It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I think what happened is I just plum ran outta words. 2013 was a very verbose year, it seems. By the time we hit the home stretch here between Christmas and New Year’s, I have found myself unusually quiet.
(I’ve always felt that there were parentheses on these days. Like this: [Dec.26-Dec.31], as though these days are a slight departure from their other calendar counterparts. They are an aside not meant to be part of the regular sentence).
During this ‘aside’ I’ve been doing some contemplation. OK, yes, as per usual, but perhaps a bit more than usual this time.
I have been pondering authenticity lately.
Especially online authenticity. Some people I know would scoff at that phrase. Reading between their lines would reveal that they think online activity is a flimsy knock-off for real human interaction.
You know what? In some ways, that’s true. I get that. It’s *not* the same as a face-to-face convo. (Although for many of us introverted-writerly types who love clear communication and the written word, we relish and treasure the opportunity to edit and ‘right’ our words before releasing them to the listener).
Yet in so many ways this is the space that I feel most known and loved. As it turns out, the internet is just another form of connection and interaction that can be used and misused like any other.
The fingers flying across keyboards as I chat with my intimate group of blogging friends? Some of the most lovely people I’ve ever had the privilege to meet (some I’ve met in real life, and some not yet).
The responses I hear from my incredible readers here when I spill stuff from the depths of my heart and they *get me*? Priceless and indescribable.
The fulfillment that washes over me and lights me up on fire with passion when I do things that I really, really love? (Mothering’s one thing. Writing’s another). Beyond grateful to have that, especially as I look around and watch so many people settling for less than their passion.
Here’s the truth, peeps. Because I can’t not tell you the truth. It’s like a disease – I’m too darn honest for my own good. Ask me a deep question and I’ll probably spill my guts all over it. You other relentlessly truthy people get it, I know it.
So. The truth about this space here at R+H is that I love it. That’s first and foremost. I believe in blogging because it’s a conduit for information and help and encouragement and passion and love. There’s beauty here.
[Laugh if you must at my lame 90’s pop culture reference: Sometimes I feel like my wordpress login page is a portal to that room where Neo takes the red pill from Morpheus and escapes the Matrix. Checkout lady at the grocery store: “How’re you doing?”, Me: “Fine thanks, you?” = WE ARE IN THE MATRIX. Actually, lady? You wanna know the truth? I just received a really stressful email that impacts my entire future, I lost my cool and yelled at my kids, I’m worried about our finances, I have 3 children age 5 & under climbing over my grocery cart like crazed monkeys whining about being hungry, and this morning my jeans were too tight and I spiralled down the rabbit hole of arguing with myself about whether or not that should bother me. I AM NOT ALWAYS HUNKY-DORY. Take the red pill, peeps. Let’s be real.]
I was *thisclose* to throwing in the towel altogether due to some unkind criticism a few months ago, but thankfully I came to my senses and realized that it would be foolish to give up my passion even if not everyone really *gets* it. Over that.
Secondly, I believe that God has blessed and gifted women with so many talents and skills and that sometimes those talents and skills are best put to use in a format outside of their mothering and homemaking realm.
And I believe that’s ok.
Me? I am happily choosing both. I am at home, being with my kiddos most of the time. Some of the time, though, hubs takes over and I sit upstairs working to bring home a couple pieces of bacon. Like, not a lot of bacon. Maybe just enough for potato-bacon soup twice a month… but everyone agrees that potato-bacon soup just isn’t the same without the bacon, right?
There’s a theologically sound argument if I’ve ever heard one.
Of course the Great Wide Interweb is a network created and maintained by humans, so it will be messy. In fact it’ll be a hot mess of emotion and misunderstanding and personality-clash and theological differences and sin and muck, and heaviness too. Whoooooeeeee, it’s a big ol’ hoedown of humanity. It’s a revelry and a wonder, really.
I’m a fan.
So, here I am, pecking away with some words and some plans and some Great Ideas for 2014. I am planning to write more about our family’s food choices and about our weird hippy ways. Also about our parenting choices (even though that one just scares the bejeebers right outta me).
Posts you can look forward to in 2014 may include:
An Introduction to Non-Punitive Parenting
Double Chocolate Brownies, Gluten-Free
Honey-Sweetened Hot Chocolate
The Homeschool Philosophy that Captured My Heart
An Introduction to Natural Sweeteners
My Experience with Family Cloth
How to Stay Motivated to Experience Nature With Kids in the Winter
How to Calm a Whiny Child (Without Junk Food or Screen Time)
Baby-Led Weaning & Baby-Led Solids (a series, maybe)
Aunt Beulah’s Chicken
The Only Way I Store My Homemade Bone Broth
The Great Big Vaccination Debate: How to Think it Through Without Losing Your Mind
The Simplest and Most Powerful Parenting Tool I Have
Planning a Backyard Garden for 2014
I Suck at Budgeting (And how I’m Getting Better)
Bonus! Any random spewing forth of thoughts that come tumbling from my head when the muse shows up.
I also am in the planning stages for a second ebook, so keep an ear out for that bit of exciting news in a while.
And now, I head to bed. In the interest of seeking that ever-elusive balance between working my butt off to build a successful business and also taking care of myself and my health and my family, I choose to simply end this post with a question for you:
What do you hope to read on R+H in 2014?
I’ll do a happy dance if you share. Thank-you, lovely peeps.
Your blog makes me feel happy, understood, and a little less like “that crazy lady” when I am around other people. I’m ridiculously excited about several ideas on your list, and I can hardly wait to hear your thoughts!!! And you’re not alone (in many, many ways, but specifically): I am really thinking hard on authenticity, too. I let people get to me, and stopped writing REAL thoughts on my blog, and since rebranding a year ago, I’ve only let ME come through a very few times. I’m determined to change that this year, and it scares me to death. Glad I’ll have company!
Can you write a post to future mothers? What do you wish you’d known before you became a mom? So many of the blogs I love are written by women who are in the thick of motherhood…what insight do you have for us who aren’t even in the thin of it yet?
I smiled big when you wrote about your love of blogging. I get that SO very much! 🙂 Best wishes to your family and your blog for 2014! xo
[email protected] Humbled Homemaker
LOVE this, Beth! Just love it! 🙂
Erin @ Home and Grace
I completely agree with you about connecting on the internet! Yes, it’s not a replacement for face-to-face time with friends, but connecting with people on the internet is invaluable. There are many blog posts that I’ve read (many of yours) where I think, “Her too?!?! I’m not the only one!” or I’ve learned something new or been encouraged. I look forward to your posts on parenting as I will soon have a 3-year-old. Yikes! Thank you for sharing your knowledge, wisdom and life with us. It’s great appreciated!
Looks like an excellent plan! I am looking forward to all of it, can’t wait for the vaccine info and conversation. I love and appreciate your honesty and heart. I always enjoy what you share. Thank you so much.
Beth, thanks for sharing so thoughtfully, eloquently, and honestly. I love reading your posts! I love all of them, but I am particularly interested in recipes. I am gluten and dairy free and I am always looking for new food ideas. I LOVED your recipe for peanut butter cups… We ate those up over Christmas! And your no bake cookies with cocoa and coconut are delicious!! Keep it coming! 🙂
This all sounds awesome! I personally am always most excited to read your hippy, eco-friendly, and/or homemade posts. 🙂
I just love you… 🙂 Anything you write, I shall read 🙂 Be blessed this coming year Ricci family!
I am so excited to read what is coming up in 2014. I know that I am pretty much the complete opposite of you when it comes to life, but I am taking a lot out of your writing and your honesty. I love to see other perspectives on life and I can definitely learn from you and your “crunchy” ways.
Don’t let the haters get you down and keep filling your pages with your incredible thoughts. 🙂
I love this, Beth, and I love you! And I love real, authentic blogging/online communities! Looking forward to all you have to share in the year to come – I’m especially interested to hear your thoughts on homeschooling 🙂 May you know joy and peace and rest and be filled with wisdom and boldness and courage to be yourself and share your gifts! Blessings!