Today, January 4, 2022, marks 13 years of Pop.Bop.Shop. Can you believe it? My blog is officially a teenager! Maybe this is the year she'll start talking back to me?
At 37 years old, I have now been creating content for this blog for almost a third of my life. That is crazy to think about.
It all started on January 4, 2009. Those who have been readers for a while know this story, but I'm going to share it again. I was working for a technology PR firm and I didn't really have a creative outlet. I found myself constantly emailing or texting friends about a new restaurant I had just tried or a TV show I was loving. I decided that I'd try to put more structure around those recommendations and share them via a blog. This was my very first post.
Over the years, the Pop (pop culture - TV, movies, books and music), Bop (restaurants, museums and travel) and Shop (shopping, duh!) ratio has fluctuated depending on what was going on in my life and this past year was no exception. As we entered year two of the pandemic, I wasn't traveling, I was barely dining out, and I wasn't able to go in person to many of the small businesses I had hoped to visit and support.
In 2021, I wrote 87 posts, the majority of which were TV, movie and book reviews, since that was how I was spending the bulk of my free time.
What I realized as the year went on, was that so much of what I loved about blogging was sharing my discoveries with all of you. When some of the categories of discovery got eliminated, it started chipping away at my love for the blog writing itself. It's hard to admit that, but it's true.
As you know, I like to pick a focus area for each year. Last year, I recommitted to spotlighting small and independent businesses. I did that in a multitude of ways. I shared places you could shop small for Valentine's Day, Passover and Easter, I only featured small businesses in all of my holiday gift guides in 2021, and any time I published a book review, I linked to an independent bookseller (not Amazon).
This year, my mantra is going to be "find the joy again." For me, that means:
- Finding the joy in blogging again
- (Hopefully) sparking joy with New Year's resolutions again
- Seeking new ways to feel joy while the things I really want to do (dine out, go to the movie theater, travel) are not safe right now
To do this, I am going to need your help! If you have ideas for new places I could explore locally, please share them. I've you just finished an incredible book, tell me about it. If you've been addicted to a TV show no one else seems to know about, clue me in.
I think we're all going to have to reinvent how we create joy for ourselves in 2022 and I hope we can embark on this journey together.
For the past 13 years, you - my amazing, brilliant and funny readers, have opened my eyes to so many new and exciting things. Let's keep it going. What do you say, are you ready to seek more joy?
*Image courtesy of Brooke Lark for Unsplash.