I’m back from my baby shower in Minnesota! The weekend was a lot of fun and not without a few incidents that kept us on our toes. But I’ll blog about that later this week. I’ll also do my 32 week pregnancy update once I take a bump pic.
Today, I wanted to share some thoughts that I’ve had for quite a while now. And please understand that I’m not judging anyone. This is meant to inspire discussion, not condemnation.
Blogging is kind of a strange thing when you think about it. I don’t read celebrity gossip magazines because I don’t want to spend more time finding out what’s going on with Lindsay Lohan or Kim Kardashian than living my own life, and yet, by reading blogs, I know what a girl who lives out in California had for dinner last night.
Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing – either for me to know what she ate, or for her to share. Blogs are personal and the author can post about anything they want. If I have a problem with it, I can just stop reading.
But it’s funny how that works. Blogs can get sort of addicting. I find myself wondering how Person X did in their race. I see something at the grocery store that reminds me of Person Y. Or the reverse happens – I’m out on a run and start writing out my blog post in my head. I take pictures of random things “for the blog.” I share more details about my life on this blog than I do with some of my friends (because I’m the only one talking here!).
I think blogging touches on a desire in every human soul. C.S. Lewis said it best (as always): “All enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. … The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game. … I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. . . .”
We want to share experiences.
What once went unshared or was only shared with the closest of relatives or friends – the parking ticket you just got, how traffic was on your evening commute, what kind of peanut butter you think is the best, what you did on the weekend – can now be shared with the entire world.
That’s the aspect about blogging that I love the most: being able to connect with other people who share my same interests and experiences. When I was training for my marathon last year, I was inspired by reading running blogs. Since getting pregnant, I’ve added about a dozen pregnancy or motherhood blogs to my Reader list. If no one in your “real life” circle shares your interests or is going through the same thing, someone in blogland does or is!
But just like with any online community, I think there is a line. Do I know more about a girl I will never meet than I do about a girl in my care group? Do I share things on my blog to serve and inspire others, or just to talk about myself?
From time to time, I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that my blog “should be” a certain way or I “should be” a certain kind of blogger. I should post once a day, document everything with pictures, be on Twitter and Daily Mile and Pinterest and go to blogger retreats. Or I read a certain blog because they read mine, or because I’ve been reading it for months. But the truth is, I don’t want to be more connected than I am now. I should read only those blogs that uplift and inspire me. And I want to be more engaged in living my own life than I am in reading about others’.
I really do benefit from the blogging world and don’t have any foreseeable plans of discontinuing my blog (though that is a question I’ve also wondered – what is the lifespan of a blog?) or of not reading others’ blogs. But I do think I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to accept that I won’t ever be a “conventional” blogger. I can’t post quality thoughts every day. I don’t want to share every detail about my life. I won’t be buying an expensive camera to take pictures of my food in natural lighting.
But I will share my life journey and what I’ve discovered brings joy. I will reveal what God is teaching me. I will point to Jesus as the only way to heaven. I will share my love for endurance sports again someday.
All that said, I hope that my blog is a blessing to all of my readers. And I hope that you are out there, living your own life with gusto.
If you blog, why do you blog? Why do you read others’ blogs?