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.