I am sad to confess that my blog has become like a neglected child. Until recently, I would check on it numerous times a day—lovingly responding to comments, feeling proud of it as its readership grew, spending hour after hour nurturing it with my words. Now weeks have gone by without taking a single peek just to be sure it hadn’t been attacked by Spam or to see if anyone had visited.
The rush that I used to get after clicking publish on a painstakingly-created post, has now been replaced by a feeling of complete and utter guilt. I did not intend to stop writing, but each day as I wracked my brain for what to write next, I realized that I felt barren—I had lost my creativity. So, when life suddenly became more demanding—as it has a tendency to do around the holidays—I willingly allowed it to take over the time when I used to write, always telling myself that I would begin again tomorrow . . .
The reality—the difficult-to-admit-reality—is that I am really an all or nothing kind of person. I am not saying that I am a quitter . . . but I do have a tendency to let things fade. People who know me best would probably describe me as someone who throws herself into new things wholeheartedly. I love a challenge. So, when an opportunity arises, I jump in with both feet. I become consumed with its planning and execution, spending endless hours focusing on how to get this “new thing” done. Looking back on the last two years, I see a trail of starts and stops—each one leaving me feeling just a little bit more disappointed with myself.
The one that consumes me every other year or so is my health, specifically my weight. I drive myself crazy being such a yo-yo dieter. Each time I get close to my goal, the intensity begins to ebb. It’s usually at that time that something else takes over my focus. About two years ago, the shift in my focus came when my husband asked me to transform his smaller store (he has two next door to one another) from a place to keep his rugs to one that sells home accessories and gift items. I became obsessed with researching new products, spending endless hours in the evening looking for the perfect things to sell. Six months later, our new store was born, I had regained about twenty pounds, and I was completely burnt out. Later that year, I was so disgusted with myself that I turned my focus back to eating well, and I even began exercising.
Enter my new obsession.
I soon found myself getting on the elliptical twice a day—once during my lunch break and once in the evening. The time I used to spend surfing the Internet looking for vendors was now spent reading health articles and looking for new fitness equipment.
Inevitably things in my life always begin to suffer.
I wish I could say that my children weren’t one of those things, but in small ways, every time I turn my attention to something new, they become affected. During these times, I slowly stop being the ever-vigilant mother I strive to be: my children’s bedtimes slowly begin to creep later and later; the brushing of their teeth is lost in the chaos of bedtime; and their arguing only gets more and more intense.
During this “health phase,” before I knew it, I did feel better physically, but the world around me was slowly falling into disarray. I then found the outlet that would give me the perspective I felt I was lacking with my children, and the place to focus my creative energy: my blog.
It was perfect.
Then I went overboard.
The time I once spent focusing on exercise and eating well was now spent writing or reading fellow bloggers’ posts. I don’t think I could have anticipated how much I would love writing. It’s all I could think about—I even carried a notebook in my purse so I could write even when I was without a computer. It wasn’t my children that suffered because of my writing—although I may have spent a little too much time on the computer here and there—it was my weight, once again. As I started to gain back the weight I had so painstakingly lost, I slowly found myself feeling unhappy and out of control, and ultimately that is what contributed to my loss of inspiration when it came to my blog.
So, that is where I am now, or should I say, that is where I was last week. I don’t want to call it a “resolution” that word is tinged with failure. Instead, I am calling it “having a new awareness about myself and doing something about it” (okay, not as succinct, but I’m having trouble coming up with the perfect word). I’ve decided to once-and-for-all find balance in my life, but I now think I have the key.
- To do anything well, I have to first feel good about myself—both physically and mentally—therefore, I need to eat well, and exercise at least a couple of times a week in order to lose/maintain my weight.
- I need to be a mom that provides my children with love, structure, and follow-through.
- I need to write, to create, to have this one thing that is only mine.
I believe that if I make these three things a priority in my life, I will be able to attain the balance that I so desperately seek. My advice to my daughter is simple, I want her to take care of herself—both physically and mentally—so that she will be able to go out into the world and achieve all that she sets her mind to. Just as I hope to do now.