On Failure

I began writing a post about my blogging habits a few days ago, and then stopped to think about it for awhile. The next day, I was flipping through bloglovin and saw that Grace Bonney at Design Sponge had written a post on blogger burnout after seeing a NYTimes article about it, and that Alissa at the Adored Life had written an a post on blogging too. It felt good to know that I'm not the only one going through and thinking about these different things, and both women helped me to better formulate my thoughts and decide exactly how to communicate how I'm feeling about blogging, and about life in general. 

Over the past year or so, my level of blogging slowed from nearly every day to barely publishing posts more than a few times (at most) each month. From time to time, I'd blog a bit more than I had been, but it never stuck and soon other busy parts of my life took over and it was back to blog silence. I missed blogging a lot, but despite that, I still couldn't get myself back to the blog on a regular basis and after a lot of thinking and soul searching and all out not blogging, I think I've figured out what was stopping me from blogging. One part has to do with my focus, and the other part has to do with how I'm working and blogging.

First, I think that I began to focus too much on the "Recipe" part of Forever and a Recipe and when I didn't feel as though I had tons of recipes to deliver, I stopped blogging. But I didn't start this blog just so that I could post recipes, I started it so that I could post about projects I was working on and adventures that Josh and I (and then Nashville!) found ourselves on. But, as I've gotten older and I have grown, so too has this blog (happy 3rd blog birthday to me!). I need to allow the blog to evolve and stop stifling my own creativity in an attempt to keep it what it was when it first started. It doesn't need to be what it was when it first started and I am excited to see where this new blog adventure will take me.

Secondly, and this is equally if not more important, I stopped working smart. I am a highly organized person, I wake up every day at 5:15 and sort things in the apartment, I get to school by 7 every morning and prepare to teach my classes in 3 different classrooms. I stay after school every day til 3:30 or so, and then I take Nash to the park for an hour before heading home. I make dinner around 6 and I'm in bed every night by 9 or 10. The problem here is this: what is happening between dinner and bedtime? It has become this huge black whole of wasted time. I'm so tired from the day that it's all I can do to make dinner before becoming a lump on the couch for the rest of the night. Occasionally I get some grading done, or some reading, but more often than not, I'm watching mindless television (read: Seinfeld and Chopped) and being unproductive. And in doing so, I feel like I'm failing.

For the record, I'm not saying that being unproductive is always a bad thing. I need to be able to come home after long days and relax - relaxing is a major positive in enjoying and living life. But, and this is a big but, I shouldn't be so tired each and every day that every single night is an empty void. I need to start working smarter, not harder, each day. I already work hard - I work for each of my students in and out of school, I volunteer for clubs and community service and I work to keep my family going. But this work shouldn't drain or exhaust me every single day, especially because I love what I'm doing. I wake up each morning excited to get out of bed and see what the day holds, but that excitement is long gone by 7 pm and it's all that I can do to watch Jeopardy! before crashing into bed. 

And so, I'm making an effort towards working smarter. It's about using my organizational skills to work better. It's about finding ways to be smarter about each day so that I'm not finding myself going weeks without talking to my best friends and so that I can make time to feel like a human being at night. It's about finding ways to use my time wisely so that I can teach and blog and be the best wife that I can be. It's about finding ways to succeed so that I don't feel like I'm missing out on other opportunities and adventures and so that I don't feel as though I'm failing. 

I'm sure this won't happen overnight - real success never does - but I am hopeful that I can start creating good habits to help me overcome this feeling of failure. I am excited about this next step. I am excited to re-focus and re-organize, to re-prioritize and re-energize, and to re-engage - in blogging and in life. 



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