If you haven’t already noticed, the blog has gone through a re-birth of sorts. A few days ago, amid the eery midnight glow of my laptop and with my fingers ground down to bloody stumps, I rolled out a whole new look for MyShinyNickels.com. What triggered this re-decorating of my little internet home? Grab a chair, and I’ll fill you in.
It all began Thursday of last week. My husband and I were headed to a financial blogging convention called FinCon, held this year in New Orleans. I’m a relatively new-ish blogger, and until now it’s been a little side hobby of mine. But Johnny over at JohnnyMoneyseed.com convinced me to give FinCon a try; he promised it would be extremely inspiring at best and a really fun 3-day long party at worst.
Sign me up, Scotty (er, Johnny).
To keep this short and sweet, the conference was so much more than I anticipated. I left feeling rejuvenated, but a bit challenged. Many times during those few days we were asked why we write. What we want out of this still-strange concept called ‘blogging’. For a while it’s been ‘that-thing-I-do-at-night-when-I-have-a-spare-moment’ kind of deal, but I’ve realized that has to change.
This blog is my outlet, and the work I do here is something I’m extremely passionate about. And yet I was letting my work-life-blog balance go all whack-a-doodle. Work? Not much I can do about that. But life? There is plenty of wiggle room there. I needed to start setting boundaries. Boundaries that would allow this blogging passion to become a larger part of my life. My readers deserve it, and so do I.
So before I’d even boarded the plane back here to Sacramento, my cerebral cortex was buzzing. Soon I was scribbling notes on the backs of pamphlets in the airport, and even those cute little Southwest Airlines beverage napkins were no match for my chicken-scratch frenzy. I’m sure I drove my husband crazy during that 4-hour trip…
Me: “So, hey hey hey, I have this idea. I’ll change out the header image…”
Him: [looking up from his iPad] “Hmmm, sounds good.”
[5 minutes later]
Me: “Hey babe, what do you think about re-focusing the…”
Him: [looking up again from his iPad] “Sure, that would work.”
[5 minutes later]
Me: “What if I changed the navigation of the site so that it…”
Him: [s-l-o-w-l-y craning his neck away from his iPad] “Yup. Sounds like a plan, dear.”
This pattern repeated itself for the remainder of our flight, and the poor guy was patient the entire time. Needless to say, I’ve made a lot of changes, and there is plenty more to come. A blogger’s work is never done, they say. [Not sure if that’s something anyone has actually said, but it sounded good.]
My hope is that even with this blog getting a new look and moving in a new (but similar!) direction, my loyal readers will follow along with me, while new ones join in. In the past this has been a ‘get-out-of-debt-and-retire-early’ blog. But if I’m really true to myself and all the things I’m excited about, this blog is destined to be a whole lot more than that. My favorite low-cost recipes, super-cool life “hacks”, simple living, lots of juicy DIY projects, traveling on the cheap, and of course the stories and real-life blunders (enjoy a sample here) that my readers have come to rely on.
And sometimes God’s timing of things is eerily perfect. As I was pondering the whole work-life-blog balance this afternoon, something very fitting caught my ear. The television had been turned down to a dull rumble in the background, but I heard Steve Harvey (of all people) quietly say, “Work is what you’re paid to do. Your calling is what you were made to do.” That’s precisely how I feel about this little blog I’ve created. Showing others how to pursue a fulfilling and blissful life while being financially responsible is what I feel called to do.
And who knew…Steve Harvey may be the next Dalai Lama.
You know it’s funny. Don’t judge me.