I’m not a good blogger!

I’ve been thinking about this lately – I’m not a good blogger 😅! Good bloggers are consistent, they write regularly; some once or twice a week and some daily. If you follow this blog you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for weeks! Maybe it’s even months?

Anyway, I’ve realised recently that I have a mental block (or something) when it comes to consistency. I started thinking more about this after I lost my 300 day streak on my Bible app a couple of weeks ago. I beat myself up about it, whining to hubby that I’m not consistent. He kindly pointed out that 300 days is actually pretty consistent – I’m just not perfect. After mulling this over for a while I realised that this is my problem (or one of them) – I equate consistency with perfection in my head. I put so much pressure on myself to be consistent/perfect with a bunch of things that I lose the point of doing them and the joy of doing them in the process. Sometimes I even lose the motivation to do them because I feel sure I’m going to fail.

I’ve been experimenting with this a bit over the last week or so. I’ve deliberately been trying to just ‘go with the flow’ more and not put myself under pressure to do certain things at certain times or do things daily even. I’m ignoring those little red bubbles on my screen and the warnings that my streak is in danger. It’s been interesting – I’ve rediscovered some energy and motivation to do things just because I want to and not because I HAVE to. On Friday I actually WANTED to go for a run!! Sorry, I should have warned you to sit down before you read that! 😂 I know… I never thought I’d actually write that either!

This morning I felt like sitting down to write this post. The truth is I actually feel like sitting down to write fairly often and I have ideas of things I SHOULD write about quite a lot too. I think I feel guilty about spending the time on writing though – that’s probably a thought for another post really. Anyway, it will be interesting to see if being less ‘consistent’ will actually result in me blogging more. 😝 Don’t get me wrong – I do understand that consistency is a good thing – I think it was just my view of it that wasn’t helpful. If anyone has any tips on how I can be consistent without putting too much pressure on myself I’d love to hear them.

Is it just me or does anyone else struggle with this? How do you deal with the consistency/perfection balance?

Blogging Update

I know – it’s been a while – again! It’s not that I have nothing to say – it’s just that I don’t know where to start. As a result I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer some questions posed by Claudette, the lovely Writer of Words on her post about a week ago now. In fact I can relate to a lot of what she said at the beginning of her post too so check it out?

So these are Claudette’s questions and my attempt at answering:

All about blogging

1) Does belonging to a blogging community imply a responsibility toward the bloggers?

I had to think about this one because I do tend to take on responsibilities that are not mine and I also like to look out for others. Realistically though can you take any responsibility for people whose real names you don’t know, who live at an unknown address sometimes on the other side of the globe and whom you have no contact with outside of cyberspace? I don’t think so. Do I care? Yes, I actually do care. There are many blogs on here that I can relate to and people who I’m certain I’d get on well with IRL but you know…

2) Does it become a want or a need to read, like and/or comment regularly?

There are several blogs that I enjoy reading regularly and will often like or comment on. It’s definitely a ‘want to’ I think. I don’t feel I need to for similar reasons to my answer to question 1.

3) If you read, like and especially comment at least semi-regularly on a select few blogs and thereby get to *know* that blogger a little, does this relationship qualify as friendship?

I’d like to think it’s a sort of a friendship. There’s a connection there for sure. I guess the difference is that your IRL friends are actually there on the other end of a phone or at your door if you need them and you can be for them too. I think it’s definitely possible for a blogger friend to become a real friend if you get in touch outside of this platform.

4) Is a virtual relationship through a blog real?

It can definitely feel real but I don’t think that it would be possible to get all the qualities you’re looking for from a friendship/relationship through blogging and commenting. There would have to be more.

5) Do you feel reading there every time they post is the responsible thing to do or do you drop off on occasion?

There are some blogs that I read all the time but there are others that I’ve stopped reading as often or just dip in and out of. I tend to read what I enjoy.

6) If you drop off, what are the reasons you are taking a break?

There have in the past been a couple of blogs that I felt were affecting my own thinking and maybe even getting me down – I have to look after myself too. I’ve also accidentally taken a break from some blogs because of glitches in WP that have meant their posts stopped showing up for me.

7) What if you extend the relationship with a blogger beyond the blog and start emailing with them? Does this make the relationship more intimate, more real?

I think so. I guess it depends on how far you extend it but if you’re chatting back and forth by email then yes. I think you’re probably more likely to phone or video call too once you’ve taken this step.

8) With those more intimately connected bloggers whom you have an exterior relationship with (say through email) do you take the opportunity to check in with them when you read between the lines something they posted in their blog?

I don’t really have this situation. I have some IRL friends who read my blog but don’t blog themselves. If I was in this position I’m sure I would check in though.

9) When you formulate an opinion on a blogger based solely on what you read on their blog, do you make assumptions about them and/or their personality, character, lifestyle?

Definitely. I think it’s natural as humans to fill in the blanks in a story or make up what we don’t know. I don’t feel bad about doing that though since I always assume that people are generally pretty great.

Thanks Claudette for posing these questions. Just what I needed to break my silence again. 🙂

A New Day

Fresh starts are such a good thing. I’m grateful that bad days come to an end, you go to sleep and wake up to a new day, a different day and hopefully a better one. Yesterday was the worst day I’ve had with depression in a long time. But today is a new day and it’s going to be a better one.

I’ve been realising that I’ve been using social media to numb a lot over the years. I don’t think it’s healthy. I need it for work but I had excess accounts that I don’t need so I got rid of a bunch of them – including the ones associated with this blog.

I didn’t start blogging to get a following. I love the little community that I’ve connected with on WordPress but the majority of the people I most enjoy reading and connecting with on here are not the ones I connect with on Twitter or Instagram so those accounts are gone. It’s funny because on Twitter I had built up a decent following pretty quickly but it felt so fake. Most of those people didn’t actually connect with me or read my posts. I guess I didn’t with most of them either. I get that others will have a different experience or want to use social media to promote their blogs and that’s cool. It just wasn’t for me.

Anyway – I decided to live in the real world as much as possible. I’ll still be here on WordPress though. I enjoy writing here and reading your blogs. There are several that I follow closely and connect with regularly and I’m happy with that; I don’t need thousands of followers.

Well I guess that’s my little update for today. I’ve deleted a bunch of apps as well. Seems like a good time to declutter my online presence. I’ll have to face all the feelings now if I’m not numbing them – will need to watch my alcohol intake doesn’t go up as that’s another go-to for numbing. Hopefully I can hack it.

What are your thoughts on social media? Do you love it or hate it? Do you need it for work? Do you use it to promote your blog? Do you think I did the right thing or made a big mistake deleting those accounts? Let me know your thoughts. 🙂

The Caramel Crunch #8

I have been following Melody from Caramel (Learners at Love) for quite some time now. Recently she started a series called The Caramel Crunch and although I like to participate I usually leave a short comment on her post. This week I felt that I had a little more to say on the subject so here is my response to The Caramel Crunch #8.

Mel’s question was:

You have a horrible cold and you realize you are infectious. However, there is a culture in your workplace of still attending work when you are ill. You realize that if you phone in sick, your manager will then have to spend time ringing other staff  and may not be able to find someone else who can cover your shift. You realize that the other staff will be under a lot of pressure to keep up with the work. They always turn up for work even when they are ill.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Image by Mojca JJ from Pixabay

My answer to Mel’s question is probably not going to be very definative. I realised that I have made different decisions on this very matter depending on the workplace that I have been in.

Many years ago (before my children came along) I worked in a personnel office for the Roads Department of the local authority. I don’t remember having a cold while I worked there (although I was signed off work with anxiety for 6 weeks) but if I had I probably would have taken time off. It was a large open plan office. There were around 8 of us on the team I worked in and most of the staff were fairly young and healthy. I think in that situation my colleagues would have been more upset if I had gone to work and infected them than if they had to pick up some of my workload.

When my kids were very young I did some waitressing and bar work in the evenings when their dad was home to look after them. I guess working with food is a different ‘kettle of fish’ than working in an office anyway but I would have taken time off if I’d had a heavy cold in that situation. I don’t think the customers would have been too impressed if I was breathing my germs all over their food. It definitely would have created more hassle for the managers in the restaurant though. I know they often had difficulty getting shifts covered so they probably would have been cursing me for being ill but equally they probably wouldn’t want me in looking like death warmed up and sneezing all over the place either.

When I was teaching it would have been a very different story. For a start schools are rife with germs. There are always children there with heavy colds in the winter time so this would almost definitely be where I’d picked up the infection from in the first place. There is very much a culture of going to work when you’re ill among teachers. There are several reasons for this:

  • If you stayed off every time you were ill you’d never be at work because there are so many germs floating around in schools. Obviously if we were talking anything more serious than a heavy cold that would be a different story.
  • It can be more stressful to communicate the plans you had for your class for the day to someone else than it would be just to go in to school and do the best you could. I remember times when I really was too ill to attend having to email lots of instructions and resources (PowerPoint presentations, worksheets and the like) in to the school before I could relax and begin to recover.
  • In my area if you were absent from work on more than two occasions you were put on a disciplinary plan. As no one knows when they might be unwell staff didn’t want to take time off for something as straightforward as a cold in case they ended up being unwell again and had to go on to a disciplinary plan. I don’t know the ins and outs of what one of these plans involved as I never needed to go on one but the name in itself was enough to scare people into being at work if they possibly could.
  • Often the effect of your absence on the pupils would play a big part in the decision too. You realise that (no matter how good they are) the children’s education will be affected by having a supply teacher in while you are off. Having the consistency of a teacher that knows the pupils and their capabilities, knows what they have already covered and what they need to work on next and what their abilities are and what support they need is hard to replace. Many teachers attend work when they are ill simply because they feel the knock on effect on the children’s education would be too significant.

As a self-employed sole trader, I now have a different set of issues to work through if I am unwell. I’d be letting my clients down if I didn’t go to work as there is no one to replace me. I wouldn’t get paid if I didn’t turn up as sick pay and holiday pay are not available – I get paid for the hours I am actually there to do the job. I do have the flexibility to be off in the sense that no one would be having to worry about covering me and there are no disciplinary plans to worry about. I am still largely working in germ infested schools though so I guess I would decide on a case by case basis depending on how ill I really felt.

So to go back to Mel’s question I probably would go to work under the circumstances she described since it seems to be what everyone else does anyway. It sounds like I may well have picked up the infection in that workplace and also like it would have more of a negative impact if I did not attend work than if I did. I think I do tend to weigh up the options in this kind of situation though so it might also depend on the importance of what I was working on at the time.

Well if you’ve made it this far thanks for reading. I realise this was a bit of a long winded answer but it let me chatter on for a bit which will save my hubby listening to me go on about it later 😂. Thanks to Melody for the question too. Do let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts on what I’ve said.