I invited you to share in this blog journey, which involves sharing real, blog-life experiences, revealing there’s much more to it than just words on a page. It’s what I’m living and breathing. The frequency of my posts, obstacles, and learning to merge this new blog layer with all other layers are some examples. Perhaps you can relate, substituting yourself and your details as you read along.
I’ve not been incredibly frequent with posting and there’s been gaps of delay. There’s much backend work with various topics to learn, personal things to pause to attend do, other life layers and a full-time job, responsibilities, life events, and unexpected curveballs all of which are just as much part of the process as is creating actual content. With any endeavor, it’s so easy to not keep going. Or to not start. It doesn’t take long to detect via my home page and “Finally Live” post that this process and goal has been a significant challenge. Ever demanding effort and growth is just as much part of the equation as ever present excitement, passion, and skillsets.
The reality of still needing to work out our endeavors is not meant to discourage, but to fuel those very things that are important to us.
The temptation shows up to rush any process and use up valuable energy by being hard on ourselves. That doesn’t do us or anything else any good. The alternative offer is there to accept our timeline and to retain valuable energy by letting go of oneself.
Maintaining my “live status” is huge in itself. When I went live, I had intention to test it out, make sure everything looked and worked okay, and then crawl back “under construction status” to tweak and evaluate more things. But I didn’t. That would be heading down a path I was turning around from. Although this blog is in its infancy and content may not be pushed out as often as I would like, I accept that’s part of any life-layer development. I must let go of the pressure to push out content just for the sake of having published content. Details, memories, milestones, and personal development count. The small, unseen choices are just as important as the big, observable ones. It’s letting go of perfection. It’s grabbing hold of who I am and whose image in which I was created. It’s running in abandon being authentic. It’s remembering this is more than about me.
It’s not just getting something to function on the website, learning a technical topic, or getting a post published – It’s growing the human behind the words on the page upon which those other matters hinge. There’s grace in the process.
There’s freedom in letting go. It’s doing my part, but involving God in the process and surrendering what’s not mine to carry.
Here’s a recent blog obstacle and training scenario:
I planned to write about a homemade laundry soap recipe. Sounds simple enough. Just write and get it out there, right? What’s the big deal? There was a consideration of how to approach the new topic, how detailed to get, and to maintain continuity in the details reflecting the brand. Add to that was learning how to post a picture of the recipe so people could easily refer to it, save it, or pin it. It was also discovering appropriate sizes for the image within the post. Topping things off was getting a ‘Pin It’ button installed on the website, requiring more research about that plug-in and how to use it, all the while mustering up time and focus to write the actual post.
Just when you think the Mr. Pin-It story is over, there’s more. I found a plug-in which needed to be downloaded to my computer to then be uploaded to the site. But the file would not cooperate. Come to find out, my Mac had a setting selected that automatically unzipped files (you can’t upload an unzipped file). I changed that setting to finally upload the plug-in file. All good? No. Once it was operating, “Pin It” buttons were over everything on my site including my logo. I didn’t want them everywhere or automatically visible, but only on certain images and when you hovered over them. Finally got that resolved.
During this exilerating episode, let’s just say I had many moments where I…
Didn’t count to 5 and breathe, opting for slamming my fist on the desk instead.
Didn’t break away to go outside, opting for mounting stress and poor leg circulation instead.
Didn’t allocate my time very well, opting for lots of nightime screen blue light instead.
Didn’t have a present mind in other life things, opting for a crowded out and absorbed mind instead.
It’s somewhat funny to look back on. I get specific with that scenario to be transparent and to encourage. There’s often more to the story than what meets the eye. The lovely, functioning post has a lot investment behind the screen. Maybe your scenario isn’t a blog post and plug-ins, but a goal requiring effort, delivering surprises, and stretching you in newfound ways nonetheless. You know what precious time, sacrifice, and decision points are going on beyond the surface. That’s the beautiful merging of our lovely sprout and root system that go hand in hand.
Every aspect of our lives requires effort. Every moment is a training scenario. Our dreams and layers need it and are better for it.
I recognize how all of it is collectively purposeful. It’s growing this new blog layer, but all of my layers all at once. All layers are being activated. Each show up here. They can strengthen or weaken the other. This may be the newest, exciting layer of my life, but it needs all my other ones just the same. Any goal or passion needs to be fed, but not at the expense of starving the other areas of life. Going on that special date night, maintaining exercise, pursuing that needed conversation, plugging into prayer and time with God matter. Those things suffer, I suffer, and other aspects of my life suffers. Being intentional is also being okay with saving a post in draft status to be able to maintain an evening routine, letting the body unwind for bed, or so that I can enjoy undistracted memories on a vacation.
Taking care of one life layer affects all other life layers. Each contributes to and needs the other. This blog relies on the functioning of all my other layers.
Zooming in a bit further, it makes us think of choices and how one effects a string of many others. We know how it can play out: Staying up super late was great, but caused drag the next morning. So we opt for sleeping in instead, which jams up our morning routines and priorities. The lack of energy carries into our day and our mindset doesn’t quite have what it takes to take on the day’s challenges. Our responses aren’t quite what they should be and those things “setting us off” are misleading since our defenses are down. We make it home only to be upset about the day unfolding the way it did making running to comfort food over that healthier alternative all the more appealing. The comfort food is a nice hug but the crash, ragged evening, and restless sleep is a punch in the face.
This isn’t to imply one choice can sabotage an entire day or nothing redeeming can come. It’s not to stress it’s all on our shoulders. But it serves to get us thinking about our choices and how they effect those precious layers in our lives working in favor of or against things. It’s acknowledging and owning what’s ours to own instead of shifting it on an easy target like the weather, another person, or a job.
There’s more to it than ____. You fill in the gap. Let’s not rush the process just for the sake of being out there – in that new endeavor, role, or committment. Accept our timeline. Allow authentic selves to develop in the process. Don’t forget about other layers. Make time to keep them nourished. Take time for things that need our time and focus even if that means other things have to wait. Let’s not forget about the bigger picture to live beyond ourselves.