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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Identity Crisis

I think my blog is going through an identity crisis.

Let me give you a little background. When I started it, I had recently started a new full-time job and was also trying to return to school, online and part time, to complete another degree. The second morning after starting a new online class, and a bit sleep-deprived, I was in a serious car accident. Thankfully, I (and my mom) walked away unhurt from an incident that completely totaled the car. Millions of what-ifs swirled in my mind. Time to reevaluate life priorities. In the next couple of weeks that followed, as I forced myself to sit at the computer and tried to complete my reading and research, I found myself clicking again and again on inspiring blogs (and NOT doing my required reading). What were they? Mostly blogs having to do with creative, nurturing, simple family living. I was not actually doing things with my own children as I sat there trying to work (and they asked me), but I was reading about those who were. Finally I realized: this isn't working. I'm making myself sit here, but that's all. What I'm actually doing is reflecting my desires. There is time for this degree later. The time for my own life and family time is right now.

So I went downstairs to have a conversation with Minou, and essentially told him what was up and asked: Will you be disappointed in me if I take a break from these Big Plans? (I do not like to feel like or be seen as a quitter...though it is essential to know what, and when, to quit sometimes). He basically answered: Do what you think is right. And since you like them so much, why not start your own blog?

Hmm...thank you, and good idea. So I did. I took a leave of absence from my program and started this blog (I still spent time on the computer afterwards...but less, and it was happier time, with no deadlines). Many of the blogs I read and find inspiration from have a specific focus. Minimalist living. Family living. Frugal living. Gardening. Mine is a bit of a mish-mash, certainly not in one clear category or another.
And this is fine...

But here is the rub. My family does read this blog (they may be the main readers, in fact), and my children have understandably wanted to have some input into what are appropriate topics of discussion. (Contraception, which I talk about all day long at work, has been deemed too personal). I have been the recipient of some earnest lectures on the permanence of anything posted on the internet. This is more of an issue since I post pictures of myself and our family. Per request, I have removed shots of one unnamed family member. Although the likelihood of discovery (or interest in case of discovery) by anyone my kids might know from Real Life appears small to me, it looms large as a worry, and I respect that. I am choosing to blog for myself; that's not a choice they are making, and I don't want to make them uncomfortable or embarrassed.

However...several of my favorite topics have been stirring up some of those privacy concerns, namely Frugal Living complete with specific dollar amounts. (I love specifics--they're what make writing interesting!) I have been challenged and inspired to squeeze my belt tighter, and thus make future dreams possible, by detailed tips and real-life expenses from many blogs such as the Nonconsumer Advocate, the Frugal Girl, and Get Rich Slowly. Yet this level of frugality, while tolerated, carries some stigma among certain family members. And said family members are extremely precious and important to me. SO...let's just say that while I will still be participating in the July Food Stamp Challenge, I will not be writing about the process in such a concrete way.

Which leads me to question...what will I write about?

Any suggestions?

And you bloggers with kids...any similar situations?
How do you protect your family's privacy while writing about your life?

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