2013: The Year in Birthing Beautiful Ideas
For the past few New Year’s Eves, I have posted a list of my favorite blog posts from the year.
This didn’t happen on NYE 2013. So I planned to write my “2013 favorites” post on New Year’s Day.
That didn’t happen either.
It’s not that I didn’t have the time to write these posts. I’m pretty sure that I could have carved out a few minutes here and there throughout the day or days preceding New Year’s Eve to make this post happen.
Instead, I think that this delay is a good reflection of my ever-changing relationship with this blog over the course of 2013.
When I first began writing Birthing Beautiful Ideas, blogging felt like a necessity. Having an outlet and a platform–and later, an audience–gave me, and continues to give me, a type of satisfaction that I haven’t received from any other work that I’ve done. Blogging has helped me become a better writer. Blogging has even opened up possibilities for me to become an actual, real-deal published writer.
I think that the reality and further possibilities for this actual, real-deal publication have played a part in the waning of my blog-writing. It’s not that I’m ready to stop blogging. I’m not sure that I’ll be ready to quit it all any time soon. But I do feel the need to store up some of my writing energies for other projects.
My time and inspiration and ideas are limited. Perhaps I’ll spend 2014 writing shorter, rougher blog posts. Or perhaps I’ll spend it publishing fewer analysis-heavy posts. One thing that I know for certain is that I’m going to try like hell to spread my writing time and inspiration and ideas across other venues. Perhaps a magazine or two. Or another anthology. Or even my own book.
With that being said, I hope to write at least enough blog posts to be able to create yet another list of favorites in 2014. Even if that list arrives a few days late.
January: “And Just Like That, I’m Done“
2014 was the year that Tim and I decided for certain that we were done having children. The decision didn’t come without some last minute cold feet (or cold ovaries, I suppose). It came with much hand-wringing and soul-depth-plumbing. And it came with feelings of settledness and gratitude upon realizing that our family was, indeed, complete.
This year more than any other, I’ve focused many of my pregnancy and childbirth-related posts on bringing some much-needed nuance and critical thinking into discussions of these topics. I love this post because it still challenges me to keep my critical-thinking cap on as snugly as possible.
It’s all too easy to cast judgment upon others for their parenting choices. And allow me to be clear: some people are total turdburglars when it comes to some of their parenting choices. (I’ve made some turdburglar parenting choices myself.) But before we judge and climb atop our moral high horses, it’s best to consider first if there’s a bit more to the story that we see before us.
When I read this post, I think to myself, “Oh my God, things have gotten SO MUCH EASIER since I wrote this post.” Note that “easier” is not the same as “easy.” Parenting toddlers, and parenting in general, are rarely easy. But I can declare with complete confidence that things are better. Things aren’t so hard and mind-bendingly-challenging. So to those of you who are going through a similar rough patch? It gets better. It will get better. I can’t tell you when, but it will happen.
May: “What I Will Miss“
Some day, I will miss breastfeeding. It’s not that it’s always been a cake walk for me. At times, it’s even felt as if I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. Both those dark, quiet moments in the middle of the night? Those times where it’s been just my babies and me and this one act of love and sustenance that I have been lucky enough to do for them? Yeah. I’ll miss that some day.
June: “It Goes By So Fast“
One of the reasons I love blogging is that it helps me to document some of the ideas and moments that I would have completely forgotten were it not for this blog. This is one of those moments.
July: “Honey Toddler Doesn’t Care“
I’ve got six words for you: Honey Toddler Don’t Give a Shit.
August: “You Can Burn Brighter than the Sun“
My son started kindergarten this year. He is wild and compassionate and inappropriate and creative. He is fun and exasperating and delightful. He is all of these things, all of the time. As I am with all of my children and their haphazardly bundled personalities, I’m excited to see where it all takes him.
September: “September, Again“
I don’t blog about miscarriage in order to direct All the Attention toward me. I blog about it because I have the sneaking suspicion that the pain I feel, on and off throughout the years, might resonate with someone else out there.
October: “Mother, All too Mother“
This is one of my all-time-favorites on the blog. And here’s some behind-the-scenes info: I had snippets of this piece in my “draft” folder for well over a year. It was one of those posts, and one of those sentiments, that had been with me for a very long while.
November: “Cherish Every Other Moment“
Because my year-end favorites list wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of snark.
December: “You Know You’re a Writer When“
My last post of 2013, and most definitely one of my favorites. Writing it was an act of catharsis and self-deprecation and self-aggrandizement all in one. (And you guys: the typo is purposeful. Just in case you were wondering.)