Living, Loving & Reading: my new blog theme

I’m back from my whirlwind trip through 4 cities in Japan, simultaneously exhausted and energized. So much happened internally for me over the last few weeks, as going back and meeting family and friends took me face-to-face against such issues as our aging parents and mortality, the meaning of filial piety, the cultural differences in what it means to be successful and how to raise our child in this blended context…

Exhausted and energized. American and Japanese. Confused and clear. Fatter and leaner. Yes, even down to my weight and body, I feel like a contradiction. Somehow I managed to gain 5 lbs. and feel more plump (due to the incessant eating) and yet more muscular (from the miles of walking and commuting we did each day).

At least the trip was a kick-start to get me out of the lazy comfort zone I had fallen into. Despite a difficult return home (our connecting flight was cancelled after the 13 hour leg from Japan, and we were stuck for the night at Newark Airport which I am convinced is hell on earth), I threw myself into work and cleaning the moment I got home. Maybe seeing my weakened parents-in-law (a distant relative died on our last day in Japan as well) unconsciously pushed me to not waste a minute.

I spent a couple of jet-lagged nights making over my blog. I’d struggled over the last few months to write meaningful content and to stay consistent. I’d gotten close to launching a second blog as well, on books and reading, until I had to be honest with myself that I can’t in any way be able to manage 2 blogs simultaneously. I think I was struggling with my blog identity.

As fellow blogger friends of mine have done and talked about, I need to let my blog grow with me. I started writing several years ago focusing on motherhood. These days, although motherhood is no less a priority for me, it has become less pressing for me in terms of discussion. Someone should probably write the life cycle of a mom blogger, as this cycle must exist. Somehow we go from wanting to talk and read about mothering all the time to wanting to talk and read about other things as well, all while still focusing very much, of course, on our children.

So I’m at that stage right now. Fred is 9. In many ways parenting is easier now. I don’t need to find childcare if he’s home from school and I need to work. I don’t have to serve him breakfast if he’s up and hungry and I’m still in bed. I don’t need to take him to the restroom if he has to go and we’re out in public. (Though I’ll wait outside. I’m paranoid of him being alone in a male restroom.)

But in other significant ways parenting is harder now. I feel less control than I ever did, more clueless about whether or not I am doing the right thing (with an uncomfortable, gnawing feeling that I am going about it all wrong and a fear of finding out just how wrong once the teen years set in). When Fred was younger the challenges were largely physical, and in the end I was usually successful in my influence. I’m feeling my power as a parent waning slowly bit by bit as Fred gets older, and I’ll continue to write about mothering in the middle years.

And I’ll still write about life, which is starting to look a little different now, with my time less constrained and with more need to find purpose, with the tarp over my relationship to my husband slowly coming off now that our child is older, with our thoughts turning now to the eventual loss of our first parent.

My new addition to my blog is a discussion of books. (I’ve added a new page to my menu (a list of the books I’ve read this year) as well as links to previous posts on reading to the right of the screen.) I’ve cranked up the reading this year, as some of you know, and I’ve loved being able to throw myself again into this hobby over the last few months. I’m finding myself gravitating toward other readers and other blogs about books, and I thought it would be fun to become a part of that community too. I read mostly fiction and memoir, and I know there’ll be parallels between what I’m reading and what I’m living.

So as you may or may not have noticed also, I’ve changed my tag line from “Motherhood, Marriage and Self” to “Living, Loving and Reading,” because that pretty much sums up what I want to be doing these days. Thanks so much for sticking with me so far, and I hope you’ll also join me in my future book discussions!

18 thoughts on “Living, Loving & Reading: my new blog theme

  1. As I once read, ‘The only constant is change’. It sounds like you are recognizing the changes your life is undergoing and adjusting to them in a very positive way. Congratulations!

  2. I love this! I agree that as our children grow things change, and their needs change. It is nice when they don’t need you to make breakfast for them at the crack of dawn, but I think new challenges come, emotional ones, that can be harder. My oldest, who is eight, had a little meltdown today and it was just a glimpse of those teenage years, which scare me to death! Anyway, I love the new focus on books as well. Tell me more about your book club. I would love to be a part, but I couldn’t see a post or page about that.

    • Hi Emily,

      Yes – those previews into the teen years can be frightening! I’m very nervous. It looks like our kids are almost the same age. It’s scary how they’re not far from puberty…

      So sorry about the confusion about the book club! I just meant my future discussions on books. But maybe it’s something I should think about!

      Thanks for visiting!

      Cecilia

    • Thank you, Sarah! And I look forward to sharing with you as well. I’ve gotten lots of good book recommendations from you over the last year. xo

      Cecilia

  3. This is exciting, as all changes usually are! I love the new theme (and tagline) and can agree that there is an evolution to us all as mothers online. I, too, was quite obsessed with immersing myself in talk and conversations on motherhood when I was very new at it. My children are still very small, under 4, but I’ve changed. Now with three children, I find myself wanting to do and speak more on the things that don’t consume my daily life as a mother. I am reading a lot at the moment, too, which is why I’ve been so slow lately with my blog readings. I’ve been offline more and just living. So, yes, I get your new theme and tagline totally. I’m excited about the changes to your blog and anxious to read more.

    • Jessica,

      I totally thought of you when I wrote that line about fellow bloggers who have made their blogs grow with them. My friend pointed out that I wasn’t really doing something very new, and I realized that maybe this feels more like a renewing of vows perhaps πŸ˜‰ I felt like I needed a makeover and a reconfirmation of what I was doing in order to re-jump start my writing. I know you have been there.

      I think it’s great that you have been spending time reading and living off-line. I hope all is going well with you, and I’m looking forward too, to hearing from you again (blogging) when you are up for it!

      Cecilia

  4. Cecilia,

    I love the new picture and the evolution of your future pieces in this space. Change, I believe, is hard, but sometimes the path that we are on does not fit. Bravo to you for listening to those whispers and having the courage to alter your course with what you write here.

    I look forward to reading your words. And I know I will love reading your book reviews. Missed your voice while you were gone, but glad to have you back! xoxo

    • Rudri,

      I appreciate that so much! I am glad to be back and I feel really excited too, to have this fresh start. I thought of you as I decided to add a section on books, and I know we’ll share some good books and discussions. Looking forward to your visits again.

      Cecilia

  5. Welcome back πŸ™‚ As long as you listen to your heart, you will find the way. Trust your inner voice. Looking forward to reading your words.

  6. This is a wonderful change! I love that you found a way to continue writing here by exploring and experimenting with your voice. We all go through evolutions, and to be able to recognize that it’s time to change *and* actually do something about it to honor the voices within is truly admirable. I look forward to reading more!

  7. Thrilled, as always, to be here reading your words, and delighted to learn about your new theme. Going through a similar process myself, I hear you 100% on the evolution of the “mom blog.” What a great idea about writing that history: I nominate you! πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to living, loving, and reading along with you. xo

    • Thanks so much, Kristen! And I am equally thrilled that you are back writing! I hope all is going well as you settle in your new home. I’ll be looking forward to all your updates.

      Cecilia

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