Thursday, September 15, 2011

4am thoughts; Big changes

What were you doing at 4:00 this morning?  I was doing this:

(Yes, that is me in all my 4am-3-hours-of-sleep-self-portrait glory.)

and this:

(Who doesn't love a bit of 4:30am peek-a-boo?)
and finally, after over 3 hours, a little of this:

(Finally asleep at 5am, after a little over 3 hours.  And he woke up as soon as I laid him down, and ended up in my bed anyway.)

As I was rocking...and rocking...and rocking my precious Stinky, I was thinking.  (What else do you do at 2...3...4am?)  I was trying to figure out
  • What's been bothering Stinky's belly?
    • Is it the meat he's had several times in the last week?
    • Does he have some crazy intermittent tummy bug?
    • Does he need to go back on his tummy meds?
  • What should I do for a job?
    • Do I just go for any old job?
    • Do I look into teaching-somehow-somewhere?
    • Do I stick to my guns and look for what I want?
  • What's up with my blog?  (Yes, really, at 3am I was thinking about YOU!)
    • Why am I gaining readers and losing page views?
    • What do you all think of Rafflecopter?
    • Why am I suddenly so unmotivated when it comes to my blog?
  • And about a million other things.  Got a problem that needs solving?  Just ask.  I probably came up with an answer last night!
I'm going to address the blog issue here-specifically the motivation issue.  Please indulge me for a few moments.

When I started My This N That Life, its purpose was personal.  My sister and I challenged one another to do at least one "blog-worthy" thing every day.  I was going to be so intentional about living every day with my children that there would be something...anything...worth sharing every day.  I was excited and motivated and DID that.  For a while.

And then.

Then I discovered the world of review blogging!  I discovered that I LOVE using my words to promote and encourage businesses!  I found that advertising through experience is fun and fulfilling!  I fell in love and pushed and pushed at finding sponsors and reviewing products until I'd pushed the personal side of my blogging right off the page.

And then.

The thing is, life keeps on happening, with or without my reviews. In April (yes, it's been that long) I stopped babysitting.  My life went from a structured regimen to a chaotic mess overnight.  I didn't have to do things at certain times anymore.  I didn't have YOU scheduled into my day anymore!  And I cherished that freedom for a few days.  In June we took a long weekend and went camping.  We spent days and days at the sprinkler park.  We took long walks.  We soaked up every tiny bit of summer before Bugsy's surgery at the end of June.  Surgery went GREAT.  I dropped the computer in the hospital and didn't have YOU for two full weeks!  We finally got the Bug home and healed.  We survived the 6 week post op check and were given the green light for a whole year! 

And then.

Two weeks after Bugsy got the all-clear, I didn't.  I won't go into detail now, but I received a scary medical diagnosis.  I went underground for two weeks.  I didn't write anything.  At all.  I couldn't even think about it.  I survived those two weeks.  I didn't live them.  I didn't cherish them.  I survived.

For a solid 3 months, I've been harf-hearted, at best, with my blogging.  I've been half-hearted with my reviews.  (Don't get me wrong.  I've put my all into each one.  But I've got a list of reviews that have taken a back seat to life.)  I haven't told you about my life, my family, the things I've learned from them. 

And I have.  I've learned.  I've grown.  I've changed.  And you've missed it all.

My blog?  My blog isn't what I set out to create.  I don't love it.  I don't even LIKE it some days.  This place that used to be a haven has become, in some ways, a burden.  I still enjoy it, sometimes.  But it frustrates me because it isn't what I want it to be. 

It isn't ME.

I've made a decision.  I'm going back.  I'm going to get back to cherishing the moments with my family.  I'm reverting to those few precious days when I made every effort to do something blog-worthy.  I'm going to put my family (and myself!) first for a while.

Does this mean I'm done reviewing?  NO!  I told you, I love reviewing!  It simply means that I am going to go back to my old ways.  Remember them?  When reviews and giveaways were scheduled?  That's right.  Starting tomorrow, Fridays are "Give it away Friday!"  Tuesdays?  "Tune in Tuesdays."  (That's when I'll announce winners.)  The rest of the week?  That'll be mine.  Mine to indulge.  Mine to share my stories and crafts and quirks.  Read them or don't.  I don't really care.

This blog isn't about you anyway.  It's about me.  It's my release.  It's my motivation.  It's my self.  If I can't be true to me, it's not worth it.  From now on, this blog is MINE.  Take it or leave it.


Misty said...

I think you are doing yourself a HUGE benefit going back to how you used to do things. I wasn't there for the beginning, so I don't have anything to compare to. I do want to say though, that I *do* read since I've subscribed! If I miss one, I don't delete the email until I have read it, and some I still haven't deleted the email because I wanted to be able to go back to them!

You are a great writer and I do love the way you carry out your reviews.

Although I don't know you personally, I feel that I have gotten to 'know' you and your children a bit. I was touched when you let me into the world of Bugsy. I was impressed when you let me watch your journey of weight loss. I was amused when you let me witness the lady in the Heeley's. I was inspired when you let me in on your feelings of spending time with Little Lou.

You do have much to say and much to share. I'm glad that you and your sister started this, and I'm even more glad to know that you are trudging through and making it what YOU want it to be.

I'm sorry that you had to merely survive that time you had, but I'm glad you were able to do at least that. I hope that things start to get better for you and your family soon.

I look forward to your words regardless of if its to do with your personal life or to do with a review. (oh, and I have no opinion on Rafflecopter. :) It still serves its purpose of helping to choose a winner in the giveaways, so its still good.)

Charis's Mum said...

I will still be reading your blog. To be honest, I love reading blogs about people's personal lives more than reading reviews and entering giveaways. Not that reviews and giveaways are a bad thing.

I like Rafflecopter for entering giveaways. I would like to know if you've gained subscribers, but losing page views since using Rafflecopter.

I sometimes thing Rafflecopter makes entering giveaways too easy. People enter giveaways just to enter-it's too easy, they don't have to go to a person's Twitter page or Facebook page anymore, we just click "Follow" or "Like" and fill in our info. Just an idea. I do like it when bloggers give an extra entry for commenting on a non giveaway post because there's more interaction that way.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks so much, ladies! I really appreciate your input...and your "friendships" here!

My page views have dropped very significantly since I switched to Rafflecopter, but my follwers have increased. I don't understand it AT all! It's bizarre.

The thing about extra entries for non-giveaway comments (which I try to remember to include as an option!) is that I maybe get 2 or 3 comments total for any giveaway! Isn't that weird? (You two are some of the ones that regularly comment. Hehe.) I'll keep doing it, but I'm not so sure it helps a ton!

Either way, I love writing. And I'll be stinking around here for a while. ;-)

Nicole said...

I have no idea what a raffelcopter is.. so I don't have a input but you have to do what you think is best.

About going back to the way it was... well I wasn't here for that - I'm a new reader BUT you have to do what is best for you! If it becomes a job and not fun anymore there is no point in doing it anymore. I hope you can get it back to where you love it again :) I can't wait to see what happens

Tara said...

good for you for doing what you think is best... i think there are a lot of bloggers that end up going strictly to giveaways... and i enjoy reading the more personal experiences in addition to the great giveaways! :) best of luck!

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