I started blogging about 11 years ago. Way before blogging was really “a thing” I was hammering out post after post on my TypePad blog sharing scrapbook pages I had made, recipes I was cooking up and lots of pictures of my kids. It was a fun outlet I used as a young mom who sometimes felt trapped and surrounded by dirty diapers, sleepless nights and episodes of Sesame Street, to feel connected to my family and the outside world. I loved it! As the years passed and the kids have grown, blogging has changed too and become an industry. Just like my family evolved, so did this little blog of mine, it has grown much like one of my children. As it has grown it has taken on a new life. One that involves expenses and maintenance and immense amounts of time to keep it running. A few years back as social media began to take over blogland and Pinterest started to become immensely popular I saw bloggers turning their platform into a way to support their families. I started to realize that through this “business of blogging” I could actually earn money to support the behind the scene expenses that quickly pile up in this industry…creating content can get expensive! 😉 I joined ad agencies to partner with companies that would help to defray the costs of tutorials, developing new recipes, and design etc. Along with this change came a lot of pressure…pressure I was putting on myself. What was once a fun outlet became a bit more of a stressor for me as I started to feel pressure to create new content that was “Pin Worthy,” Instagram friendly and that would perform well on all different types of platforms. Something that would build an audience, as competition for the jobs in this industry became fierce and numbers are always the driving factor behind who’s deemed “successful.” It was that shift two years ago that suddenly made what had always been a creative outlet and stress reliever of sorts , became a major stressor. As much as I am not one to compare myself to others, with this shift in the way I started to approach blogging I have found myself constantly watching and worrying about why my numbers aren’t growing as fast as others, what I’m doing wrong, why I’m not able to create content that is as beautiful as everyone else’s, etc…and it all comes down to making me feel like I am failing, not able to succeed to the degree I would hope…measuring that level of success by numbers…all things that have eroded my confidence in my abilities.
Last night as I sat with Andy chatting before bed, I was given a much needed reminder about the true measure of success that I wanted to share in case any of you are struggling with similar feelings.
On Monday, Andy had the opportunity to assist with Special Olympics activities that were put on at his school. He was assigned an athlete from another local school (we’ll call him Bob) that Andy accompanied throughout the day to his different events, cheered him on and was just generally his buddy for the day. Andy told me last night that as the events came to a close on Monday, he walked Bob and his mom back to the tent where he was to meet the rest of the athletes from his school and board busses to return home. While the students were waiting to board the busses, Andy was called upon by another teacher to assist with something else and had to leave Bob with his classmates. When Andy returned from completing his other assignment, Bob had already boarded the bus and was gone. Andy had not been able to say goodbye.
Yesterday in class, Andy’s teacher informed him that Bob had been searching for him prior to boarding the bus and was a bit distraught that he didn’t get to say goodbye to Andy, and that he needed to say goodbye because he might never see Andy again. That tugged hard at Andy’s heart strings. He told me that he couldn’t shake the feeling that he needed to contact Bob. He used his lunch break to track down the contact information for the principal of Bob’s school. He sent an email to the principal explaining who he was, and that he had a message he was hoping could be relayed to Bob. He then proceeded to type an email message to Bob and pass it along to the principal. The principal immediately responded that she would contact Bob’s Special Education teacher and make sure the message made it to him. Late yesterday afternoon he received a touching message of gratitude from the Special Education teacher, letting Andy know that he had printed out the email and given it to Bob and he shared with Andy the response and excitement that had ensued when Bob received his special note. He thanked Andy for his effort to track him down and do something so thoughtful and kind.
As Andy told me this story last night we both sat on the couch and had a good cry. I thought my heart might burst. His sweet spirit was so touched by the opportunity he had to serve another. What more success can I hope for than to work with and teach my two little people to rejoice in loving and serving others. I was reminded to forget numbers and comparisons, and that “the true measure of our success becomes apparent to us when we do our best to willingly serve others.” Rex D. Pinegar.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others, and forgetting our own self-worth. We’re human, we have a tendency to find and highlight our own inadequacies, whether real or imagined. It’s funny to me that I try so hard to teach my kids to love themselves and not worry about what others think of them, but to find their worth in the fact that they are a Child of God, yet I sometimes fail to remember that myself…even at my old age. 😉 What a great reminder that as we lose ourselves in service to our fellow man, our own confidence will wax strong.
I LOVE what I do. I LOVE writing and photographing and creating. I LOVE connecting online with people from all over the world and being inspired by others creativity. I am returning to my old approach to blogging. No more stressing about content, just doing what I love. I’m not even worrying about the fact that there are no images in this post…which is a first for me! 😉 Thank you for sharing this creative space with me and for your sweet support.
Have a wonderful day!