This being the end of the year, I find myself doing the same thing I'm sure a lot of people do at the end of the year - looking back. I find myself asking questions such as what did I learn, how did I grow, what were the highlights, what were the low points, and where did I succeed in my goals and where do I need to try harder for next year? There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past year. Some have been really great changes, others have been really hard to deal with. Its just the way life goes. Highs and lows, mountains and valleys and all of that.
In thinking about this blog, I had a bit of a chuckle. When I first began to blog, I had absolutely zero readers, as far as I can recall. It didn't take long to find all kinds of resources and tools that claimed to enhance your readership and help you become Uber Popular Blog Princess (or Prince) and so I did what a lot of new bloggers do, and tried to use those resources. Apparently I didn't know what I was doing since I never became the Popular Blog Princess that these silly tools told me I'd become. It's okay, I don't look very good in a tierra anyway. It wasn't too long after it dawned on me that these tools weren't working, that I removed them all from my blog and withdrew membership in all the ranking, voting and blog promo sites. It was more hassle than it was worth, and I already have a busy enough life.
The one thing I never removed was my sitemeter counter. I've always liked sitemeter because it tells you where your visitors come from. Seeing people come from all over the world to read what I have to say is pretty exciting. It's also pretty humbling and in a way, helps to keep me accountable since I know folks are looking for quality content (the karaoke video from yesterday doesn't count), especially as it pertains to a Christian worldview. I can only hope that I contribute something on a regular basis that helps someone or encourages someone.
Looking at sitemeter yesterday however, left me feeling a bit discouraged. I already knew readership and commenting at Reflections was down, but I didn't realize how low it had become over the last six months. Indeed it has consistantly decreased each month since July, and that can only mean that either I've become dreadfully boring, or there are just far more interesting, witty and resourceful blogs to read. Maybe it means both. I've never claimed to be very exciting or clever in the first place, so I guess that's just the way things work out.
So looking ahead to 2009 makes me wonder where I'm going with all this. I don't really have any plans for the new year except to do what I always do. Making every effort and relying on God's grace and wisdom to be a good wife, mom, daughter, teacher and friend. Blogging when I feel like blogging, working on my store, creating graphics for various projects, adding new books & resources to my book blog, actually finding time to read the books on my own personal to-read list, and tackling some household projects. I've never been big on huge goal-setting, partly because I'm easily distracted and quite often don't finish something I start. Someone once told me that this is common with creative and artistic people, but frankly I don't buy it.
Anyway, 2009 is looking a lot like 2008 in that I pretty much plan to do the same thing in the new year that I'm doing right now. Maybe the Lord will use it to encourage someone, and maybe I'll learn something new as well. I can only hope.