2009 was a rough year. from january thru december, i felt inundated by bad news. at the macro level, i was disgusted by the modern day robber barons pillaging our economy. hearing about how virtually every industry—from banking to healthcare to our food system—was rife with corruption, mismanagement, corporate greed and public deception. on the personal front, diagnoses of cancer for family members and close friends, job losses, financial woes, construction problems with our home, and the loss of a twin that i carried for 27 weeks, were the flavors du jour. the morbid headlines and personal tragedies left me with an overwhelming feeling: futility.
what could i possibly do to make a difference? i certainly wasn't versed enough on the issues to tackle the big stuff (i'd leave that to my husband, a modern day crusader against the "pigs at the trough" of corporate america). with friends and family, i resolved to reconnect. reach out more, make phone calls long overdue, take a few minutes out of my daily grind to let them know i cared. i appreciated them. i was there if they needed anything.
but somehow it didn't seem like enough.
enter christine. my notoriously blunt cousin and the sister i always wished for. we grew up together and spent countless nights laying awake in the wee hours talking about our hopes and dreams. we visited them over the christmas holiday after a several year hiatus of not seeing each other. from the first word uttered, it was just like old times.
“you should start a blog,” she said.
“i know, i should. i just don't know what i'd write about.”
it's not that i'd never thought about it before. that was just the first time someone actually said it out loud...and it struck me. i ruminated. i could start a blog about branding or marketing, but it just felt forced (and god knows there are way too many of those already). how about women and empowering them to find their voice. that one felt a little truer, but too narrow and far too touchy feely.
every social media guru i've ever heard has said the key to starting a successful blog is finding "something you're passionate about." well i wouldn't say i'm passionate about facebook but i do spend a lot of time there...perhaps i could find a kernel of an idea there?
and then it hit me. amid all of the mindless rambling about the weather and my workload and the scrumptious meal i was about to sink my teeth into, i found the answer.
it's a photo album i created on facebook with some of my favorite images. photos i've taken of my family, my neighborhood, my city, and yes, of travels to far away lands too. some are landscapes, subjects of empirical beauty, but many are, in a word, simple. shadows from a bridge on wacker. light shining through the trees. clouds against a bright blue sky. my son's toes twinkling before their first dip into glen lake.
i decided to "take the plunge" and write this blog because these are the moments that sustain me. help me get through the nastiness in the world. there's a lot that is ugly, but far more, in everyday life is beautiful. inspired even. you just have to open your eyes to it.