No … not from Chicago. At least not yet. What I mean to say is that I’m moving my blog to my own domain.
It’s about time, as I’ve now been blogging for about three years. That, and I’ve got some ambition to make something more with this blog … even though I’m not quite sure what that “something” will be.
I admit, I’m waaay too wet behind the ears to know exactly what I’m doing. But I suppose that’s what Hubby’s there for, right? That and hopefully any other folk from the blogging community that might be willing to help a gal out. Like maybe direct me to some good widgets/plugins for my WP-powered site? Or give me hints on how to market myself so I just might gather more than a spackle of followers?
Truth be told, the site has been working for the past week or so now. I’ve just been trying to tweak it here and there to make it a little more … uhm, presentable? Then I realized that I’m just never going to be a hundred percent satisfied, so I might as well blog on it while I’m making changes.
So if you’re interested in following me over to my new home, please feel free to make the leap over.
I promise. It’s not that hard … all you have to do is remove dot-wordpress from the current URL.
Or click here and add me to your bloggie subscriptions.
Last week of Lenten Goodies. Thank G*d … no pun intended. But I am totally ready to go back to (hopefully) writing during a non-daily normal basis.
Good Deed of the Day: Hubby said that the good deed I should have posted yesterday was that I was supportive of him; that I gave him the time to finish up on some of his projects. But I would have done that anyway, so I don’t really see that as anything extraordinary. However, seeing that I can’t seem to think of any specific good deed I may have done today …
Grateful Thought of the Day: I am so grateful for Hubby for helping me to set up my new home. I know he’s been so busy with projects; so for him to help me with my never-ending questions? Yeah, he’s my hero!
It’s gorgeous outside. And I know this, despite being locked up under artificial lights since 8:30 this morning, because I’ve been unchained from my desk for a lunch time break. I couldn’t let the beautiful day go by without soaking up some of that sun.
I’m getting a head start on today’s post only because I will be attending my second Meetup for the week; another one about Bloggers in the Chicago area. This apparently is one of the bigger groups (300+ members), so I’m a little hesitant to see how personal or unpersonal this event will be.
In any case, I suppose it’s a good thing to get out there in this city. After a over a year of being here, I need to find a balance between work and play. And seeing that this was one of my problems back in Detroit, I figure it best be something I correct now.
It’s amazing how the older we get, the harder it is to step outside of our shells. Somedays I’m still amazed how I managed to pick up and leave the only city I’ve ever known and start over. And having a job waiting for me was definitely a blessing in disguise; because, if anything, at least that provided me with the ability to interact with people and relate to them on some common ground (the job, our backgrounds as Case Managers, etc).
This hasn’t been the same for Hubby. While he continued to have free-lance jobs and interact with people either online or on the phone, there wasn’t much face-to-face interaction in his day. (It probably was more face-to-laptop screen or ear-to-iPhone interaction more than anything.) While I encouraged him to work outside of our apartment where there were more chances of human contact, somedays he was too busy to leave his home-office. And somedays, he preferred only furbaby interaction instead.
Either way, it’s a good thing that he discovered Meetup.com. It’s a site that allows people to search for communities and events by interest; narrowing it down to a specific location. And because Chicago is a rather big city, there happens to be more groups/communities available that suit his interests. So for the past (almost) three months now, he’s been attending various events and beginning to build his network.
Now is the time for me to start doing this. And seeing that my interests lately have been more towards writing more and blogging, it makes sense to go to this Meetup tonite. I have no idea where this blog will take me, but I truly hope that I can at least learn some tips of the trade in trying to get my blog out there and read more often.
Wish me luck!!
Whew … 17 more days and counting until my Lenten journey is over! Go me!!
Good Deed Du Jour: Today we had another inservice at work for the entire staff. Unfortunately, the majority of my in-house staff wanted to go together; which I couldn’t allow because our phones needed to be covered for potential incoming live calls from our Customer Service area. But since two staff members left behind had really expressed interest over going to this topic in the past, I told them I’d cover for their phones and get our telecommuters to cover the phones as well. Both of them were very grateful!
Gratitude Du Jour: Thank goodness for warm sunny days! Nothing like a little bit of sunshine to give us a taste of Spring … which officially begins on the 21st! Yay!!
How is it that I managed to attend my first Meetup group event on the eve of my blogoversary? And how perfect that I joined a group called Chicago Blogs?
Yes, Hubby finally managed to drag me (although not kicking and screaming) to one of his Meetup events. Which, seeing that it just happens to be about blogging, seems perfect as a Meetup Virgin.
WOW, did I learn quite a bit about the “geekier” side of blogging! From SEOs (a term I just learned tonight) to marketing my blog in various manners … I feel as if I’m quite behind on my learning curve for blogging. But that’s okay. Because that’s what this group is about; which is to learn from each other and share various experiences.
Seeing that I had never been to a Meetup event before, I was initially quite nervous. Although I’m the “outgoing” one between Hubby & I, there are still times that I can be quite shy. But from the moment Hubby & I arrived, we both felt quite comfortable.
So thank you, Marty, for being such a gracious host. And seriously, it was incredible to meet such a great group of people with various experiences in the blogoverse. Looking forward to picking your brain for more ideas … especially now that I finally have a registered domain!!
And now comes the time-consuming part (mostly on Hubby’s end) of designing and developing my blog …
Well … seeing that it’s the eve of St. Patrick’s day, might as well go for an Irish version of my Lenten Activities:
Dea-Gníomhas an Lae: Today’s good deed was all about encouragement. Not only was it about encouragement to some of the new folk I met tonight; especially those that have just entered into the world of blogging … but it was also about providing feedback and confidence to all of my employees as we met one-on-one today.
Bhuíochas ar an Lae: I am grateful for the opportunity to meet new people. Being new in a city is not necessarily a bad thing … it’s just the older I get, the harder it is to meet other people outside of work and outside of my profession. So being able to meet new people and find common interests? Yeah … that’s just the whip cream on top of the banana split!
Okay all, that’s it. I’m barely keeping my eyes open at this time … Good night!
There’s a part of me that realizes I’ve changed since coming to a resolution with my infertility; since moving to Chicago. It’s been a gradual change; mostly based on the increasing confidence and strength I’ve garnered over the past year.
And this past month, with all the writing I’ve been doing … I realize that my posts have definitely taken a different tone. Specifically, I’ve noticed that I’ve taken a break from the sad, depressing — and even angry — parts of my life.
I have always loved making observations about myself and of the world. My mom always told me that I was both very perceptive and inquisitive, so I guess it comes naturally to me. The only problem I’ve encountered (especially more recently) is that I often forget what an impact some of these observations have on me. And if I don’t write them down … well, then my “lightbulb moment” gets lost in the dim recess of my mind.
Speaking of observations … yesterday was the “observed” Catholic Holy Day of Ash Wednesday. Ask me if I went to mass … and I’m sure you’d already know the answer. But we’ve already had many a conversation about my actual “practice” of my Catholic faith.
Regardless, there are certain things … traditions, really … that I like to follow. (Coincidentally, a bloggie friend recently talked about how traditions in religion is something she enjoys … read about it here.) One of them is the practice of “giving up” something during Lent.
I debated for a few days as to what I would give up this year. In the past, I’ve typically given up things that I really, really enjoy … knowing that I’d really only be practicing the art of self-restraint. One year it was chocolate-covered pretzels, and another year was caramel apple suckers. Come Easter after both years, I was so good at exercising self-restraint that I no longer had those “cravings” to consume them as I had done before Ash Wednesday.
This year I thought about giving up Coca-Cola (I’m addicted) or even anyform of chocolate (detrimental to *anyone’s* sanity). And as I told my co-worker this, she told me what shedecided to do different for Lent this year.
Since she was already pretty adept at giving up things for Lent, my co-worker chose to “pay it forward” this Lenten season. Meaning that she would decide to do one random act of kindness every day for the 40 days before Easter.
The more she talked about her plans, the more she had me sold on doing the same thing. Even though I understand the concept of “giving up” something for Lent as being able to exercise abstinence and to “purify the soul” before the day of Resurrection … the “rebel” Catholic in me thinks that this concept in this century is self-defeating, rather than self-appreciating.
If this sounds muddled, let me explain it with this train of thought: If I decide to give up chocolate for Lent this year and I’m not successful, I know I’d feel guilty. Even worse is that the mere thought of having chocolate before Easter would already elicit those feelings of guilt … even if I didn’t have any.
But … let’s say that instead of “giving up” something, I decide to “give” something to someone else … like an extra sandwich from my catered lunch meeting today to the homeless person outside of the Starbucks by work … well, it would make me feel as if I’ve helped someone else and it would make me feel good about myself. And in the end, it would boost my confidence.
Kinda like how once I started to allow myself to feel “happy” again (after 12+ years of infertility), I’ve managed to garner some momentum in gaining confidence and strength. And more importantly, contentment in my overall life. (See how it all ties together?)
My goal this February was to write an entry a day; and seeing that I have only 11 days to go, I’m pretty sure I will meet this goal and gather more of that strength and confidence.
SO … in order to continue that forward momentum, I’ve decided to borrow my co-worker’s Lenten promise. Starting today (and ending on Easter Monday … since I’m already a day behind), I am going to vow to perform one random act of kindness a day and document that daily deed on my blog.
But not only that … I’m also going write about one thing that I’m thankful for every day. Because the exercise here is to remember that others may not have the same luxuries (whether material or other luxuries) in life that I do.
And I hope this gets me closer towards feeling more fulfilled in this life.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot of the title of my blog; mostly because of the whole NaBloPoMo theme of “Ties.” After all, what other references are their to apron strings other than being “tied” to one or needing to be cut from one?
But as I mentioned in this page, the purpose of my blog title is in reference to my favorite song and the relationship it had with my longing to have a family of my own. It’s a song that referenced my need to let my “imaginary child” know that he/she would be happy wrapped in my apron strings.
Then there’s the whole use of this song in the movie soundtrack for the John Hughs film, “She’s Having A Baby“. It’s a perfect song for this movie, especially as there is a small bit part in there about the struggles of infertility.
Though what gets me about the use of “Apron Strings” in this movie is that they do not use the original version of the song from the album “Idlewild.” While I understand making the song more “commercially” palatable, I do wish that they would have used the original lyrics to the song.
You see, the movie version uses different lyrics on the first bridge of the song. The movie version lyrics bring on the tone of a woman waiting for the birth of her child. While the original lyrics … well, those are the ones I can relate to most:
Your baby looks just like you when you were young
And he looks at me with eyes that shine
And I wish that he were mine
Then I go home to my
Apron strings; cold and lonely,
For time brings thoughts that only
Will be quiet when someone clings
To my apron strings
These lyrics; they expressed (still express?) the feelings that I have when I see other families with babies … with children of their own. It’s the feeling of wanting … of longing to experience what most other couples, and more specifically, women experience.
And while I’m no longer entrenched in those aching emotions of childlessness, I still have that feeling of wanting to belong. Of notwanting to be so different than others. To get to experience those things in a woman’s life that mostwomen get to share with one another.
Child-free Living is, as Loribeth‘s blog title says is definitely “The Road Less Travelled.” It’s a place where not many people can accept or understand; where the perception is that those people who don’t raise children are purely selfish.
And even amongst those couples who live without children, there is considerable debate surrounding the definition “child-free living.” For some couples, child-free living is defined as the “lack of desire” to have children. While others see it simply as a lifestyle choice. The common factor, however, is that child-free living is a conscious decision to continue a life without children. Now … throw infertility into the mix and there’s even less of a connection to others who may see child-free living strictly as not wanting to have any children.
Sometimes it’s as if I feel that my life is destined to be one in which I am constantly “different” than others. First there’s the whole two-different-worlds, in being a first generation Filipino-American. Then there’s the whole deal of never being able to experience motherhood. And even moreso now, as I begin to live child-free afterinfertility.**
While I’ve known since November that the title of my blog has since strayed from it’s original purpose, I dofeel that the lyrics to my favorite song still ring true. Because now … instead of that longing for a child … I am now longing for the understanding from others that living child-free after infertility was not an easy decision to make. And letting go of these apron strings was/is not such an easy task to do.
So maybe it’s not a matter of “letting go” of these apron strings*. Maybe it’s more of longing for acceptance that myapron strings can be good for other things in my life …
For apron strings can be used for other things
Than what they’re meant for
and you’d be happy wrapped in my
* How do you like my new and improved “About This Blog” blurb? Yep … it was time to change it.
** So here’s a sidebar story … Hubby & I recently started to “branch out” from our Chicago apartment to find groups or events that might be of interest. (About time, it’s been a year!!) When we first started to look for things, we went to this website and looked up local groups. What I was surprised to see was the lack of support for CF Living after IF. But trust me, I found groups for those actively going through IF treatment; and I found staunch “No Kids” groups … but none where I might relate to other women.
Yep … IRL, I must really be all alone. But at least I have all you wonderful folk out there in blog world!