Know what I need to lighten up? Lighten Up!

Feather Cloud
photo by *~Dawn~*

I was taking a look at my Mission today, and I realized something: in giving myself guidelines for simplifying my life, I was making the whole concept – and this blog – needlessly complicated. I have multiple areas of life I want to simplify, multiple ways I want to record my progress… and yet, the original idea was to make things easier. Simpler. Better.

Let’s look at the definitions of “lighten” that I reference in the ol’ Mission:

  • To make less heavy; to lessen the oppressiveness, trouble, or severity of; to relieve of cares or worries, to gladden.
  • To become less in weight; to become less oppressive, troublesome, or severe; to become cheerful.

To lighten is to make things less heavy and burdensome. I want this blog to be less burdensome for me, and less heavy for you. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to be serious or tackle things that are challenging for me, but hopefully it won’t be all doom and gloom as it has felt to me lately.

More than that, though, I want the act of writing the blog to be one that lifts me up, that makes me glad and cheerful. I have realized – finally – that when my computer time is limited, not every post needs to be long. Or deep. Or insightful. (Not that they have all been deep or insightful, but they have all been long!) Some can be playful, some brief, some – let’s face it – shallow. I am allowed to be shallow. It says so in the rest of the definition:

  • Lighten up: To take matters less seriously.

Whew! I feel lighter already.

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! for this little epiphany. Hopefully it will be the kick-start I need to write more. (Six posts in April = epic fail.)
  • I’m lighter! We walked to a little town a few kilometers away to go to the beach, Quinland and I swam, and we walked back home with groceries.

General wackiness and the Blogger Protection Program

It came to my attention yesterday that I have been nominated for a Homie Award. When I say “came to my attention,” I mean that the person sitting across the scrapbook table from me told me that she was going to nominate me.

I basically freaked out and told her not to. Actually, I googled Pride and Prejudice for the exact language and then quoted Elizabeth saying to Charlotte, “You are a very strange creature by way of a friend! — always wanting me to play and sing (blog) before any body and every body! — If my vanity had taken a musical (I don’t know… blogging?) turn, you would have been invaluable, but as it is, I would really rather not sit down before those who must be in the habit of hearing (reading) the very best performers (blogs).”

True story.

I then basically freaked out all night, watching the stats as I tried to recover all my blue-screened posts. “Oh, man! Now it’s up to 82 views in one day! This whole thing is a big mistake… I don’t think this was a very good idea…”

My friend was apologetic, but she would not take it back or un-nominate me as I was insisting she needed to. In a paraphrase of her words, “I was supposed to vote for my favorite blogs, and yours is one that I read every day, the one that sends notifications to my phone so I can read it right away when you post. So I nominated you. I’m sorry! But why are you so upset about it?” I thought about it all night, but I couldn’t explain properly.

Part of it is that I wanted the growth of the blog to be organic. My family and a few friends know that I have a blog, though most don’t know the url. I mentioned it on Facebook once, when I wanted to spread the word about Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Other than that, though, anyone who follows the blog has found it on their own somehow.

I like that. I tell myself that I like it because it seems more meaningful, somehow. After pondering it all day today, I realize that I like it because it seems less scary.

Isn’t that funny? It’s as though I fear the judgment of my friends more than the judgment of strangers. That’s the wackiness. Why do I not trust the people whom I trust? To be more specific, why will I trust these people with my life but not with my words?

I don’t know…

I liken it to back when I was a Creative Memories consultant. My friends and I used to joke that I was in the Consultant Protection Program, because not only did I not promote my business well, I actually went out of my way to make sure people didn’t find out I was a consultant. I guess I feel that if those who actually know me find out that I am blogging, I am in that much more danger of letting them down. So I feel safer in the Blogger Protection Program, because I am in less danger of letting you down.

But now my cover is blown, hundreds of you have decided to click on over to see what the heck is up, and somehow I have not just one vote, but two. In the words of the great Fezzik from The Princess Bride: “Don’t worry; I won’t let it go to my head.” I will try to remember how much I love the fact that anyone reads my blog, ever, and not focus on my fears and insecurities. As a follower of many blogs, I know that we find bloggers in many ways, read them for many reasons, stay with them – or not – for many more. I can’t affect any of that; I can just keep doing what I do and interpreting my life the way I see it. If you see something that helps or amuses or makes you think, I am as glad as glad can be. If you just pop in once and never come again, know that I smiled to know you were here. I really do. Trust me, every view makes me happy.

I am trying to break out of my comfort zone in real life, too. I gave a friend the blog address a couple of weeks ago, so he could keep track of me when I go to Europe. A couple of days ago, he wrote to say that he couldn’t read the blog, because it felt too much like reading my personal diary.

I was honored.

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! to my housemate, Greg, for his assistance in purchasing my NEW LAPTOP! (Yes, I was screaming with joy.) We needed something lighter than the dying dinosaur for the trip, so I put my days of research to good use and headed down to Fry’s. As he checked my receipt on the way out the door, the security guy said, “How are you tonight?” I said, “Much poorer.” He looked at the laptop’s box, smiled, and said, “But much richer in another way!” He was right.
  • I’m lighter! by hundreds of dollars, courtesy of the aforementioned laptop, and also one pair of child-sized crutches from Quinland’s bedroom. No idea why they were there instead of in the garage where I saw them last. They haven’t fit her in years.

Wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday…

Photo by Andreanna Moya Photography

I keep debating with myself over whether this blog should have more structure, whether I should write on a specific topic every day:

  • Monday = Decluttering,
  • Tuesday = Diet and Exercise,
  • Wednesday = Stress Reduction,
  • etc.

Right now I am pretty much writing about whatever I am dwelling on that day, which usually (but not always) leads to whatever it is I am trying to get rid of that day.  Or vice versa.  This is an inexact science, that’s for sure.

For myself, having the blog is helping me to tackle things I have been putting off, to get rid of things I have been hanging on to for no good reason, and to make me accountable and keep me consistent.  It has also been a way to get things off my chest (or my mind) and look deeper into why I do what I do, and why I ended up with so much excess everything.

But what about you?  Are you bored with hearing about whatever comes to mind?  Would you enjoy and/or get more out of the blog if it had a more consistent focus?  Or do you like the surprise of never knowing what you are going to get?

  • {Clutter} released: Hmmm… I guess I need to go find something so I can go to bed!  OK: six 3-ring binders, off to Goodwill!