June: Go on WordPress while bored at work. Think about how your blog could use a facelift. Decide to look around at the themes. Try one out and do some customizing. Abandon it. Pick another and play with customizing. Abandon it. Think that you really need to pick a new theme but they all seem to require you to actually take a picture and upload it. Go on Goodreads and look at your recommendations.
July: Get notification that it’s your third Blogiversary! Think that you should really get serious about updating your theme. It’s been two years since you picked the old one. Look at the themes again and write down three that you like. Make a mental note to do it on the weekend when you’re bored.
August: Go on WordPress while bored at work. Decide to look at the themes again. Search one that is good for text and doesn’t focus on photos. Find a good one and start customizing. Decide you don’t like the suggested header images. Search for a header image. Abandon search when you can’t find one in the right dimensions. Look at Facebook.
September: Go back to the theme you played with last month. Change the color scheme. Decide there is one suggested header image that really is kinda cool. Change your title font. Update your tagline because even though you’re not 30 yet it took you this long to get a new theme, so. Click Activate.
Et voila! Hope you like it!
This is my 52nd post on this blog. I have now posted 52 times. I’m sure that means nothing to you but it means something to me. After I started this blog in July of 2013, it didn’t take long for me to get discouraged. By the fall I was ready to just pack it in. The blog would go down as yet another project that I started and didn’t follow through with. But then I made a deal with myself. I decided that I couldn’t give up on the blog until I had posted 52 times no matter how long that took. Why 52? It corresponds to the number of weeks in a year. Another goal I had was to post each week. I don’t know if that will ever be possible but I made good on my original deal. I posted 52 times.
This is a big accomplishment for me because I’m notorious for having big ideas and ambitions and then just abandoning them and starting something else. This blog is the biggest project I have stuck with and I don’t plan on stopping now. That pact I made almost two years ago got me over the hump and showed me it’s not about how many views you get. It’s about the enjoyment I get out of posting, no matter who sees it. It’s about practicing for other writing projects I want to pursue. It’s about being motivated and disciplined in a creative area. And it’s an outlet I need to pursue. Here’s to another 52!
I just made a mind-blowing connection. Writing blog posts is so much like writing reflections in my high school psychology class. Okay, it’s not that mind-blowing but I did just realize it. I’m pretty sure Coach R wasn’t trying to teach us about blogging because, let’s face it, Coach was already in his sixties and this was 2005. I was hardly even aware of blogging myself at the time. We wrote these “reflections” to share with the class. It was supposed to just be your observations or things you’re thinking about, which is what most blogging is when you get down to it. At least that’s what my blog is.
Coach R is one of my all-time favorite teachers. I took AP American History, AP European History, and Psychology with him. He was a round, not-too-tall guy with silver hair and a matching mustache. I usually despise the “lone stache,” but Coach pulled it off. He loved teaching so much he came out of retirement to take a position at my high school. He wasn’t your normal history teacher. He did the lectures and the tests and tried to prepare us for the AP exams, but he did a lot more than that. I learned more about history listening to Coach’s stories about growing up on a Southern mill hill in the 50’s and 60’s than a lecture about the Roman Empire. He told us about being a kid and getting electricity for the first time in his grandmother’s mill house. He talked about the bawdy women who did snuff and spit it all over the floor of the mill. He reminisced about hanging soda cans in a mesh bag out the window of his dorm room in the winter because they didn’t have mini-fridges. He told us where he was when he heard the news of Martin Luther King’s assassination.
Coach was a banjo player in a local bluegrass band and the last full class before exams in December and May, he would bring his instruments and spend the time playing us songs and teaching us about the instruments. How many kids learn about the cultural history of the dulcimer in their AP History classes?
I had many great teachers and learned some awesome life lessons from them. I learned that the real lessons are the ones you find outside the curriculum. I learned not to take myself too seriously from Mr. C, my drama teacher. I learned to share my creativity from Mr. H, my Computer Tech teacher. I learned how to manage stress from Ms. K, my AP English teacher. I learned there are compassionate people in the world from the other Coach R, my Physics teacher.
And, even though he could only type with his index fingers, I learned blogging from Coach R. That man who loved teaching but loved learning, observing, and reflecting even more. And taught some of us to love it too.