Okay, let me tell you about what’s been going on with me lately.
So, you see this face? What does this face say to you? I am sure there are a lot of opinions and thoughts out there but let me tell you what this face means. It’s quite simple actually….I’m tired. I mean not physically so much, but mentally exhausted. At the beginning of this year I worked tirelessly on my e-book, “I Love You…Let’s Eat!”; I still worked a regular 8-5 shift job, planning a wedding, normal day-to-day life stuff, and interviewing for a new job, which I started 2 weeks ago. With all of that metal exertion it has put my mind in a place of just not feeling like doing anything. When my mind gets like that, the one facet of my life that is such a huge part of who I am suffers…my blog.
I don’t care who you are, ask any blogger who is full-time or not, if they mentally get tired, have thoughts of giving up, question why they are even blogging in the first place, and I PROMISE YOU each one of them will say yes to one of those thoughts. I would be super impressed to meet a blogger, of any genre, who said they don’t. I would want to schedule a conversation and ask them their secret because that is not my truth AT ALL. Me getting tired does not mean that I do not love blogging and sharing delicious food with you guys or love podcasting (which I have seriously neglected). It is a simple yet daunting and annoying thought…I am just tired.
What pushed my mind over to the abyss of what is starting to turn into laziness was my book. I worked SUPER hard on that book. I tested every recipe over and over and took hundreds and hundreds of photos and it really pushed my mind into a place where I knew I needed a serious break. I think that is understandable after working and releasing a big project like that. However, what started off as me taking a break turned into me to just being mentally exhausted. I would log into my blog and stare thinking about what I wanted to say, what to do, while seeing some changes that I wanted to make to my blog and knowing about some recipe ideas I wanted to test but still did nothing. I really started to feel bad about my laziness. The one thing I can say that I never felt was that I didn’t care, which is a good thing. I never checked out of what I eventually want out of my blog or doing it all together. It was incredibly difficult to push past being tired. To be perfectly honest, I am still tired.
I think my mind is being pulled in so many directions that it has been difficult to stay focused on the blog. This new job, that is awesome, is taking a lot of my mental capacity. What is my new job? You wouldn’t find it interesting but I now work for the University of Cincinnati (my alma mater) working for their new distance learning department. I’ll leave it at that. The rest of it will bore you, I promise (fun to me). Whereas when I was just working my old job from home, that is all I was doing. My mind was like butter. I would get inspiration easily and execute immediately. I was in a beautiful season of increasing traffic, creating great food, and getting lots of opportunities. Now I am in a season of traffic that has leveled out, repeating recipes, or just not putting out any content. Sucks, right?
So, what am I doing about it? Nothing. I want to give my mind as much time as it needs to recoup and adjust to the new changes in my life. That doesn’t mean that I am going on a long hiatus and you won’t see some good food. Not at all. It just means that when I get tired, the way I am now, I have to allow myself to fall into place naturally. I trust my body and my mind that when it is ready, it will be. I never understood people who consider themselves “workaholics”. Why do you put that much pressure on yourself? I mean I get goals are important and I most certainly understand getting your “grind on”. However, what I do not understand (and never will) is the idea of working so hard that you miss the true meaning of life. For me, the true meaning of life is enjoying a long vacation, laughing at stupid and dumb things that doesn’t make any sense, being okay with making mistakes because you understand the value of the lesson, singing horribly in your car, or dancing to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars every single time it comes on just because you have to. That is life. Not work.
Do we have to work? No but we do it because it supports our livelihood. Do we get tired? Yes, but do we have to get tired as a result of working too much?…no. I have learned that I want to be tired of hanging out all day with my friends and family; I want to get tired because I need a nap from chasing and running with my dog; and I wanted to get tired of always having to make the tough choice of where to go for vacation. In my new job, I pretty much manage myself. This means I can keep my laptop open and do work past a regular 8 hour shift and I can keep my cell phone on all day and make myself ready and available for phone calls. Will I do that? HELLLL NO. My laptop closes at 5 and I turn my cell phone off at the same time. Also, I make it a point to not merge my work email account to my personal phone. I don’t want to always be “on”, if that makes sense. I need boundaries because ultimately my job and even blogging is not going to matter when I am laid to rest. It is going to boil down to my character and what I produced while I was here. Sure, I hope that my blog lives on for as long as it can to continue to be a place where people can find food and hear a good conversation about something they are going through that will bring healing. I do believe that is my purpose, but I shouldn’t work on it to the point where I’m tired of looking at my blog and start to think of something to make just because the pictures will come out good and I know that it will hit big on Pinterest. I am no food pimp.
If you are in the same season that I am in, let me tell you to take a break. I know you have goals and aspirations for yourself. We all do. But when you get to a point when you are burnt and beat-up mentally you have to walk away from whatever it is that is making you feel that way. Sometimes doing nothing requires more faith than moving. Trust in what you have already produced. Trust that when your mind has completely rejuvenated itself that it will bounce back better than before. Be authentic in whatever it is you are producing.
Another thing: HAVE SOME DAMN FUN.
– Don’t calories for a day.
– Don’t work out for a couple of days.
– Challenge yourself to not check social media or email after a certain time.
– Get out of the house and stop watching reality TV. It isn’t your reality.
– Don’t clean up the house.
– Don’t blog…hell…don’t even check your blog email.
– Go outside and play.
– If you’re married, spend time with your spouse and do something that the two of you have been dying to do. Or heck, turn off your phones, make love all day, and stay in the bed and watch Netflix and order Chinese take-out.
Turn society and life off until you know you can get back there and go another round. No one is going to judge you and if they do, tell them to take a break. I promise, you will thank me and yourself later.
Here is what I want you to know, I am not going anywhere! I am in a season of transition and I have a lot of stuff going on. I am trying to figure out how to juggle it all at once but you and this blog are never too far from my heart. I hope and pray that you guys understand and get what I am going through now. Blogging is more than creating food and taking pictures. Anyone can do that. Its allowing your love to bleed on this…Wordpress interface in hopes that someone will read, visit, stay, and keep coming back. That in and of itself is daunting. Hoping that you are good enough for someone else…yikes. But those who visit…are those who visit. As well as those who are reading this…are those who are reading this. I thank you all for loving my heart (my blog) enough to keep coming back. So…I may have played peak-a-boo with you guys there for the last couple of months. However, I am back and I can’t wait to share more amazing things with you!