A fresh perspective deserves a fresh, new look. In July 2010, I designed a personalized desk theme for It’s All a Matter of Perspective in favor of a sleek, premium Theme Foundry theme I extensively customized by−changing it to purple. Purple is one of my favorite colors, but not the only one. It fit me like an itchy, wool sweater that’s a size too small−which is to say that I got lots of compliments on it, but it wasn’t comfy. It wasn’t “me.”
And so, I took the plunge and invested in Elegant Themes. I now have access to about 79 different premium themes, all cleanly designed and sporting some pretty nifty features. I like exactly three of them. I liked one other, and would have chosen it as the basis for this blog, but it had some weird behavioral issues, like cramped fonts and no spacing between body text and the headers that followed. I was disappointed, but I figured if it took me more than a day to wrestle it into submission it was going to be a complete life suck, so I stopped fighting and started trying on different themes.
I wanted my theme to be customizable, fast, simple, and inviting. I did not want it to be ordinary, staid, and boring. This one, BOLD, seemed a bit moody, with its brooding, dark clouds. But it had a canvas texture that suggested “artistic” and “creative,” and I like moody, dark clouds. But this renaissance of Fresh Perspectives is meant to be a warm, inviting, hopeful place for friends, not some dark and stormy glimpse into the mind of a writer struggling with her inner demons or something.
I downloaded the graphics and added layers of sunshine and a rainbow−yes, the one at the bottom is meant to be a rainbow, though its green, blue, and ultraviolet bands are hidden behind the clouds in the foreground, and that makes absolutely no logical sense−so let’s just say it’s sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, a nod to my Piscean home. I muted the background colors a bit more to make the warmth of the sun chase away the gray chill of the clouds. Then I added a little bonsai tree. The original thought was to add a beanstalk, but the differences between the home page and the post pages made that impractical. Between the rain, the sun, and the greenery, I finally had something that felt like a good fit. It says, to me, that small ideas, like beans and bonsai trees, can grow if nourished.
And that goes back to why I wanted to restart my blog. Not just redesign it or declare a new set of goals for the New Year, but to give it a fresh, clean start for the first time since 2005. I don’t know if I really inspired anyone but myself when I wrote, “Idealist or Pragmatist: Can a Blogger Be Both?” but I think the answer is yes – and I know that if each of us made a small effort, we could make a difference in a tired, overwrought, unhappy world. Just by being a little more enthusiastic and involved, thoughtful and kind, and contagiously happy.
Are you with me?