'Tis the season for giving thanks, and all that, and for my first Thanksgiving as an official blogger, I'd like to share what's brought me joy this year:
- Sweatpants: For the five years he lived in the house I live in now, my ex-husband shared a walk-in closet with me. He had one side and I had the other and everything seemed to fit inside it perfectly. But once he moved out, and took all his jackets and ties with him, my belongings seemed to multiply exponentially. Now, the closet is jam-packed with more blouses, skirts and scarves than you could shake a stick at. But if you stopped by my house on any given day, you’d find me perched at my kitchen island in front of my laptop sporting some type of loungewear. What better way to accommodate an insanely sedentary lifestyle than with elastic? Things have taken a downhill turn though lately, and I find myself just staying in my pajamas until midday, which is embarrassing when, like, the neighbor’s dad stops by to get her housekey or the FedEx guy wants you to sign for something. No one wants to see a grown woman in red flannel PJs covered in some Asian-inspired print involving tigers after noon. It’s upsetting.
- When kids say the darndest things: Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve come to subscribe to Nora Ephron’s edict that “Everything is copy.” Now, whenever a jewel comes out of one of my kids’ mouth – like when my 10 year old told me I was being a “perv” or that I should follow Jennifer Aniston’s “tips" – I quickly write it down on whatever Post-It Note or envelope is lying around. I even carry a notebook around in my purse in case someone utters something blog-worthy on the go. I’ve gotten so good at recording their bon mots that the kids have started to get a little suspicious when I ask them the most innocuous of questions. Yesterday, I asked my oldest guy what his favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal was and he went to answer, and then stopped, and said, “Mom, I feel like I’m on a reality show.” Look out, Kardashians.
- Shoutouts from big sites: Let’s face it: We bloggers are a dime a dozen. There are countless women sitting in their kitchens right now – banging away on their laptops –oversharing snippets of coversations with their children or adventures on the speed-dating scene. So to rise out of obscurity, you really need to hustle and sometimes, that just seems like a lot of work. All that tweeting and hashtagging. Who’s got the time, what with all the laundry and dishes lying around here. So it’s practically a blogging miracle when a major parenting blog posts a link to your blog out of the clear blue sky. It brings with it a nice boost in traffic and readers from outside the small town (population: 6,000) that you live in. People in like, Nevada and Texas and even dudes. Who would have thunk it?
- Other Bloggers: Even though there are a million of us, bloggers are a supportive community and are generous with sharing ideas and readers. Since I launched at the beginning of the year, I’ve gotten to know a couple of bloggers live and in person (holla Miss Emily at Em-i-lis and Brooke at Carpool Candy) and a few I’ve connected with in the virtual sense (Connie at I Suck as a Parent, Lisa at The Canadian Chronicles and Dorothy at Crazy for Crust). I am excited to return to the big Blogher conference this summer as an experienced blogger, rather than the wet-behind-the-ears newbie, and meet all the great writers I’ve discovered online this year. It’s like a giant, virtual sorority.
- Our Readers: Let’s face it, just like the proverbial tree falling in the woods, bloggers would be silent without their readers. I love running into people around town who tell me they connected with my struggle with the Catholic Church or found hope in my tales of being a single mom. It’s so good to know that we’re not alone. That we’re not crazy. And that another mom somewhere is plowing through a box of Cheez-Its in bed. There’s safety in numbers. So I’m wishing all of my readers a safe and happy Thanksgiving filled with lots of stuffing, gravy and family on its best behavior (but bring your notebook, just in case).
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