Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Why I Blog

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

I've also decided to re-post and not backdate the post date so that it shows up today as it still mostly rings true.  The reasons I've given up and changed sites and then tried again is because at the heart of it all, I really enjoy writing.  Writing is one of those things that has really helped when the going has gotten tough in the past, it's always been like free therapy!

Anyway, I clearly need a bit more therapy at the minute hence being back here....

Original post date: 21 March 2014

I re-branded and relaunched my blog back in January under a new name, new strapline, new hosting service, but it's still the same old me behind the writing.
Since then I've thrown myself heavily into making connections and trying to read as many parenting blogs as I can and one thing has totally overwhelmed me and that's the competition!
It's really daunting. As someone who for some reason has always fancied a shot at gaining online notoriety and recognition for my writing, blogging, tweeting, Instagramming and just generally being a nice person (in the virtual world!) it's come as a bit of a blow when I realise what an uphill struggle it is.  I'm sure that sounds really lame and like I can't be arsed.  The simple fact is, I don't think I'm cut out for the blogging world!  At least, not the blogging world of today.
When I started blogging I was about 17 or 18.  I definitely remember blogging sporadically whilst I was at uni, and I also used to blog a lot in the secret world of IAM (part of BMEzine - probably NSFW btw...!) which going back through the posts over there, I did a lot during 2006, 2007 and 2008 (when Scarlett was a baby!).  I should copy some of the posts over maybe for Archive Day at some point, some of them are quite interesting reading; my random little rambles about life at uni and then having Scarlett.
Ultimately though, my blogging style hasn't changed.  I've always used it as an online diary, I've always found it very cathartic (my recent blog posts especially are testament to that!).  They've always been personal posts, they're always from the heart.  But I'm beginning to wonder whether that's what people actually want to read about....
I get disheartened when people don't comment on my posts, or I feel like no ones reading, or I don't get a tweet from someone saying "nice post".  I worry I don't blog enough, that my posts are too long, that there's not enough pictures, that I don't run competitions, that I don't do reviews or sponsored posts.
Should it matter?!  When I get to the heart of it and I really dig down into WHY I blog, it is just about my life.  I'm sure people find my blog boring, they probably think I swear too much or my posts are too long and really don't have much to say for themselves.  But when I do blog, I enjoy it, and I guess that's why I get so disheartened and feel like giving up.
When I blog, it means something, I have something to say, something to get out - I don't blog for the sake of it! There are plenty who do, and well done to them.  What I wouldn't give to do reviews and sponsored posts and make money from my blog.  I don't have time for that though.  As much as I love writing, I have a bloody difficult 13 week old to look after, as well as a 6 year old, as well as a husband who I feel guilty about if I don't sit on the sofa with of an evening!!
I guess what I'm trying to get out is that I need to stop worrying so much about how much of a following I have, or whether anyone reads my blog, I should just enjoy it for what it is, stop worrying about the competition, and get back to loving it again.  Time will tell whether I increase my following, start doing reviews and sponsored posts, or whether I just stick to it being my inane ramblings.

Stroke of Midnight

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

Original post date: 02 January 2016
As 2015 finally fucked off and we welcome 2016 in style (sat on the sofa, watching the fireworks on the telly) Andy turned to me and said 2016 was about two things:
  • Buying a House
  • Losing Weight
And he's pretty much spot on.  2016 is definitely about those things, that's the macro view any way.
Post Script: I've deliberately re-posted this one here as I want to follow up on it....

On Reflection: 2015

This post was originally published on my self-hosted WordPress site.  For a whole host of reasons, that didn't work out so, ta-dah!  Back here.

Original post date: 01 January 2016

It's been a while (again).  Life just gets in the way.
When I think back over this past year, I sometimes consider it a triumph I've actually made it to December in one piece.
There's things I've never really spoken about.  Sad things, between Andy and I, that all started unravelling around this time last year.  If I'm not careful, I can feel the patterns which were ultimately our undoing starting to creep back in.  They mostly relate to my own bad attitude and behaviour.
I used to think it was because I was ill.  I certainly had enough people telling me I was like it because I was ill but actually, I think I'm just made this way.  And it's how I temper and smooth my own volatile personality that has a bearing on whether my friends and family stick near me.  I think most know that I can be like this, but underneath it all, I'm not that bad really.  I think this time last year however, my behaviour was driving a wedge between us.
Looking back at the first three months of the year is interesting.
January brought my return to work, and with it a whole new routine (more on that another time).
February saw me spend some time away from the family home.  We felt it was for the best.  We told Scarlett I was working on a project for work that required me to stay on campus.  In reality it was a small flat in Molesey.  It was a nice flat but it felt spectacularly odd.  I've never lived alone.  I hope never to again.
March was time for an Intensive Anger Management course.  I will work on my anger for the rest of my life.  May surprise some that I count myself as an angry person (and probably no surprise at all to others!)  I moved back home to my husband and children at the end of March.
And from thereon, life has been a bit hectic to say the least.
In May we moved, again - and the fact that a lot of our Christmas cards came via my parents' address means I obviously didn't even tell people we'd moved!  We still have a pile of boxes on top of the tumble dryer that have never been unpacked.  Makes you wonder whether we should take them to the tip - we've obviously not missed their contents in the last 7 months!
May also brought my 30th birthday.  In typical anxiety driven fashion, I dithered over what to do.  Did I want to go out and get wasted (yes).  Did I want to celebrate with my kids (yes).  Was I worried about what everyone else wanted to do (always).  In the end I booked a table in the local pub.  And then cancelled it.  And in the end my nearest and dearest came here for my mum's chili and a few drinks.  It wasn't the 30th I had dreamt of (the party to end all parties in Great Gatsby fashion with Beatles For Sale providing the entertainment - there's always my 40th....)(Fuck, 40, cannot imagine being 40 in less than 10 years now, really?!)(No offence to my friends in their 40's....!)
June and July, more of the same, work, work, boring work.  I think it was around this time I decided something really had to give and I couldn't keep working in the same place for much longer for a variety of reasons.  That said, my two office colleagues helped pass the days easier!
August brought me an opportunity I couldn't let pass me by.  So despite having had my confidence knocked at an internal interview (with the School of Nursing, yes, that's right, I will name and shame - worst interview of my life, 5 days after gallbladder surgery, couldn't that have given me a few bonus points?!) I decided to apply.  Thanks to some great pointers on CV's and covering letters I whacked my application in with 15 minutes to spare and waited.  Then came an email, "Please come for an interview on 26th August."  Yippeee!!  Except we were due to have our flying visit to Amsterdam, returning late that evening!  Thankfully they saw me on the 27th and it went really well.  So well in fact they called me about 2 hours after my interview to offer me the job!  Finally, on to brighter, better things!
In August we also explored territories new and booked an all-inclusive package holiday to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt.  We literally had no idea what to expect and despite coming down with the dreaded Pharoah's Revenge literally hours after stepping off the plane, we managed to recover and once we booked Woody into the nursery for the week (sorry Woods!) I think we had a good time.  I think Andy and the kids were bored of the food but I quite enjoyed my daily beef and rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!  That said it was quite stressful with Woody and we've vowed not to fly with him for a couple of years and to holiday closer to home....
September was a nothing month, filled with handing in my notice and then enduring 5 weeks of a notice period rather than 4 as they were too stinge to give me a couple of extra days off (apparently I already owed them two days and I'd blown my chances because I'd been on reduced time due to stress earlier in the summer which the management obviously weren't happy about, RUDE!)
I did start volunteering with the Guides again in September, and whilst that has brought some challenges (e.g. getting across that I can't be there every week and I'm not sure I can take on the Unit Leadership...) I have enjoyed it.  They're a lovely group of girls and I'm looking forward to new adventures with them this year.
October I finally started my new job and I couldn't be happier.  I cannot tell you the difference it makes to have a job you really enjoy.  Of course there are a couple of niggles; I don't get a lot done some days as I end up picking up random pieces of work from various other members of the team but I'm enjoying most aspects of the job.  I have a new manager starting next week so I'm looking forward to meeting her (unfortunately, my lovely current manager is leaving for Jersey).
And since then it's all been a bit of a whirlwind of working different hours, running around with the children in the morning and being shattered when I get home, but I think it'll be worth it in the end.
And onwards to 2016! Happy New Year!