Recently there have been some changes, not just to the sparxMind blog, but also to myself. Some are noticeable, some.. not so much.
I've created a custom theme rather than using one of the deafult "oh, I've seen this blog before" type designs. I posted about this before, but at the time, the design wasn't quite finalized. I strove for a design that was clean, easy to follow, easy on the eyes, and most importantly – attractive. With some comments and suggestions from spudart, I was able to move very close to what I was envisioning when I had started. There are still some things that need tweaking, and a few minor layout quirks that I need to fix, but I think I'm happy with this look for my web presence.
Sort of in the redesign category, but different enough to warrant a line break ;-).. advertising. I'm still using the google adsense ads across the site, but their emphasis and positioning has changed. Over the last few days the "targeted" ads have been almost humorously absurd and offensive, so I've begun looking at the content of the ads delivered almost as a game. The goal is not so much to make money from advertising, but more just to recoup the costs of hosting. This hasn't happened. Not at all. The out of pocket costs are minor, but it would be nice to have this thing be self sustaining, and maybe even pay for a latte or two.
The whole "1 post a day" thing has been daunting at times. But I've managed to stick to it. Sure, some of the posts are a bit lacking, but I'm still getting back into the flow of blogging. My previous blog was easier, since it was basically a journal, but I'm trying to keep a lot of those aspects out of these posts, because that can quickly turn into a downward self-deprecating spiral. To help combat any lack of inspiration that may come up, I've added a "Reader Requests" post (there's a link at the top of every page) where anyone can suggest topics or ideas that they would like me to post about. I make no guarantees, I may combine, twist, or not even use suggestions, but if you've got an idea, you have nothing to lose by requesting it.
The personal stuff.. this whole quest for happiness and a better understanding of myself has almost completely turned my way of thinking upside down. I don't think it's really noticeable, but I'm looking at just about everything in a different (a hopefully better) way. Things ARE more enjoyable. Stress IS easier to cope with. I AM having more fun. But, I think most importantly, I'm feeling more obligated to make a difference and try to make things better. The world, the lives of people around me, my life, there's no reason not to seek to make a positive change.
I'm also feeling more creative. Or maybe more drawn to create things. I want to start drawing again, but in the past I've always been way too critical of myself. Even when I received feedback along the lines of "Wow! That's really good" I couldn't accept it, part of me refused to believe that it was actually genuine and that it was just being said for the sake of being nice and unoffensive. I don't think I've completely gotten rid of that mindset, so I'm apprehensive, but it will happen again. Hopefully soon.
I've also recently (as of Friday) developed an interest in robotics. I think it would be a fun hobby – something that would actually take my skills and interests into account. I think I'm going to run with that idea. I'm wishing myself luck. 🙂