Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 21: when choosing failure is the right thing to do…




It started off as a great idea.

31 days of blogging during the month of October, of churning out creative posts, improving my writing speed, and heck, maybe gaining a few more followers.

But I’m learning something about myself …or maybe I should say that I’m being reminded of what I already know about Me.

And it’s this.

I operate in Life by my gut reaction to things; I’d describe it as having an emotional thermometer that resides in my heart and lets me know when things don’t ‘feel right.’ And I don’t spend a lot of time second guessing these kinds of feelings. I honor them because I don’t think relying on our deepest emotions is ‘irrational’ or being ‘led by one’s emotions’ one bit.

I believe this is how we stay in touch with ourselves, how we determine what matters to us at our core.

So today, on Day 21 of October I thought I’d share some red, flashing feelings I’ve been experiencing lately in case you can relate.

When I put this discomfort into words here’s what I’m hearing. 

Blogging everyday means I have to make a choice. (Duh. But there’s a difference between ‘knowing’ something intellectually and knowing it on an emotional level)

Today I’m aware on a gut level that choosing longer, more extensive computer time means that something has to give, and it’s my relationships.

I’m seeing that I don’t have the spontaneous chance to phone a friend. Or visit a blogger that has so graciously left a comment for me. Or that I just want to check in with. In fact,  here’s a recent example when I chose to ‘fail’ at my 31 day blog commitment.

Let’s see. Having our first official beach bonfire or getting a post done?

(You can see what I chose)


Although, because I’m one of those annoyingly conscientious people I actually felt conflict over making this choice. And that’s my observation today.

It’s that I feel more ‘pressed’ for time. It’s observing that yes, I’ve got lots of material   -- photos and ideas—to be shared on my blog, but getting it published daily means sacrificing meaningful moments in my real life.

And this part doesn’t feel good.

I realize its a question we all face daily in our lives. Defining our priorities is always about saying yes to one thing and no to another. For me it’s blogging more, for you it’s something else.

When it comes to my 31 day blogging commitment (that I announced with so much enthusiasm)… the question is not whether there are benefits to me—I love expressing my creative side, feeling more productive, seeing my traffic go up, etc…

The question is whether I’m ok with the costs of these positive outcomes. 

I remember feeling this way when my boys were little. The choices were always there, get my nails done and go shopping for something new to wear to dinner, or slather black paint all over refrigerator boxes for our Halloween haunted maze. Somehow I could never manage it all and so I ended up choosing the memory making stuff. 

But not always without angst. “Why can’t I ever find time to get my nails done!” I’d complain on our way to a special occasion. But the truth is, I did have the time, I know that now. I just chose differently.

And now that I’m through that part of my life—when the kids were little—I realize that my priorities worked for me.

In the end, isn’t this what we all hope for?  When it matters, we make the  choices that are right for us.

Really. We’re all just doing the best we can. But I think that figuring out our priorities and living our lives accordingly means that of course we will ‘fail’ at some things. In fact, choosing to fail at certain endeavors may be the absolute right choice at the moment.

But at least when we fail, they will be the things that matter less in the end…

to our deeper selves.




Tell me, can you relate to this post?



p.s. I may or may not be back tomorrow.

Even though I can’t wait to show you how to create my Fall Tablescape,

I’m still trying to get my Halloween entry decorated, and Kirsten and John are coming to town which is so exciting!

So until next time… trust those gut reactions.









Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I LOVE this post, Leslie...and yes, I can relate. It is why I have CHOSEN to post when I WANT to, rather than when I HAVE to. I think we pretty much end up doing what we most want to do in life...and I think your priorities and your gut feelings are right on target.

Simply LKJ said...

Love this Leslie! I post when I choose to post, not because I feel I have to. One of the reasons why I never wanted my blog to become one of those mega blogs. There is not enough time in the day for that personally, something precious would have to give and I am not going there.
A friend shared something this morning in our leader's study group and it really hit home. We had been talking about priorities. The example that was given was of a tall clear vessel. If you put three large rocks in it that come to the top edge is it full? No. Gravel is then added to the top, is it full then? No. Sand is added and it works its way around the larger rocks and gravel and settles. Is it full? No. Water is then poured in, seeps through the larger rocks, gravel, and sand, is it full then? Yes. But, the object of the lesson was trick questions, rather it was about priorities...if you had placed all the little petty things in the cylinder first, you would not have room for the larger ones. It really hit home!

Art and Sand said...

I vividly remember the moment when I realized I wasn't
"Super Mom". KC was in the third grade . . . I was in my first year of teaching middle school . . . it was KC's birthday and I needed to send treats to school to celebrate . . . and I bought them. Things were crazy at school, JP had things going on, I was taking my final class to clear my credential, KC had dance and sports . . . you know the drill. And, I broke down and bought cupcakes.

This post really resonates with me now that I finally have an answer for my health issue. It turns out that I am dangerously anemic - thus the fatigue and shortness of breath. I now know why I haven't felt up to doing everything and have barely accomplished anything. But, I don't know that I will go back to blogging 4 times a week. I think I will keep it at twice a week and I am okay with that. Having to take it easy has made me question what the most important things are. Steve just called to me to come see something Lulu was doing and I was typing a comment. I told him I couldn't come. But then, I stopped and went to laugh with him about Lulu's antics. Then I went back to finish the comment.

I love when I see a post from you, but you don't have to post every single day . . . unless you want to!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I realized a long time ago that blogging is awesome and fun, but can totally take over your life. And as much as I love my blog friends, it's the people right in front of me that need to be my priority. And I choose to make them my priority! We make choices every single day about what is important to us and how to spend our time. And when my last day on earth comes, I'd like to think that I made mostly good choices! ... Yay for beach bon fires! That was most definitely a good choice!

Jennifer said...

I can sooo relate to this! And I don't think of this as choosing failure, it's choosing to give yourself options.
I frequently stress about getting posts up, but then decide if I have to stop living my life to write about my life, I'm not living my well styled life. Funny, but the older I get the smarter I get about how I want to spend my time.
The bonfire looked amazing.

Karen said...

This resonates with me. We all try to be superwoman, but at the end of the day, we all have to do what our heart tells us works for us, right? I cannot blog every day, in fact when I started blogging I managed M-W-F posts and was hard pressed. Now I blog once a week and am so much happier not having the burden of a deadline that I can't always meet. Life is so much better when we take the time to do what we want/need to do.
P.S. I'm blogging about new blog friends tomorrow and you're on the list. I hope you'll visit.

Donnamae said...

I can so relate to this post...and I don't even blog! I always choose my kids and making memories...still do...and my sons are all 26+! Life is too short, not to do what's really important to us...and that could be different for any one of us. I've enjoyed these posts of yours...but I could skip a day or two! ;)

Kim said...

Oh, I can so relate to this. At times, I fall into the trap of comparing myself to other women who just seem to be able to do it all. But then I remember that I chose to prioritize the things that always were and still are most important to me, and honestly, I wouldn't change a thing.

I have copied the following from your post and plan to save it: "...choosing to fail at certain endeavors may be the absolute right choice at the moment...But at least when we fail, they will be the things that matter less in the end…to our deeper selves."

I, along with your other followers, look forward to your posts. Go take care of yourself. We will be here when you return.

Anonymous said...

I can so totally relate! Patty/NS

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

I can so relate, having to deal with what's going on in my life and keeping to myself or sharing is a very hard choice for me to make. fondly ~lynne~

Gypsy Heart said...

Beautiful post ~ as usual. I would never refer to this choice as failure. I think it's placing your priorities in the right places. I thought it might be fun to try this myself, thus my "or less" comment. :) I've never understood how anyone posts daily, especially those with children...little ones in particular. I'm retired and certainly have more time, however, I choose life and making memories.

My intent is not to be a "negative nelly" but since losing Abby, the most important things in life take on a new meaning. I spent as much time with her and Alex as possible but it could never be enough. I'm really intent on "being" with family, friends and making memories now!

The bonfire was an outstanding choice! :) I always look forward to a post or comment from you but guess what? Whenever is just perfect!


Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

You are such a smart woman! I'm lucky to blog weekly these days. I do it now to share more with people who come into my shop, than anything else. I gave up on being a Blog Queen some time ago! I've also started to unconsciously limit the amount of time at other blogs, as so many of them focus on things like, how they rearranged their coffee table, or mantel. Isn't there more to life? Don't get me wrong, I love a pretty vignette (didn't know this word until blogging!), but there's so much more to life! Bon fire, on!
Your former "neighbor", Barbara

Carla from The River said...

Oh yes!!
And with my two boys at home with us, and them growing so fast. I seem to always choose the memories and not getting the nails done. I love my family time. And my outside time. If the Wisconsin weather is beautiful, I will sneak outside. :-)
So some of my projects end up on the back burner for a long time. But I figure someday the boys will be off and married, and I can tackle them then. :-)

Calypso In The Country said...

Love it Leslie! And I wouldn't exactly use the word "failure" just because it doesn't feel right for you! I think it is wonderful that you are acknowledging that this plan does not work for you. What makes you and your blog so inspiring is the fact that your words are coming from the heart. You are not forcing anything and you are making conscious choices.

Sarah said...

Leslie, I can most certainly relate to this post. I'm the one who hasn't posted anything new in over a month. Relationships have been my priority over everything this past month as I had to say goodbye to a very dear long time friend. It has left me with little enthusiasm for creating.
Posting every day is something I know I could not get done. I once joined a meme that required us to post once a week for 26 weeks ~ something related to a letter of the alphabet each week. I loved the idea! After all I collected alphabet books for close to 30 years. It was almost more than I could keep up with. I had the ideas, but the lack of time is what I found frustrating.
I always vote for following one's feelings.
I am eager to see your fall tablescape though. ;-)

Lynne said...

First things first.
Leslie! I just now realized that I never actually "followed" you. You have been living on my sidebar. So...even though I have been visiting you for ages...I am your news "blogger" follower!

My blogging started to fall off when my mother and father became ill this past Summer.

Recently, I was asked to nearly double my work load at the clinic. Once again the blog has taken a back seat. The extra work will end in three days.

I have found that blog friends can be quite forgiving. Most of us have a common thread. You, your family and your home is your first priority. Those that follow you "totally get it!"

Thanks for lighting the fire!

Unknown said...

Most definitely follow your heart. It is sooo not failure. It is changing your mind...and Heaven knows women change their minds all the time, right? A bonfire over a blog post? That's a no brainer girl. You did the right thing. I don't understand how people can already be publishing things about Christmas on their blogs...what happened to living in the moment?? If I can get a Halloween post out in early November I'll consider that success! :)

Debra@CommonGround said...

I too share your feelings and those of all these smart bloggers. I had to come to terms with this issue when my health had to become the priority in my life. Blogging had to take a back seat to almost everything and in alot of ways it was very freeing. Deadlines and coming up with ideas for a post seemed unimportant in the light of what I was dealing with. I love to blog and all the wonderful people and relationships that I've developed, so I hope it's something that I can continue. But I've realized that in the big picture of life, it has to be put in perspective. Posting when I have something to say is much easier than trying to manufacture an interesting post. I think you've learned a valuable lesson this month, not a failure at all!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

I get it.

debra @ 5th and state said...

so eloquently written and oh so true.

having several businesses i run around like a crazy woman trying to be everything for everybody and guess who loses in the end? untangling my life has to become a priority, you spoke to my soul.

i am just meeting you via project design, love what i see and read here but as much as i want to write more frequently and visit other blogs, that is one area that gives a bit. my numbers are down, but it is ok.
be good to you

Unknown said...

It's not failure, it's doing what feels right for yourself. Yes, I did take you up on the challenge, and do not want you to feel like you failed, or are jumping ship. I am just grateful that you reminded me, to stay grounded and in the moment. Each day brings new opportunities and we should feel free to enjoy them, not be obligated to blog. Thanks for sharing this, and I will happily continue to blog, if only for myself,to remind myself each and every day, that I have so much to be grateful for. Looking forward to reading about your adventures when you wish to share them.

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Re-assessing situations, being honest with yourself, and setting priorities isn't failure -- it's evidence of wisdom! I totally get it... as evidenced by my slower post pace these days.

Marilyn said...

I'm not a blogger, but do follow several, and it gets to the point when you can almost sense when a blogger is "forcing it". I would never want that to happen to you.

Your posts are always articulate, well-thought out and profound in many ways. As a reader, I would never want you to feel obligated to produce material on a time-table. Life is crazy enough without the added stress of a deadline.

Be true to yourself and what makes YOU happy !! Life comes first!

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Jeanne Henriques said...

Yes and Amen!

"It may be that when we no longer know what to do, that we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. " by Wendell Berry

I hear you Leslie...xx

Pam Kessler said...

Many a blogger has thrown in the towel for good after doing that 31 day challenge :) I think being forced (even though you want to do it) to do a post a day is more pressure than I could handle. I enjoy posting when and if I want and about what I want. I think you have the right thoughts on this. People you know and care about in real life are where your priorities should lie (lay?, lye?). And gosh, if I had that view I would sit around the fire pit every night!

Unknown said...

Hello Leslie dear, I always find inspiration of some sort when I stop by your blog. This post definitely resonates with me. Too often we have to make choices that don't always resonate with the balance we want for our lives. I'm feeling my time is very squeezed with work, travel, blogging, community commitments and my boutique right now. I am a bit under the weather and took a day to re-balance my priorities today and it feels good to have time to catch up. I'm glad you made the choice to change direction in your decision and that beach bonfire looked so beautiful. Wonderful post my inspiring friend. xx

michele said...

the 'un-becoming!' yes! this is where my head has been for a while now. it's the subtraction, the shedding of baggage, the re-learning that seems more important than additions of the new. re: pressure to blog. it's important that our blogs work for us and not the other way around. i won't be a slave to blogging. i do it when i want and write about what i feel like. i know this will change should i desire to get purrrrfessional which doesn't seem likely.

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