WANA

What has blogging given you?

I started Bloggers Unite! because, at this time, the only thing I’m writing or aspiring to write is my blog.  At some undefined point in the future that may change, but, for me, writing in my blog is my outlet and it’s starting to let me tap into my creativity again.

When I joined WANA every other tribe and most of the chat conversations centered around stories, novels, and publishing.

The majority of blogging references have been about how to support those efforts, which is fine, but I was feeling a bit alone and “left out.”  To be perfectly clear: No one was actually leaving me out of anything. Everyone I’ve met at WANATribe has been wonderfully engaging, accepting, respectful, and encouraging.

However, I blog to blog and for me blogging includes reading, savoring, and being inspired, informed, and engaged by the blogs of others. Visiting the blogs of others, seeing their content, how they put it together and witnessing the interactions between them and their followers is as satisfying as posting my own writing.

Blogging has given me:

  • An outlet for self-expression
  • My “voice”
  • A silent playground to explore the recesses of my inner being and the unlimited expanse of the silent and not-so-silent playgrounds of others
  • A reconnection to The Me I Used To Be
  • Courage to seek out and engage in community
  • Inspiration to explore my own, long dormant, creativity
  • Examples of how diverse, creative, informative, challenging, beautifuf, poetic, artistic, familiar, and connected those of us who are reader-bloggers can be.

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What has blogging given you?

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Progress, Planning and Perfection

July 2, 2012 09:45 pm

It’s been almost 16 hours since I woke up this morning and I must say, despite the depth and intensity of the physical pain I’m experiencing, and the whiny, fussiness of the pre-schooler in my bed, I must say this day has gone swimmingly!  I was both more productive than planned and less so…how in the world does that happen?

Progress

Let’s begin with the progress report: The kitchen and laundry were my two successful skirmishes against the clutter and dirt today. I established a beachhead in the battle of the living room, but still have an uphill battle if I’m to rout out the clutter. All that said, it’s amazing how much de-cluttering of the entire apartment happened merely by getting the laundry and dishes done! All of this happened in approximately 4 – 4 1/2 hours.

  • The Kitchen ~ All dishes washed, dried, and put away; the kitchen counters, stove top, and microwave surfaces sanitized; and per FlyLady’s day 1 Beginning Baby step, the sink is shiny!
  • The Laundry ~  Two large loads gathered, sorted, treated, washed, dried, folded/hung up and put away!

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So, how did I get so much and yet so little accomplished?

Planning

Yesterday I created a plan for tackling the cleaning in the kitchen and living room, as well as taking care of the laundry.  It was a good plan.  I’m glad I had the plan.  It gave me structure, a starting point, and a goal.  All of these were good things.  Because of these things progress was made.  However, the plan wasn’t perfect and I couldn’t perfectly stick with that plan due to a variety of factors.

  1. Physical Stamina ~ the fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia may not kill me, but it certainly slows me down and requires me to adjust almost any and every plan I make.  So, I had to take more “rest periods” than planned.
  2. Relationships ~ as far as I’m concerned people take priority over cleaning, especially if it’s people in my close family circle, like Jerry.  Since he had an incredibly frustrating and upsetting weekend AND we don’t get to see each other except 4 days every 4 weeks or so, when he reaches out to me, I need to respond.  Since I’d already put off responding to him last night and early this morning, I had to ensure that I made myself available when he wasn’t driving during the rest of today.
  3. Distractions & feeding myself (figuratively) ~ (read: The Internet) I did wind up spending considerably more time online today than I had planned.  However, I also spent considerably less time online than I have been without having a plan (that is partially why the clutter built back up after my last cleaning frenzy a couple of weeks ago).  The thing is, the community and network of friends I’m engaging in are what’s motivating me to make these changes and put in the work.  So, during some of the necessary extra rest periods I blog surfed.  I also decided to work on creating a place inside of the WANATribe for Bloggers.  So, there is a social network blog tribe called Bloggers Unite! I created it about 8 hours ago and already have 14 members.  I’m so excited! So, while I did spend quite a bit of extra time online, it was time spent pursuing my passion for meeting new people and  building community around what I’m learning I absolutely love to do: BLOG! That’s got to be worth something, right?
  4. Wrong tools ~ I have a kitchen timer that has a very loud, buzzing, distinctive ring that can be heard through the music I listen to when cleaning and just doing whatever it is that I’m doing.  I didn’t know where that was and I decided to use the timers on my phone and on the microwave, neither of which could be heard when the music was on and I was focused on the kitchen and laundry.
Perfection

In the past, not sticking to the plan had the huge potential of sending me into an internal negative feedback loop.  However, one of the blog posts I read yesterday is from a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I’ve been following for a while now, David J. Miller.  Creating failure from success – 9 Ways to Self-Sabotage, reminded me that doing that to myself is a form of self-sabotage and so is seeking the unattainable “perfect.”

FlyLady knows this too:

The voices that you hear in your head keep telling you that you are behind and you have to get it all done now. We are going to quiet those negative voices that are beating you up constantly and replace them with a loving, gentle voice that tells you that you are not behind and you can do this one BabyStep at a time!

The first baby step was to shine my sink and the second baby step was to get dressed to the shoes. Step 3 is to explore the FlyLady’s Big Tent site.  This is kind of like a command and control center that can be used to see what’s on the Flying agenda of the day and week, as well and a place to get organized with calendars and planning.  This is not something I’m ready to fully utilize yet, but I did check out the Tuesday agenda for FlyLady and I think I’ll adapt it to establish my plan for day 3 of my challenge.

See? I’m already learning to let go of my need to perfectly follow what seems to be the perfect plan. It’s the progress that counts . . . and I’m rockin’ & rollin’ right along!

I WANnA ROCK!

Challenging myself

It’s been a month since I left my job to prepare for when I become a full-time mommy in mid-August, when Luna’s Early Head Start Program ends.  It’s been a crazy, busy, and kind of overwhelming time.  (If you are REALLY curious you can read about all of that here and here.) It has been a time when I let myself ride the waves and just kind of be and explore.  However, now it’s time to get real.  I have approximately six weeks before my little girl is home with me full-time and I’m not yet prepared to give her what she needs from me. It’s rather daunting, really.  I have to challenge myself.

As a group of us were chatting at WANATribe, one of my new friends, Athena Brady, asked if we had signed up for the blog challenge.  None of us had heard of it.  The Ultimate Blog Challenge starts today, July 1, and goes the entire month of July.  I checked it out and decided that I am going to challenge myself to do a post each day for the month of July.  31 posts in 31 days.  What did I get myself into?

A lot of the information and resources offered are geared toward gaining readership and traffic, increasing “business” or “brand recognition.”  None of that resonated for me, personally.  There’s nothing wrong with it and I can see the value for those who have a business or brand to build, but I’m not on that same path, at this moment in time.  However, since I’d already committed myself to this process, I had to figure out why I’m doing it and what I want out of it. There is also the fact that I don’t want to blog merely for the sake of blogging.  Small talk and filler chatter in the form of a blog post is a straight up waste of my time and energy and, as far as I’m concerned, that of any unsuspecting reader who comes across it.

As usual, I jumped into it without really examining my motivation and desire to do it. I get excited by the shiny and new and that’s what this is to me.  The excitement of being in community with other bloggers, meeting new people, making new friends, reading new content, and, let’s face it, the feel good buzz of having others read what I’ve written, is all bright and alluring.  It’s been so alluring, in fact, that I have not paid much attention to the other things I need to be giving time, focus, and energy to in my life…specifically setting up a structure and routine that will help me to nurture and grow Luna in healthy and constructive ways, while coping with the ongoing symptoms of depression and fibromyalgia.  I realized that all the buzz and excitement has been a distraction from my fear that I’m not going to be able to do it well.

After reading today’s entry from Shameca Tankerson at The Stiletto Wealth Society and her “90 Day Mission for health and well being,” I was inspired by the fact she’s Doing It Scared!  Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s action despite the fear. So, I’m taking the challenge and doing it scared. Over the next 30 days I am going to use this space to chronicle my journey to transition from unstructured and disorganized distraction and move into establishing a healthy structure and routine for taking care of myself, Luna, and our home.

Finding myself at #MyWANA

Recently I posted about reconnecting to a part of myself that I thought I had lost.  One of the things that I had lost was my sense and ability, my sensability as it were, to really be involved in community with wonderfully witty, snarky, bright, and intelligent folk such as Le Clown from A Clown On Fire and Dotty Headbanger from Notes from a She-Hermit.  What happened next has been quite the roller coaster ride and through that one post, I have come to find many other wonderful and interesting bloggers from all over the world with varied interests and challenges.  The following contains just a few examples:

The Howler And Me

Running Naked With Scissors

Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars

My Electronic Jukebox

Brother Jon

and so many, many others.  Look them up here, where Dear Dotty has created a space for us all to find and be found.

However, so much more has happened as a result of the overflowing cornucopia of likes and follows I received.  I found Kristen Lamb’s blog and found out about a new social networking site for creatives called WANATribe.  WANA stands for We Are Not Alone and is where I have already made some wonderful new friends and engaged in actual conversation via the main chat room and gotten a chance to read excerpts and synopses of pre-published works in progress by up and coming authors.  I’ve met a Nerdfighter and learned about the movement against world suck and witnessed beautiful and creative photography.

Here’s a sample list of my newest friends’ blogs:

Chad Carver

Davonne Burns

Athena Brady

I’ve found so many interesting blogs to read and follow I don’t think I’ll ever catch up.  More importantly, I’m rediscovering excitement and playfulness and the creativity that lives inside of me, that I thought life had killed a long time ago.  Turns out it was a banked and smoldering coal waiting to be uncovered and given oxygen and fuel to grow again.

Come catch the spark, you know you WANA!

http://www.wanatribe.com