people, too.


Well, I’ve been blogging for almost twenty-four hours and I still don’t know what I’m doing. The picture of my infant son above pretty well captures how I view myself as a blogger; I’m basically just pushing buttons and seeing what happens, alternately crying out of sheer frustration and squealing with delight when something works.

That said, I have learned a few things. I shall now bestow my wisdom upon you:

1. It’s probably best not to publish one’s post at 3am. I was feeling pretty smug about figuring out how to connect my blog to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts (look how fancy I am with ALL of those social media accounts), and went to bed excitedly debating the best time to unleash my first post on an unsuspecting world. Turns out, it was shared automatically and without fanfare when I published it in the middle of the night. That’ll teach me to temper my conceit.

2. You gotta give some love to get some love in this business. I stumbled upon a page with tips for expanding one’s readership and one tip was to read, comment on, and link to other blogs. This together with the fact that one has to log in to comment led me to wonder: Are any real people commenting on blogs or is it only other bloggers and Internet trolls? I know, bloggers and trolls are people, too. But is the world of blogging just one big, virtual circle jerk? I don’t have all the answers yet. Side note: Yes, I did a little bit of research into best practices. I can’t help myself. Also, I couldn’t sleep.

3. If you write it, they will read. In spite of doing it all wrong (see previous post), eleven people and counting visited my blog, ostensibly to read my post. A handful of friends even gave me a virtual nod of approval (Thanks, Uncle Tim, Marc, Lisa, Kim, and Mr. Gulde!), so at least a few of those page visits were intentional. I’m starting to feel the weight of the responsibility that comes with celebrity… and it feels good.

I think I’ll post another and see what happens. Pretty soon, I might even start blogging about something other than blogging.


I’m doing it wrong.

I decided about 10 minutes ago to start a blog.

I’ve been thinking lately about keeping a journal, and a blog is pretty much an online journal for those who believe other people care what they have to say, right? Flying in the face of the way I normally of do things, I did zero research into the proper way to start a blog, which platform to use, or what best practices to employ to ensure success. I just Googled “start a blog” and clicked on the link to WordPress because it sounded familiar. I have no idea what I’m doing. I thought about making a vlog instead, but that would require a little more personal grooming than I’m willing to commit to.

I didn’t undergo an intensive strategic planning process, write a mission statement, create a mood board to discover my personal brand, or even read any other blogs for inspiration. In fact, I don’t follow any blogs regularly. I don’t have any idea how long this post should be and I haven’t yet pinpointed exactly what my blog is even about. And since Twitter gives me an anxious tic, I’m not sure how I’ll grow my readership.

I’m drafting this right now in an email to myself on my iPad because my computer is completely dead. I spent a few minutes right after creating my account fiddling with fonts and color schemes, and uploading pictures for my profile and header, but ultimately lost patience when the photo-cropping function proved incompatible with my iPad. Instead, in the spirit of diving in head first, I took to writing my first post.

There’s a part of me that revels in being spontaneous and appreciates the power of a leap of faith. Then there’s a bigger part of me – professional, methodical, OCD – dying a little bit on the inside as I write this. With most things in life, I take my time, do my research, make a plan (or at least a list – I live by my lists) and only commence doing once I’m really ready. In other words, I like to do it right. So, I’m not sure how this blogging adventure will turn out because, well, I’m doing it wrong.

If this particular post lacks coherence it’s because my husband – let’s call him Chris, because that’s his name – is watching American Ninja Warriors and is interrupting me every thirty seconds, saying “Honey, look at this!” or “Check this out!” even though I’m obviously working on something super important (hey, honey). If I were an actual blogger, I’d be at some trendy local coffee shop right now typing away with laser-like focus on a fully charged laptop (Why can’t I just remember to plug that thing in from time to time?).

By the time you read this I may have a bit more of my website design figured out. But the siren call of American Ninja Warriors is hard to ignore, so I’m not making any promises. I might write another post tomorrow, or I might never write one again. Read my blog if you’d like, or don’t. This is my experiment in doing it wrong, so my expectations are pretty low. You probably stopped reading around the time I told you I don’t even know what my own blog is about. If you are still reading – hi, mom!

(Sent from my iPad)