24 January 2013

living small, blogging less

It was just about a year ago that we moved from Los Angeles (population: 50 bajillion) on the Southern California coast, to Truckee (population: 16,000) in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Northern California, close to the Nevada border.

Despite the obviousness of this statement, I'll say it anyway: Life is different now.

Much of that difference was exactly why we moved:
  • Less traffic and bustle, more quiet and peace
  • A bigger home that really feels like a *home*
  • Easier access to mountains, wilderness and skiing
  • More room to be creative, grow food, let the dogs roam, etc. 
  • Ability to put down real roots, which is tough in the big city

Some of the differences are things I miss:
  • Our LA friends, of course
  • Flea markets
  • Farmers markets in the winter
  • Growing veggies in the winter
  • Whole Foods within a 5 minute drive
  • Warm days even in January (notice a trend here?)
  • The beach
  • My LA spinning and yoga classes (or, more precisely, the people in them)

Even though the list of things I miss is longer than the list of reasons why we moved, we're really happy here. All of the things we miss are things we can deal with (we still keep up with our friends on Facebook and occasional LA visits, we can visit antiques stores in Reno, there's a Whole Foods 30 minutes away in Reno, and the weather is beautiful in a whole other way here), though we do both still miss the beach.

What's been amazing is realizing all the ways in which life is different here that we never anticipated, but instead could only discover by living here:
  • Small town life brings out the best in both of us, and we feel much more relaxed
  • We see our friends so much more often here, like every week instead of every few months in LA
  • I'm a lot more creative and inspired here, and have been hand-making all sorts of things
  • We're more trusting of people, and we pick up hitch-hikers all the time. Not joking. It's a different world. 
  • Living in the cold and snow isn't actually half bad. And there's something really satisfying about chopping wood and keeping the fire going. 
  • I feel less of a need to share

That last point is really what this post is all about. I've come to realize over the last year that I'm much less interested in blogging than I used to be, I think because life is so different for us now. There's something very anonymizing (that's a word, right?) about living in the city, that I felt like my blog was my little place where I could shout, "Hey world! Look at me! Look what I did in my little home!"

But now, feeling so comfortable and relaxed, I have nothing to prove. I don't feel anonymous when I walk around Truckee. I recognize people. They recognize me, more and more every day. And people know we have a home that we've decorated with care and attention. I don't need to shout it. And I definitely don't want to be a show-off.

What I have always loved most about blogging, and what I still love about it, is connecting with other people. It's when I think about my blog friends like Ashley at Domestic Fashionista, or Kate at Modern Mountain Life, that I start itching to blog again. And that's why I'm here today, typing this to you. I really value my blog friends, and I want to make more... maybe you?

Ashley and me at the Sacramento Bloggers meetup

I'm still going to share projects, because I have loads of them. Just not as many or as often. I have always blogged for the love of it, and I don't want to lose that love by making it a chore. So even though my posts will be more sparse in 2013 than they were in 2012, or especially in 2011, I promise what you see here will come from a place of inspiration and excitement.

What's your blogging philosophy? Why do you blog? Why do you read blogs? Want to be bloggy friends? Shoot me a comment!

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  1. Aww thanks for the mention! :) I completely empathize on the not sharing thing. Blogging is not 100% in my nature, I am not a huge sharer. I don't talk about our house with many people in real life. I took a break and thought I might stop for good, but I have picked it up a little again - purely for selfish reasons - because when I recently read through my old posts from the last year or two, I had already forgotten some of the little details I wrote about, and I was SO thankful I had attempted to capture some of them. I wish I had captured more (because there were many more LOL).

    But anyway, I am posting less too, but still trying to document some of the changes that are happening in our lives and the fun and not-so-fun days working on our house. I can only imagine how I'd feel if we dove right into the amazing mountain lifestyle that you guys have embraced - I'm jealous! And I wish we were working less and skiing more...but we don't have any snow to speak of.

    Side note - two of our friends and their sweet baby girl just moved from Denver back to Truckee (they met in Tahoe years ago). Liz and Jimmy Bowling! Let me know if you ever run into them, I know it's a small town. :)

    1. I wish we were working less and skiing more, too! :-) Sadly, our mountain life doesn't include less work... just less time traveling between the city and the mountains, and more time enjoying where we live.

      I will definitely let you know if we run into your pals! Small world!

  2. Your new way of life looks beautiful! I love Tahoe in the winter!

  3. Tanja, This post reminded me of what a wonderful writer you are. I really get it. I can understand the different lens you now view blogging with, and why you might have had a need to pull back. Reflect on the 'why' of it all. Blogging is an interesting endeavor. I literally have a love hate struggle with it right now. I love the writing and hate the awareness of stats and followers etc. It's easy to go to a negative place and I don't like that feeling. So I'm always a bit reflective about it; I want to feel like I have a healthy attitude always.
    Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

    1. Leslie, you are too kind as always! I know exactly what you mean on the negative place, and I have vowed to myself that I won't look at analytics or followers for a few months at least. I dropped to blog ball, and I need to be patient with building it back again. But most importantly, I'm not expecting this to be my livelihood, so the stats just serve (or injure) my ego, not my pocketbook, and that's a great reason to ignore them and focus on the positive... such as lovely comments like this one from lovely bloggers like you! :-)

  4. Thanks so much, Ashley! That means a lot coming from you! xoxo

  5. I first found your blog while looking at pictures of your adorable kitchen in your LA home. So many details I loved about that kitchen. I've followed your blog ever since. I now have a blog of my own and you are on my blog roll so I will continue to read whenever you post. :)

    Good for you that you've made choices that have led to your happiness...congratulations and all the best to you!

  6. I can very much relate to so much in this post Tanja and good for you for recognizing just what you want in life - Truckee looks wonderful. We've been tossing the idea of moving to one of the beautiful islands here in Washington instead of staying in the city. To get back to a simpler way of living and doing.
    The reason I blog today is the same reason I started my very first blog back in 2005; if I have information that could be helpful to someone else - I love to share it. Informing others is perhaps one of things in life that really drives me.
    Thank sharing and I'm looking forward to staying bloggy friends with you :-)

  7. I am so glad you are back (at least at your own pace) to blogging. I really enjoy reading your posts and had started to wonder if you were offline for good! I'm so eager to catch uo with all you've been busily doing up in my favorite get-away place!

    I have yet to get back to my own posts, but I keep thinking I will someday. I have goals of at least posting a couple times of month.


Thanks for taking a moment to leave a note! I would love if you would leave your email address so I can write you back! But no pressure. :-) (No anonymous posts, please.) xoxo, tanja

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