A Work in Progress

And aren’t we all a work in progress?

Today, I mean this both figuratively and literally.

When I started blogging last year, it was a journey of discovery.

It still is a journey of discovery.

A mom trying to find her place in a new found world.  A world of raising teenagers.  This pulling in and letting go.  This heart soaring and heart breaking time.  Loosening my grip on their world and discovering mine. Don’t get me wrong, they are still my world.  My dream as a child was to be a mother.  Raised to be prepared for Jesus’s return, I used to pray as a little girl that I was ready if he wanted to come back, but I’d really like it if he just waited until I got a chance to be a mother.

And he waited.

Some days I want to rush through these years (raising teenagers is not for the faint of heart) and some days I want to hold on and never let them go. But we all know the cycle of life and they must learn to fly.  The oldest will be 17 in a few short weeks.  Marching ever forward toward his total independence.

Part of my blogging journey was to see if I could discover a passion that would eventually help supplement the cost of sending three children to college.  I know that I’ve shared that I’ve been married almost 18 years, but I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that there is a 16 year age gap between me and my husband. Mostly, it’s irrelevant.  We’ve been in this thing together for a while and we still like each other’s company, so something must be going right!  Where it becomes relevant is when we plan our future. I’ve been in the home raising our kids and running our household since the oldest was born. I will turn 40 in September. That means that he is working toward 56. I think that someday he’d like to retire.  Not someday soon necessarily and maybe not ever, but it’d be nice if he had that option. I know there’s pressure to put the kids through college and save enough for retirement for you and a wife who has no employable skills. He doesn’t say that it is a lot to have on your shoulders, but I know it is.

I originally thought I’d  use this blog to chronicle the journey to discovering my next career after motherhood. Most things I tried never made it onto the blog.  I discovered that it’s unlikely that I’m going to upcycle thrift store furniture with beautiful chalk paint finishes (1 piece was a disaster and the other pieces sat in the garage before returning back to the thrift store).  And while I make a mean smoothie and some great desserts, it’s unlikely that I’ll be a master chef (spaghetti, tacos, pizza?…these are staple meals in my home).  I can probably forget about being a jewelry maker because that stuff just sat in a box.

Mostly, I didn’t talk about my trials because I’m hard on myself. I want to build something.  I want my kids to realize that following your dreams is possible. I wanted it to come to me like an epiphany… a lightning bolt. But instead, discovering who I am has trickled like a slow -moving stream. I like words.  I like photography.  I like small businesses and businesses that give back in some way to society.  I like peace.  I like moments of solitude in nature to appreciate what a beautiful world that we live in.

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What does all that mean?  I’m not fully sure in this moment. Like I said in my very first post, this blog will evolve as I evolve. One of my first steps will be tweaking the blog layout. Which is the main point of this post. There have been parts that I have been unhappy with, but have yet to change. I am still searching for a theme that offers what I am looking for. I just wanted to let you all know in case there are any glitches during the process.  I spent a lot of 2016 seeking clarity and am hoping to spend most of 2017 becoming more focused and disciplined.  That means that I am hoping to create a more specific posting timeline. Details of that will be shared in a future post.

Everything I read says “have a niche for your blog”.  I’ve asked my husband what he thinks my blog is about.  “Everything”, he says.  Great.  That’s narrow.  He likens it to a magazine with  varied articles.  Travel, tales, tidbits and more… so I guess that this is a lifestyle blog.

This is me.  I am not one-dimensional.

I typically prefer to be behind the camera, but today I thought I’d share that first photo of me.  If you run into me at the gym or grocery store, it’s likely this is what you might see.  My hair is usually in a topknot bun thingy.  I take yoga or pilates most weekday mornings which at some point involves laying on the floor and I don’t want a knot at the back of my head. I usually wear it that way for the remainder of the day. I do have on a little eyeshadow, mascara, and a neutral lipstick, but often I don’t. Sometimes I dress up, but often I don’t (I don’t need to look fancy to buy bananas or wash my dishes).

I try to be as honest about who I am on here as well as while walking around in the world.

This was my Instagram post yesterday.  Since I have started to get more serious about discovering my path, this was a post asking some of my followers why they preferred the type of camera they use because I may upgrade (feel free to chime in with your preferences and why in the comments!!).  I used #lifestyleblogger in the post since it was a flatlay and lifestyle is the type of blogger that I am.  Do you know that I got over 70 followers from that post?  That’s close to what I get in a week.  Do you know what else?  That photo did not get likes statistically in proportion to the number of follows.  That is because I expect them to unfollow me shortly after gaining my follow (I’m crossing my fingers that they won’t).

Why am I sharing that information?  Because there is a tendency for follow/unfollow patterns to instigate growth on social media. Perhaps on blogs as well.  I didn’t even know there were companies out there that people pay to do this following for them or comment for them based on certain hashtags (and I am not indicating this is the process those who followed me used).

So while I hope that I will discover an endeavor that will catapult into my next career, I will choose to keep my growth organic, even if that means that it is slow growth.  I want people  to follow me because they are interested in who I am and what I have to share.

We are all works in progress.

I’m so thankful to all of you who have chosen to come with me on this journey.  I look forward to continuing to see where this journey takes me and sharing what I learn and about who I become along the way.  Like they say – “The best is yet to come!” 🙂

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Let your light shine!

Amy

24 thoughts on “A Work in Progress

  1. Hi Amy, what a wonderful post. Yes, we sure are a work in progress. Thanks for letting us into your life and sharing more about yourself. We have so much in common and I could relate very much to everything you wrote here. I’m also a mum of two teenagers, finding my way and my purpose while they’re on the brink of their own independence. You’re right though, so long as we stay true to ourselves we’ll eventually find our way. Warmest wishes to you. xo

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  2. First, let me say I love the picture of you at the beginning. There is just something about the expression on your face that makes me want to smile … something like, “This is me. Deal with it”.

    I suffered similar angst when I lost my job at 55 and chose to retire. I didn’t know how to define myself or my future. I dabbled in a LOT of things trying to find my ‘next chapter’. Here I am, six years later, and I still haven’t landed on a definitive path. I’m coming to the conclusion that that is what life is … a work in progress.

    I feel the same way about my blog. There are days I look at it and wonder where I’m going with it and why I even bother … but I continue to show up because of the wonderful people I’ve *met* through blogging and the things I’ve learned through them. After 4 years, I think my blog is like everything else – continues to evolve.

    I’m trying not to get hung-up on where I’m going, but instead focus more on enjoying the journey of discovery.

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  3. Thanks for saying that about the photo. I had a little anxiety after I posted it, texting my husband to check it and make sure I looked ok! lol.

    I have really enjoyed *meeting* and learning so much from the other bloggers that I have interacted with over this past year.

    I do think that this whole process of life is one of evolving and discovering and that it is much more enjoyable when we remember to be present in the journey instead of always looking ahead into that distant future. 🙂

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  4. Oh I love this post. I got all teary twice. I loved the bit about Jesus waiting for you to become a mother, and I loved how you said stuff about loosening your grip on their lives. So perfectly put.
    I don’t come here to read because you have a theme or belong to a niche. I enjoy your versatility and your perspective. It’s much more genuine than any theme blogger.
    My parents are 10 years apart and I am aware there are sometimes complications due to the gap, but honestly, what couple lives without complications?
    I look forward to your evolution 🙂 I’m glad you share some of the journey with us.

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    • Thank you so much!
      I always used to think that maybe that prayer wasn’t “allowable”, but I have always said what I felt. lol Raising teens is an interesting journey to say the least.
      I’m glad you enjoy coming and reading my blog. I love visiting yours as well. Here’s to those who keep it real! 🙂
      I doubt there’s any couple out there without complications. If there are, I’d love for them to tell me their secrets!

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  5. I love this Amy! Love the photo. I really admire your bravery and boldness with what you share. I don’t have a lot of people in my world that understand what it’s truely like to blog and to search for that thing that you can pour your heart into. I totally relate with the process. Your words and photo’s have such impact and work together so well. You have a true gift, and one that is one of sincerity and authenticity and we need more of that in this world. It seems like such a natural thing as I read your work…it really speaks to me.

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    • Thank you so much Dee!!
      I can’t even begin to express how much this means to me. It is definitely not always easy or comfortable to share who you are.
      I still remember the first post of your and how much it spoke it to my soul at the time when I needed it.
      I love your work and can’t wait to see what’s in store for you next! 🙂

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