Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stats and a Word for 2010

Apparently I average about 12-14 posts per month, according to my 2009 stats.

That's about one post every 2-3 days on average (though sometimes weeks go by without a post and one month, I only did 5 posts total).

Out of curiosity, I checked other stats. My bloggy SIL Emily is a blogger extraordinaire and managed a whopping 37 posts per month average in 2009. That's 1-2 a day! She does daily what I do in a week. Plus she Facebooks, Tweets, emails, writes on numerous other blogs, takes care of two little ones, is pregnant with a third, and cooks great-looking meals daily from what I can tell. I bow to her online awesomeness.

It's a new year and I'm not terribly hopeful that my stats will increase much. I think my average will be about the same as 2009's. We'll see. We live pretty full lives and I sort of blog when I feel like it and the muse is, apparently, temperamental.

I still haven't reactivated my Facebook account and I don't dare sign up for any new social networks either. Plus, now I have Webkinz duties to attend to.

I have been discouraged, of late, with this blogging hobby. As much as I enjoy it (and I really do) and prefer it by a mile to Facebook (blech), I just haven't been feeling it. Like I've said before, we blog as a way to be in touch with people who live far from us. We know we're a little "out of sight-out of mind" with some extended family and friends, and blogging, I thought, would be a good way to be in better touch. And I think overall it has been, though it hasn't been what I had pictured. So I do want to continue blogging, at least sometimes.

There are those near and dear to us who I know read and appreciate any and all blog posts. They express this to us often and show us, in word and deed, how much we mean to them. You know who you are. For us, and for you, I do hope to blog more. I want to post more often about what we're reading as well as what we're doing. And I'll throw in some vents and of course some Idol reviews, too.

I put a lot of time and heart into my posts and, quite frankly, feedback helps and the dwindling comments (and possibly readers?) has been disheartening. I'm not at all complaining or looking for sympathy (in fact, please don't--seriously, seriously please don't--that isn't the point of this post anyway--just keep reading--and again, please don't). I'm just stating what is. Blogging is a bit like online journaling and I do enjoy it very much. But as a very open person, I also put a lot of myself out there (by choice) and when I see through my nifty statcounter that people are reading but not commenting or telling me, I feel, well, a bit vulnerable and exposed.

Especially unnerving is when someone mentions something about me that I know they learned through reading my blog and I either A. didn't know they even read it or B. didn't think they cared (so of course I wonder why they haven't said something sooner). Makes me feel like I'm on the other side of a peep hole, you know?

That brings me to my word of the year. I've been giving a lot of thought to a word/phrase for 2010. My 2009 word/phrase served me very well and I'd like to keep up the momentum. I've thought about it at length and I've considered many options.

The Contenders

Carpe Diem

I have been searching for a word that shows that I want to grab hold of life and LIVE it, so I considered the phrase Carpe Diem. However, since we're also trying very hard this year to pay down debt and save up more, I had to ditch that one since an awesome travel special arrived in my email inbox the other day and if I were to truly "seize the day," we'd be packing for a 4-night stay at a 5-star hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico (oh, it was tempting). But no, we must pay down that humongous student loan debt, so Carpe Diem had to go. It wasn't quite the right phrase in that it wasn't congruent with the whole saving money thing. Plus the phrase Carpe Diem while still living frugally was awkward and just didn't have a ring to it.


Now this one has all kinds of problems. First of all, it's not a word. And that just offends my nerdy sensibilities. Secondly, it seems to focus on the negative and an inspiring, guiding word shouldn't be a non-negative. Non-procrastinatingly? I don't think so. That non-word does exemplify my desire to do projects rather than putting them off or assuaging my culpability by simply writing the task/idea on a list knowing full well that I may not read it again for such a long time that by the time I do, I might not mind that I hadn't accomplished it. No, this word wasn't a good fit.


I talked about my search for a word with Mark and with several friends. One of my friends, when I explained the kind of word I was looking for, suggested this one. The idea is to consider how I would live if fear weren't a factor. Beautiful concept! But then images of me bungee jumping came to mind and that nixed this one, too. Fearlessly is not for me. I'm a chicken.

Just Do It

I am trying to just go for it in life. Write books. Call that new friend. Call that old friend. Try that new place. Exercise. Pay down debt. Clean out that closet (or 5). Organize that recipe book. Scrapbook. Get a dog. I want to do stuff, not just dream about it, write it on a list and forget it, or think about it. I think we're actually pretty good about this in big ways, but we'd like to do more in littler ways, too. So this phrase kind of works. Except that it's Nike's slogan. And Nike makes me think of Tiger Woods, which makes me think of scandals and trysts and sex addiction and then it loses something and lacks inspiration for me. So, I tossed this one, too.


My good friend Rachelle also lives by a word/phrase of the year. And while using this word almost blatantly copies what she's doing, emulation is the highest form of flattery, right? She summed up pretty well how I view this word and my purpose for myself this next year. I want to continue to live mindfully (something I've been working on for years) and live authentically (2009's word). I want the things I do to count for something. I want to do what's meaningful. I want to stop putting things off. It felt good to write a book this past November. I want to do more stuff like that.

I want to stop waiting for everything to be just right in order to do something and, instead, just do it. I want to speak more Portuguese with the family. I want to help Thing 1 get published. I want to help Thing 2 find his niche. I want to clean out the third floor. I want to load up my Zune with music. I want to not just make lists, but do what's on them. I want to pay down student loan debt. I want to attend the National Book Festival again. I want to read those books. I want to watch those movies. I want to get our Christmas letter out (seriously, I wrote it before Christmas but haven't posted it/sent it). I want to get that haircut. I want to call that girl I met and hit it off with 2 years ago and go out like we said we would, hopefully making a new friend in the process. I want to be more adventurous to make new friends and keep in better touch with my old friends. I want to have that girls' weekend. I want to go to the beach with our good friends. I want to get our passports, visit Canada, and save up to take our kids visiting overseas.

In all of this, I want to keep doing what I've been doing -- listen to my heart and do what I feel led to do. No more doing things because of someone else's expectations. No more revealing parts of myself I'd rather not just because someone else is asking. No more making myself uncomfortable so that someone else feels comfortable. That's all part of living authentically and I want to continue that. That doesn't mean I have license to be rude or inconsiderate (nor would I want to be), but it does mean that I take care of myself and my family, that I empower myself, that I live true to myself . . . authentically.

But I also want to grab life by the reins and live it. Live Intentionally. That's my phrase for 2010.


Chelle said...

Yay!!! The fact that we're on the same page is awesome. Having a buddy several states away working toward similar goals is motivating and exciting!

Just Do It would have been a great phrase, but you're right...that one's tainted for life now. The "while living frugally" thing made me laugh. Just wouldn't work, would it? Fearlessness isn't my thing either.

It's great...this is the year to live intentionally for both of us. Default won't be making my decisions for me anymore! You're gonna HAVE to blog about stuff so I know how you're using the phrase.

Happy 2010!

the emily said...

I go through that all the time--most specifically in the past 3-4 weeks. I didn't blog for a full week--can you believe it?! One post did go up on its own (my decade in review post) because I had previously scheduled it, but I think it was something like 10 days before I wrote a new post. And in that time, I lost 2 followers and my visits dropped from 120 per day to 60. Granted, there was nothing for them to see. But there is a sort of fickleness (?) to this hobby, isn't there? I say if you don't feel like putting yourself out there and blogging, don't. But I'd sure miss you. Clearly I'm not a great caller (I mean, come on, when you list all the things that make me amazing, of which there are many I'll admit:), you didn't mention the things that I am sorely lacking--such as common courtesy in the phone call department). I like hearing about your life but if it's too much and makes you feel vulnerable, is it really worth it?

Jimmy said...

I like your 2010 Word.

Lack of a comment on a post, at least for me, just means, "Yeah, sometimes it bees that way."

--Nothing more to say about the subject. You got it right and saying more would be lame.

(Can you name the work of literative that quote is from?)

Stacy said...

I read but rarely do I comment! It's not just your blog, but all of the blogs that I read. I don't ever feel like I have anything important to add or say, but I do love reading your posts!

J Fo said...

Intentionally? That's great! I love what your friend said about not just making decisions by default. I've been guilty of that a lot in my life. I totally laughed about Just Do It being tainted by Tiger! Being in sports for so long made that phrase really cliche for me. It's over used to say the least, even if it is very motivational. I think I would have picked Carpe Diem and taken the trip! ;) I think I need to really sit down and make some specific goals for myself. I'll go ahead and add that to my To DO list that I never finish!

terahreu said...

Good stuff. I go through all of these 'waves' and wonder if as humans we are ever satisfied or always seem to feel that we should do more. The key is not letting yourself down if you end up doing less because of the spontaneous surprises through the journey. It is a tough thing to balance, but possible, I believe.

Oh, and American Idol days are coming. You know your stats are going up for that. Who can resist the Foley recount. I know I can't!

Vivian said...

"Live intentionally." I like it. It makes me think in control, proactive not reactive, taking charge. "I Meant to do that." Yeah, I like it a lot.

Yes, I am one of those people who check your blog everyday hoping for a new post. I'm hungry for news & information. I can see how that frustrates you when I rarely comment. But like Stacy's comment: I don't have anything interesting or important to say. I'll go ahead and blurt out something/anything in the future.

Boquinha said...

Yay, I have a "Live Intentionally" buddy! Woohoo!

Fickle indeed.

Jimmy, I owe you an email or 5 so I practically deserve a lack of comments from you! :P (And tell me, from which book is that quote?)

Stacy! Thanks for commenting. I really do love hearing from you, even if it's just a hello!

Jess, if you choose Carpe Diem and take the trip, I'll live intentionally and go with you. :P

Terah, exactly! That's why I've ditched goals in favor of a word of the year. Love it! And yes, we've started Idol here. I hate the auditions, but I'm sure I'll have plenty to say when Hollywood starts. Randy Jackson is already on my last nerve.

Vivian, thanks for the comment. I don't think comments need to be particularly profound. Even the simplest comment is a nice hello. :)

kristenhcubed said...

I may just jump on your bandwagon here. I haven't picked a phrase for the year before but you and Rachelle inspire me. I love the idea and the phrase. Can't wait to hear about your year.

Tara said...

Oh, you can do it! Like I said, I have to keep things very realistic for me in terms of goals each year. If I don't, well, it's not pretty. You will have to give updates on your efforts. I would love to know how such a phrase translates into your day to day choices. Sending you best wishes for 2010!