After 6 years of blogging I feel like I have gotten pretty good at predicting the patterns of bloggers. I have learned these patterns by going through them first hand so I speak from experience as much as observation. I have been lucky enough to pick up some blogging friends over the years, some that I speak with almost daily and others who I connect with through larger online platforms, but it gives me great insight. There seems to be a common thread during certain times of the year…around June and December everyone is generally unmotivated. Whether it’s the call of the beach, kids home, or just a break from routine we all step away a bit and remember life pre-blogging.
I am sure it’s the same with most jobs, when you get a little down time you realize how much you really appreciate the quiet, simplified days. For more conventional jobs there is a more black and white beginning and end to vacation…these are the days off, this is the date you must return. For a lot of bloggers we, fortunately, can come and go as we please. Yes there are deadlines or personal goals but for the most part we are in charge of our schedules and it actually does have a down side. If you were able to step away from your commitments, would it be easy to return? Would you want to?
It’s a question that starts a lot of chatter this time of year. You can almost feel the mental push we are all trying to get ourselves to step back into the crazy virtual world we have made home. And you can sense the underlying guilt that comes with it. These days entrepreneurs are praised and stay-at-home moms who have found a passion or “calling” are really put on a pedestal. Yes, I know there are the naysayers all along who criticize those who can’t just be happy just being a mom but louder than their judgements are the women who applaud us for finding a way to carve out something just for ourselves, something beyond motherhood. Most of us probably didn’t set out to do that we just followed one little hobby into the next thing and that led to the next and the next…
So why the guilt? I have given it a lot of thought and I really feel like it is due to the new culture surrounding women and their dreams. Yeah, dreams…you better have one, right? And goals and hustle and the ability to not quit our daydreams. Everywhere we turn we are faced with pretty little quotes about how we must be a boss lady and rely on coffee. I used to appreciate the camaraderie and probably even had a few framed on my gallery wall but slowly this year I have started to steer myself away from this mentality. It all feels like a push and a push towards what?
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe in setting goals and creating new adventures for myself but what if we don’t all need to constantly hustle towards the next thing? What if we actually need the opposite. This year brought the most “achievements” since starting my blog and it was rewarding and exciting but I hardly felt like I could enjoy it before racing to the next “goal.” And why? The real lasting happiness this year came from the little in between moments with my family and friends. It came when I was just reading a magazine to read a magazine or when I had a quiet ride in my car. And yes, sure there were some really validating moments that came directly from a work success and I fully appreciate those too but I just feel kind of sick of being lost in the hustle.
This year I want to be intentional about just doing less. That may mean simply taking on fewer clients or blogging less or ignoring Instagram for a couple of days. I truly feel that my brain works better when it has a little more space to breathe anyway. And a large part of that is just learning to worry less. Any other year I would have been a little freaked if I wasn’t raring to go January 1st but this year I am not worried a bit. Page views might drop, an opportunity might go someone else’s way but it’s ok. It’s ok to just let the creative juices build up again. It’s ok to just.slow.down. A what works for my life may look totally different for someone else’s because our thresholds vary but I think we all could benefit from a push to hustle less. Never have I believed the saying, “Less is More” more. Instead of trying to do it all, have it all, be it all I am just going to try to enjoy what is.
Any of you feeling a pull toward a new way of thinking for 2016?
I’d love to hear what y’all feel like you’ve learned over the last year…bloggers and non-bloggers alike!
On another note…
I had my first experience being approached by a stranger over Christmas break at Target. A lady stopped me in the diaper aisle to tell me that she follows me on Instagram and finds lots of inspiration through me. She apologized for being “creepy” and I couldn’t assure her more that she was not! I am so humbled that anyone follows me or reads this blog and I am so so happy that I put off the vibe that I am approachable. I still have such a blast doing this and a large reason why is because I love connecting with people so please never think twice about reaching out to me in any form!
Thank you all for the continued support and love- it is felt and so appreciated!
Thank you all for a fun ride through 2015…see ya in 2016!!