December 25, 2019

Bloggy Changes

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

A view of the Glasshouse Mountains, Australia. Hopefully I’ll write about a Georney to these soon!

For the past few years, I have been struggling with this blog. When I first started blogging, I had lots of enthusiasm and, quite frankly, much more time. I posted words of the week and weekly geology photos and many posts in between. I was a very productive blogger, and I really enjoyed blogging.

This past year, 2019, was my worst for blogging. Despite good intentions to re-vamp this blog, I failed to post regularly and substantially. The primary reason is that I had one of the busiest years I have ever had. It wasn’t my most stressful year (that was the year I defended by Ph.D.), but I’d say that it was the second most stressful. Why? Well, I moved my family from South Africa to Australia (and dealt with all of the immigration paperwork and logistics of moving), started a challenging (but exciting!) new job, handed over my previous job for several months (that means I had two jobs for awhile!), continued with coursework for my part-time M.Sc. in Carbon Management through the University of Edinburgh (requiring 6 to 10+ hours of study per week, over and above my normal 40-50+ hour a week job), and – last but certainly not least – was a mother to my son, who is currently 2 years and 2 months old. For work, I travelled an enormous amount (terrible for my carbon footprint, I know! Even though I pay to offset all of my flights) – I had four international trips and about twenty domestic trips.

I managed to keep up pretty well with all of these things, but they have been fairly exhausting and have not left me with much free time for anything else. When I did have some rare free time, I spent it watching a TV show (bliss!) or reading a silly mystery book or, more often than not, catching up on some sleep!

Another reason that I didn’t blog, even when I did have a little time, is that I kept setting the standard too high for myself – I kept trying to re-start, for example, weekly posts and then feeling guilty when I only kept up with them for a couple of weeks before being too busy or too tired to continue.

Recently, I was chatting with my husband about whether or not I should give up on this blog. On the one hand, it would be an easy thing to let go – one less thing to worry about. On the other hand, this blog has meant a lot to me over the years and is not something I want to give up lightly.

After much reflection, I have decided to carry on with this blog… but to make some important bloggy changes that will, hopefully, take away any stress associated with this blog and make it fun and easy for me to post and keep sharing my “Georneys” with you.

Without further ado, the bloggy changes are:

  • No regular posts. No “Geology Words of the Week”, no “Monday Geology Pictures”. I just don’t have the time to keep up with these. At some point in the future, when I feel ready (maybe after I wrap up the coursework for my M.Sc.?) I’ll try to revive the geology words – but for now I’m not going to worry about these regular posts.
  • I will aim to post twice a month, enough to keep my readers engaged but not too much to be a big time sink. I want to focus on “Georneys” – that is, on little trips where I saw some geology. For example, I might write about a family hike where I saw some interesting rocks or a business trip where I saw some pretty decorative stones in my hotel or a museum visit to an interesting exhibit. Some of these posts will be light and full of pictures, others may contain some more substantial geology content. All will be interesting and informative, I hope!
  • I might also post some reviews of interesting science-themed books or write about how I manage to balance (ha ha ha – maybe survive?) motherhood and working as a scientist. I might write some about my climate change and carbon management studies. We’ll see where the blog takes us!
  • As always, I will not be posting about my industry work – unless it is something that I have published in a peer-reviewed journal (and thus my company has given me permission to share it). This does limit what I can post about in terms of my day-to-day work, but I should have enough “Georneys” to write about from my personal life to keep up some good blogging.