Do you ever put too much pressure on yourself?
I do – bigtime.
So much pressure that I am sleep deprived and exhausted all the time.
I’m single, always have been, children only of the four-legged variety; self-sufficient (except when in emergencies I visit the First National Bank of Mom); have a full-time job; make a car payment and rent my abode.
What stress and pressure could I possibly have compare to that other women my age have (aging parents, caring for grandchildren or adult children or spouse, in addition to one or more jobs)?
As with everything in life, stress and pressure are relative. No one can, or should, compare their busy lives to another person’s. Just as one person’s trash is another’s treasure, so goes pressure. What one person feels overwhelmed by is energizing to another.
When I first started blogging a back in 2014 I started with this blog, then called Spirit Stew. I wrote devotionals and posted them daily. I also read (and still do) a lot of books but usually devoured them so fast I didn’t really absorb them. So, in an effort to remember what I read, the book review blog, Library of Cats, was born. Then, along came Orange Marmalade Press for publishing my art and crafts as well as any other art I liked; The View from my Aquamarine Eyes for my mostly okay photographs, and finally, Kitty Caperz, aka., Toby’s Wrecking Crew (which started out life as Doggie Caperz) my cats’ blog. (By the way, links to the blogs can be found at the bottom of the page!)
Why so many you may ask? Because my brain is naturally compartmentalized. I wouldn’t even think of having a single blog with many functions. Different functions, or compartments, mean different blogs. I recently started an Etsy store for vintage items (OrangeMarmaladePress) and because I think in sections, it’s hard for me to not open a separate store for books, kitchenware, and misc. items. I may still do that at some point – I’ll be opening a separate store for vintage holiday items in another month or so. That may seem like too much for some folks, but for me, it’s perfectly natural fit to my brain and the way it thinks.
So where is the pressure? With so many irons in the fire (a specialty of mine) I don’t have the time to blog the way I really want to – which means POST EVERY SINGLE DAY. That’s where the pressure I put on myself comes in – and I’m very hard on myself. I must POST EVERY SINGLE DAY. No exception. No excuse. Even though I have no internet and must avail myself of the public library I still have to POST EVERY SINGLE DAY. This is in addition to whatever books I’m reading or art projects I’m involved in for challenge or pleasure.
For months now, regardless of what is going on in my life, there is the Hammer of Thor pounding in my brain: POST EVERY SINGLE DAY. So, I go to the library as often as I can, don’t get much sleep because of staying up to late to plan the posts so I can POST EVERY SINGLE DAY. If the library was open before I go to work, I would sleep even less. Even if I had internet in my house, the constant reminder to POST EVERY SINGLE DAY would be louder and more demanding.
So, it occurred to me in prayer this past weekend, why am I doing this to myself? Why am I taking the joy and fun out of blogging – so much so that it feels like another full-time job? Why must I POST EVERY SINGLE DAY???
I’m sure I have all sorts of reasons as to why and excuses as to why not, but ultimately, they don’t amount to a hill of beans. What it boils down to is that by relentlessly pressuring myself to POST EVERY SINGLE DAY I am depriving myself of that which is good for me and my spiritual/mental/physical health.
Sorry God, no time for prayer or reflection today. I have to write a spiritual post!
Sorry brain, no down time for you to spend in daydreaming. I have to create something artistic to post!
Sorry body, no sleep for you. I have to POST EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Sorry kitties, no cuddles for you. I have to run to the library to post to your blog!
So, what to do? How can I even begin to tackle such a humongous task?
Well, I can start by cutting myself some slack. I don’t have to POST EVERY SINGLE DAY. I really need to get that in my head. I need to turn down the volume from shouting POST EVERY SINGLE DAY to a more moderate tone, post every day if you are able but if you are not, it’s okay. The world will not come to an end because I don’t post every day. My life as a blogger will not come to an end if I don’t post every day. My need for perfection in blogging must be tempered with imperfection. And when I don’t post every single day, I will refuse to feel guilty.
If God does not condemn me for not posting every day, then neither should I condemn myself for when I don’t post every single day.
No pressure, no guilt about pressure. Well, its certainly something to work on.
Lord, help me to breath in Your joy, Your beauty and Your presence. Help me to remember its okay to not post every single day. Help me to not feel guilty about it. Help me to remember the only one pressuring me into blogging perfection is me. Thank You for Your love and guidance.