My thoughts on thoughts

Do what brings you joy.  


That is my new mantra and I have been doing some reflecting on it this weekend.  How am I spending my time? Is it bringing me joy?  Could I be using my time more efficiently?  The point was further discussed on Saturday when Abbie shared an article with Shaunacey and I.  You can read it here.   It was kinda good timing for that bloggers' rant on the general suckage of mommy blogs in general, as I have been questioning how I use my blogging time and what I could or should be doing instead.  Shaunacey wrote a brilliant rebuttal to the article that fuelled the discussion yesterday and I just wanted to say my peace because sometimes talking through things and putting them out there, help make life make more sense.

The question on my mind is, what would I do with that time if I didn't blog? Would I paint more? Read more books? Watch more TV?  Exercise?


In the end, blogging is a hobby to me, yet the necessity to feel legit eats at me and I don't know how I got in that position in the first place.  Maybe it's the competitive part of me, wanting to be the best I can be?   I experience the self-doubt and live the struggles that most bloggers experience too.  It's just that there are so many blogs out there, what makes mine special?  The blogger who wrote the frank article about mommy bloggers sucking hit a nerve when she said that they would all quit.  Now, I don't consider myself to be a mommy blogger, but it did hit a nerve with me.

Who is she to tell me how I value myself and my writing?

I guess the problem is, is that there are a lot of bloggers out there that are boring as hell to read because I think they are stuck in that rut of doing what everyone says you have to do.  But then again, there are bloggers that I genuinely enjoy reading because I feel they do exactly what I aspire to do: write what is on their hearts.  These bloggers have a voice and I think you need to feel connected to a blogger in order to keep reading.  New "mommy" bloggers that I have followed recently who come to mind as bloggers who can tell their story and have a distinct voice are  MamaCentric or Little Bits of Joy.

I have realized a couple things since reading the scathing article about why I should quit blogging:

1- I don't want to quit. If I quit I would miss the camaraderie (yes it's virtual, but some of it has translated to in real life).  I would also miss recording our story, because I know in many years when I can't remember the details it will bring me much joy to go back and read my words and relive those great and not so great moments.

2- Blogging makes me more accountable to myself.  I find that I think more about what I do and how I do it and the type of person I want to be.  It pushes me to try new things and learn new technologies.

3- I feel like I need to become the P!nk of the blogland.  I just need to not care about what a million other blogs tell me I should do and just be me.  I know that the people who feel a connection with me will continue to read, because it's me.  Regardless, my mom will still love reading this every day.

So what am I willing to change in order to love blogging more and stay authentic in what I do?


That is exactly what I have been pondering, especially during the past couple weeks being swamped at work: Something has to give.

I have been getting up early in the morning to read blogs and comment.  I am going to continue getting up early, but I will do my ab and pushup routine in that time instead and enjoy a coffee on the deck to watch the sunrise. Blog reading and commenting will come when I have free time during the day.  And if I don't have time for it, I don't.  It will get done, I just won't put such a priority on it.

I am only going to participate in a few link ups as it takes a lot of time to comment.

I am going to post what I want to post because in the end, that is what brings me joy.  No more sponsored posts from companies that want me to review their site.  That doesn't feel authentic to me.  But you can hear my thoughts on working with affiliates and companies tomorrow in our Part 4 of our blogging tips series.




These are just a few of the things I'm going to implement in my new routine as I finish up the busiest time of year for work and then hey, it's summer and things will likely change again.

So, do you do what brings you joy?  How about a look at how I put this into practice this weekend and invested my time into the things that brought me joy, instead of spending the time crafting perfect posts for this week.

1- I worked on my blog book.  You asked to see a picture of what one looks like and here's a shot of Blog2Print, which I have used since I began blogging (a Christy recommendation).  I have decided to design my own using Blurb this year so I put some time into that this weekend.  Consider it scrapbooking for the digitally friendly.



2.  I baked yummy things with the kids and taught them how to flip crèpes.  And while both batches weren't pretty, yes, we had them Saturday and Sunday morning, they were absolutely delicious.  I love cooking with my kids and trying new recipes.  I wanted to recreate my favourite crèpe at Drift, the Morongo (Brie, Prosciutto, poached fig and a balsamic reduction) and despite not having balsamic vinegar to make the reduction, they turned out rather delicious, if you asked me.   For the kids, they enjoyed Saskatoon Berry and Nutella crèpes.



3.  I planted flowers and we finished putting in the garden, a week before schedule.  Dan finished putting soil in my front flower beds so I have been planning them out and planting some very special seeds from my trip last year to meet Carrie and Lana in San Antonio.  Although, as a side note, I am trying not to let me newfound hate for the Texas Rangers to spoil my joy for these flowers......#lame #crybabies #justplayball



4.  I dug out my watercolours and painted a birthday card for Alynne, who's birthday we celebrated on Sunday.  I am definitely out of practice but really enjoyed creating something.



5- I stopped and watched a cute skunk play in our yard.  From afar. And yes, we locked up the dogs.  The skunk did end up in our neighbour's yard and I'm pretty sure their dogs got to her because of le stink that ensued after.

[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://shoestoshiraz.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/20160514_195511.mp4"][/video]

So day one of do what brings you joy starts today. I'll check back in later and let you know what I think.

Comments

  1. Living on Cloud Nine15 May, 2016 21:29

    Yay, I can comment again because that is a question that has been on my mind....what would I do If I didn't blog? Perhaps the creativity and relationships brought to me by blogging is the best thing to fill the time. I didn't used to think that at first but now I have found balance between blogging and family and me time so it works but I need more relaxed moments like you had...I LOVE that you taught your kids to fill crepes and you painted a birthday card...wow. I'm going to try to slow down and savor more moments like these. Well done!!

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  2. And many of these thoughts have gone through my head as well. I blog because I want to and am now sharing content that I want to without feeling like I have to compete as much as I used to feel. I read a little bit of that article too but decided it was her opinion and has no profound effect on me...or you either for that matter. Keep blogging friend. I love you voice! Can't wait to see the Bluebonnets pop up!

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  3. well you certainly know how I feel about all this and it seems, as per usual, we are very much on the same page. Honestly, I'm so nervous about going back to work because I have no idea what will happen with my blog and I'll miss that time during first nap nearly daily where I just get to chill and be me on a computer.
    I love your blog and your voice and you've captured something that all of us grapple with. We are constantly questioning and re-evaluating and I think that's part of the process, otherwise we WOULD be boring.
    I'm a wee bit bitter at Texas right now, trying not to hold it against the entire state lol frigging baseball!

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  4. I've gone through a lot of these thoughts, too. I know I need to scale things down some, and I'm trying to figure out how. I know I would spend more time reading and working out if I didn't blog.

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  5. I can totally relate to this post of yours. It's very obvious that some bloggers just blog to keep up with the jones' and they don't really have a voice. I aspire to stick to my true self everyday... now, but nature I am a very positive person and I'm sure that comes off in my writing style but I always hope that my readers know that I'm genuine! As a new reader to your blog, you must stick to it because oh I just love your blog!! Good to know that you have a plan for yourself! I agree, somethings do have to give sometimes! Also, those crepes you made with your kiddos looks amaaaaaazing!

    Xox Dana Ivy // www.iadorewhatilove.com

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  6. Cute skunk?
    Blog for yourself and anyone else that reads is a bonus. Like me. I like your blog.

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  7. Yeah, I don't deal with sponsored posts. I see them in my feed all the time and pass right over reading them. It's just SO boring. I'm always on the lookout for interesting bloggers.
    I don't really worry about competition....I mean who cares? Haha. I dealt with enough competition when I had my own business.

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  8. I also try to live by the saying do what brings you joy. It reminds me that life is short, with no time to waste on meaningless things!

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  9. And this is exactly why I don't have a post up today. I was so exhausted yesterday, and I couldn't make myself get on the computer. I sat on the couch and watched Kung Fu Panda with my boys instead. I will read your blog as long as your write, because it's awesome.

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  10. My reasons for blogging and what I'm putting out there are always something I'm debating internally. Sometimes I feel self-doubt because I know I'm not the first to have many of the ideas I write about. Sometimes I find myself wanting those sponsored opportunities that others get and I start to feel badly about myself. But at the end of the day, I LIKE what I put out there. I have fun writing my blog, and I try not to let it interfere with real life. So I think I'm happy, no matter what anyone else says!

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  11. Hmmm...I have had this thought a lot lately...and I don't know what I would do if I didn't blog. I would probably end up watching more tv. At least this way I get my creativity going and makes me want to complete things. Otherwise I would probably sit on the couch and do nothing. :) And wow, you were busy this weekend!

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  12. Well I don't know what I'm doing in the whole blog world...but I made one and it's about my lives kids and all the chaos and yes a few months ago when I first started I tried to be like other blogs I read...well I learned real quick that wasn't me! it was hard and stressful and I stopped blogging for a few months and just started back....it's about me and my kids...I don't think I have any followers but when I look back years later (hopefully I'm still at it) I will be looking at the past and things that ment something at that time in our lives. lives change like the seasons and I want to remember the seasons! if I have time to blog I blog if I don't I instagram and it's all good, because it make me happy and I don't care about all those other people.
    I loved your post today! thanks you!

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  13. I like that question. What would I be doing if I wasn't blogging? It definitely made me reevaluate my time, but not necessarily the blogging part. More the social media part. The blogging community and writing definitely brings me joy. I love your thoughts and Shaunacey's. This is why I surround myself with brilliant people.

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  14. Such a great post - so much time is spent blogging, but it's so cathartic. My life feels more complete with it:)

    Laura
    www.blackcoffeebeautiful.com

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  15. likewise, amiga. I love our afternoon dates, they bring me so much joy.

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  16. I completely agree, my life would be lacking without it

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  17. and what the neatest thing is, is that you're blog is so very unique and you and it makes me want to read it more!

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  18. and I would miss you if you didn't.

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  19. Totally makes sense, Susan! Blogging has to be what you want to do otherwise it becomes forced and not fun. Glad you're back at it...love seeing all the horse pictures!

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  20. Ha, Kung Fu Panda, good call. I would pick cuddling with my kids over posting anyday.

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  21. Yes. Totally cute and he even wiggled his butt when he waddled around the yard.

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  22. Screw competition. I love your mantra and your philosophy behind things, having experienced the crazy numbers. Would love to hear more of that story.

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  23. Exactly and that is very evident in your blog; totally fun! It is perfect and I feel like I would really enjoy having a coffee with you.

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  24. From what I've read so far, I really enjoy your blog- it's unique and full of pizazz!

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  25. I think the re-evaluating is part of the process and I'm quite happy spending those moments facetiming with you over wine!

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  26. I am exactly the same, I would totally read more, but then it's almost like I've created a circle of friends and if I wasn'T reading blogs, I would feel I was missing out on something and want to read them anyway.

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  27. I would definitely miss the chatting between bloggers, that's for sure and I would miss reading thoughtful posts.

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  28. I love the new way you are approaching blogging and I feel I need to pick your brain a little more.

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  29. Such a great post to read and definitely hits a few nerves. I always feel less satisfied with my blog the more I feel like I sell out a bit usually for money. The money is great but I don't love the work or the results. I also hate when blogging feels like something I have to do. Usually that is related to the above. I need to ponder on this one for a while too. I know I don't want to quit but what needs to change?....

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  30. Blogging is such a great hobby, but you are right. You need to decide what to prioritize and not let it get to be too much. When I first started I would post almost everyday. Now I am down to 3 days a week most weeks and it is much better. Blogging brings me joy so I will continue blogging, but I want to have room for all the other things that bring me joy too!

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  31. I always try to not play the compare game, but it keeps crawling back. Need to channel my inner Pink!

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  32. It's so hard not to get stuck in that- I enjoyed being with you guys and I think it really helped

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  33. I hope to get a balance that lets me do a little big of everything.

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  34. ya, it's that in between that I crave, I think anyway.

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  35. Nicole Miller19 May, 2016 23:49

    Just seeing this now ...Because I've had to take a break and step back a bit. This was a great read Deena, and good to know your thoughts on things as well. Some days I feel like we need more than 24 hours in a day to be able to comment back on things, and work on all of the ideas we have going on in our heads plus just normal day to day activities. I think your new early morning routine sounds like heaven.

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  36. Love hearing your perspective on this and I couldn't agree with you more. I enjoy blogging, and I also agree that there are many bloggers out there posting the same ol' stuff because they feel like they have to fit the mold or fit into a specific niche somewhere. I blog for me, and while I do enjoy watching my following grow, I will always continue to share my thoughts on whatever it is that peaks MY interest... because it's MY hobby and ultimately it will be me and my family who will look back on it one day. My blog is seriously all over the place - fashion, home decor, weekend recaps, tutorials, blogging how-to's - but that's how I like it! If people want to read it then fantastic, and if not, oh well. I'll still have a nice little keepsake for myself.

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  37. Goodness, somehow I missed this post and am just now finding it two weeks later, although the timing could not be more wonderful. I have been in a blogging rut. Perhaps it was that scathing article you speak of, or Shaunacey's brilliant response, or just good ol' blogger burn out; whatever it is, it has been weighing heavy on my heart. Just when i was at my lowest point today, I found your wonderful words which have truly lifted my spirits. I cannot tell you enough how much it means to me to know that you recognize my voice. Thank you! I agree with you that we should follow our joy. Absolutely. And nothing brings me more joy in the blogging world than the community I have found. How refreshing to see a talented woman I admire and aspire to be like taking time to speak vulnerably. It is inspiring to know that I am not alone in wanting to put a bit less emphasis on what everyone says to do and just follow my heart. There is beauty in that. Your readers will follow you wherever your journey takes you. I know I will! I hope you are still enjoying your weekends -- and yay for some Texas wildflowers in your space of the world!

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