I’m finally back! So what happened in the month that I was away?
Often times, the best way to tackle a problem is to step away from it for a little while. While I wouldn’t go so far as to think of my blog as a ‘problem’, the amount of time and commitment that I was giving to it certainly was. I was plugging away and seldom happy with my work. I was trying to appeal to my audience, and still not really sure that I was hitting the mark each time. While I know that my presence has been missed (a huge love to Mr. A!), stepping away, I felt, was the right thing for me to do. It allowed me to rethink, to recalibrate, and to come back anew.
So, what happened in the time that I was gone? Here’s a summary.
1. I Got Involved In A Little Mission
Unfortunately, until this case is settled, I can’t really disclose too much to you about what has been going on. What I can tell you is that it involves criminal activity and it involves working with the local authorities to bring that criminal activity to an end. The long and short of it is that I didn’t proactively want to get involved. However, I had an official visit about some unrelated matters and I sort of got roped in. My identity in the matter is being kept a secret, and so for my own safety, I’m also not disclosing too much about what has been going on, especially not on the world wide web where anyone can read! I am safe, those closest to me know about everything going on and nothing will be submitted to the court on my behalf that I haven’t read or approved of, so at least I do maintain full control there. That’s all I can say for now, but I will drop concealed updates in as time goes on, so be on the look-out for those!
2. I Broke Up (And Got Back Together) With Will
As anyone who is (or has been) in a relationship can attest, relationships are never plain sailing. It’s all glorious and starry skies for a while, and suddenly… BAM! You fight. For us, it seemed to be almost a daily thing for about a week, to the point that I began to wonder whether we would ever not fight again. In some sense, Will and I really are very similar people; we’re sensitive, we’re stubborn and we’re strong. For one to be right, the other must be wrong, and that was the problem that we were having. Miscommunications happened, feelings got hurt, not talking would happen for a while, and then we we would try again. What I soon realised is that having a long-distance relationship is not like having a physical one; at home, I know exactly what my husband is up to at almost any given moment, but with Will it’s completely different. Will and I are learning to communicate better, we are learning to be patient with one another and we are learning to forgive, accept and move on. Whatever this is and however it will look, slow and steady is the key.
3. I Didn’t Sort All Of My SEOs Or Dead Links (And That’s Okay)
“30 SEOs and 50 dead links per day”, that was my mantra at the beginning of my hiatus. My dear readers, do you have any idea how much time I was spending sat at my desk working, even if I wasn’t actively blogging? All day and for several days, plugging away trying to make my blog as successful as it could be. The better SEO it had, I realised, the more successful it could be. That’s fine, but what about me? What about my health? Well yes, but that brings me to…
4. I Amped Up My Self Care
As well a realising that maybe I can’t make my blog perfect in just four weeks off, I also realised that I’d spent a whole lot of time on my blog, and not much time at all on me. In truth, all through lockdown, I got into the habit of ‘hair back and crack on’, which sounds great in one way but was absolutely hopeless in another, because it hopeless for me. So, what was a girl to do? Well, simply put, she had to mske a change!
So I did.
At 8PM now, I sit down and I clock off and do something just for me. No more blogging, no more writing and certainly no more housework. I can shower if I want to, then it’s feet up and time for me. I’ve also been combing my hair and getting out all of he dead hair that I had left up there in lockdown. Yes, it hurts, and yes, it’s been a bit embarrassing. We’ll call it a valuable lesson.
5. I Rewrote Several Pages
My home page, my ‘About The Author’ page, my schedule… have you noticed some changes around here? You aren’t imagining things. I realised that my most frequented page was my home page (that makes sense!), and of that, my home page wasn’t transpiring into further reads. The best thing to do about that? Rewrite the damn thing! Since doing so, I’ve seen my clicks-per-visitor more than treble.
6. My Seasonal Depression Acted Up
If you know it, then I am one of the many people who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, the sort of big, mean brother of those annual “winter blues”. While few people like grey skies, for me, they usually come with high anxiety, gastric upset, tension headaches and cloudy thinking. My first sign that something was wrong was when I had a thought of suicide, then I started obsessing about it, and then…
I am getting better, but it has been very, very slowly. The light box is back out and the Vitamin D supplements are a part of my every day life once again. Roll on spring…
7. I Met (And I’m In Love With) Woebot
If you’ve been around here a while, then you’ll know that I’m a huge lover of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I used to struggle with very bad OCD, but thanks to CBT, I was able to break free from my catastrophic thoughts. However, the problem with therapy sessions is that they’re usually quite expensive, or the waiting list is long. Although virtual therapy sessions exist through services like BetterHelp, again, they’re often not affordable for everyone.
Thanks to some of the wonderfully kind clinicians and developers out there, AI apps like Woebot exist to allow you to interact with a friendly ‘therapist’ whenever you want to, to learn about some of the CBT techniques used, to work through some of your problems, to track your mood (and your triggers) and to access crisis support should you ever need it, all completely for free. Woebot has already taught me that our moods are like the weather, and that not every day is going to be a sunny day. Thanks, Woebot! That now sticks with me on the really dark ‘stormy’ days.
8. I Got Inspired
Did I ever tell you how much my readers inspire me every day? Well, you do! Many of the people that I follow, also follow me, and one of my most valued readers and commenters is none other than PoojaG. Pooja fills her blog with all kinds of wonderful things, from vegan recipes, beauty tips and tricks, Instagram reels and more. However, it it was her post, How To Manage Your Blog While Having A Busy Life, that really got my attention. A busy life, you say? Yeah, that sounds an awful lot like me.
Pooja herself is studying at University while simultaneously running her blog, and as for me, I’m a housewife, a dog mum, a wife and partner, a daughter, a sister, right now something of a spy, also right now something of a personal assistant, a blogger, and something of an events organiser with Matt’s birthday in five days. Yes, right now, I too could be considered something of a busy lady. Sadly, blogging three times a week just wasn’t working out for me, so how could I make it change?
Reading through Pooja’s post, I realised that many of her tips were ideas that I was already using and in that regard, I felt a little bit downtrodden. I had a schedule, but even that schedule wasn’t working for me, so what could I do differently?
That was when Pooja inspired me.
From now on and on Saturdays, I’m going to be sharing a ‘Post Of The Week’ with you all. I will choose one post each week from my Reader that I particularly enjoyed, and share my chosen blogger’s creativity with my audience. Particularly on Saturday’s, time isn’t really my friend as it’s usually a day of housework for me, followed by some time with my father-in-law and then an evening with Will. Like this, I will know that you will have something new and exciting to read, that won’t take me long to share and will allow me to keep spreading that blogger love. Do you want to appear on my blog? Be sure to follow me! I read from my readers often and I follow my followers who resonate with me in some way. You just never know when it might be your turn!
9. I Embraced Hygge
Ah yes, the Danish practice of Hygge, that time of the year when you embrace fall and winter and accept the colder, longer nights that come with. Once I’d stopped pining for the sun, I was able to embrace some warm, gentle lighting and I was able to find comfort in candles, warmer clothing, heat pads and fleece blankets. Instead of trying to fight winter now, I’ve tried to change my relationship with it, to hunker down and find the positives within it. With the lights low, a fleece blanket, the electric fire on and it’s (admittedly fake) flames flickering away? Maybe I could just about learn to love winter, after all.
10. I Bought An Essential Oil Diffuser
Yes, I know, it’s hardly the revelation of the century, but then I hope that at least the simplicity of my actions will leave you smiling. It’s been a bit of an eventful four weeks, why not have a small positive to round up the summary?
From orange and jasmine to boost my mood and peppermint to help relieve a tension headache, over the past few days, aromatherapy has been a new found love of mine. I’ve always had strong olfactory senses anyway and I’ve long loved incense cones (I burn a ‘spice mix’ incense cone for… ahem.. nefarious activities), but I needed something lighter for during the day. Initially, I just wanted something to help relieve my symptoms of SAD, but now my new aromatherapy diffuser has become the way to fragrance the whole room, depending on the occasion or our mood. Despite my love for the plant, I’ve already learned that I can’t put jasmine essential oil in my diffuser without another fragrance as the smell of it was so sweet that it made me nauseous. Oh well, the more you know…
That’s it from me for this week, my lovelies! What’s been new with you?
Until next time,
Stay safe and have fun,