I can’t even believe this is true, but I’ve been blogging for 6 years now. SIX!
I realize this type of statement is the kind of things people (like me) start to say at a certain age when time suddenly starts flying by at record speed and they can’t believe the cashier at the register didn’t even card them when they bought wine and, even worse, they not only didn’t card them but quickly hit the “Recognized Over 40” button.
Other statements people like me (okay, okay, ME) say at this stage in life are, “I mean, I don’t fit into a bikini by any stretch of the imagination, but eh, things could be worse.” and “Oh my god, I have to work with the NEW person? The whippersnapper fresh out of college? Jesus, I’m not sure I have the patience for this” and “I’d go with you, but I’m not sure if my hip will hold up.”
Everyone else on the planet hears those statements and nods their heads and rolls their eyes and says, “yes, yes, all of this is expected, why are you blathering on about it?” and I know this because I’ve done it a million times myself – but for some reason when it’s ME, I just can’t help it. The words just unexpectedly come out of my mouth as fast and as furious as a bout of food poisoning – a regurgitated cliche.
I knew I’d get older, of course, but I didn’t realize that I’d never actually FEEL older. (Which is why older adults act just as petty and ridiculous as the whippersnappers straight out of college, or even the kindergarteners straight out of pre-school, but that’s an issue to take up in another post). It’s alarming, really, to look around at all the white-haired people around me and realize how much talent and insight and wisdom I had previously not noticed or ignored.
I’m sorry, I haven’t blogged in like 5 months and all of sudden I can’t stop talking to you. I digress.
I have always enjoyed writing and thought of myself as a writer, however, right before embarking on this blogging adventure it hit me that I hadn’t written at all since college – which meant 11 years of non-existent writing. Writers don’t like it when they realize they haven’t been writing, just like old people don’t like it when they realize they’ve wasted a lot of precious time.
I desperately needed to practice writing. And not just because of my age. But because of My Secret.
When I started this blog, I knew nothing about blogging. I didn’t read even read other people’s blogs. I started blogging because I needed to practice my writing and I needed a place to put it and because of my age I needed it NOW. One of my friends started a blog and I thought, “Oh, there’s a place I could keep my writing all in one spot. On the internet! Sure, why not? I hear there is a lot of room there.” (She’s become a rich and famous blogger lady by the way, and here I am writing my first post in months.)
But, little did I know when I started that having this spot was paramount to keep me interested and invigorated and most importantly – WRITING. At first, I had no clue what to write about so I started writing about my horrific sleep and my insane dreams because those were a constant in my life – but it wasn’t long before I started writing whatever else came to my mind – and I was shocked to discover how cathartic writing about my issues with infertility, anxiety and depression were. I was shocked to learn that I really loved writing poetry. I was shocked to learn that people other than my mother started reading what I wrote.
I was even more shocked when writing about parenting gave rise to being published on Huffington Post, Working Mother, For Every Mom, Faith It, Motherly, Mumsnet, Parenting.com, YourTango, and actually being paid to write for Bottles and Heels, Sivana Spirit and Kids Safety Network.
But all of that was just a bonus.
The real prize was that I was making progress on My Secret.
Okay, okay, okay – WHAT SECRET? I can hear you yelling this from your computer.
I was secretly working on a project to preserve the life stories of my in-laws. They were in on the secret, but the rest of my husband’s family didn’t know. My inlaws didn’t at all live a life that I can relate to – they grew up as goat herders who lived at the top of a remote mountain in Greece – yet they themselves are so relatable.
And they are getting older.
There was no way I was going to let my children grow up without knowing who their grandparents were.
So, I started writing down their stories. I listened to all of their amazing memories and typed my heart out. Along the way, I was loved and my kids were being loved and we were all constantly FED. YOU GUYS HOW WE HAVE BEEN FED! So, I wrote and wrote and I ate and I wrote and edited and edited and screamed and cursed and gave up for awhile and started again and I ate again and gave up again and started again and eventually I FINISHED.
I wrote all of the stories they could tell me about their lives from birth until their arranged marriage in their early twenties and it turned into a book. Through it all, I wrote about the process of getting those stories, which was not always easy, I tell ya!
And I finished in time for them to read it. To enjoy it. To hopefully read it with their grandchildren someday. And I am so grateful for that.
So, now that you know why I’ve been here all this time, you can understand why I only had time, energy, and desire to post sporadically and why I am at a bit of a crossroads now that the book is finished. I’ve valued this blogging experience so much that I’ll probably keep doing it though.
So the secret is out – I’m excited I can share their stories with you soon, too, because it’s on its way to being self-published.
If you’ve liked what you’ve read here, or if you know what it’s like to have a parent or a grandparent who came from the Old Country, or who just lived a whole different life compared to one you have, I think you will be able to relate to what I’ve written about preserving their stories, or watching them impart their take on life on me and my kids or maybe even having a hard time understanding what the hell it is they are talking about because I can in no way relate to their experiences. Other than the human experiences of family and giving and love.
Also, if you love food. Because I’ve included a lot of her recipes.
Post to come soon with an excerpt and a link to where it can be purchased.
14 thoughts on “The SECRET REASON I’ve been a half-assed blogger all of these years.”
I really would like a copy so let us know how it can be done. Congrats to you and I am sure they are proud of their daughter in law. Great tribute to your children.
I would love a copy!!!
This is wonderful! I’d love a copy of this as well.
What a wonderful project. Can’t wait to read it.😀👍
So happy for you! What a wonderful tribute to your in-laws. Will definitely read this when you let me know how to get the book.
Congratulations! You are a wonderful writer and collector of stories. I’m looking forward to reading your book. What a treasure!
What a beautiful blog and your book looks awesome. Your in-laws look thrilled with your gesture of much love. So much you have said, I totally agree with and hence why I want to blog, so that I make myself write. I have written lots of snippets of stories and now I want to write them as I edit them and share them. Why, because I love stories and I like people’s stories. I do have a couple questions, how did you share your blogs, did people just follow you or did you share your blog in key areas or with key people. Thank you, Alexis.
I’ so so happy for you! That is amazing. I definitely wouldn’t feel bad for not blogging, it seems like you had your hands full 🙂 Real life is more important (or at least I think so)
But i want to buy it now!!!
That’s the most beautiful thing I can think of. And I LOVE the cover! Brilliant!!
I love this! This is amazing, you rock my world mama! So proud of you ❤
You are definitely like your grandpa- a preserver of family history! What a great thing that is 😊 I would love to read your book- Congrats!
Loved this idea (and all your other posts too!) I’ve only just started my blogging journey. I’m so looking forward to it!