So true to Hope form, after years and years of wetting a toe and pondering the idea…as everyone may or may not have figured out by now…I jumped into the blogging world waters feet first and the deep end to boot. Sure, I got lucky in that,
- I starting cultivated the tone and brand for my blog Hopeservations years ago when I started moving all my social media’s over to that particular hashtag and title…but that was just by chance. It simply seemed the smart thing to do in the event I ever did finally kick off a blog but I didn’t really know that back in 2014, although I did have a firmer idea by 2015!
- Blessedly, I also have friends that know me best (thank you to my two Jim’s) and were instrumental in creating some graphics and clever words of wisdom that fit my blog perfectly, and just kind of worked!
- Furthermore, since I truly love to write…I almost always write exclusively for myself first (which expert blogger Adii Pienaar says is key) and which to me is a no brainer! I mean, why would you be doing this if you didn’t love to write and couldn’t easily hit upon loads of ideas to write about?!? As I type, I have at least six in some shape or form, from ideas to rough draft.
- I have no problem writing in my own voice. I tend to write very conversationally – it just lends itself to fun and easy reading. I hope…
Then it occurred to me, when I kicked off my blog – knowing full well I was kicking off on January 1, 2018 – I wrote an entire blog about Heartfelt Intentions and New Year’s traditions, my “Home” page, and my “About” page, but not everyone reads those individual pages. Besides, those two pages can’t live in a place of static forever. At some point, those pages need to be combined and my blog posts need to migrate over to my home page so it is the first thing my readers see when they hit me up! While it seemed more “professional” to have a traditional “Home” page, let’s be real – I am not a business offering services or goods to anyone yet and if necessary, I can always switch it up again!
So in the spirit of all THAT…I decided to write a post about the website and me! You may recognize some of it, although I have added a few details but much has come from those two pages but this way….HERE IT IS!
About the Blog?
The tag line reads: A place to find Hope everyday.
I mean this literally and figuratively.
Literally, Hopeservations is a place where I write and where Hope (that’s me) and Observations come together! Figuratively, it is also an inviting place to frequent, if you are someone who appreciates stories about spreading hope and sharing observations as we navigate & digest all the crazy and deeper aspects of life and the hope we find in these moments…then this is the place for you!
All blogging experts say…find your niche. *shoulder shrug & palms up* Honestly…my blogging niche is just about being human and LIFE! The good, the not so good, the hard, the happy, the confusing, the messy, the beautiful and everything in between. I don’t know what more to say about that? I tried defining hopeservations and this was the closest I got….but it is also so much more!
What is a Hopeservation? Hopeservations are family, love, laughter, a sense of belonging, community involvement, a relaxed, warm environment, understanding at the end of a long day, humanity, grace, fun new ideas, kindness, manners, compassion, motivation, inspiration, perspective, learning to let go, stress relief, little pick-me ups, travel, support, nourishment to our soul, motherhood and parenting, balanced insight, and thoughtful dialogue. Hopeservations are any hopeful observation in life that speaks to us all.
How did Hopeservations come about? It really started years ago with a name…Hope…and has been a 47 year evolution! In truth, I have been a writer for as long as I can recall, creative writing, journaling, journalism, grant writing, writing IEP’s…you name it. Then came the advent of social media and WOW…did I love that! It was like our personal scrapbooks and photo albums had come alive. Through pictures and text, I became the unofficial story teller for our family. I was the keeper of the memories.
The running joke in our family, you need someone to speak at a wedding, funeral or gathering – ask Hope.
I have always been comfortable with public speaking in any forum, even when personal and particularly painful. I find strength in the transparency of life. While I am super outgoing, I also require solitude to recharge. It was at that time, many years ago – after a series of life altering events – you name it, it happened – that I began to write more…and More…and MORE. Usually on my social media sites. I was never that good at staying quiet. Not my nature. Yet through it all, even in my darker hours, I have always been able to find happiness, HOPE and a silver lining in every situation. I guess I was blessed (or maybe it was in the name) to learn pretty early on that happiness comes from maintaining an inner balance of life. It doesn’t come from people, extremes, destinations, possessions, money, or success – although certainly those things can enhance your life but ultimately, it’s about your inner core and being happy with yourself. So, even during those times painful to me – more often then not, family, friends, strangers began telling me how much they appreciated my “observations.” It became frequent that I heard how I should try my hand at writing a novel, children’s book, funny mom anecdotes, etc, etc, etc…only, seriously…there is a huge leap between writing a witty FB post and a book. Not to mention I am a wife, home-maker, educator and the mother of three humans, in various stages and ages that I was responsible for!
Besides, these bits of writing were all just fun, or me caught up in a moment of spontaneity. My observations were my own places of joy & happiness, sometimes poignant or whimsical but always hopeful. If it just so happened that others got to benefit or thought similarly – then yeah, that was cool too!
When suddenly friends were offering up and encouraging the idea of a blog. Huh…maybe? Maybe a blog would be the perfect forum? Then in 2014, I began hash-tagging, #Hopeservations as a silly little play on my name and rather late to the twitter scene I was having difficulty finding a twitter handle that felt just right…when Christmas 2014, I finally hit upon the idea!
twitter.com/hopeservations was the true birth of Hopeservations, and despite still preferring to hashtag my #Hopeservations on facebook.com/hopeelizabethdutton, https://www.facebook.com/hopeservations & instagram.com/hopeservations, it was then that this blog finally took a firm shape in my mind.
So who is Hope…well, I don’t write about myself in third person, as the general blogging tips encourage…and while I can sum myself up in just a few sentences – why would I want to here? I have never quite understood bloggers that don’t tell much about themselves yet want people to buy into them? So, here goes… I am a Bi-Coastal Florida girl although I have lived on the East Coast for the last 22 years. I have traveled much of the US and a bit overseas…more then some, less then others…with plans of more to come. I have studied, lived and taught abroad. I am an educator by profession, some see it as a career, I see it as a calling. My background is a pretty specific niche of working with students who receive Special Education Services and I absolutely love it. There is no greater joy then knowing you helped a student and their family and despite the sometimes extreme emotional toll, I am so grateful I chose this professional path. Thank goodness for a sense of humor and a lot of great friends!
I am a behaviorist, humanist, and existentialist…yet a firm believer in spirituality, the study of all religion from Transcendental Meditation to Methodist and everything in between, sciences, astrology, astronomy, and numerology. I love to look for the patterns in life, from dates, data charts to human behavior. After much consideration, I even consulted a numerology calculator to determine the very perfect day to unveil this Blog…and it picked the date! The date hit all my perfect points but was it ever hard to wait for Monday, January 1, 2018. Yet, that was okay, I am also a patient woman when it comes to the big picture. I am a lover of words, memes, morals, motherhood, and mermaids. I have a Pinterest board named just that! My favorite day of the week is Monday and I love mornings. Anchors, starfish, turtles, turquoise and charms are my thing. I almost exclusively wear black but live a very colorful life. I was born 07.19.1970, making me a Cancer, born to a Cancer, Moon Mother and Leo, Sun Father and my lucky birth number is one (1) although my path number is seven (7). Meaning I am equally ruled by the moon and sun, which I suppose explains why I fully appreciate the quote, “Live by the Sun, Love by the Moon.” I am the product of being raised very fluidly between my two equally brilliant but vastly different parents and a rich tapestry of an extended family that I am forever thankful came into my life and I am a complete dichotomy of all this!
I am very happily married to my husband, and life traveler of nearly 19 years. We are thankfully beyond many of the difficult marital phases that lead most to crumble. With each passing phase of life, we continue to make a choice to celebrate each other as individuals yet evolve together, cultivating a deeper understanding, aligning ourselves into a balanced, joyful marital harmony, while embracing all we have created together. We made our home near the beach and have continually enjoyed the vast beauty of a Florida lifestyle. We have three children, one Scorpio (Abby, 18) and a set of Irish Twins that are both Gemini’s (Sadie, 12/Finn, 11). The irony of that is not lost to me. Oddly, I am a crazy Volleyball Mom, which I never expected but rolled with it and has it ever been a fun adventure for the family! I love to read, learn, listen to all genres of music, expand my perspectives, cry at weddings and photograph sunrises, although I have been know to cry at sunrises and photograph weddings. My quick tag line on most of my social media’s is some variation of…I am a story teller, lover of all things from the sea, sporty, sweet, silly, sassy, soulful serving education & simply human. All true and all which has lent itself to creating a very unique person with an eclectic awareness of, intuitive perspective on and an unconditional love for life…and yes, these are my Hopeservations.
If you find any of my Hopeservations or FLAvorable Mentions INSPIRATIONAL or worthwhile, please subscribe, comment, email, Insta, Twitter, Post or Pin about it & share, Share, SHARE!
Plus, I look forward to you sharing your own Hopeservations, offering feedback, and comments! I have many future plans for this platform to become a community…so stay tuned!
Follow my social links and please feel free to share one of my Hopeservations or post one of your own…but remember to hashtag #Hopeservations. After-all, the more HOPE we spread through shared observations about life, the better!
At the end of the day, I love that you have found ME and my humble Blog and are taking the time to read my Hopeservations, my little hopeful stories & observations about life.
I really think you will find all this and more. So welcome to Hopeservations, where spreading hope and sharing observations come together to become a place where you can find Hope everyday! ⚓
Go in love,