I was in my weekly yoga class today and my (awesome) yoga teacher was instructing us on flamingo pose. She had us go through some more basic poses first that would prepare us…and I was falling all over the place on any pose that involved balance. You see, finding balance is not my strong suit. While I can tackle some balance poses in yoga, my skills at balancing in real life are poor. To put it bluntly, I suck at balance.
I think I have always been unbalanced. I tend to go into a project full force, full of excitement, only to find myself bored soon after. I don’t know if it’s burnout or I just lose interest, but my pattern is pretty regular. But life, as in yoga, isn’t about the final pose. There is beauty in the journey and learning opportunities at every corner. So, this is the beginning of my journey to re-claim my balance…in yoga, life and blogging.
Now, that time has come in my blogging life. The point in which I am struggling, losing balance and gaining stress. While I didn’t start my blog to become some mega-blogger superstar, I would like my blog to be successful. (That’s just human nature, right? Why start something if it’s going to suck?) Well, it turns out, creating a successful blog takes a lot of work…I mean, A LOT. A shit ton of work. Seriously, the work load is enormous.
So, this is the point in this project that I usually give up. But, here’s the kicker – I don’t want to give up. This blog has given me a lot – a creative outlet, something that’s all mine, pride that I got this thing up and running on my own, some new blogging friends – the list goes on. But, it has taken a lot too – time, hard work, frustration, time, time.
I don’t want to give up, but for my sanity I need to find balance. However, you may remember that this is where I have a tendency toward failure. I’m not good at finding the happy medium.
You see, I have given every minute of my free time over the last 6 months to this blog. Countless hours. I’m not complaining – I really enjoy
all most of it. But I have done this at the expense of other things I enjoy – spending time with my husband, yoga, walking, learning Spanish (I need more time with my good friend, Rosetta Stone).
So, instead of doing the same thing I usually do, (insanity, anyone?) I am going to seek balance.
Last weekend, we took a little trip to Chicago to explore for a couple of days. I didn’t look at my website stats for 2 whole days!! I didn’t check Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (ok, I lied…I posted to Instagram). It wasn’t a full social media detox but I did take a breather. This weekend in Chicago didn’t revolve around my website traffic, number of Facebook followers or how many likes my last Instagram picture got. That, my friends, is balance…and it feels good.
How To Get Re-Balanced To Live A Zen Life
I like balance. It works. It lives in happy people, people who know how to enjoy life but who can also work hard towards a goal. I want to be one of those people. So, in order to work towards balance, there are a few things I need to keep in mind.
Google Analytics is just a bunch of numbers.
Repeat after me, “My worth is not determined by the number of page views on my site!”
The number of social media followers I have doesn’t matter.
Ok, it does if I want to make money eventually, but I can’t obsess about that. Just because someone unfollows me on Instagram doesn’t mean they have a personal vendetta against me or that I am doing something wrong. It just means that person is an asshole. Just move on.
Publish new articles when they are ready.
I have been having major dilemmas about how often I should post new articles – every day, twice a week, twice a month? There seems to be no right answer, but it’s still stressing me out. Seriously, I doubt the masses are waiting with bated breath every day to see if they will be blessed with a new article on my blog!
Health should be my first priority.
I feel better (mentally and physically) when I am active. I need to get my activity in before I sit down to
obsess over google analytics work on my blog.
Take time to plan my own travels.
I haven’t been doing as much personal travel planning lately…and this is one of my favorite things to do!
Commit to working on my Spanish everyday (or at least most days…you know, balance!)
Spanish is so prevalent in American society today and is spoken in so many places I want to visit. I don’t want to be a stupid American tourist who automatically speaks to everyone in English, assuming that they have taken the time to learn my language (and I am totally guilty of this). I took French in school and I got to the point where I could get around pretty well with it, and I miss that feeling of knowing another language. Spanish is my current project. Rosetta Stone is ready to go on my computer and I still don’t do it even though I want to. I feel guilty when I don’t use it (ah, guilt is a bitch isn’t it?). So, I just need to suck it up, balance my shit out and practice some Spanish!
Take time to breathe.
Lately, I haven’t been slowing down as much as I need to. I am always in front of a screen these days and I really want to get away from that. I just need to turn the computer off or put my phone down and go do something that doesn’t involve technology. Meditation is something that I want to practice daily, but I tell myself I am too busy and it’s a waste of time. It’s not, and I need to remind myself that my health and well being is #1. If I don’t have that, everything else turns to shit.
Chill Out and Enjoy Life
A blog isn’t real life. Focus on people and the adventures I can take with those people. Everything else is just extra. What’s that saying, “…it’s all small stuff.”
Just Because It’s Tough Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Worth It
So, my blogging life has become unbalanced. It’s gotten challenging. It’s gotten stressful.
But I don’t want to quit. Even though only a small percentage of blogs make any real money, even though the travel blog category is totally oversaturated, even though everything has been done before and even though there are businesses and even other blogs out there that just want to use you for their gain, I still don’t want to quit.
I just finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. In it she describes blogger Mark Manson’s idea of the “shit sandwich”. Mark says, “Everything sucks, some of the time.”. YES!! This is what I need to hear. Nothing is perfect and that’s normal. Gilbert sums it up by saying, “Because if you love and want something enough – whatever it is – then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.” Brilliant.
I love writing and I want to keep writing…maybe even a book someday. (About what? I have no clue.)
So, I am going to stick with it, balance it all out and keep traveling.
I hope you stay balanced, happy and well traveled too. Happy Travels!
LOVE IT? PIN IT!