Monday, June 29

a bit a me 'n' a bit a you

Blogging is a great way to connect, but it can be a little one sided at times. One writes about whats on the mind, whats important and at the end of that there lies some hope that you get some dialogue going, some feedback, some input. A conversation of sorts. As much as we all may say we do it for ourselves, it wouldnt be public if we didnt want some exchange.

Sometimes i feel like im talking to myself, other times i feel part of some delicious secret squirrel business; only we know whats going on. Sometimes Ive really wanted to know more about everyone out there but have failed to work it out. Sometimes asking questions is the only way to do it but the two way bit here online is such an organic thing and if it feels forced, its gonna flop. Thats the tricky part about blogging, that even if youre not blogging out of 'obligation';for others, sometimes you want to write but through lack of processing time it just doesnt make it to readable. Sometimes Im just so overwhelmed, awash with so many things all whizzing around that I cannot make a straight line out of a tangle of thoughts. Sometime insecurity sets in and you think oh crap, that was shit. how embarrassing, then you go oh well...and keep going, keep posting because it really is a means to ones own end, whatever that may be. I have been blogging way longer than I ever thought i would. Its magic and i keep meaning to read more, do some research into the social contructs around blogging coz i need some language for my motivations and the emotions attached to belonging to such a community. Is it really all about having a voice, being heard?

So i have a request for all you who read Taurus Rising, can you answer me a question please. It is this. If you think back to the past year or so and look at your own habits and choices, what would you say has been one of the most, or a few of the most significant things you have changed about the way you live, on any level, that you feel really pleased with, accomplished or proud. Oh, and why do you blog? I think i just need to find out a bit more about you.


innercitygarden said...

Well I think I blog mostly because it's a way of engaging intellectually and socially with "my sort of people" while I'm parenting full-time. None of my close friends are parents and my relatives who are have some different priorities from mine. I needed a place to process some of my thoughts about all the stuff that's happened in my life over the last few years, and sometimes it's just a quiet sort of place to ponder the garden and ignore all the other stuff.

My favourite blogs tend to be those written by people who share some of my interests, they make stuff, they think, they garden, and knowing that you're all out there tossing around the same issues makes me feel braver and more relaxed about the way I want to live with my own family. A year or so ago my partner and I made a spreadsheet of all the things that we were happy with in our lives, the things we wanted to change, the things that we needed to keep and the stuff that was negotiable. We used that series of lists to help us choose our new place to live, and we've pulled it off. I'm most proud of that. I'm not a planner, I would have just driven around a bit, found a nice house and dived in, but the Bloke is a planner and needs to think about stuff for a while, so I'm proud not just that we did it, but that we managed to do it together.

Veggie Gnome said...

These are two questions. Are you allowed to ask that many?

Q2: Bloggo, ergo sum.

Q1: We have been changing our way of life for the last decade. With every year we embrace a few more new changes. They have become an integral part in our life so that we don't even realise how much we have changed over the years.

Past year? Making soap, laundry liquid, deodorant and lip/hand balm. Intensifying our vegetable, fruit and berry growing. Meeting the person behind Taurus Rising and enjoying the interaction. Being encouraged to learn new skills from that person - mushrooming, crabapple wine making... Swapping excess produce.

Goals for next year(s): More of the same. Embracing new skills and expanding community of produce swappers. Be happy, do no harm and spread the goodness. :)

Rixa said...

Why blog? I live in fairly small communities and don't have that many in-person friends to share my thoughts with, so blogging has been a lifesaver. I love getting comments and having lively discussions. Perhaps there's a bit of narcicissm too mixed up with my love for blogging? Because I care deeply about childbirth and mothering and breastfeeding and, if I don't blog, I have almost endless conversations and lectures going off in my mind, night and day. Blogging lets me get them out of my system.

Okay, I am really glad that I finally got a garden going this year and, now that we're out of the country for 6 weeks, I hope it survives. I am also glad I finally overcame my fear of composting and just did it. At first it was just a pile in the backyard, then my lovely retired neighbors gave us their tumbling composter.

Maggie said...

I love blogging, stopping by peoples links to their lives, their gardens and the meals they prepare.
Since I became a part time "stay at home Granny", I don't have much time to write blog articles but I love sitting having a cup of tea and seeing what you are all doing or saying.
I am following Gavin's cheese making adventures. I intend to make cheese sometime.
Blogging enables me to learn and interact with folks from all over the planet.
Blogging allows me to click off if I am bored or disagree with someone!!! Love that bit too.

Julie said...

Hmm, trust you to ask for long winded answers when I have only the time to skim read ;-) Be back later!

Pip at Rest is not idleness said...

I had to go away and think about this first.
I'm really happy with how my garden has evolved over the past year and how I've continued to make bread twice weekly.
I think I started blogging as a bit of a vent, but it sort of evolved into a way of letting my family (in NZ) see what I've been doing, although my brother says he feels rather voyeuristic reading my blog, but I think that is part of the attraction of reading other blogs, you are getting a glimpse of someone else's life.

emmani said...

I think you know my answer Kel!

In fact I've deleted all of the blogs I used to read from my reader as it was taking up too much time and I felt "obliged" to read them as if I would be letting the bloggers down if I didn't.

Now you're the only one I read daily, but I've put you in my bookmarks bar for easy access.

I occasionally look through the links on my blog if I'm feeling sentimental.

I've become a bit political recently with a couple of posts about Iran. I have been following it quite closely and for some reason as I have no connection with Iran, I don't even know an Iranian, it has touched my heart profoundly.

I really feel that their story needs to be told as communications have been forbidden from Iran.

As for your Blog Kel, it may not be a riveting read at times, but I feel like we are on the same wavelength in some way. I love to just be a part of your life.

It's nice to know that there are some sane people out there who are struggling with a conscience too. Did I say sane?!

Gavin said...

Two questions in one post. How could I resist!

Well many things have changed for me over the year for the better. I feel proud of myself for maintaining my way on my families journey towards a sustainable lifestyle. Even with Kim's illness, which could have made me drop everything in the too hard basket, I found that the values that I have built up over the past few years held me firm. Oh, and did I mention that cheesemaking is the ultimate form of Friday evening relaxation (well as well as half a bottle of vino!)

So why do I blog? Because I also love the interaction with others, and find it as a way of expressing myself to like-minded people. There were not many people who think like I do in my local area a few years ago, so I thought it would be a good way to document my journey for others to read. My family kept on at me to write a book about all the green things we had done, but because I had a day job, I chose blogging instead. I am so glad I did, because I wouldn't be sharing this with you now! I blog, therefore I am. Only for me and I don't feel obliged to write for others. However I do find that I get withdrawals if I haven't written a post for a couple of days. Weird, huh?


Jacqui said...

Ah see, I knew I subscribed to this blog for a reason! I think I'll start with the second part of your question: why blog? I first set up my blog to learn about new web tools for work. We'd just moved to the mountains, so to begin with it was just to share with family and friends so they would know what was going on in our lives. Then suddenly one day I had two comments from complete strangers - that set me venturing forth into the blogosphere where I found all manner of fantastic communities. I love reading about other people's chooks - being on Backyard Poultry Forum just wasn't enough! And as there is a natural fit between chooks and gardening, I got into some great gardening blogs and that's when things really opened up - so much to learn, share, enjoy, be inspired by. As someone who is inclined to being a hermit, and living away from family and friends, finding this online community has helped me to not isolating myself so much.

In the last twelve months I've taught myself to sew. I'm still a wobbly beginner, but I'm really proud of that. I grew up in a politically active family, and with a grandmother who lived through the Depression, so recycling, making do, thinking about where things have come from, where they will end up, has been part of my life since childhood. But I never learned to sew. I'd like to make our clothes - whether I'll ever have the time to do it is another thing.

Thanks for the chance to share this and to learn about others visiting here. You have a great balance here between the different aspects of your life - I'd like to bring more of that into my blog.

Kel said...

oh wow- thank you all so much for sharing yourselves like this! Its exceeded anything i could have wished for and i really really appreciate knowing jus tthat little more about you all, especially those new here. I love the minutia of details, its those htings that really help with understanding the person.

ICG- yes, for me too its the 'my sort ofd people' thing and i love that you and your bloke can get it together so well. Planning and i dont do it so well either and i have re-learnt that too being with mine. Onya!

Veggie- nice. way nice. its been good. Always nice to learn more- lets get a swapper stall going at at hills markets! lol before then you really should come around for a winter meal-no mushrooms allowed.

Rixa-i 'know' everything you said, blogging certainly does help let off steam, yours a little more 'serious' than mine and gooooo compost!. Its not that tricky once you start.

Maggie- yes, Gavs got me alomost at breaking point on the cheese too!

Julie- i will hassle you if you forget!

Pip- glad youre garden with vengence now and thats what i like too the softly softly into others lives - bit like the radio soaps!

emma- gasp! whaddaya mean 'not riveting'? lol- yes. you are in the midst of your life change! keep it up!

gav- yes, blogging is addictive and sufferes do experience withdrawal. OK, im onto the cheese in the next month or so. Promise ( you got me with the wine lure)

Jacqui-yes i remember getting my first comment ( i think it was you Rixa) and it shocked me too- made me realise that it really was public! doh. My family too went through the depression and were political outcasts (marxists) so all the frugal stuff is part of my personal history too( theres a few posts deep within this site on that) but my mum sewed so i skipped that skill!( well i do hem, cant avoid that with two girls) I keep wanting to learn as its so handy!!!! Good on you and keep on chookin!

elburro said...

Hi kel...
great post, and just wanted to say that even if i don't always make comments, i always read your stuff...thanks also for all of your comments over this last year.

what have i changed? i'd say that the bit i've worked hardest at is managing to be honest with myself and others without feeling guilty about it...all of that boundary stuff. still in the process, but i'm proud of how far i've come..

why do i blog? it gives me an outlet for writing (something, anything), for thinking my thoughts in print, for documenting some of the minutiae of life; it gives me somewhere to put all of the pictures i take, it serves as a not-very-personal journal, and it's a way of being involved in a several communities of like minded people all at once in a way that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
Now that I've written my thoughts, I'm going to read everyone elses comments...

littleecofootprints said...

Great questions....I'm not sure I had even asked myself these questions??

I think the most significant thing I have changed is my awareness. I’m more aware of the ethical and environmental consequences of my decisions. I like the power that that awareness gives me. Not every decision i make is as ethical or eco friendly as I would like – but I have recently decided that’s OK – as long as I am aware. Most people aren’t.

Mmmm why do I blog??? To be honest i’m still trying to work that one out. I know why I started – its as simple as reading other blogs and liking what I saw. I also had a bit of an awakening....I work in conservation – I had actually devoted every waking hour to my work until my daughter came along (two months bed ridden before she was born gave me plenty of thinking time). And I realised I was a hypocrite. I was part of the problem. My lifestyle is part of what threatens the threatened species I was trying to save. I was disconnected with how my lifestyle influences the environment....and it seemed i was not the only one. I work with lots of people who consider themselves environmentalists – but their lifestyle is totally hypocritical. So I guess I wanted to raise awareness of the connection between us and the environment. I’m not yet doing that...but i guess that’s the grand vision.

Telela said...

I think I'm with Tricia and awareness would be my biggest accomplishment. Just making myself look further than basic water and energy saving around the home. I have now got so much more to think about and many more plans to implement.
As for blogging - It's strangely addictive isn't it! I initially started one for mum so she could see regular updates of the kids, then I got this one for myself. I think it gives me a little bit of 'me' time and keeps my brain in gear a little (3 kids in 3 years leaves you with terrible baby brain). I like the idea of looking back next year and seeing what I've done. I like that it gives me an excuse to try and be photographically and linguistically creative. I like the 'sort of know you, sort of don't' relationship with other bloggers. I like the inspiration and the general support of like minded bloggers.
I wish it didn't always hook me in to take up so much time!

Kel said...

el burro - thanks. I love boundary changing stuff- it was a great one for me to learn too! It actually was life changing for me; i learnt to say no or wait to my ex- changed everything. I grew up. For me to its the multi level organisation too, i love having a really organised, visually exciting diary which is interactive,its very cool isnt it?

LEF- bring on the reconnection/the awakenings..may many others have epiphanies like your too! Great stuff, i relate to the stuck at home poregnant lets start a blog thing! lol

Telela- hello! sharing and learning are so easy and enjoyable via the blog medium arent they? Lots of food for thought out there- it can be a bit intimidating too ( perfect people online) Yes, disciplne and blogging is most definitely a hard won lesson! well, it was for me!LOL

Katrine said...

Significant choices....

Exactly a year ago today a close friend of mine became a mother which started me thinking really seriously about what it would mean to me to become a parent and when i wanted to become a parent.

This change in the focus of my thoughts has lead to a myriad of significant changes ... the most significant of which was probably starting a personal yoga practice instead of just going to a class once a week. I also managed to get myself to Turkey which has always been THE place i wanted to go to, learnt to sew, started eating far more whole and loca foods and rid myself of the majority of my potions and lotions in favour of self made deodorants (thanks veggie!), moisturisers and shampoo/conditioner replacements.

On a side note I started reading your blog through Jasper's birth stories on Lisa's website because of this new found interest in birth/parenting and it's become a pretty significant habit!

and i'll change the other question to why should i blog ... to confront my comfort boundaries. I've never felt comfortable writing but the more i think about it the more i think i might enjoy blogging.

Em said...

Love reading your blog Kel, it's so darn interesting. Most of the time I feel terribly uninteresting, so that's a bloggy struggle b/c (to answer Q2) blogging is mostly for me, but I know that other people read it, so do I really want them to peer into the milk and porridge that is my life? Often I postpone writing until I think it's safe that I *won't * be using the same bland adjective three times in the same paragraph. Then it's a long time between postings.

But back on track, I like the record that is blogging, to capture a thought or a time and come back months later, remember how food tasted or the air smelt, or that at some time I was calm and happy.

Q1 Achievments and changes over the last year. Mmmm, I'm proud that I dug so many tree holes last winter and autumn. It was hard work and is pleasing to see the trees growing bigger now.
Changes - I'm happy that we have become a more loving family, mostly through a fairly strict schoolday routine - which is kind of ick at times, but has created more spaces for us to chat over dinner, snuggle up and read before bed or before school, and allowed us all to enjoy each other more. I'm really proud of how we can be loving and kind to each other; every so often I catch a glimpe of a future where the boys are older but still enjoying that sense of family.

Something that changed while I wasn't watching: we eat a lot more veg now, simply b/c we grow so much. Our diet has shifted to much more seasonal meals and I'm enjoying how this connects us to the here and now.

Veggie Gnome said...

It's lovely to read all the responses!

Kel, yes! I am game for both. :)

Kel said...

agggh! - my response to katrine and em just got eaten!!!
Thank you for sharing(cliche but true) i feel like i do know you all just a little more and!