Meet Mary Kalpos
#FierceFriday is a weekly feature on Everything’s Coming Up Rosie (ecurosie) – celebrating all the incredibly inspiring and kick-ass women out there! With that, I am excited to share this week’s interview with upcycler blogger, Mary Kalpos from The Boondocks Blog.
Click here to read the other #FierceFriday Interviews!
My dear friend, Nikki nominated Mary to be interviewed for #FierceFriday. I couldn’t agree more! On a related note, I have always wanted to travel and tour Greece. It’s been on my bucket list for many, many years. With Mary currently living there, and seeing her photos on social media, it makes me want to travel there even more. If her photos don’t reel you in than her repurposed projects certainly will.
In this week’s interview, some of the highlights are; Mary’s family life and being a mom, how and why she started to blog, her vision in five years time, her opinion on the environment, and her ideal outdoor activities.
Let’s get started!
Share Your Story Mary Kalpos
Hi, Mary. Please, tell us a little about you.
I am a wife, a mother of four and a repurposing blogger who also shares photos of Greece. I have been living in Greece the past 20 years after having grown up in New York. I’ve been blogging for almost two years over at The Boondocks Blog. Why the Boondocks? Like I said, I grew up in New York and after I married I moved to a small town in Greece. This for me was “the boondocks”. It’s not really that small but after New York, everything is smaller. And a town without chalk paint is the boondocks!
How did you begin your blogging/ career?
I went through a period in my life when I had lost all hope. We were in the midst of the economic crisis in Greece, which has been going on since 2008. My sons had just moved back to New York because there was no future for them here and I watched the news all day and felt hopeless, not just for the children but for the whole country. And then one day I decided to start blogging as a way to occupy myself. At first it was my way of taking my mind off of my troubles, a cocoon of sorts, and a way to also live frugally. But then it blossomed into so much more. I have found that my creativity has exploded and I am learning so much every day about computers, social media, etc. …why, I feel as if I am back in college. Who ever said that once the kids are grown you are done? I feel that now I am living the best years of my life.
Mary, describe a typical day for you.
I am lucky to be a stay at home mom. My youngest is in her last year of high school so I have lots of time to blog. A typical day would start with working on social media. Then I go to the farm with my husband (who also happens to help me in a lot of my projects), I run errands and make lunch. After that, I usually work on whatever project is due, some of which take a week or more to complete. After dinner, I spend time with the family and the evening is reserved for more blogging because it really has to be a full-time job if you want to succeed.
What twists and turns have you faced in your blogging/life and how have you dealt with it?
I guess the most surprising thing for me was that I was absolutely clueless as to what blogging really involved.Dare I say that had I known what I know now, I may have given up before even starting. I spent my first 4 months on an island, pretty much writing for myself. It was only after discovering link parties and other bloggers and a tribe that things took a turn for the better. Because blogging is all about community and we are so much stronger when we have like-minded people around us. We support and inspire each other. I am currently going through more growing pains now trying to learn how to monetize the blog. I am more of a creative type than a business person. But I believe that persistence will get you everywhere. If I just keep on plugging away at it, eventually I will grow and make an income from this.
Random question. You just can’t live without?
My family! This is the reason I exist. There is nothing that inspires me more than their well being and everything I do is really for them. And coffee! Lots of coffee!
Describe your perfect Sunday.
For me, every day is a perfect day full of the unexpected possibilities. The only difference is that on Sunday I get to have a leisurely breakfast with the family. When the weather is good we go to the mountains or to the beach depending on the season. I am blessed to live in a country that is full of beauty and so just going for a walk is a wonder in itself for me.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In five years I hope to be a better blogger and I’d like to be able to make a living at this. I am very passionate about what I do and the projects I make. But the other aspects of blogging are very time-consuming. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that they take up more time than the actual projects. It would be nice to get paid for all the time and energy I put into it. My dream job would be blogging and traveling back and forth between the US and Greece.
Mary, what has been your biggest achievement?
I would have to say the acknowledgment that I have received from my fellow bloggers. And the friendships that I have made. That to me is success.
What do you consider worthwhile investment(s) when it comes to self-development ?
I believe it is important to have a strong foundation in blogging. I am currently with Weebly and I have bought my own domain and pay for the hosting which includes excellent service. I am very happy with them and would like to continue to improve my SEO skills and also my photography skills. I will definitely have to invest in a better camera at some point because there is only so much you can do with a point and shoot.
Fill in the blank. Happiness is…
the feeling of gratefulness that we have when we look around us.
Anything else you’d like to share with us, Mary?
This journey has given me so much more than I ever expected when I started. It is about so much more than just projects. It is about making significant connections and friends who understand your struggles because blogging is a unique profession and anyone who is outside simply cannot understand our brand of madness. It has given me the opportunity to expand my mind both creatively and intellectually. And it has boosted my self-confidence. I am a blogger who is over fifty, there are many of us out there who are vibrant and very involved in blogging. We are in effect creating something from nothing. Finally, it has raised my awareness of the environment and how important it is to not add to the landfill.
Where can we find you? (blog link and links to any social media)
Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MaryIntheboondocks
Thank you, Mary, for participating in Fierce Friday!
I’m Mary and I live in beautiful Greece where I like to repurpose and upcycle anything that is old or looks like junk. Join me as we use our creativity to spark some life into old things. And do it frugally! You will also see lots of photography of my Greece.
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