Blogs take on many forms I have realized as I read more and more of them. Some are religious in nature, some trying to promote someone’s business, a few are story tellers, many are online journals.
I tried journal writing beginning the year I moved to the mountains, alone, to help supervise the construction of our retirement log home on a small farm and to unretire from education and reenter the school counseling field for another 3 1/2 years until my hubby had finally sold his practice, retired and moved into our home with me. For three years, we had visited back and forth across the state, hard on the cars and our emotions. I thought journal writing would provide me with the necessary outlet, but I couldn’t get my thoughts down on paper fast enough and looking back at my efforts, it was mostly a pity party and complaints. I had retired from Virginia Beach City schools as a school counselor in 2004. This was just about the time that the state mandated testing set in motion by No Child Left Behind was starting to have teeth, affecting whether a child could graduate with a diploma or just leave school after 12 years with a Certificate of Attendance. The Testing Director for the city at that time had met with all of the counselors by school and told us that if there was a mistake made, that it would be our names in the paper, not his. I was dedicated to my job, a good counselor, a stickler for details when it came to record keeping and I also ran the Advanced Placement Testing program for our school, being responsible to the students, their parents who paid dearly for those tests and to the College Board, who took their exam process very seriously. That meeting was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I decided that since I had enough cumulative years and age to retire from the school system, that I would quietly go at the end of the school year. I was burned out, stressed. For the next two years, I worked a part time job for a non profit organization, but the third year, it would no longer be part time, and our house was under construction, thus my move. I was hired by the adjacent county’s school system as the lead counselor in a high school, again in charge of AP testing, but now also in charge of the Standard’s of Learning (yep SOL) testing for the school. My stress level again rose, the paper journal writing was not doing it for me, so I started using a feature in Facebook called notes. Then your posts in Facebook were limited to a set number of words.
About 3 or 4 years ago, I discovered blogging. This was the outlet I had been seeking, a place where I could journal, be creative, and put down the info quickly enough to get my thoughts on paper, you see, I type much faster than I could ever write by a factor of 4 or 5. My blog is my journal. I do publish it in a few places and yes, I like to see if anyone is reading it, but it is really for me, my journal writing outlet. Blogging helped me through the years until I retired with my hubby permanently and has continued as a creative outlet, a place to publish knitting patterns that I create, a place to write about the life on our little homestead, a place to share the new things we learn.
What is a blog? It is personal to each and every blogger. I love reading those of others and I keep adding more and more to my daily list to check for new posts but I shall continue to blog as my personal journal.