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oh happy day 030615 . Stories + My Old Friend

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I started blogging in May 2008 in a little corner of cyberspace called EyeJunkie.com. Some of you faithful friends have encouraged me there as I’ve shared a lot of writing through the years. This “Oh Happy Day” post is a transplant of a series I did at EyeJunkie that I want to bring over to Small Pond Graphics. The Friday series started as I was thinking about our cultural love of the phrase, TGIF, or “thank God’s it’s Friday.” I wanted to consciously incorporate gratitude into my work and life so that TGIF wasn’t just a silly acronym, but a true reflection of a thankful heart expressed each week. Gratitude, as it turns out, is actually a pretty poignant and successful business model!

Today, I’m relaunching Oh Happy Day here with gratitude for an old writing “friend” and the clarity for how we can go new places. Here’s the story…

I began the EyeJunkie blog as a creative outlet while I was working at an advertising agency, chasing two crazy preschoolers, and pregnant with my Baby Girl — the perfect time to add something new to my plate, right? It actually WAS perfect timing, and the process turned out to be a great opportunity to express myself. Almost all of my creative time was being spent doing work for clients. The children had taken up any “free time” I had for creative or “making” projects. And, we all know that raising toddlers carries its own brand of creative thinking! At the time, I began to realize that I needed a way to do something creative that wasn’t related to selling sandwiches or shoes or branding new businesses. I needed something for me. That outlet became the blog, EyeJunkie.

I experimented with all kinds of things at EyeJunkie. I learned WordPress, which I now use exclusively for client website development projects. I participated in all kinds of memes, posting themes and “national day of…” writing events. I explored a ton of what I call “hare-brained” ideas. But mostly, I wrote. And wrote. I wrote about ridiculous things. And not-so-ridiculous things that made me think. I wrote about my family and my faith and the culture around me. I never gained a substantial audience beyond that circle of friends and family who hung on my words, but the writing became important to me — a way of thinking. And a way of disciplining myself to focus on things that mattered.

Living deliberately was sort of the theme of EyeJunkie. I deemed it “adventures in paying attention” — the pursuit of taking a deeper look at life without and within. I used the writing to try and bring meaning to everyday experiences, and to slow down and record those precious moments with my children. To give them their due. In the writing, I settled into sort of a loose mixture of prose and poetry with a bent toward stream-of-consciousness that sort of helped me find my “voice” in a lot of my communications now.

The last seven or so years of writing on the EyeJunkie blog have carried me through the daily experiences of raising the little souls in my charge, the changes in our family, changes in my work, the launch of my freelancing business, the suicide and grief surrounding my husband’s death, a lot of journeys toward what I believe about social issues and culture today, and of course the persistent pursuit of faith throughout. EyeJunkie is an old friend.

As my posting and writing for EyeJunkie.com has become more sporadic over the last year or two, I’ve been struggling with my feelings about that space and how or if it should continue. I love it, but haven’t had the will to write there consistently. But, I suppose, as in all things EyeJunkie, the posts have been so tied to my own thinking that to say goodbye to them was almost like saying goodbye to myself. In my thinking and planning for 2015, I finally decided it was time to let it go. Although, not really. I suppose I felt it was time to let it stand — stand as it is, as an archive of my thinking and the beautiful, and sometimes challenging, experiences chronicled there.

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I’ve spent the last month or so regrouping on the Small Pond Graphics website and my blog here. I usually do that at the first of each year in an effort to make sure my time is spent well in what I share publicly and that the core of what I’m doing is represented well. I’ve found this year, that I really wanted to bring the best of EyeJunkie — that piece of my soul that’s been out on display — into where I’m moving for Small Pond.

The goals and ideas behind the EyeJunkie writing are the true undercurrent of how this freelance business has moved and grown and changed over the last 4 1/2 years, and much of that thinking has fueled the boundaries I’ve set up for myself in business and the choices I’m making about where it goes from here. I have an increasing conviction that my “work” — how I conduct it, the projects I choose, and ultimately the communication that emanates from it — should reflect what I value in my “life” because work IS life! We live in a culture of sharing, of communicating — almost more communication than we can handle. For me, sharing and communicating is an inevitable outpouring of creating. When I crawl in bed at night and I’m left to my own thoughts, I want to know that the hours I’ve devoted to working reflect an honest pursuit of a quiet, authentic, and conscious life. I want to talk and share and “be” about real things.

To that end, I’ve been working to revamp the “categories” a bit for the Small Pond Graphics blog to expand my thinking beyond design and images. As part of that, I’m excited to share a featured section called “stories,” which now contains a chunk of what I think are the most relevant and “evergreen” writing from Eyejunkie — my old friend. My goal is to begin posting more “stories” and thoughtful writing on some of the root ideas I’ve mentioned — peppered in with the watercolor and lettering and design-centered things I usually share, of course. I’m so thankful for all the experiments and life chronicled in the EyeJunkie stories, and those “legacy” posts will serve as my own accountability and encouragement to make sure whatever I share moving forward is governed by authenticity, sincerity, quality and creativity.

I’m so blessed by the opportunity to do what I love on my own terms and to be able to share that journey with so many of you.

Oh happy day!

If you’re interested in reading some of the legacy posts, my ever-overthinking brain has organized them like this…

beautiful ordinary  |  essays  |  mother’s heart  |  on faith  | on social justice

southern stories  |  twelve days  |  widow’s tale

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