It wasn’t too long ago when I was a mom of two young children who I loved to talk about constantly. In my community, this is known as “kvelling” – a Yiddish word meaning bursting with pride.
I even had a blog called Kvell Corner hosted on BlogSpot, where my children were the stars of the show. I talked about my daughter coming home from overnight camp as a newly-minted vegetarian and how I knew nothing about cooking for her. And I documented my kids’ first solo bike rides to school with me following them in my minivan to make sure they arrived safely. I may have told a few embarrassing stories about temper tantrums in the middle of Sears and birthday parties gone bad.
And then, two things happened almost simultaneously. First, my kids became aware of my blog and started to read it. I didn’t think there was anything questionable in my posts, but they asked – no demanded – to read what I wrote before sharing with a broader audience. That was fair. While they rarely censored my writing, they did begin to say, “Mom, you can’t write about this!” when something happened that would have made for a great story to share.
The other thing that happened is that I wanted to change the name and the theme of my blog. Unless you are Jewish, you wouldn’t know what Kvell Corner means without my explaining it to you. I desired a more all-encompassing name that spoke to the masses and reflected other parts of my life besides parenthood.
Around this time, I participated in a weekly writing group where we literally workshopped my new name in class. I was delighted when someone came up with the concept of a manual. We discussed how we are never born with or given a guidebook for life and that my blog could fill this need. Let me be clear. I am no expert in the ways of the world and what works best for everyone. Far from it! But, we are all in the same boat. We have to figure things out for ourselves as we go along. My stories and posts are a way for me to jump in the boat with you and enjoy the ride.
Hence, the name of this blog was born. Before launching the blog, I had to sit with the name and live with it to see if it felt right. And then, as if the stars were aligned in my favor, a bad parenting moment presented itself and ultimately sealed the deal. You can read that story here.
Now my kids tell me they love when I write about them. They even joke about it by saying – “well, I guess this is one for the blog.” I still ask their permission, and it is almost always granted. I am grateful to them for giving me that gift. But, I also have stories to tell that have nothing to do with them. I’ve had a rewarding career in non-profit communications for nearly 20 years. Working in the non-profit world has a way of teaching me lessons I never thought I needed to learn. This makes for some terrific blog content.
Also, I’m turning 50 later this month, and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve never been one to stress about starting a new decade. It is typically the next birthday that I gasp and realize I’m closing in on the next one. I loved my 40s, and as this time in my life ends, I realize that my tolerance for bullshit is waning and my confidence to shine a light on it grows exponentially. I know I’m on the brink of an entirely new chapter in my life. My daughter is in college, and my son is a junior in high school. It is now my job to support their transitions into adulthood. I’m already noticing more time on my hands to pay attention to my dreams yet to come to fruition.
It’s an exciting time. And, I promise to share it all with you.