Friday, April 10, 2009

A New Look

      For those of you who have been following this blog for awhile, you will notice it now has a new look – a very different look.

      When I started this thing, I had no idea how long I would keep at it.  For many years, I had been a self-proclaimed “anti-blog”.  You see, I come from the “old school”.  I grew up in a time when diaries were, by definition, meant to be private, not put on display for all the world to see.  They were a place to write out the most private, most secret, most intimate details of your life.  Heck, they even came with a cute little lock & key!  (Of course, anybody with an ounce of sense could easily pick those cheesy locks with a hairpin, but to an adolescent girl growing up in the 1970s, that lock meant WOMANHOOD.)

     I still remember my first diary.  It was a brown “leather” one that my sister had never used & had left in her drawer when she went off to college.  Following the rule that all 7 or 8 year old girls knew to be law – finders keepers, losers weepers – I claimed the treasure as my own.  I scratched through the days of the week part of the dates, wrote in the correct days, & then proceeded to record those most private, most secret, most intimate details of my young life – over the course of the next 4 years!  In the end, I believe I wound up with entries on a total of about 8 of the 365 pages.  What can I say?  I was a very sheltered, pre-pubescent girl with only 1 really close friend.  How many big secrets could I have had?  I think the most exciting entry wound up being that on January 17, 1974, I got my ears pierced.  Woo-hoo!  I just had to keep that tidbit under lock & key, right?!

     When the whole blog craze began, I was aghast.  I could not fathom how people could not only share their most private, most secret, most intimate thoughts & experiences with others, but actually put them on display for the entire world to read on the internet!  Well, blogs evolved, & I noticed that people were writing about every subject under the sun.  I was still an “anti-blog”, but then it was because I didn’t figure anyone would really be interested in anything I had to say.

     One morning in January, I was sitting in front of my computer & all of a sudden I thought, “I’m going to start a blog.”  I just knew I was supposed to do it.  Believe me – no one was more shocked than I!  It was such a total turnaround for me that I knew it was the Lord directing me.  I had no clue what I’d write about.  I also had no clue how to create a blog.  Well, the Lord told me the what – my story – & I owe the how to what I believe to be one of the greatest inventions of all time – Google!  (You can find anything on Google.)

     Well, after doing some Googling, I started with a generic template.  It wasn’t really “me”, but it was nice enough.  Over time, however, I noticed that other blogs were unique.  In there very design, they expressed the feel of the blog & the personality of the blogger.  I wanted that.  Since my blog was my story – an extension of me, if you will - I wanted it to express me, not only in it’s content, but in every area.

     I’ve noticed that I’ve been feeling this way about my home lately as well.  I recently told my husband, Jerry, that I really don’t like my furnishings or d├ęcor.  I told him that it’s just not me.  It’s nice, but it isn’t me.  I’ve realized that, until recently, I have never had my own style.  I have always drawn from the styles of others – my sister, my friends, etc.  I have never really discovered who I was.  I thought I had, but I now realize that I have spent my life as a follower rather than an individual.  Now, however, I am discovering the styles & tastes & even beliefs that God intended for His uniquely created “Sandra”.  It’s wonderful!

A few things that I’ve discovered I like are:

  • clean lines
  • lots of light – tall walls of windows
  • soft, ocean colors
  • glass tiles, sea glass, crystal, stained glass (get the picture)
  • abstract art – swashes of color blocks
  • post-modern, mid-century furniture
  • stainless steel
  • dark woods & blonde maples
  • black & white photography of nature, architecture, & really old people
  • simple black frames with white mats
  • jazz sounds, sultry sounds
  • water – the look, the sound, the smell

     Most of these things are very far removed from the old me – or rather the me I thought I was.  I do still have some of my old likes:

  • old barns
  • country junk (as opposed to upper-crust antiques)
  • high ceilings & wide moldings
  • wildflowers

& a few others, I’m sure.  The point is, that at 45 1/2 years old, I am finally coming into my own!  I have reached a point where I enjoy hearing the opinions of others, but I will no longer be defined by them.  I will respect their right to differ from me, & I will hope for the same respect in return.  I will continue to seek wise counsel, but I will trust God to be my final guide.  (I’m fairly certain, based on the other insights He has been “downloading” into me lately, that all of this is His preparation for the next major season of life to which He is guiding me.  It’ll be fun discovering if I’m right.)

     So all of this leads to my new blog layout.  It’s still not perfect, but I much prefer it.  I like the simple, clean lines.  I love the photo on the header.  I like the “label cloud”.  And, since I know absolutely nothing about code & HTML editing, I like the fact that I was, with the help of good ole’ Google, able to do this much.

     I realize this post has nothing to do with “my journey as a quadriplegic”, so let’s just chalk it up to the “and beyond” part.

     I’d really love to hear your thoughts – on the post or the new layout.  Since you are the one viewing this page, I value your opinion…& any computer knowledge you may possess that I can exploit to get this thing where I really want it!