Overwhelmed is the word of the day. It’s not just the nuttiness of the holiday season, although that is challenging enough. Dragged in various directions, I feel like I am doing many things moderately and nothing very well. Work, blogging, dog training, communicating with friends and family, I am barely getting by with each of these things. Everything on my list is half-finished and nothing is crossed off.
In preparation for the Pet Blogger Challenge – and as a way to procrastinate even more – I have been going back and reading posts from last year. It’s been an interesting experience but a little disheartening. Fundamentally, I don’t think this blog has changed all that much. Which is a good thing. Yet I have noticed differences in tone that make me wonder if I am losing track of why I started this whole thing in the first place.
If I directly compare posts from last December with this year, right away I see that last year I was much more personal. Much more open. I almost cringed at reading some of the things I so easily revealed just twelve months ago. It’s hard to say why that is. I’ve never really edited myself. But I wonder now if blogging came more naturally back then, if I had to lament over it as much as I do now. I wonder if I am more inhibited now because more people in my “real” life are aware of this space.
I miss my dog. It sounds silly as I see her every day. Yet I don’t feel as connected. Perhaps I am over-thinking things. That is not a rare occurrence for me. We don’t work together as much as we used to, but that could just be because agility classes have been on hiatus for the season. Or it could be because Shiva is just so much better behaved she doesn’t demand as much of my time. That’s an interesting thought. Maybe I need a second dog?
What worries me is that I often find myself pushing Shiva away when I have a blog post to write or a comment to respond to or a Facebook status to update. “Give me a second”, I’ll say. “Later”. “In a minute”. “Just wait”. In the past she would ignore these words and bug me until I paid attention. Now she’ll often curl up on the other side of the couch and go to sleep. It’s crazy to be whining about such a thing, but at the same time…
Am I missing out? And what I am wondering the most lately: are my blog posts suffering because I spend too much time on the computer and not enough time living my life? I mean, the other day, for lack of any better ideas, I almost wrote a post about our aquarium. Is that what I have come to? Sharing stories about my fish?*
I probably need to learn how to cut myself some slack. No doubt I am too hard on myself about blogging the way I am too hard on myself about everything else in my life. While logically I know this, secretly and deep down I don’t think I am hard enough. No one in the world is capable of doing it all perfectly all the time. But I like to tell myself I should. It’s not a positive way to live, is it?
What I think I need to do in the coming year is force myself to take a break. Instead of losing sleep every night over what I am going to post about the next morning, I am going to try to blog just a wee bit less. Maybe only four days a week instead of five. Maybe only three. The last thing I want to do is push myself so far that I don’t want to blog at all. After all this time, I don’t want to end up just shutting the whole thing down due to exhaustion.
What I need is a reminder of how much fun it all is. Not too long ago I looked forward to writing. The idea of going on Facebook or Twitter to see what everyone else was up to used to be a guilty pleasure, not a gigantic chore. So I am going to work on rediscovering that. If it means I don’t have a post up by eight o’clock in the morning every single day, then that’s just the way it is. If it means I’m not perfect, I’ll have to learn how to handle that.
Thank you for listening. I do feel a little bit better already. It may not be as easy these days to be as honest about my inner wranglings but when I am, it helps. If’ I’ve bored you, I apologize. If you would rather have read about my fish, then I apologize again.
As a reward for being so kind and so patient, I am going to offer a fun giveaway! A short time ago Mr. Chewy, which is a terrific online source for pet products, offered me a $50.00 gift certificate for their website. Since they only ship within the United States, I cannot take advantage. Major bummerage. However, since the majority of you probably do live Stateside, it means I get to give the coupon to a lucky reader! Yay!
In order to win $50.00 worth of Mr. Chewy products, leave a comment below. It can be about anything. Why you love blogging, perhaps. Or maybe, why you dislike it. Maybe you have a favourite fish-related blog you want to share. You’ll have until, say, Sunday at midnight – January 1st – and I will announce the winner on Monday via Random.org.
Thanks to Mr. Chewy for helping me thank some of the best people I know!
*Not that there is anything wrong with that if you are a fish person. I am sure there are some excellent fish-related blogs out there.