In 2013, Making It Daily launched as a 365 project shared between three friends living in different states: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The three of us committed to do the things we love. Every. Single. Day. It was no small feat, but for 365 days straight, one of us wrote, another made art and one of us ran daily.
We did it! And now that 2013 is behind us, we still take turns blogging occasionally and make time to keep our passions — writing, running and making art — a part of weekly routine.
We hope you’ll find some inspiration here, then pick your own daily to pursue. Here’s a short bio of each of us…
My name is Kristen and I am a work at home mom. I have two beautiful daughters and a fabulous husband that keep me very busy. We live in central Pennsylvania, which is quite lovey and very rural. I am an adjunct professor of Web Design and Vector Graphics and I am the owner of KHP Photo and Design. I have my Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University and I just completed my Associates of Arts in Web Design at Harrisburg Area Community College.
My life has changed dramatically since I have had my two lovely daughters. In my prior life before kids I was a freelance photographer, high school art teacher, runner, climber, workout junkie and high school soccer coach. I worked all the time but I loved my job, I loved my students, and life was getting a bit simple. Then my husband Matt and I decided it was time to start a family. Simple ended and our crazy life as parents began.
Over the past 6 years, I have started a family with my wonderful husband, left my career and home of 12 years to follow that wonderful man’s career. Apparently, heavy-equipment sales are more profitably than a career in art education. Who knew? We moved to this small town in central Pennsylvania, my amazing mother-in-law moved in with us and we began a new life in a small town. Matt and I lived in downtown Richmond and now we live in front of a cornfield between two sets of mountains and a farm at every corner. Life in a small town is very different; I miss my friends and the conveniences of a city but I think we are all happier here. We are closer to family; our girls have an amazing relationship with my parents, Matt’s mom, their aunts, uncles and cousins. We also have much less environmental stress and we love living near orchards, organic farms and beautiful scenery.
This move has been wonderful for my husband’s career and it forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I was very happy with my career as a high school art teacher and I was great at it. I have struggled to find a path while taking care of my two girls. I am so lucky to have my mother-in-law here with us. She has allowed me to take classes, teach, meet with clients, work on my computer and pursue my goals. She is still working evenings but if she can help out she does. I am eternally grateful for her and her relationships with my daughters.
My husband Matt has understood my need to push forward in my career while staying home with the girls. He has pushed me to start my business and is constantly reminding me of my talents. With big changes confidence can be an issue. He has put up with my late nights and weekends working and researching and my constant series of self-inflicted projects. Even with all of my support I still struggle with finding the time to run, workout, make art and every once in awhile have a bit of fun. I am hoping this year I will find the balance.
My name is Claire. I am closer to forty than thirty, and I am a high school English teacher in a public school. I live in a rural New England town with my partner and my eight year old daughter from a previous relationship. Our home is a few miles away from where my partner’s children live with their mother, and my daughter splits her time between me and her father. She commutes with us to attend the school where I teach, primarily because it is a well-ranked school with lots of resources for its students.
In a previous blog life, I adopted the pen-name of wwwmama, which stood for “Working Writing Wailing Mama.” This name served to illustrate the various roles I inhabit. “Wailing” was not meant to evoke weakness or a passive “woe is me” response to life; on the contrary, I chose it to represent a form of personal and social expression. I had in mind the Irish keening women as my model, women whose “wailing” was often dismissed as noise by ignorant (patriarchal or outsider) forces but was in fact an important mode of expression being presented to a local, and possibly more receptive audience schooled in the Irish language and keening song-traditions. The keening woman, often hired to express grief formally for a widow or family in mourning, was able to capitalize on her own marginalization and a time of transition (or crisis) to communicate social critiques that might otherwise be suppressed.
So much of this appeals to me; I love the way these women coded their expressions so as to be heard by the right audience and yet remain “safe.” I love the complexity of their voices; their messages could be read in multiple ways depending on who was listening. Sometimes they would complain about the deceased or the circumstances of his death; their expressions of love or devotion could be understood as perfunctory or real, depending on the nature of the keen and the familiarity of those listening. I love the presumption of a close-knit community of women who were listeners, decoders, channels of their own according to their own positioning. All of this is what blogging represents to me.
My life continues to be a work in progress. I have found new blessings in a new love and a new home, and I am finally in a place where I can truly appreciate their riches. I continue to be amazed at the gifts and challenges of motherhood, and I especially love what mothering a daughter is teaching me about being a woman. I have good friends, good family, and so much to learn. My job is challenging but offers significant rewards if I can find the balance of managing the work without losing perspective. This is what I will work on this year: maintaining that perspective by zeroing in on the small things that make every day count.
I’m Kristen R. and like my Making it Daily partners, I’m nearing 40. I have two young girls, a great husband and I work full-time in the corporate world in Richmond, Va.
Life’s been a little hectic lately and routine is what keeps me sane. However, it’s that same routine that feels like it dictates my every move. I feel a little too bound to the time of day and what it signals as my next move.
And that’s not me.
Life before kids was a simple one. My husband worked out of town for long stretches and I would pass the time either at work, running or rock climbing. I would spend full days running with friends along wooded trails, talking about every little nuance of every little thing. When my husband would return, we would go on climbing trips, cook over a camp fire and play rummy until I would finally resign from too many losses.
Our lives have changed with parenthood – and for the better. My girls are amazing, independent creatures with energy that pops around me like fireworks. I love seeing them grow, laugh, love and learn each day.
It’s a good life, but I’ve gotten lazy. I get up early. I don’t eat well all the time. I find excuses to sit on the couch when I have free time. Clothes seem to pull and bunch.
Last year, I finally got back into the running scene and realized how much I missed it. I’m lacking the consistency, though, that I need to really feel like I can call myself a runner again.
I plan to run every day this year. It’s a crazy goal. Some might even say it’s not a healthy one, but I’ve got a plan (see The Beginning). In the process, I’ll write, take a few photos and even have some healthy challenges along the way. Join me as I set out to tone up, lose the remaining baby weight, and become a confident and strong runner again.
I’m excited to take on this project with my two long-time friends, Kristen P. and Claire. Kristen was my best friend in high school and has one of the biggest, happiest hearts I’ve ever known. Claire was my dearest and closest friend in college and she’s embraced me as her sister since our undergrad days.
I do not engage with these two enough and I look forward to what our daily dialogs will spark within me. And we get to do it every single day.