I’ve been feeling stuck in a bit of a rut lately, so I haven’t posted in awhile. Hello there! I think this is the longest absence I’ve taken from posting on this blog since we began about a year ago. Lots of other blogs I read have recently celebrated their one- or two-year blogiversary, so we’re in good company! (I am nowhere near the prodigious amount of writing of Picky Pinchers or Our Next Life, but we all need someone to inspire us, right? Check out the stats on how many posts they’ve published in their blogging lives! It’s insane!)
My last post was almost two weeks ago, and I hated not posting anything new for that long! I thought I’d give y’all a little explanation for my brief hiatus.
You know how sometimes you just don’t have any motivation? I guess that’s where I’ve been lately. A bit of depression, a bit of ennui, a bit of discouragement…these do nothing to put me in a writing mood. They make me want to hide away and do nothing.
FRUSTRATION NUMBER ONE: KIDS ARE DIFFICULT
The first reason, I think, for my lack of effort to blog or write lately, is my kids. They have been difficult to discipline, as Junior COD is really asserting his independence these days, so there’s a ton of negotiating and arguing going on. Mini COD is getting big enough to fight back when his brother is messing with him, which makes for a lot more bickering and physical fighting between the two of them. A lot of little frustrations are involved with them, and there’s very little time for a break as a SAHM.
Then there’s the second-guessing I do because I dreamed of staying home with the boys and now I am, but it’s infinitely harder than I’d expected. It’s not like when they were babies. I enjoy all this freedom from the typical working schedule, yet I have less freedom than before because every activity depends on whether my kids cooperate. Some days my only goal is to get them outside to the park for half an hour, and I can’t even accomplish that! Feeling stuck in my own house isn’t fun.
I worry that we should have put Junior COD in preschool this past year so he’d be getting more social interaction and education. I assumed that as an intelligent person and former teacher, I’d be perfectly capable of teaching my kids everything they’d be doing in formal school. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. I feel like a failure in this area because my kids watch so much TV and don’t spend enough time reading and drawing and practicing their alphabet. I feel like a bad mom because I get so angry and frustrated with the boys every day.
FRUSTRATION NUMBER TWO: WAITING
You all know we’re looking for a new job (I say “we”, but I mean Mr. COD). It’s nice to know we’re not desperate for a new job, that it’s a lifestyle choice for us, but it’s hard waiting. I’m feeling stuck because we may move soon, or we may not. We don’t know where we’ll live in six months or whether Mr. COD will receive a job offer from any of the colleges he’s applying to. Planning is difficult to do at this point. It’s very much a hurry-up-and-wait situation.
We have basically done all we can so far, and until he gets a job offer and accepts it, we can’t make any plans for next year. We browse and dream about houses and towns we’re considering, we look up preschool information, we ask people for rental advice, but any plans we make are purely hypothetical and may not happen.
I don’t know about you, but waiting is not my forte. I don’t think it’s anyone’s strong suit, so at least we’re not alone. And again, I know these are pretty much first-world problems. We’re comfortable where we are, we can pay our bills and we have family to turn to in emergency. Our lives are easier than is the case for most of the world. Still, rather than waiting, I’d usually rather know what’s going to happen!
FRUSTRATION NUMBER THREE: SLOW FREELANCE BIZ
I’m feeling stuck because I want to build a freelance career, but when I have no motivation to write or research jobs, that career isn’t going anywhere. All day, I keep thinking about working on my writing, but when the kids finally go to bed, I suddenly want to be a blob on the couch and binge-watch Parenthood. (Yeah, I know it ended years ago, but I’m catching up now. The plot is not doing much to lift my spirits; it’s pretty depressing.)
Seeing what other freelancers are doing and hearing about their successes sometimes freezes me. I think, “they’re doing better than I am” and “why even bother?”. I am supposed to do a guest post for a blogger I really respect, but I froze up as I thought of how much larger his readership is than mine. It is intimidating. Getting over the fear of failure and the paralysis of comparison isn’t easy.
This issue is largely one of mind over matter. My January 500-words-a-day habit was great for preventing/fixing this problem; I always wrote that much, no matter how I felt. I almost always enjoyed it once I began; I simply needed that push to get started. Going back to that daily writing goal will help get me out of my writing funk.
POSITIVE RESULT OF FEELING STUCK: CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
One positive outcome of a period of depression or a lack of direction, for me, is that it drives me to seek God more. I know that’s not for everyone, but I’ve absolutely been blessed by a renewed determination to know God. Reading the Bible more faithfully reminds me of truths that I may have forgotten or neglected. Listening to amazing speakers on podcasts has encouraged and inspired me. The conference I attended a few weeks ago revived my faith as well. Returning to the anchors that have always strengthened me is a key step in getting unstuck.
COMMITMENT TO BLOGGING
While this blog is alive, I won’t let more than one week go by without posting again; that’s my vow to you all today. Thanks for stopping by, and I’d love to hear what you’re working on these days!
So, friends, can anyone relate to this stuck feeling? How do you combat fears and external circumstances that hold you back?