Thank You with A Lot of Rambling

Daenel {living outside the stacks}I want to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to those of you who’ve stuck by me over the last 8 years. gasp I cannot believe I’ve been doing this that long… I won’t lie and say this comes easy. Goodness knows, there’ve been days when I’ve thought about not just shutting down the blog, but Facebook and Instagram as well. More times than not, I’ve found that I have little to say or I feel like I’m only contributing to the noise in the blogosphere. Neither of those are particularly good feelings. Especially when I remember how I wanted to be a combat photographer / reporter when I was a kid. I read Message from Nam by Danielle Steel and it totally shaped my tween years…

Over the past few days weeks months, I’ve been thinking about where I see this blog going and whether I want to continue doing this or not. And, in order to answer that question, I have to think about why I started this blog.

When I first started Living Outside the Stacks, my family’s life was in a state of flux. Due to a promotion, The Hubs and I were moving our kids from Pennsylvania to Missouri and I wanted a way to document that move and share all of the firsts with family and friends. I also wanted a place where the kids could ~ if they wanted to ~ share their thoughts and feelings about the move and all that it entailed. As I started writing, it turned out that more strangers that family and friends were reading about my life and this little space grew to include people on Facebook, Twitter, and, much later, Instagram.

And things with my family changed as well. My kids grew up. I mean, I know it happens to all of them, but as they grew up, they asked me to share less about them and about the family, which I did. My primary job as their mother is to respect them and their desire for privacy. This meant I had to find other things to write about, but what? For a time, I focused on faith but I feel ill~equipped to do so. I know that God gives us the words, but there are so many others who share their faith so much more eloquently than I. Then I focused on books, but finding time to read and post on a regular schedule became difficult. Gosh, this is starting to sound like a post full of excuses and that is not my intent at all. I just want to talk and be real about life and why my words are coming fewer and farther between.

In a few words, I’ve lost my focus. I don’t know what I want to write about anymore. I’m 44 years old and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Being here, in this space, has taught me a few things about myself, but I’d say the biggest thing is that I enjoy being behind my camera. And, honestly, I wouldn’t have found that out if The Hubs hadn’t surprised me with a camera years ago even though I’d never told him about my long forgotten dream of being a combat journalist.

But even photography has its limits. I’m not a creative photographer at all. As much as I enjoy the photography challenges on Instagram, I really struggle with those. And I don’t think I’m a documentary style photographer either. Photographing other people makes me nervous. What if they don’t like my vision or they’re not happy with the images? I don’t think I can take that kind of pressure. I do, however, enjoy photographing buildings and things like that. So if I could figure out something to do with that, I’d be pretty darn happy.

Anyway, if you’ve made it through my rambling, this post was supposed to be a thank you to all of you, who’ve stuck by me over the years. We’ve been through a lot together. I’ve celebrated births with you and mourned the ending of life, I’ve read about changes in your careers, and all of the random things that happen on the day to day. You’ve watched my children grow from teenagers to young adults. You’ve cheered me on as I’ve gone on job interviews. But, mostly, you’ve joined me every morning for a cup of coffee {or tea} and for that I’m eternally grateful. Thank you for sharing your life with me. And thank you for allowing me to share mine with you.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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  • Goodness, I've been there too. Many, many times. I just recently started writing a bit more. I was trying to help a new friend get elected, and found my blog to be an excellent place to speak the truth when nobody else was. Our town doesnt have a daily newspaper. There just seems to be a lot going on, and people talking about it on Facebook, but no legit publication covering some pretty legit issues here. Part of me wants to help fill that void. Peopke have already expressed they liked my local content. And, I suppose there can be an upside of making a name for myself in our community a bit more.

    Also, blogs were once much, well, bigger on the internet, in my opinion. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest seem to have taken over that documenting life & interests area. Part of me wants to get that old school community vibe back… like those Monday Mingles! Those were fun… and I got to meet some pretty amazing people too. 😉

  • Ditto, ditto, ditto. Feeling so much of the same emotions and questioning whether my silly occasional posts are just adding to all of the noise on the Internet, without any real purpose to them. But I keep coming back to how I like to write. Albeit using two syllable words that my kinders can understand (I like to blame my vocab on teaching littles but these days I can’t remember BIG words).

    Your book reviews are so thoughtfully written. Please continue those! Your photography is stunning. What in the world do you mean it isn’t creative!??? You take that back, right now! You take moving, thought-provoking photos. Especially your black and white ones. And your angle/perspective (3 syllables) is interesting.

    Selfishly, I hope you will continue on this blogging path. Try Sentence a Day with us. It is fun and a great way to reflect on each month. And then just blog when the mood strikes.

    Big hugs to you, my friend. So glad to have discovered your corner of the Universe.

  • Juanita

    We go through seasons in our life, Daenel. Things definitely don’t stay the same and sometimes I have a hard time adjusting. For me, social media has become less fun. There’s been so much more nastiness, intolerance, and people taking leave of their senses and it’s painful to observe that. So I have wondered if I might be better off leaving FB and Twitter and Instagram, too. But then I would miss what’s going on in the lives of the people who I care about and, unfortunately, that’s the only way those things are communicated these days. At the moment, I’m in a season that is working out well for me in this regard because I’ve been so crazy busy the last several months that I haven’t been able to grab but a few minutes here and there on social media! LOL I’m sure I’m missing some posts I would like to see but I’m still seeing some of them and missing out on a whole lot of the nastiness!
    I’m so thankful I got to meet you as a result of your blog. You’re going through a change of season in your life…you’ll figure it out. I think you may be onto something about photographing buildings; there’s a lot of material there to work with! LOL You know Psalm 37:4 (Psalm 37 is one of my fave chapters): “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” The key word is “delight”…that’s not just a small happiness but a huge, strong feeling of pleasure for God. I find that if I don’t know what I should be doing or investing my time in, I examine myself to see if I’m still in that place of great pleasure and satisfaction with God. When I’m in that place are the times when creativity flows, compassion for others increases, and most importantly, love for my brothers and sisters in Christ is dominant in my life. Hugs to you!

    • Juanita, thank you for leaving your words of wisdom. I have to say, you’ve been such a voice of encouragement and steadfastness over the years and I do appreciate it more than you know. And I’m going to carry Psalm 37:4 in my heart and let that guide me.

      This whole thing has become less fun and part of me feels like I’m contributing to it. The whole political thing, the cultural thing, the social thing, it has me frustrated and I’ve been venting and it’s just not good… Leaving social media is, like you said, problematic. This is how I keep up with my children and my grandchildren. And there’s so much other good… I’ve met you, my friends on social media. Discovered an interest I didn’t know I had… There has been so much good.

  • fuschia

    I feel you. I’ve had a blog for over a year now, and it started out fine, but I haven’t posted anything for a while now. Most times I feel like I don’t have anything to say too, well….I do, but it’s things I don’t particularly want to share with the world, so I am stuck. I hope to be able to get back to it soon. I love you your blog, and I hope that you will continue in some form as soon as you figure out what you really want to do with it. I support you, and sending you a big hug for your honesty.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words and the understanding. I feel like I go through this a lot but the feeling has been stronger. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and the bloggers are getting older or if I’m really running out of things to say. I do know that I’d miss my friends if I were to close up shop. So I don’t know…

    • fuschia

      Yes, the political thing has definitely put me in a mood I can’t yet explain….or justify…believing that God has a plan for all of it, but I am trying hard to keep the faith. So much bad news!! Just this past weekend the White Supremacy group visited our city, Murfreesboro, TN, and it was like I was holding my breath the entire day. But God prevailed, there was only on incident of unrest, but peaceful otherwise. The larger group of them cancelled their visit once they saw how we were armed and ready to defend our city. Thank God for that! We are not perfect, never will be, but each day we keep pressing towards that mark is a day in God’s favor.

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