Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fun Monday - Why, oh WHY do you do it?

Lisa at LisasChaos is hosting Fun Monday (Aug 27th). She writes:


I'd like to know more about you, what makes you tick. I’d like to know how you started blogging. Did you keep a diary under lock and key safely hidden as a child? Do you still? Do you share the same things on your blog that you would have, or do, in your diary? Why did you start blogging and why do you continue? May as well throw in any roadblocks you have run into while blogging. If you still have your old diaries we’d love to see them.


I don't keep a diary. I never did. The only thing that comes close is a journal that I kept as part of a psychology class in high school. We would write about the things we thought about and felt, what we did and why, and then once a week, you would trade your journal with someone else and they would read and respond to what you wrote, by writing in your journal (sound familiar???). It was an eye-opening experience for a shy teen to read other people's deepest thoughts and realize that maybe we weren't so different after all. We worried about the same stuff. I still have that journal in a box somewhere (where most of my stuff is located these days). It had a great impact on me then, and I sometimes find it instructive to go back and read what that girl wrote all those years ago.


But that was then. This is now.


If you read my blog a lot, you probably already know that I have a huge family. A mom, a dad, and five brothers. I also have a huge extended family. In-laws and all that that implies. Aunts and uncles and cousins overseas in England. Many, many firsts, seconds, thirds, removed and step cousins here. And a few friends as well. They ALL read my blog. In a way, it's brought my entire family much closer together. There are cousins that we knew, but we didn't really KNOW, and a couple we hadn't even met. Some were closer long ago, and some have always been close. It was my blog that drew me closer to my mother's cousin and his family - to the point where we were invited to spend the 4th of July with them, and then were close enough to give some comfort when tragedy struck the Monday after.


What the blog started out as, and continues to be for me, however, is an open letter to my family. As large as my family is, I was failing miserably at writing enough letters to really stay in touch. Whenever there was news, it was news to me. And no one could really keep up with how Zboy was growing and changing just by receiving a Christmas card every year. He's so much more interesting than a picture and a short blurb. Enter the blog. They all read it, though they rarely comment (I think brother John might be my biggest family commenter!). In fact, the only serious letter-writing I do is to both my living grandparents - one in London and the other in the wilds of North Wales. One doesn't go on the internet and the other doesn't own a computer at all.


But to me, the beauty of the internet blogging world is the many friends I have made out there that I have never met or heard in person. Just through their written words. They make me laugh and cry. They inspire me to be a better person and in turn help someone else work through their own struggles. In many ways, they know me better than my in-person friends do because they are privy to my thoughts and feelings far more intimately than the IPFs. And still they keep coming back.

My blog has another purpose as well. It is a record of my/our lives for my son. One day, I won't be here. And he may wonder who I was and what his childhood was like. What we did for fun and why we did some of the stuff we did, what my relationship with his daddy was like. He won't remember much of this stuff until he hits his teens, and even then, I'm sure he will mis-remember a lot. So this is also for him. I'm working on saving this blog to disk so I can take it somewhere to be printed out. A book, just for him.


Nikki at "My Husband Calls Me Weird" is hosting Fun Monday next - but we're skipping a week due to the Labor Day holiday. Drop by her blog for your assignment, if you choose to accept the challenge.

22 comments:

mjd said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I especially like this thought, "They inspire me to be a better person and in turn help someone else work through their own struggles." This is such a wonderful foundation for a friendship even if we never meet. Plus, turning your blog into a book is a fabulous idea.

her indoors said...

great post, what a fantastic idea to save your entries on a disc, even a book for your son

Beccy said...

I've often thought about trying to save my blog for my children, the book is a fabulous idea.

Willowtree said...

I'm expecting to come across the "Open letter to the Family" a few time during the course of this Fun Monday.

As for writing it for the kids, that's a great idea, and an even better one is to make sure you back it up regularly!

Debs said...

A book is a great idea! Very creative. :D

lisa's chaos said...

I loved reading your post and it's great that you have a huge family and can keep in touch this way. I have a small family but they do read me. :)

I started a second blog for my grandson for the reasons you mentioned of documenting life and I've had cancer so don't know if I'll be around when he's older. Just want him to know his MeMaw.

nikki said...

Wow, I never though about saving my entries on disk for Aaron when I am no longer of this world. Great idea and post!

ChrisB said...

How brilliant that your blog has brought some members of your family closer together. I had considered keeping a copy of my blog and I think you have made me realise just how important it might be at some point in the future so thank you for that :)

Karmyn R said...

I think most of my family reads my blog too - but there are some days when I wish I had a super-secret anonymous blog so I could write about some things that I need to get off my chest. That way I wouldn't be offending any of my family!

I have been printing out my more serious blogs and keeping them in a notebook.

susan said...

I could've written what Karmyn just said. That's exactly how I feel.

Great post

Joy T. said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. Someone told be about BookSmart and I looked into and love it. I'm in the process right now of saving my blog into a book for my family to have years from now. Happy Fun Monday!

Blue Momma said...

None of my family read my blog. I would much rather keep it that way!!! I do have some relatives who I'd like to share with, but then they'd share with other family members and before you know it the shit has hit the fan.

I'll just continue to enjoy my annonymity and all of my non related bloggy friends. And when one of my super conservative relatives stumble on my dear old blog, well, I'll just deal with it then!!!

Jenni said...

I second what blue momma said. I have shared my blog with a few friends and family, but I was not prepared for how they would share it with other people. There was a very embarrassing incident with a certain post in particular.

That's a great idea to have your blog saved and printed into a book for your son!

Robocop said...

Blogging as a family tool. Great idea.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

hi there, send me an email at steppingoverthejunk@yahoo.com and I will send you my art website!

Oh, The Joys said...

And an off shoot of your blog is that sometimes I get the NICEST e-mails in the universe from your mom and dad.

Nikki said...

I blog so I can make fun of people.....mainly my husband...just because it's fun....and it's killing him to find a way to get me back.

hehehehehehehehe

Babzy said...

Sayre you have the best ideas! I'm going to save my posts too.

I have a secret blog where I really let it all out. If anyone read that blog I would be burned at the stake.

Anonymous said...

A cool thing to do for the boy. I printed out all of Bev's blog and put it in a folder for Link to read when he's older. I thought about just saving it all to a disk, but... CDs have a rather limited lifespan, and in a couple of years they'll probably be obsolete anyway-- USB devices are easier to use. So if you want your backup copy to last until the boy is grown, choose your format carefully.
--Cordelia

Pamela said...

a wonderful thing -- if you can just get the family to read.

I've been backing mine up on CD... now I see that may be a problem according to cordelia.
(say that three times!! According to Cordelia. Ha)

theotherbear said...

Ours started as an open letter to family and friends far away. It's turned into something a bit more with all the fabulous other people out there!

Sayre said...

Perhaps if I backed it up to CD then got it printed out all at once (you know, before CDs go obsolete...). Thanks for the heads up, Cordie. I should know better, actually, seeing as I deal with format obsolescence all he time at work. Just ask Daa when was the last time she used 3/4" tape?