May 15, 2015

Eleventh Blogiversary (And Then Some)

Today is a very....well, it's a confluence of anniversaries. And when anniversaries collide, they spark reflection and rumination over a variety of issues.

The first is that eleven years ago, I began blogging. As many of you will note, this blog hasn't been as active in the past few years, but has seen a nice uptick in activity. Combined with a burgeoning writing career (as well as a healthy increase in paid freelance work/consulting), this has meant a regular commitment to time management, as well as monitoring my workload.
On the other hand, two years ago today I had to take Dax to the vet for a final visit. Ironically, next month would be the 20th anniversary of my adopting Dax. So there's a bit of grief work that I am continuing to do - I'm in a better space about it, but it's still a bit challenging.

But it's that work that's led me to the greatest insight about my current life - I actually have a life.

Thanks to Dax's passing - and a friend's suicide - I began reevaluating my life. Taking inventory of my activities, I realized that I needed to let go of activities that were burdens rather than blessings. I also needed to focus on what I valued....and even this very blog came under the potential chopping block.

(Yes, that's a really bad metaphor, isn't it?)

But what happened when I began looking at my time and establishing priorities, I realized that I had much more time to...procrastinate. Do nothing, if I so wished. But rather than fill my time with job seeking and networking, I actually began working. It meant a shift in how I perceived paid work, and accepting that paid freelance work might be more amenable than getting a traditional full time job. (So much so that I'll be formalizing my new marketing consultancy in the next month). It meant that I could actually socialize much more than I have, approaching my St. Louis-era levels of activity.

Or if I so chose, spend my time doing nothing and getting some rest. Socializing with others. Even (gasp) dating. And those activities have improved my psychological health immensely.
So much so that I have a much healthier approach to time management: focusing on a few smaller projects rather than big ones. Committing myself to cutting down and/or leaving volunteer commitments. It means not ranting or reacting when people act....well, goofy, and realizing that there's room enough for everyone in this big old world. It means separating what I need to do from what I have to do. In short, I've concluded that if I don't stop to smell the roses, they might end up on me.

(Yes, that is a quote from one of my favorite albums).

But when it comes to the's still going to be here, and I will still post when I can. But with a thriving writing career (portfolio available via my personal site, as well as stories to be published, I may not get to this blog as frequently as I would like....but I will be spending my time doing other things.

Like living a life. Seeing friends. Perhaps, if things go well, adopting another cat in a month or two....

Because life goes on outside of blogging. And for the first time in awhile, I feel like it isn't passing me by.

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