When I restarted my blog, a major thing I vowed to myself was that I would be honest with anyone reading it. If I made a big mistake, I would share it. If my photos were weak, I wouldn't beat myself up; I would just try to do a better job next time. Since I am considering this a lifestyle blog and the blog is part of my life, I wanted to aim to make sure it is an honest portrayal. So, with that in mind....
Let me tell you: 14 Days of Love was FUN!!!!! You know what else it was?
Making sure there was new content every day, with at least halfway decent pictures and at least a halfway decent tutorial when needed was a challenge. So much so that some of my goals definitely took a hit. Important goals like exercise and studying my languages. Couldn't sacrifice work or food or sleep. And each of the days, while incredibly enjoyable to work on, also required a decent time commitment. And following up with the social media for each of those projects was another surprising chunk of time (which many days I didn't have and couldn't muster, meaning several of the posts received no extra promotion). And I made it harder on myself by knowing what I wanted to do but not starting on it soon enough to have a nice lead on getting the projects done and the pictures taken. I definitely felt the pressure more than once and even questioned a couple of times if I was really having fun. I allowed myself to get stressed over something I had merely been hoping to try as an interesting challenge and a chance to give something to the world.
Every time I hit one of those moments, I took a step back and measured the project against the following questions:
- Am I getting anything at all out of this personally?
- Is this helping me reach any goals at all?
- Is this giving anything at all to the world?
- Is this really taking up that much time or am I being dramatic?
- Going forward, how can I improve this process?
Long story short: the series always survived under scrutiny.
Would I do it all again? Yes! Absolutely! It was a lot of fun! I'm actually already planning next year's series (and the time to work on it)!
Am I looking for sympathy for the time commitment or a thank you for the goodies? Nope! I would have enjoyed it even if no one said anything about it (but I always love comments and was grateful for the ones I received)!
So then what's the point and why the heck is this a Wellness Wednesday post?
The point: we all see these amazing posts on the various streams of social media. But we so rarely get to see the work (and sometimes stress) behind each picture, status update, and blog. We don't get to see the stuff on the table pushed out of the way just long enough to take a picture. We don't see the person typing away on the keyboard after everyone else has gone to bed because it's the only quiet time left in the day to compose at least a few thoughts. We don't get to hear about what was skipped so there would be a chance to stamp some card stock and make a gift tag. And not learning that can lead to some serious stress in our personal lives as we wonder what we are doing wrong since we can't do it all like these people we admire.
So for Wellness Wednesday, I want you to do what I did: take a moment to step back and look at something "fun" that makes you feel pressured and give it a very close analysis. My questions (in that bulleted list up there) seem like a great place to start, but you probably have some other considerations you want to work in as well. But take the time for you and for your sanity to look at the whys and hows.
I hope you find that your reasons for the stress are worthwhile and, in the end, actually mitigate the stress. But if not, I hope this process helps you let go of something that's weighing you down.
I want you to do something else, too. As you're going through your social media feeds today, take them just a little less at face value. I'm not saying don't be happy for people or not impressed with their efforts or whatever. I'm just saying: don't assume that everything in their life is a perfect, not-terribly-stressful balance where they get everything done. That's probably not the case....