2013: A recap and a new look

Sunday, 5 January 2014

2013 was an odd year. It flew by. I was extremely busy, but in some ways I feel as if I spent a lot of time procrastinating rather than doing. Here are some highlights and thoughts:

- I returned to full time work outside the home in February. I was definitely ready for this to happen and love my job, but full time work plus parenting means I don't have as much time for a lot of other things - blogging for one, hence the tumbleweeds on here (although I did write some posts that I was really happy with). Sebastian spends his days with a great childminder and is getting on brilliantly. He's well and truly into the toddler stage (which is infinitely more fun and rewarding than the baby stage, even taking tantrums into consideration) and keeps us constantly busy. It took him 16 months, but he's also now sleeping through the night, which is amazing.

- I achieved my breastfeeding goal (and then some). Go boobs! I was thankful to be able to continue feeding after my return to work and am thankful to have had such a positive experience.

- I survived my first family holiday (in France; we drove to the south-west coast with a 13-month-old Sebastian) and had a wonderful couple of weeks there.

- I had a great time speaking at Greenbelt and attending the festival for the very first time - you can now watch the video. Tasked to speak on the topic 'When I'm 40...', I realised that 40 is not as far away as I think.

- I took part in a panel discussion on blogging at the Christian New Media Conference.

- I did a lot of thinking about the Christian feminist world, and worried that all too often it ends up shutting itself off from the wider movement. This works both ways - there will always be a need to advocate for greater inclusion of women of faith in feminism - but I think we need to be careful that we don't end up going round in circles repeatedly justifying why we believe in gender equality, or why we believe other people should do the same. I've done that many a time and I fully agree with the woman I heard speak at Greenbelt that I no longer "feel the need to prove I have a right to an opinion and a voice", which includes making anything I have to say 'palatable' to appear more appealing to those who don't believe in equality. We need to move the conversation on - that's why I'm so grateful for the Gathering of Women Leaders, which does just that.

- I continued to find church, and building community within the church, an enormous struggle, although we did make some great new friends this year. There isn't really much else I want to say about this, to be honest. I did, however, read this post yesterday, and was able to relate to it in some ways. And time and again, I return to this post on '(not so) happy clappies'.

- I started the year off by writing about Evil Twitter Feminists, and continued the conversation in the summer with Evil Twitter Feminism 2.0. For the past month or so, I have barely even engaged with any discussion about feminism on Twitter. What was, at the beginning of the year, somewhat mythical, has become very real and very unpleasant, a situation where many people no longer feel able to speak about a whole variety of topics publicly. My feminist 2014 is going to be about building up, celebrating positives and victories, sitting back and listening and learning, building bridges and demonstrating a better way. If you can't get on board with these things, then I worry what you actually do stand for.

- A combination of being busy with work and parenting plus the above point on Twitter has meant I've really shut off from keeping up with blogs and even news over the past few months. This has made writing difficult and it's something I've really struggled with. I miss blogging, but I've felt completely stymied by some things that have happened in recent months. Blogging has changed. In 2014, I'm hoping things will change and that I'll be writing more again. One thing I wanted to do in 2013 but never achieved was revamping how this blog looks - so I finally got that done this past week. I'm now slowly working on getting every post formatted correctly.

- I bought these shoes and this was a really good idea. They're getting me through the winter and haven't made my feet sore once.


Kat said...

The new blog look is great and I love both those posts about church that you linked to.

Happy new year!

OrigamiGirl said...

I know what you mean about Twitter. When I wrote a blog post last night relating to feminism, I found myself almost afraid to link to it on Twitter because I knew it didn't have academic standards. It had some holes in it. It was mostly musing on a subject with no clear answer. I felt sure I'd be criticised so did the softest half-caring tweet of 'I wrote a thing, but it's not that good'. I really have learnt a lot and had access to so many more voices through twitter which I love. But there's so much rage and in-fighting there's a new 'scandal' every week. I think that blogging still has a little more calm to it, and I really enjoy reading what you have to say.


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