Carmi asked me how my blog has changed my life. (And by the way if you don't know Carmi, do yourself a favor and pay him a visit!) I'm sure anyone who doesn't blog wouldn't understand such a question, but as we bloggers know, it actually can change your life. (You know, I always hated the essay questions - I never could get the first paragraph to come out the way I wanted!)
First of all, I had forgotten that I enjoy writing. (Plus now, I'm not given assignments and sent down to some public hearing for two days to report on some BORING meeting - even though that article got me into Quill and Scroll. ;) Now I get to write about me - my life, vent my frustrations and share my joys. You can't beat that "writing assignment"!
Secondly, I've been able to touch a few other moms out there with PPD. If I've made one other mother with depression feel more "normal", or helped her to decide to find some help, then that makes all my time at this keyboard worth it! I have some wonderful friends who helped me through this (and continue to), so I would love to think I have paid that forward.
The biggest impact my blog has had though, is the people I've met. Take Carmi for instance: here is this wonderful journalist and father in Canada who more than once has put into words feelings and ideas that I couldn't have. What other way could I have met him? He is just one example of scores of you out there from all over the world that I have come to know because one day in October I decided to start a blog. I even met one of my best friends right here! What an opportunity!
Perhaps most important, though, is the impact this blog could possibly have on my children. You see, quite of bit of what I write here is my way of presevering my thoughts and feelings for them. Back when Ella was a baby I bought these two beautiful blank journals, and decided I would write in them for my children - letters for them to read when they grow up. I wrote a few, and struggled with a few more, and gave up. (It's difficult to write a letter to a 9 month old, you know?) But now look at what I have to write in those journals! Priceless memories and funny moments - the good and the bad. Not contrived, forced letters but real life.
And that's how I spent my summer vacation. (I always hated ending those essay questions, too. ;)