The beginning of a new year reliably brings a time of introspection – a time for looking back at what I accomplished in the passing year, and what I hope to do in the next.
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile then you may remember some of these posts, and if you’re a new subscriber, then you’ll get a better idea of what I write about. I hope you’ll continue reading as I share some of Mid-Life Blogger’s highs and lows of 2017.
Top Post Overall
My most popular post of the year was the first one I published. Homeschool Graduates in College ~ From the Professors’ Perspective has been shared on Facebook over 5000 times, and has nearly 30,000 views. I had no idea that it would have that kind of impact, but of course I’m thrilled! I had hoped to encourage homeschooling parents that their children could do well in college because that fear is one that causes a lot of parents to put their kids in school when they reach high school, or possibly not homeschool at all.
High school is intimidating, so to further encourage parents that they’re capable, I wrote Conquering the Homeschool-Through-High-School Giant.
I think this was my favorite “pinnable” graphic of the year. I get a kick out of that giant!
Top Gardening Post
While visiting my parents back in June, I decided on a whim to write about my mother’s garden, which was in full-bloom and looking its best. It was special to spend that time with her and share her love of gardening with my readers. I’m so glad I took advantage of that opportunity, and that you enjoyed it. You made us both very happy! If it’s a cold and dreary winter day, you might enjoy a spring tour of My Mother’s Garden.
A low point, in more ways than one, was when Hurricane Harvey hit Rockport, Texas. Our business was in the path and although it faired better than a lot of other properties in the area, we’re still negotiating a settlement with the insurance company, and our business is still awaiting much-needed repairs. There’s really no way of understanding the magnitude of those storms until you experience it yourself. Long after the media is gone, the residents there are still struggling to get their lives back in order. I wrote two different posts about it, In the Eye of the Storm and Rockport Revisited.
My personal favorite post this year is The Gift of Compassion. In it, I share how God is answering a prayer that I prayed so long ago that I had forgotten about it. We all want to live lives of meaning, and the waters that God is calling me out on are helping me to do that, but it’s challenging for me. Just when it starts to feel a little easier, He asks me to take yet another step out of my ever-changing comfort zone.
Assessing Last Year’s Goals
This time last year, I wrote Looking Back, Looking Forward and set some goals for myself. How did I do?
I set a goal to learn more about photography. I made some progress with that, but not as much as I’d hoped. My iphone camera is just so much easier to have on hand, so I find myself using it most often. I still hope to learn more about the DSLR, but it will be more of a lifetime goal, without a deadline.
I also had a goal of continuing to improve my blog and I feel like I made a lot of progress in that area. My graphics have improved (in my opinion, anyway) and I even switched to a theme that I felt gave my blog a more professional appearance. I also had a new logo designed. All-in-all, I give myself an A.
Plans for the Coming Year
I’m asking God to show me what He wants me to do with my blog and I want to stay open to His leading. It’s hard to “be still” and listen for His voice. To set my own goal would be in opposition to that, so I’m not going to. If I were to choose a word, maybe it would be “seeking.”
My blog may not be regular. I want to write as I feel inspired, not just because I need to publish something on a schedule.
Do you have a need I can fill? Have I written anything that spoke to you? Encouraged you? It would help me to know that. When I get a note from one of you, I print it out and keep it.
I enjoy blogging very much, and I get a kick out of the unexpected blessings that come from it, such as making new friends, gaining new skills, and personal growth from overcoming obstacles. From writing about Stitch Fix I overcame my camera shyness. From my skincare business, I finally started doing Facebook Lives. Those two things, in turn, have contributed to my blog by helping me learn to connect with my readers, and providing some profile pictures.
I like using photos of our country road, not only because I think it’s beautiful, but also because it suits my blog. I don’t know what’s around the corner or over the hill. (And there are a lot of those around here!) I’m not sure where my blog will take me this year, but I enjoy sharing it with you, and I hope you’ll come along with me and see what the future brings. I value you as a reader. After all, what good is it to write something that no one will read?
I hope that 2018 is a wonderful year for you and your family! None of us know what it will bring, but whether good or bad, I want Jesus by my side. I hope you’ve asked Him to be by yours, as well. Happy New Year!