On this day, exactly one year ago, I published my first post so I’m calling today my blogaversary. That first post, I Don’t Understand The Question, has only had 20 views up until now. I hadn’t told anyone about the blog, not even my family mostly because I wasn’t sure of what their reaction would be and I wanted to have some content to show them when I did go public. Another reason was that I wanted to make sure that I was really intent on sticking with the blog because I’ve been known to start a project or two and leave them unfinished (not that a blog is ever really finished, but I think you understand my meaning).
In my Between The Lines feature post, I shared that my purpose in starting this blog was two-fold, both a new way to challenge myself and a way to add to my personal legacy. Watching my mother’s mental decline due to Alzheimer’s has not only been heartbreaking to witness, it’s also frightening to wonder if I will suffer the same fate. It’s my intent to take steps to prevent that from happening and my blog is one the ways I plan to address that fear. I intend to keep my mind busy with new challenges, to maintain my body in better physical condition, and to create a personal history that my family and I can look back on.
Thinking back to a year ago, I realize now how clueless I was about what blogging entailed, including how to promote my blog. I thought that I would get readers because my blog would appear in a WordPress listing of blogs. I’m not sure that I knew was a link-up was yet at the time. I had set up a Facebook page up but didn’t think to set up a Twitter account until a month later and then Instagram a few weeks after that. By this time, I had finally shown the blog to The Husband and our kids but no one else. My plan was to make a big reveal on my personal Facebook account on my birthday which coincided with this post, Another Year Wiser. My birthday was about two months after the first post and I had another 11 published posts ready for readers to view. Reactions were good, supportive even, so my fears were for naught.
I’m grateful to the many bloggers who share their wisdom and experience on blogging as well as technical expertise with their readers. One of the first blogs I followed, Mostly Blogging, is written by Janice, a woman I was already acquainted with in real life, and she covers a multitude of strategies for improving your blog. More recently, I’ve started to follow Nikki at View From In Here, who offers sage advice for being better at blogging. As I absorb Nikki’s pearls of wisdom, I reflect on the bad advice I’ve come across, too. I can recall another blogger sharing in a blogging tips post that she does not read or look other blogs which at the time I thought was odd because why wouldn’t she want to know and see what other’s were writing about. I fully understand how big a time suck blogging can be and perhaps this was her way of prioritizing her resources, but to quote Stephanie from Full House, “how rude”. She was obviously not interested in any true connection with her readers and that’s not the kind of blogger I want to be.
This little blog of mine has come along way in the last year. I started out hosted on WordPress and moved to self-hosted as of March. In January, I hosted my first link up. In July, I started a weekly links collection post and this past week’s Wednesday’s Whatevers was the 73rd post I’ve published. Initially, I thought I would be able to publish two or three posts a week but here again, I was a bit naive about the actual time involved in creating and publishing a post. Samantha at Fake Fabulous has a brilliant post called How Much Of Your Life Is Taken Over By Blogging that should be read by anyone thinking of starting a blog. At this point in my life, blogging is still something that I have to squeeze into my free time as I have a 40+ hour a week day job plus family responsibilities and a desire to shop. The look of my blog is still a bit plain and unpolished primarily because of my limited time. With the move to self-hosted, I’ve begun to monetize my blog as you may have noticed by the affiliate marketing links. Selling ad space is still on my to-do list.
I want to give a shout-out to a few of the other bloggers who have encouraged me along the way, primarily through the comments they make on my posts. The very first comment I received was at the end of September from Sandra at Lowcountry.Felicity.Life on my About page and the first comment made on a fashion post was by Dawn at Fashion Should Be Fun (you’ll have to google her, I couldn’t get the link to stick). Since then, my “best blogging buddies” based on comment counts have been Jodie of Jodie’s Touch Of Style, Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes, and Patti of Not Dead Yet Style. To all of you and others not mentioned, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to connect with me and I hope you feel that I’ve reciprocated in kind.
In honor of my blog’s first post and as a gift to myself for this year-one blogaversary, I’ve purchased a new pair of red shoes for myself. If you’ve not read that first post, you probably don’t understand the significance of red shoes. No worries, as a courtesy I’m reprinting it as my closing. Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you back here again next year for the year-two blogaversary celebration.
I Don’t Understand The Question
Not long ago, my husband and I were watching a movie with a scene that takes place in a woman’s walk-in closet. As the action took place, he asked aloud and apparently to me, “how many pairs of red shoes does a woman need?” I was puzzled by the question and replied with “what are you talking about?” As the marvels of modern technology allow, he pressed the reverse button on the DVR remote and showed me exactly what had prompted his question.
Behind the action in that scene, the visible wall inside the closet was lined floor to ceiling with shelves that held said woman’s impressive collection of shoes. In the background pattern made by the shelves and shoes, the grouping of three pairs of red pumps on an upper shelf had stood out to my husband as unusual. As my attention narrowed in on the origin of his question, I realized that in my first view of this scene I had pondered on the merits of having one’s shoes openly displayed on shelves verses storing them in labeled boxes as I like to do (more on that in another post). I, then, quickly recognized that except for the color and apparent heel height of the shoes, to my eyes each of the pairs were distinctly different. One was open-toed, one was patent leather with a strap, and the third appeared to be suede. Not only did I recognize these differences between the pairs of shoes, I could visualize the different styles of clothing that would be worn with each. When my husband again asked his question “how many pairs of red shoes does a woman need?”, I paused briefly for dramatic effect and then replied sweetly “I don’t understand the question”.
That answer caught my husband off-guard for a moment but then he realized to whom he had asked the question and laughed it off as though he should have known better. You see, in our current abode we have what my husband has dubbed “the queen’s closet”. It is the size of a small bedroom because it is indeed a small bedroom. A little more than a year ago we embarked on a plan to ‘lighten our load’ so to speak. We sold our single family 2,200+ square foot home with a pool on a nearly ½ acre lot and bought a 2,100+ square foot townhouse in a complex that has green belts, four sparkling pools, and other amenities all maintained by the community HOA. We were able to remodel before we moved in and we are quite content with the results as well as the lightening we have achieved in our property upkeep and financial loads. And best of all, I finally have something I have dreamt of having for most of my life, a walk-in closet.
A bit of blood, sweat, and tears (some ours and some from those hired to do the work) were necessary to bring this closet to life. Where in our last place I had clothing in closets in two other areas of the house besides a closet in our bedroom, my current closet is large enough to contain all my clothing whether it’s on hangers, stacked on shelves, or folded in drawers. The original plan upon purchase of this townhouse had been to construct a walk-in closet within the spacious master bedroom. My husband fully recognized that the existing reach-in closet in this bedroom would not be large enough for the two of us to share but he was reluctant to sacrifice space in the bedroom to create a walk-in closet. There were many intense discussions about the dimensions and other specifics of the closet to be built. Then he started eying the bedroom adjacent to ours, the smallest of the four bedrooms in our new place, and suggested that a door could be installed to connect the two rooms. We had intended to use this bedroom as an office/guest room/craft room. It would be a smarter plan to convert it into your closet, he said, because we would save on the cost of building two interior walls, there would be no loss of space in our bedroom, and it would result in a larger closet than would fit in our bedroom. He said that we would have enough space in our bedroom for a small office area and, if we ever had overnight guests, we would figure out a way to accommodate them in one of the kids’ bedrooms.
I had heard of people who had converted a bedroom into a closet and it had always seemed to me to be a bit of a decadence. To my thinking, the repurposing of space within a large bedroom into an additional closet would be one thing but to repurpose an entire bedroom into a closet would be another. We had purposefully bought a place with four bedrooms and not three so did it matter that we would not have an office/guest room/craft room as we had originally planned? After all, it was likely that one or the other of the other two bedrooms would be vacated within the next few years and we could then have this office/guest room/craft room that now seemed to be falling in our priorities of space allocation. I really, really, REALLY, did not want to concede on the matter but, in the end, I did. Fine, whatever.
Now, let’s spin that into “it’s all Fine. Whatever tickles the fancy”. I admit that it still feels a bit decadent to have converted a bedroom into a closet but all of my clothes, shoes, accessories, and craft items are now organized and contained in one closet with all items easily accessible without the need to dig under or behind piles to find something that is used infrequently. My beautiful closet has a large window, semi-custom shelving, full-length mirror, and a chandelier (more about the closet will be forthcoming). Amongst the boxes of shoes that line the shelves in this fabulous closet are my own three pairs of red shoes; one open toed, one patent leather with a strap, and the other suede. And there is a pair of red slip-ons I saw recently that I may soon have to find space for on this shelf.
So, how many pairs of red shoes does a woman need? Really, I don’t understand the question.
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