Where Have I Been?

I sit here with a jumble of thoughts and am not sure where to even start this.  No, I’m not giving up the blog.  But I have enjoyed not posting so frequently and doing other things.  I’ve really, really enjoyed it.  But I am concerned that the longer I’m away, the more I will not want to bother keeping it up.

I’ve also not been taking many pictures.  I’m not taking camera each time I leave the house.  I’ve enjoyed a break from the camera, but I’m also missing not taking pictures and looking at them later.

I’m still finishing off my class with Sheila Bender.  I’ve submitted my last essay, and am behind by two weeks in commenting on the essays of my fellow participants.  I’m not the only one that has fallen behind.  The critiques in general have slowed way down.

Mostly though, I’m dealing with a major load of discouragement about everything.

  • Why write?  There are so many good authors out there who beg for recognition already.
  • Why blog?  Everyone’s too busy to be bothered reading them anyhow.
  • Why cook?  It takes 20 minutes to eat, but there’s so much effort to get the groceries, assemble a meal, then clean up afterwards.
  • Why exercise?  I don’t feel better, I’m not losing weight, and it just makes me achy and sore.
  • Here’s a real good one – why do daily devotions?  I’m not much enjoying Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, but nothing is appealing to me for a replacement.  It’s one more thing I don’t have time for – the devotions themselves and finding something else I’d enjoy more.

I can apply that attitude to pretty much everything going on in my life right now.  It’s sucked the joy out of my days more frequently than it should.  I feel I’m back to where I was at the beginning of 2011 when I worked on having more gratitude in my life.  Well THAT didn’t take long to backslide.

I am working though on identifying some of what is making me unhappy.  By identifying it, I can decide if there’s something that can be changed, make it more acceptable, or eliminate the pressure point.

I’ve enjoyed the Sheila Bender class, but I don’t see myself writing a book of essays for publication at any time in the future.  I’m not liking the longer pieces, to read or to write.  I will likely use what I’ve learned in working on some family photo albums, but I don’t think I want to invest the effort into a self-published book of essays.

For the same reason, I no longer see myself working on fiction.  I sit at a computer all day for my job and I don’t want to do the same at night either.  An hour for a blog relaxes me and is enjoyable.  I try to write the best blog posts that I can, but not all succeed.  That’s okay.  Tomorrow’s another day.  At the end of 2011, I had a number of posts to be proud of, many more than to cringe at.  But I’m not writing and rewriting them for hours on end as I would have to do on a book.

I’m working slowly on a how-to book on doing a daily challenge and been enjoying it.  I’ll probably continue with it for now as for some reason, it doesn’t bother me as much as the personal essays or fiction.

Other changes in my routine?  I’m only swimming one day a week.  It still helps me.  I wish I was doing more, but I’m not fitting it in my schedule.  Oh yeah, I’m also working late most nights.  I come home, eat, watch a little TV and off to beddy bye.  I’ve gone back to my walks during lunch instead, especially on the days I think I’ll be too tired or getting home too late to go to the gym.  By not taking the camera, I can do a more vigorous walk and not take as long.

I’m enjoying doing more cooking.  My favorite boy toy is on his art fair circuit, so I’ve also taken back the grocery shopping, but that is only for a few weeks.  We’ve also been enjoying our homemade pizzas.  It’s still taking longer than it should, but it’s been fun doing them together.  I’ll do another post soon on what we’ve been learning.  The ultimate compliment?  A fellow blogger making her own pizza a few days later because mine looked so good.  She did a Chicago-Style Pan Pizza, so check it out.

I generally don’t like to apologize in my blog posts.  It’s a personal preference – if I need to apologize, I shouldn’t be posting it to start with.  But I am sorry to be whining.  So why am I letting this post go?

Because I’m not the only one who struggles with these things or who is struggling with them now.  It comforts me when my fellow bloggers share their problems, discouragements, and solutions.  I appreciate when they identify what they are struggling with and why.  It helps me put my own life in better perspective or try something I had not thought of.

Laughter helps a lot when I’m feeling this way.  So here’s something for you to laugh about.  SOMEBODY missed the lecture on the evils of smoking.  He’s not exactly Fred MacMurray with a pipe, although he’s still a handsome boy.

© 2012 dogear6 llc

Over at A Daily Life, I updated the link to the May Joy Dare from Ann Voskamp, author of the book “One Thousand Gifts”.  The links to the earlier months are also on this post.

20 thoughts on “Where Have I Been?

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  7. Nancy, I may be wrong, but I went back and reread your post, and the number one thing that impressed me was that you were working a lot of extra hours. That takes its toll! When you overwork you don’t leave time for the personal things that you love. You are too tired to care and you let things go. You are certainly not happy and for that I am sorry.

    A break to reassess your priorities is a must, yes, but I would start by cutting back on the late work sessions. It simply isn’t worth it in the end.

    I don’t mean to sound bossy (and I am certain that I did) but you seem to be in a rough place at the moment and I am concerned.
    xo, Lynda

  8. thegambillgals

    Good for you, for taking a much needed break to reassess. I agree with Kittyhere, “No one can do everything, and certainly not all of the time.” I am just always amazed at how very much you do accomplish.

    Of course, we also thought the photo was great! :)

  9. Kitty is right, no one can do everything all the time. Without trying things, we’ll never know if it’s something we want to do or not. Personally, I love blogging and the camaraderie, but I keep my posts short these days. I decided fiction isn’t really my style to write, though its fun to do a short piece once in a while for a challenge. What you shared here is a post I like to read, finding out we all struggle with some things. You have a rather demanding job, I don’t know how you do anything else at all. When I was working, my schedule consisted of eat, sleep, go to work, and do a little needlework in the evening. The weekends were when I caught up on laundry and cleaning. And I didn’t do a very good job of it then, either! Hang in there. We’ll get this all figured out one of these days. Now go love on those pooches!

  10. Love the photo you ended with… and like others have said you are not alone with debating how to spend time blogging vs rest of life. Mine have been shorter and shorter, and I’m not sure what the rest of the year will bring. Perhaps if the rain stops… No one can do everything, and certainly not all of the time.

  11. Nancy – maybe its the phase of the moon or the time of year or maybe its just a general funk, but I have had my struggles, too. Starting off on New Years Day with my Mom’s mini stroke ( didn’t seem so mini at the time!), our sweet Lulu’s passing and just last week, one of my beloved children, my niece, lost her baby, the first grand in the family. So I keep telling myself that this is completely appropriate to feel this way – but I am really ready to feel better and find the little joys again. So I keep gardening, and thinking about writing, even if nothing is put to paper, and trying to just keep moving forward. Maybe this is more than you wanted to know, and I am questioning myself for sending it – but here goes!
    Kathleen

  12. traciwheeler

    Can so relate to where you are in your life right now, Nancy. I work full-time and have 2 boys under the age of 10. I feel overwhelmed and unsatisfied on a regular basis. I agree with all of the comments above that taking a step away and doing some self-reflection is the best way to cope and adjust. Thinking about you! Keep your chin up and forge ahead!

  13. Hi

    When we had the fire and lost our stuff but especially all our pets, while we stayed at a friends for five and a half months, I wasn’t really with it. The first few months, it was like it wasn’t real, all of a sudden a big change in my life which I had no control over, I was basically in limbo, it seemed like I was numb inside and had no feelings and that is not me. Gradually with God’s help as he is always closer than we imagine when we need him and his guidance I came out of it. It certainly changed me though and I began to realize that the material things we had were not our life, our family, pets, friends were important. In life I believe we all go through periods of a type of depression at times because life get a little overbearing or it just makes us stop and think. Afterall, we are human.

    Take care and whatever you decide I pray that God walks beside you and shows you what you need at this time and you have to do whats best for you. God bless you in whatever endeavours you take.

    I certainly have enjoyed your write-ups that you have been doing.

  14. Ditto to all the above ^^ Sometimes taking that step back, going elsewhere comletely,(where possible) and then coming back to it (whatever ‘it’ is) is a good thing. Alot of us have been here, you’ll get through it, and then wpnder what the hell you were grumbling about. Good luck with your journey. :)

  15. Jen

    There are times when you need to take a step back, evaluate, and regroup. I’m looking forward to reading your future posts! I did kind of wonder where you’d gone ^^

  16. I am so glad you voiced this. I am going through the same discouragement! As I read your post, and you hit your points. Almost every single point I could resoundingly say yes, me too. I have missed your posts. I am guessing some of your slump is due to your long hours. You are not getting a chance to re-charge. that is part of my problem at this point, i know. i can’t keep up with the blogs i love, i can’t get enough done at home, and i am burnt out on my tutoring…..i am unsure what the implication of all of that is. i feel as though many of my posts are getting repetitive or have become kinda yawn inducing. perhaps i have run out of ideas—so i know what you are saying. i do not have a solution except to perhaps at some point find a way to re-charge and have some balance. do hang in there—are your long work hours going to be a permanent situation?

    • Kate, I think I just reiterated what you have already said. Sorry, guess I should have read the comments first. I hope things get easier for you as well. I seem to see your presence on many of the same blogs I follow. You are such a giving person. ~ Lynda

  17. Nancy, sometimes figuring out what doesn’t work is as important as finding out what does work. By disqualifying things like writing a novel or a collection of essays, you can focus on the writing that brings you joy. I am always impressed by how much thought you put into your photos and writing. It sounds like you set incredibly high expectations for yourself and then get discouraged when you don’t meet them 100%. It is OK to be at 75% of perfect :). You do good work, and will continue to do good work in the future, no matter what the format that it takes.

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