I made a little resolution before the new year to blog my quilt finishes again like I used to. I hoped that a pretty good rate was about once a week. And then I got Covid, and any plans threw themselves out the window. I actually found this pretty hilarious, because I'm not good at sticking to routines like this at the best of times, but at least I usually get to try for a few before something comes along to distract me.
I really like to write when I sit down to do it. The whole world melts away while I form and reform sentences in my head. Things that I didn't know or understand bubble to the surface. But there's been a few reasons I haven't done it much at all over the past couple of years. One reason is the obvious and the same for many. Instagram makes it very easy to share content and write in a few sentences. I lost some of the drive for longer form expression when I took up Instagramming a several years ago.
Another is my website. I've been running two websites, one for my shop, and one for my blog, for years, and wanting to combine the two. I tried it for a little while on the platform that was better for blogging and sharing free patterns, but the shop side of things slowed us down terribly. There's only tricky, techy solutions for bringing my blog over to my shop website, so I've been stuck, waiting for some impossible solution to reveal itself, and while I do, I've only been blogging sporadically because the indecision and imperfection keeps me from diving in wholeheartedly.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to make a blogging schedule and stick to it, when in reality, I'll have days when I have 50 things to say and months with nothing. My dream (or my assumption that it would be better) is to be the kind of person that blogs every week on Fridays, and then everyone would know and come and see what I write on Fridays. And I could rest in the knowledge that I'm doing the exact right amount of blogging that I want to and I could stop wondering whether I need to be doing more.
It's all mush in my head the reasons why I write. Usually when I write like this, it's for me. For expression, for clarity. But competing with that is what I think people want to read about, or what will be important or beneficial for my business. Since my business has grown over the past couple of years, I've written less and less, because I was cautious of being too personal.
I first started blogging after I had my second baby. After I had my first baby, I was still studying at university, meeting interesting people and having interesting discussions. I could take him places in the pram or carrier and he could sleep or be held my adoring friends. I had my second after I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and no work prospects. Instead of a single, easy, portable child, I had a tornado toddler and a baby who would spend the day crying after we'd been out anywhere. I made mum friends whom I loved, but our conversations were about naps and nappies. I was so lost. I had felt like such a 'natural' after my son was born. But it was like real motherhood, and a real loss of self, only began after having two. And so I started quilting, I started reading blogs, I started writing to recreate myself, or maybe more accurately, to relearn myself. My new self. I thought, "I'm going to write a blog about how good my life is so I can sell it to myself."
Now my babies are 14, 12, and 8. My longings to become a professional in the quilting world are fulfilled, and my anxieties about not doing something more 'important' or impactful with my life have been stilled (only through the natural waning of idealism). And so I naturally just have less to say, less to figure out, less with which to grapple. And that's a good thing. I like being here rather than back there. I guess that leads to a new question. What does a 42 year old who is no longer full of thrashing and longing have to say to herself, or to the world?
I don't know the answer to that, but just the thought of having a question excites me a little. It reminds me that there's more to explore, to reach for. I have known for a while that without a goal I feel mute and depressed. But I also fall into the trap of making goals that only serve to set me up for failure. Goals like 'blogging on Fridays," which is really just box ticking, rather than something big and good to work towards. A direction. Like "I want to open up the next part of my life and see what's there waiting for me." Maybe I could blog about that?
Last night, while I was beginning to mull all this over, I decided to just bite the bullet and start a new blog on my shop website. Imperfection and indecision be damned! So here's where you find yourself now. If you'd like to read my old posts, you can find them here. I hope one day soon, Techy Tim will be able to work his magic and bring them over here.
Have any nebulous and grace-filled goals for yourself this year?