Am I a blogger?

I was asked this question the other day by someone who wondered why I have not written in so long. I was surprised; of course I am still a blogger! I have a blog!

But after thinking about it long and hard, I realized that there are some things tripping me up on my blog journey:

  • Perfectionism – This is the overarching problem, of course. I always want to do everything just right, and I get hung up when I can’t, which is pretty often! Let’s look at how perfectionism rears its ugly head:
  • Unpublished Drafts – I currently have 27 unpublished blog posts, things I have written about but – for whatever reason – never committed to finishing. This is silly. I need to just get stuff out there and let it go.
  • Photography Issues – When I “remodeled” the blog the last time, I decided I no longer wanted to use “stock” photos from other sources. I wanted to be like all the bloggers I admire and use my own photos. But that wasn’t quite accurate; the truth was, I wanted to use my own high-quality, well-lit, well-edited photos like all the bloggers I admire. To put it kindly, I’m not that good. (Ha! We can take the “that” out of there – I am not good.) I have some choices to make: I can post without photos. I can use my bad photos. I can strive to become a better photographer. I can use stock photos. I need to accept that any of those choices is fine.
  • Unrealistic Expectations – My life gets in the way of my best-laid plans. I have a laundry list of things I wish I could be doing better, and writing blog posts consistently is just one of those things. But there are some cold, hard facts that I have to face: I work full-time; since the first of the year, I have had to take on a retired co-worker’s job on top of my own (with no support and no extra pay) . I have a home and a family that need a lot of attention. I have MS, and sometimes I try to act like I don’t. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since we got cats, which sounds ridiculous but really affects me negatively. I’m not a high-energy, Type A personality who can do all things and do them all efficiently and with style; I’m just a regular girl. plodding through life at my own pace… and then beating myself up for it.

Long story short, I am definitely a blogger. I may not be the blogger I want to be, but I am the blogger I am. Posting here is good for me; it helps me focus on what I want, on what I love, on where I am going. It lets me keep in touch with any of you who are following my story. It gives me a chance to write – which I love – and to think out loud, which is an inherent part of who I am.

Now, let’s hear from you! Are you a blogger? Have you ever thought about blogging? If so, what’s your motivation? If not, what is keeping you? (Any of the same things I’m dealing with, above?)

Letting go of expectations

Spring Sunset Magic

We arrived home on Sunday, August 26th, about 9 pm. I was at yoga class the next morning at 6.

I had been craving yoga since we left London. We were in small towns in Norway – too small for a Bikram Yoga studio – and had too few hours in Stockholm for me to get to a class. I had decided that when I got home, I would go to yoga every single morning. (You might remember my blogging about that, here.)

I went for the first five days after we got home. But that fifth day, Friday, I had a really hard time. I had to sit out half the postures – most of the standing series, actually – and really struggled to get through the class. I decided to take a day off on Saturday. Sunday was much better, and I decided to ask the instructor whether I was trying to do too much, too soon. He said that he didn’t go to yoga every day until he had been practicing for six months, and that I might want to start out going every other day and working up to two days in a row, then three days in a row, etc.

I was bummed at first. I had a plan! I wanted to do this! But I realized that I had to adjust my expectations.

That’s hard for me. I tend to make huge decisions, all-or-nothing plans… and then fall apart when the situation becomes too difficult. Not this time, though! I am just going to readjust and do the best I can. I want this to be a long commitment, not something that I burn out on. I want to make it easy enough that I keep doing it; the challenge comes from the class itself!

So, I’ll be at yoga tomorrow morning at 6 again. I’m not going to get down at myself for not going eleven times in the last eleven days; I’m going to be proud of myself for going eight times in the first twelve days after my trip. That’s a pretty good record, if I do say so myself!

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for the FC Bayern München jersey I got at a garage sale a couple of years ago. Q is wearing it right now, and she looks awesome.

I’m also grateful, of course, for the photo by See1,Do1,Teach1.

If only…

The religious ed book we are using with Quinland had a section called “If Only…” where it listed some of the thoughts teens might struggle with: “If only I looked a certain way…”, “If only a certain person liked me…”, “If only I had such and such…”.

It then asked the students using the textbook to list their “If only…” statements.

Quinland said, “I don’t have any.”

David said, “Neither do I. Oh, Quinland, how about: ‘If only it had snowed more before we left for Europe.'”

She agreed, “Yeah, that would be one, but that would be about it.”

I couldn’t believe it. We talked about it a little bit, and both of them were insistent that they just did not think that way.

My mind is filled with these kinds of statements:

  • If only I had worked out more in my life and were more fit now.
  • If only I were more organized and self-disciplined, so many things in my life would be different.
  • If only I had better health…
  • If only I had been better at certain aspects of teaching…
  • If only I made more time for my friends…
  • If only…

That’s just off the top of my head; there are zillions more.

I don’t know why I am like this. My mind jumps, instantly, to what I could have done better, what I could have done differently, how things should have been. It all ties in, I suppose, to my irritating perfectionism and unending drive to improve everything around me. In a twisted way, I guess I am trying to motivate myself.

But think of how different it could be to think as David and Quinland do, to never regret what could have been. It would free my mind up for so many more positive things.

Ha! Even that was an “If only…” If only I were like them.

But I am not, so I need to figure out how to make this tendency work in my favor, instead of the other way around. Instead of gloomily dwelling on what might have been, perhaps I can try to turn each thought around. If only I had worked out and were fit? Great! That’s what I need to do, so I will start doing it. Think of the improvement that could be made then!

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! for the relationship I have with my daughter. I am thrilled each time she wants to cuddle or joke around, each time she says, “You are my best friend.” Who wouldn’t love to hear that from their 13-year-old? I love that girl.
  • I’m lighter! I booked a massage therapy appointment at long last! I have gone over two weeks without a massage, and I am really feeling it in my hip, leg and foot. Can’t wait to go in on Tuesday.