Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Giving It Up

This is one of the posts that was not on my 31-day outline.  I had a topic in mind and was looking forward to writing about it.  When I began praying about how best to convey it this morning, I felt like God told me not to write about that particular topic.  It was nothing bad, by any means, but I felt like He was telling me that topic was only beneficial to me.  So I asked for another idea, and this is what I got instead.

When I decided to do this month-long challenge, I had not really considered what I would be giving up in order to make it happen.  As I am sure you can guess, writing a post every day involves a fair amount of time.  I have never timed myself, but I am guessing it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to write a post I feel I can publish.  My schedule was already pretty full before taking this on.  As my friend Larissa says sometimes, "You can't just keep adding more.  You have to weed the garden."  So there have been things that have had to go away this month, or at least take a lesser role in my day-to-day life.

1.  Fluffy stuff

When I say "fluffy stuff," I am talking about some of those nonessential activities that take up a lot of space in our lives.  I haven't had much time to check personal email or look at crochet patterns or scroll through Facebook.  I have played considerably less Candy Crush than I was playing.  I haven't eliminated any of that entirely, but all of that has been pushed to a less time-consuming spot for a while.

2.  Sleep

 Some people commented on my posts that said they were published at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning.  I was most definitely not up at that time writing for my blog.  Any one that had that time on it was pre-written and scheduled to come out at a certain time.  I know a lot of people only look at Facebook or other things like that first thing in the morning so I was attempting to give them a little "food for thought" with their breakfast or coffee.
You may have noticed that the last several posts came out much later in the day, around the 10 or 11 pm mark.  These have been the ones that are causing me to give up some sleep.  Several times in the last week I have just about talked myself out of writing because I was too tired, and then decided I was too close to the end of the challenge to give up now. 

3.  Perfectionism

I have had to approach this task with the mindset of "Done is better than perfect."  I know that there have been some typos in my work this month.  I do not like publishing something with mistakes in it; that goes against my very nature.  The sheer volume of writing as well as the late nights have caused me to miss some along the way.   And that darn auto-correct!  Also when I share a post, Facebook likes to randomly grab a picture from another day's post.  That has been so frustrating to me, and I have no idea how to fix it.  I don't know how many times it posted the bumblebee picture, which was only related to one post early in the month.  There was one day when I posted several family pictures.  From my end as a writer/publisher, it all looked good.  But when I pulled it up on my iPad or Todd pulled it up on his phone, one of the pictures did not show up.  How do you correct something that is right on some screens and not on others?

4.  Pride

It is tough to reveal your inner bumps, weaknesses and pitfalls to an unseen audience.  I want to be real, but it can be difficult to show all the parts that make you vulnerable.  I find myself, wondering:   "Am I making sense, or am I rambling?  Are you relating to what I am saying?  Are you cheering me on or judging me for something I revealed?"

5.  Any hope of reading anyone else's blog

Did you know there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of people doing this 31-Day Challenge?  Take that times 31 days, and that is a lot of material out there.  I am just barely getting my own writing posted each day.  I would love to read some of what other people are writing--I know it is good, but I just can't do anything else right now.  That includes my two dear friends who are also doing the 31-Day Challenge--not even getting theirs read.  Maybe I can read what someone else has written in November...

6.  Figuring out which posts were meaningful

I have had to give up on this area completely.  I am completely baffled by which posts people are going to love and which do not generate much response at all.  Some of my favorites haven't received much attention.  Some seem to get buried in a sea of other Facebook updates, and some show me that 60-80 people have looked at it.  I try not to get caught up in all the stats and comments and likes, but still I cannot reasonably predict what kind of response a post will have.
7.  Exercise

All right, I admit it.  I wasn't exercising before October either.  But the few times I have thought that it would be a good idea, I didn't know where I could fit that in this month.  That is something else I would like to work back into my schedule in November.  I used to exercise faithfully every morning, and then one day I just stopped and haven't been able to make myself start again.

8.  Laundry

I haven't really given up laundry so much as I have given up getting it put away in a timely fashion.  That has never been my strength, but it has slid a little more this month than normal.  There are clean clothes available; it just requires some digging through a basket instead of going to a dresser drawer.  And I may or may not have washed a load a second time just because I didn't have the energy to fold the clothes in the dryer that night.

9.  Seeing my husband 

Take all my regular responsibilities plus the extra time required for parent-teacher conferences, and add in a few crochet projects, and a daily blogging challenge.   Now couple that with some crazy, ridiculous work hours that my husband has been putting in.  I feel like we have been on opposite schedules and done a lot of tag-team parenting.  Our relationship is strong, and we can weather a busy season.  But I am looking forward to life getting a little less crazy so I can just hang out with my best friend.

I will be writing more about my whole experience over the next couple of days, but I just found myself thinking this morning about what it has taken in order to make the daily blog post happen.  I have had to shift some things around and re-evaluate my priorities.  If you are finding that you are in an extra busy season as well, it may be time to think about "weeding your garden."

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