All the Fun of a Long Distance Move

Oh, hello there!

I have been in another world for the past week and a half. That’s what it has felt like. Not only because Oklahoma is so different from Virginia/DC, but mainly because nothing is familiar (except for family–they are great, and pretty familiar). You’d think it would be familiar, given the fact that I grew up here and have only been away for five years. But I wasn’t working when I left. I wasn’t married. I wasn’t the same person.

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We packed up all of our belongs only what we could fit in a 5×8 trailer two Sundays ago and hit the road the next day. We knew the trailer would add a little bit of time to our trip, but we were not anticipating it to take quite so much longer. Our plan was to drive to Indiana to visit my brother and his family on the first day, which google told us was about 12 hours away. Then, we would drive the remaining 9 hours from there the following day.

Let’s just say it didn’t go like that at all. The first day, we drove 22 hours straight (with a few naps at rest stops and an emergency stop at Jiffy Lube, to mention a few delays). The next leg of the trip was a mere 17 hours. If you guessed we were happy to finally arrive in Oklahoma City alive and with most of our sanity, you would be correct.

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We are in our home in Oklahoma now, and despite the fact that we still need some major pieces of furniture (not that there is anything wrong with beach chairs in the living room), we love it. Moving is extremely stressful in general, and on top of that we are both still looking for employment, so… lots of positive pep talks are happening. The transition phase is the hardest, though. I know everything will work out (don’t you??). One positive thing is that even though we still don’t have internet access, we have a really cool library not far from our house. If all else fails in our lives, we can read ourselves silly.

I am considering myself “back” in the blogging world, although I am not quite sure how I am going to make it all work with no internet for a couple of weeks. But I’ll figure it out. I have to. Blogging will help me stay sane which is to the benefit of us all.

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What’s been going on with you? Have you done anything fun and exciting to close out the summer?

 

Monday Music-The Dimming of the Day

Hello, and happy Monday!

Last week I shared Eric’s and my first recorded duet. There are two songs left from our recording session, a duet and a solo. Today I am sharing my rendition of The Dimming of the Day, by Richard Thompson. As with the last song, Jack did everything but the vocals. I love what he did with this one.

The Dimming of the Day is one of my all-time favorite songs. I think the lyrics and melody are both so beautiful. It is normally a much slower song, but I am glad we went for the faster tempo. What do you think? Have you heard it before? (Alison Krauss covers it, and this sister duet is another favorite) I hope you enjoy it!

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Favorite Finds

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A Sunday blog post! Is this a first? Possibly. It just felt like the right time to share a few of my recent favorite finds.

1) What is your favorite time of day?  How to become a morning person.

2) A friend and fellow Trader Joe’s enthusiast sent me this blog by a girl who walks to Trader Joe’s every day and makes dinner with the ingredients every night. Right? My kind of girl.

3) Five ways to escape a writing funk and become a daily writer

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4) An uplifting talk on where blogging is headed, and the exciting opportunities that lie within!

5) If someone told you that you could have the confidence to do whatever you wanted in public, people watch with no shame, and be completely anonymous, would you be in? All you have to do is wear this hat…

6) I finished reading this book for the first time, and I stretched it out so it wouldn’t end so soon. It was that good.

7) Great tips on how to get serious blogging (#14 is so important for me).

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Let’s all have a wonderful week, okay?

The Dangers of an Unintentional Blog Feed

I recently did a little blog-following organization. I organized the blogs I follow into the following categories: fashion, to scan, creative/writing, and get to know. Fashion blogs for inspiration, “to scan” blogs for blogs I want to keep up with but not invest a lot of time in, “creative/writing” for obvious reasons, and “get to know”–the category that is most important to me. And it was a relief. A relief to feel like I had a little bit more control over what I read through on a regular basis.

The organization was prompted by the realization that my bloglovin feed had created a world in which I don’t feel like I quite belong. Pretty pictures and beautiful clothes and artistic outings that are all great and fun, but make me feel alienated. I keep some of those blogs around because they are a nice reminder of what my life is sometimes. But for me, they don’t inspire joy. Surrounding myself in a world I cannot completely relate to is often a setup for temptation: should my life be prettier? Should I be taking more pictures? Am I doing enough “fun things”?

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There are so many good, quality blogs out there. So many that deserve to be read. But I have started to realize the effect of handpicking a world that somehow didn’t turn out to be one that greatly inspired or encouraged me. It sounds selfish when I say it like that, but my time is limited and I would rather spend time reading blogs that enrich my life, challenge me in my thinking, and inspire me creatively. Those kinds of blogs do add joy to my life. They make me raise my standards a little bit. They fill my mind with ideas.

I would rather follow fewer bloggers and spend more energy getting to know them, than follow more bloggers from a distance.

My one fear about blogging is that the more you get into it, the harder it is to be intentional. It is not impossible, just harder. The more blogs you follow, the less control you have over the environment in which you surround yourself. And it is easy to fool yourself into thinking you are not affected by what you see and what you read. You start to like what you are used to seeing (hey, advertising!), so be careful what you see. It is so easy to conform.

My goal as a blogger is to grow creatively and become a better writer, and be challenged by each of you. As bloggers, we should be doing more of what makes us weird, not what makes us the same as everyone else. I am sure most people would agree with that, but it is easy to lose focus when you are enveloped in an unintentional blog feed.

What a shame it would be to lose sight of what we love, what we want to blog about, because we forget that we can pick our blogging community. My little organization project made me realize I haven’t been as intentional as I would like to be. And I feel like my time will be put to better use now. Choose your blogs carefully. We have more environmental choices than we think.

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Do you agree? How intentional are you about the blogs you follow? Do you ever find yourself accidentally conforming to what you have been reading, or is that not something you struggle with? Do you think we should all do more of what makes us weird? Oh, hey, and while we are on the topic, do you follow Jeneric on bloglovin? :)