Happy Friday – Hiatus Edition

While this week was difficult, there were little moments of joy sprinkled throughout. I realized that our wedding is no longer a vague ways away, but in a few weeks. Despite the stress dreams, I’ve been enjoying the last few bits of planning. Instead of rings, we’ve decided to exchange framed hand-written vows. My mom and I went shopping for accessories. Tomorrow I’m going for a bra fitting. Oh la la!

I’m a natural worrier. I worry about the weather, the violinist who hasn’t emailed me back, and if I’ll like the flowers. The one thing I haven’t worried about is the man I’m marrying. I think that’s the important part.

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.

Reading

I’m loving An Unkindness of Ghosts despite having limited reading time. The world building is exquisite and Aster is unlike any other protagonist. Sadly I won’t be getting much extra time to read soon.

Online, I enjoyed Wired’s article about Microsoft’s parental leave requirement for subcontractors. When I had my son, I had to go back to work after about 8 weeks. It was hard enough for me, someone with the luxury of a job sitting at a desk to go back when I did. It’s even harder for people who work on their feet. This line in the article stuck out: “paid family leave was the most desired workplace benefit.” Shout it from the rooftops, people!

One of the hardest things about being a mother is the judgement. We live in a society where nearly every parenting action, particularly of mothers, is scrutinized by others. Kelly in the City’s thoughts on the subject closely mirror my own. I’m so grateful for the judgement-free online community parents I’ve found.

Playing

Battle for Azeroth has been the perfect stress relief this week, particularly getting absorbed in the Nazmir quest chain. I think the fiancé may want to play our Alliance mains with me again soon, but he’s been leveling a shaman.

Tonight we played some Pokemon Go and walked to a small event downtown. The ice cream sandwiches were delicious. I always forget about Pokemon Go as a game I play, as it’s just become a regular part of life. My interest in it has been waning lately. We need some new Pokemon to catch.

A few new games may be in my future. I’m pleased at the news of an upcoming Rusty Lake game. The No Man’s Sky community challenge sounds almost interesting enough for me to buy the game.

Writing

Today marks the end of Blaugust. I’m glad I participated. It was the catalyst for me to launch the blog and a way to connect me to a larger blogging community. However, I have felt pressured to post more, perhaps lower quality posts than I would like. Yesterday I was working on a post and trying to get it finished. Eventually I decided I really wanted to spend more time and thought on the topic and posted some photos of my cat instead. I don’t mind posting (literal, in my cat’s case) fluff and I love injecting some humor in my writing, but some of the topics I want to tackle require more thought. Those posts are going to take longer than a half hour at lunchtime or 45 minutes in the evening to explore.

At the same time I tend to try to be too perfectionist in my writing and sometimes I need to just let go and hit publish.  Perhaps the scales need some time to find the right balance.

Doing

That said: I’ve decided to go on hiatus until around the end of October. I have so many things coming up including my wedding, my honeymoon, a work trip, my son starting a new daycare, and some personal things. If I have extra time, I may spend it working on some of the more in-depth pieces I have brewing in my head so I can finish them when I start back up again.

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Image Source. I gotta bounce, but I’ll be back soon.

I hope you stay in touch! You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Mastodon, or Ravelry if you’re crafty.

If you want to chat, send me a note and we can find each other on Discord, Steam, Battle.net, or some other place. I’m always happy to make new friends.

Sprinkles of joy! Cover photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

 

 

 

Why I’m [Still] Blogging

Three weeks ago I started this blog. I was flush with ideas. The blog concept had been slowly cooking inside my head for months before and Blaugust got me to take it out of the oven. It was finally ready to be shared. While my posting frequency has waned since the beginning, I’m still here. I have more to say. I’m not going anywhere.

The theme Blaugust this week is Staying Motivated, so I thought I’d explore my motivations for starting and continuing this blog. The main focus of this blog is parenting  in the digital age. I think other parents and I share some common fears about how different technology is now from when we were kids. I want to address some of those. I want to talk about how having an identity as a gamer can mesh with having an identity as a parent.

I want to thank everyone who has commented on and liked my posts so far. It says to me that people are here for what I’m saying, that it has value, and that I should keep doing this. Thank you!

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via Mochimochi Land

I also have more personal reasons for blogging. I can practice my writing in small doses. I’ve been working on a new novel and writing it always feels daunting. It’s just the beginning of something huge. There are emotions to process. Many times I want to write, but I’m not in the right headspace to work on the novel. Blog posts are a perfect bite-sized chunk of writing that I can finish and put out there in an instant.

Back when I blogged anonymously about my life, blogging was an excuse for me to go out and experience things. My motto was: “Bad decisions make great blog posts.”

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It’s true, though. Mug on Etsy.

Eventually I grew up a little and the internet became less anonymous and I started writing in a paper journal instead. Even though it made my hand cramp up, I continued it until just after my son was born. I’d been writing just before going to sleep and when I had a newborn, I just wanted to crash.

I wanted an outlet again, and I thought long and hard about what kind of blog to create. I’m too messy for a lifestyle blog, so eventually I settled on “nerdy parenting blog.” I think this should motivate me to get out, more, too, but in a different way. Such as, I’ve never been to a nerdy sort of con. I’ve been to hacker cons and programming conferences, but those are different. I’d like to go to one, and maybe bring my son. Perhaps he and I should check out Free Comic Book Day. There must be other nerdy events out there for kids! This might help get me out, when I’d rather just be an introvert and stay home.

My final motivation is also for my kid. I want him to know that there’s more to me than my job and being a mom. I’m also a writer, a gamer, and a nerd. Even if he ends up being more of a jock, I want him to know this side of me. And for that to happen, I need to embrace it myself.

I write in my paper journal every now and again that my son isn’t a newborn anymore. The hand cramping keeps me from doing it more. Cover photo by Easton Oliver on Unsplash.

Where’s My Blogging Community?

Remember when blogs were fun? Remember LiveJournal? You and your friends were all on LiveJournal and it was mostly completely uninteresting to maybe one or two friends but you wrote in it anyway because it was fun. I met my first serious boyfriend through LiveJournal. I got my first programming job through LiveJournal. Somehow, the tight knit blogging communities like LiveJournal turned into people posting professional quality photographs of their perfectly curated minimalist homes.

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This is pretty to look at, but do you really want to live like this? It would get so dirty, so fast. This isn’t (as far as I know) some blogger’s home office, but a photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash. It could be, though.

Maybe blogging still has a community somewhere, and I’m hoping to find that again. I used to write on this blogging platform called Vox. I didn’t tell my real life family and friends about it, and it was an essential outlet for me to get through a difficult time in my life. The best part of Vox was the community, or as they termed it, your “neighborhood.” I’ve since met some of my Vox neighbors in person and I’m still friends with a few of my Vox neighbors today, even though the platform died years ago. Maybe some bloggers today, even the super minimalist ones, do have a tight community like that and I truly hope they all do.

I could wax nostalgic for hours about how amazing the Internet used to be before social media came along and “internet life” and “real life” joined at the hip and became inseparable. But the point of this post is to explain why I started blogging again. I knew I wanted to start another blog for a while now, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted it to be. I definitely didn’t want to go the whole “here’s a bunch of photos of my perfect home where everything is white except all my plants” route because for one, I have a toddler. And two, I kill plants. RIP, plants.

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I’m so sorry, plants!

Instead, I wanted to write about nerdy stuff, and what it’s like being a nerdy parent, and what if my kid doesn’t turn out to be a nerd, and how to deal with a partner who’s not as nerdy as you are. I wanted to write for new parents who wonder how the heck they’re going to find time to play video games now that they have kids, or for people who are wondering what the best adventure games are, or to crowdsource what MMO I should be playing, or just to talk about how great the Internet was back in my day.

This brings me to Blaugust. I’d been hemming and hawing about starting this blog when I heard about Blaugust. I was less interested in the blog-for-30-days challenge (I’m a Questioner and that sort of thing doesn’t work for me) and more interested in the community of gaming bloggers aspect.

Blaugust is about blogging in the month of August, but it’s also about the community. Blaugust has a Discord server where participants can get together, get advice, share posts, and game together. When I heard about it, I thought, this is just the thing I need to actually start this parenting/gaming blog I’ve had in my head, and hopefully keep at it, too. Click the link below (or here) if you want to sign up.
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Screenshot of the old LiveJournal home page via The Toast.