I can clearly see that blogging has not been a top priority for me for a little while now. It’s not that I don’t like blogging. I do. It’s not that I don’t have ideas for posts. I have a notebook full. I could say that I have been busy, which in many ways is true. I think the truth lies more in what I am prioritizing though. This month, I decided to participate in Effy Wild’s Blog Along challenge. I have fond memories of the days when my friend Doris Sander and I would challenge each other to blog frequently. It was good for my blog and it was good for me mentally. Yet here I am on day 3 of September, just sitting down to write. I am already behind on the challenge. Sort of. I could be stressed out and once upon a time, a part of me would have been, but I am not. Want to know why?
Are You Choosing to Be Busy?
This is a questions I have asked myself a lot. I think I come from a culture that equates being busy to having a fulfilled life. Over the decade that I have lived outside of my home country ( the United States of America), I have started learning how to slow down. I have learned that a lot of times, the stress I have is sometimes piled on by my own expectations. Take this blog challenge for example. A few years ago, I would have been upset that I did not keep up. I might have stayed up late or gotten up really early the next morning to finish each post on time. Instead of trying to fit it all in and be “busy”, I simply adjusted my priorities and expectations. I am still doing a lot of things and people on the outside looking in tell me they “know” I am busy. I just don’t feel that way, probably because I am doing what I need to do for me right now.
You Are Not Behind on Anything if You are Happy
Being “behind” on something is often a state of mind. It is the glass half empty or half full scenario. I always feel more negative when I look at the list of things to be done versus when I look at the things I have accomplished. I actually notice an increase in my overall productivity when I focus on what I have completed. I sometimes forget this. Negative stuff weighs more and seems larger sometimes than the positive things. It takes effort to shrug it off and I need to remind myself to do so. Writing this post is in and of itself a reminder. My days are not all completed to do lists with happy unicorns and rainbows.
What Are My Priorities? What Makes Me Happy?
You might be wondering what my priorities are and what I focus on to make me happy. Sometimes those things change a bit but the following have kind of kept my attention for most of 2017:
The last few months have seen my son’s homeschool career become my absolute top priority. It always was up there pretty high, but for the most part, my son had become old enough to handle a lot of his workload on his own. We’re coming to the end of our homeschool journey and he once again needs a bit more guidance. We’re at a point where we are pinpointing the classes he needs for a college admission. We’ve been working with Clonlara’s high school program for homeschoolers to get his work accredited for a diploma. It has meant a lot of paperwork and planning on our part as well as a lot of research. Overall, it has gone smoothly and we have the path set for the remainder of his homeschool life.
For awhile now, I have been in a sort of creative rut. I am creating things, but sometimes, it feels forced. I have been trying to find new things to get the creative energy going. One of those things is crochet. I have been saying I wanted to learn how to crochet for years. Earlier this year, I met a group of creative ladies who get together over coffee to learn new techniques. They were kind enough to teach me and I expanded a little on what I learned thanks to You Tube. I can now say I have about four works in progress which is both a good thing and a bad thing.
Art journaling and drawing have also been a big part of my creative life this year. I have not given up on scrapbooking. I still make about five scrapbook layouts a month. It’s just that I wanted something a little different and I think this also suits me well. Some of the techniques I have been trying have been on my ” to try” list for a long time. I think that you will probably see some of my art journaling end up within my scrapbook pages sometimes soon.
Spending time with my family has always been a top priority. As the reality of my son becoming college age soon is hitting me, I feel compelled to spend even more time with him whenever possible. We still have a lot of Abu Dhabi and the UAE to see even though we have lived here for almost two years. We’ve been exploring more often as my husband’s time off allows. When we do, I take a ton of photos and then make plans for scrapbooking them. I anticipate having a lot of free time on my hands when my son graduates high school.
Now It Is Your Turn…
Ask yourself is you are choosing to be busy. Give yourself permission to not worry about being behind. You are only behind in your goals if you choose to be. Reorganize your priorities. Look at the positive and not the negative. Remind yourself of the things that make you happy. It’s not necessarily that you don’t care about something not getting done. It’s more about focusing your energy in a positive direction so that you can do more and not be stressed out about it. This is the approach I am taking to this blog along challenge ( and a lot of other things I do). I can’t garauntee that I will post every day. I can guarantee that I will try and that I will not be stressed out about whether or not I do. See you here on the blog tomorrow. Maybe….