I've always wanted to have a blog.
...but I felt like I couldn't start one until I had a good idea.
Or at least a "good enough" idea.
Sort of like buying a fancy, new journal and then being too afraid to put pen to paper, lest you muck up the first page. Or, worse yet, suddenly realizing that your brilliant musings [gasp!] are actually quite mundane. Or the sadness of starting out strong and filling a good dozen pages full of ideas and ramblings...in flowy, urgent script...only to give up or run out of time or ideas or ink. And then you're left with this mostly empty volume. Can you just start writing in that same book again? Even if it's months or years later? Even if you've since graduated or broken up or quit or...or...or. Do you have to go buy a new fancy, new journal? AUGH. So stressful.
And that's how I felt about blogging. I don't feel like my life is interesting enough to sustain a blog. Or even if it was, I'm not sure my Midwestern/Ronning roots would allow me to be egocentric enough to tell you all about it (though I'm sure some of you would dispute my feigned humility here). I feel like Facebook status updates are my ideal medium. Pithy. Fleeting. Just enough room for short bursts of wit. But an entire blog? Gah. That's a lot of pressure.
Until it hit me. What I really, truly want to talk about...and bear with me while I get to the point...
So I try really, really, REALLY hard to be a positive person. I consider my earliest role model in this endeavor (familial relations aside) the wonderful, emotive, refulgent Anne of Green Gables, brought to life by L.M. Montgomery. In fact, as early as my middle school years, I remember turning Anne into a verb. As in, "I'm gonna Anne-of-Green-Gables mean-old Mr. So-and-So who teaches science" or "That crabby lady who comes in to the Next Door Cafe every morning? Well I've been Anne-of-Green-Gablesing her for months and now she's actually pretty sweet." This has been part of my M.O. for years.
Of course it's easier to sustain that when your greatest obstacles are 7th grade science or the 5:30 a.m. waitressing shift on Saturday mornings. It's no news to any of us that life gets harder as we get older. Sarcasm becomes cooler. Cynicism is a survival mechanism. And sometimes, let's face it, life just sucks more as it progresses. Or it has more opportunities to suck. Or something like that.
So I try to be positive. I try to look for the silver lining. Which doesn't mean I can't bitch and moan with the best of them. Which doesn't mean there aren't ideas and people that I can't or won't stomach. I mean I have to be sincere about my feelings, right? And if that means I'm crabby or displeased or stressed, so be it (I once had a boss tell me I had the worst non-verbals ever. "Try. Please just try not to look so pissed off" he said to me after a conduct hearing in the res halls where we'd listened to 3 stupid punks lie their asses off). I guess the point is that after a "reasonable" amount of time, it's time, as my dear mother says, to "Snap out of it." Just a side note about Mom and "Snap out of it"...Dad said it best when he summarized, "Your mother has always been great about helping you kids with your problems...and then telling you when you were over them." There was always a moratorium on crankiness, whining, self-pity in the Ronning household. And Mom had the timer. When it went off? You're done.
Anyway, where was I? Oh. So I try to be positive. I try to focus on the positive. I try to celebrate the good in life...searching for and honoring little bits of happiness every single day. Making the choice to recognize all the literal and figurative beauty in our often-challenging lives. This is one of those traits or characteristics that I actually hope others notice about me. I don't know if I'm always successful at it, but I hope I am. I do try so hard...most days. :)
This idea of celebrating positive things helped me arrive at and articulate the mission of my blog. I wanted to blog about people and places and things that deserved recognition. I wanted to honor things that bring me joy. But I didn't want to do it in a rain-drops-on-roses-and-whiskers-on-kittens kind of way. This isn't a "best of" list...this isn't a "today I'm happy about blahdy, blahdy, blahdy" (though I think those are all wonderful lists to make or daily emails to exchange). This is trying to be something a little...I don't know...deeper? More substantial?
I wanted to blog about things that have struck a chord with me and why I believe they are so critical to my little world (or hopefully even OUR little world). I wanted to spend time thinking about how these things--be they huge and significant and amazing or teeny and tiny and local--contribute to the betterment of my life. And maybe even your life too.
The title of my blog "...and her glow has warmed the world..." comes from an Adlai Stevenson quote about Eleanor Roosevelt: "She would rather light candles than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world." I do not, in any way, liken myself to Eleanor Roosevelt (and let's face it, the other Ronning daughter was named after her...not me). I do, however, think the idea of spreading joy and possibility, instead of yelling in (or about) the dark, is an admirable way to progress on life's journey.
I hope you'll join me on this journey...one that strives to honor various people and places and things that have, in my humble estimation, brought a little more light to our world.
2 hours ago