In December of 2008, I needed to change the front page of Sperger.com because of some changes that had taken place on the server of our Web site host. I decided to replace the old front page with a family blog, heavy on the photos. Actually, Nick and I decided we would blog together.
Nick lasted a month. He wrote every day about how many days remained until Christmas. After Christmas, he forgot about the whole thing.
I lasted a bit longer. I was posting faithfully on the site, Mondays through Fridays (Werktage, as they say in German) for the last four and a half years. I carried my camera everywhere and took a ton of pictures. Believe it or not, we’ve put over 11,000 pictures online in support of this blog since we got started. Eleven thousand!
From those years, I discovered that I loved photography. I learned a little bit from Chelsea about composition, lighting, ISO speeds. I learned that your average point-and-shoot camera is far more versatile and well-equipped than most people realize.
I also had a new and wonderful line of communication to my grandparents. (Hi again, Grandma and Gramps!) Though we might not see each other every day, or even most weeks, I could keep them up to date on the swirling dance of our daily lives. Our readership stats have never amounted to much, but I’ve always felt anyway that I was writing for an audience of two. I wrote for that audience with dedication and great love.
About a year ago, I started wondering if I could keep up with a permanently faster pace of schedule. It felt like our home life was heading in that direction, and I was feeling the same impulse at work. I started experimenting with a conscious effort to pack my schedule as fully as possible. Early mornings, late nights, lots of travel.
It’s hard to explain, but I have actually felt more peaceful in the last year than I had in a long time. I’m a planner by nature. In college, I used to write my term papers three weeks before they were due. It still feels good, and I still enjoy the virtue of work done well in advance of when it’s needed. However, the truth is that sometimes work, and life, demand a little more improvisation. I knew that I needed to develop that side of myself.
We have also reached an age at which the kids are deep into their activities and their own hectic schedules. I just asked Chelsea last night, “When people ask you, ‘have you been busy’, how do you answer?” Because our level of activity no longer changes. It is high, and it is constant.
Chels and I like to tell ourselves that our schedules will be less hectic when the kids start leaving for school. This is a lie we tell ourselves. Hours spent driving kids from place to place will be replaced with professional commitments, travel, volunteering.
This is our life. This is what we’ve chosen.
The blog started to slow down when I ran into a patch of technical problems with both the server and my camera. I stopped carrying my camera everywhere. Uploading pictures from my iPhone is cumbersome, despite the fact that everything involved is both computerized and network-connected. (Thanks for nothing, Apple and Flickr.) The server problems went away, then came back again. Days and weeks without posting slipped past.
Now I’m on a train, riding to New York, writing a eulogy of sorts for this wonderful thing. I’m hanging up my blogging robe (huh?) and taking a very active retirement. My kids are still out there, being cute and having adventures. I’m still traveling the world, and sometimes Chelsea comes with me.
We always carry you with us, whether we write about it here or not.