Two months ago I launched this blog and it marked the start of a new chapter in my life after 8 years as a stay at home mom. I was finally taking time daily to work on something concrete that was entirely separate from raising my family. I did not anticipate there would be a negative side to these changes.
I am loving it, but found so much of my time was being taken up (who knew a blog was so time consuming) both in learning how to create a blog and then writing and social media. I was also starting to look externally for validation – I was becoming more insecure by the day as I wondered why some posts did well and others got no comments. I was watching what other bloggers were doing and starting to feel like I was in a race to catch up with them and be on the same level NOW. I just felt this major shift and it triggered a spiral towards depression and anxiety again. I realised I needed to detach from the “others” aspect of blogging and get back to why I started this in the first place.
I started exploring the net, working on gratitude and appreciation and how they could be the key to turning this around. I realised it could help me in so many ways, beyond just letting go of the fears around blogging and setting up a business. I decided to look for ways I could make this a habit and part of my life and change things for the better.
“Instead of criticizing, show gratitude”
I read about this idea at Advanced Life Skills and had such an a-ha moment. I suffer from a terrible ailment – I am hyper critical BUT only of people I love dearly. Isn’t that terrible? I have always saved the best of me for others and given the crappy side to my family. I would never dream of correcting a friend or nagging them about what they have “failed” to do, but I do this to my husband, children, mother all the time.
“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”
I included this very quote from Jon Acuff in my original about me page and meant it – in reference to everything else I was writing about except I forgot to apply it to this new venture of mine. Hypocritical? I will look at it as being too close to a subject to see it and apply it at home. My blog is two months old – not two years. Yes, there are newish bloggers already racking up great stats, but I am wasting time and energy focusing on them, when I should be using that energy here on my own site.
“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful”
One of my biggest hurdles is my perfectionism. It ties everything up in a neat bow – with blogging I am expecting so much from myself instead of just letting myself write a post and put it out there I think I can get it “right” first. With my family I have always placed too many expectations on them and think my way is “right” when my way is just one way. Life itself is one big imperfect mess and who am I to try to put the universe “right”.
How am I planning to make this shift?
- I am starting a gratitude journal (and will share some great tools soon for those that want to do this too). I already shared this with my kids as they walked in on me watching a crafting tutorial and both went off and made their own journals (thankful that they are not insanely held up by the need to make a “perfect” journal).
- I will be linking up with Maxabella Loves on Fridays for a weekly round up of what has made me most grateful in the week.
- Regular conversations as a family about what we are thankful for and what were the highs and lows of our days (we have done this sporadically in the past). In the comments on this post by Rachel at Hands Free Mama I fell in love with extending this concept to include the highs, lows, crazy, and grateful, allowing each of us to share whatever we want in those categories. It brings most of the focus to the fun, positive, varying nature of our lives.
- I am following along and joining in with the community at Alicia’s 365 moments of gratitude project on facebook . I will be looking for ideas, getting inspired and refocusing every day along with others.
There are so many benefits to maintaining a practice of gratitude - do you already have this focus in your life? Is there anything you can add on the subject?
Find your simple,
Follow up posts: week one check in
image credits from pinterest: