Focusing where the flow is

flow

I’ve been having a hard time blogging lately. Like, a really hard time. A pulling teeth hard time. Intermittently, it puts me into a panic. Should I be working harder on posts? Spending more time finding cool things to tell you about? Hiring someone to help? Historically, blogging has always been such a priority for me, and typically, it’s come pretty easily. I’ve had slumps before, but this one has felt long and heavy.

I could tell you it’s been hard to find inspiration, which is true, but it doesn’t mean I have been uninspired. The truth is, I’ve been feeling very creative lately. I’ve had several web design projects that have challenged and pushed me to my creative limits, and while exhausting, it’s also been invigorating — I look forward to hitting my desk every morning to work on them.

I could tell you it’s been hard to find the time and energy, and, well, that part certainly is true. In addition to said projects, I have some big, all-consuming, turn-your-life-upside-down things happening over here behind the screen. I’ll share more with you soon (prepare yourself for quite the story time), but let’s just say they involve a moving truck. Recently, it’s felt as if my work is the thing that’s kept me sane, some buoy I can hold onto and anchor me amidst all the other chaos swirling around the rest of my life.

Yeah, when I take a step back, it’s pretty obvious why it’s been hard to blog.

The funny thing I have realized is that when I ignore the guilt and frustration I have around not being able to manage and fix this one tiny part of my life — writing a blog — things fall into place pretty seamlessly. I hit a stride, a flow. When I worry about it too much, it completely derails my day. I can’t tell you how many mornings I have recently spent trying to write a post, only to come up with nothing, feel bad about it, then spend the afternoon working on projects that are both higher priority and more satisfying creatively — though with a slightly panicked pace, because I’ve just wasted hours trying to blog. Worrying about this one thing also seems to be what tips my anxiety over the edge. It’s like I can just barely manage all the other stress, but this blogging conundrum tips the scales and makes everything feel unmanageable, collectively.

All this to say: I’m not quitting blogging. But I am learning that sometimes, when you find your groove, your current, you just have to hop in and float with it. Fighting the current will only exhaust you.

At this exact moment in time, blogging isn’t part of the flow. When I don’t fight the fact that I’ve felt uninspired in this particular space, the clouds part, the guilt lifts, the inspiration arrives, and most importantly, I feel more balanced and like I can get on with my day (and without that painful, worried knot in my stomach). Perhaps in this instance, focusing on the flow is a stop gap, albeit a highly effective and necessary one. I think sometimes in life, deep down we know perfectly well what’s good for us and what makes us feel good. But we ignore it, because we’re stubborn, or feel like a failure if we let go, or just want to feel like we can do it all. I am here to tell you (and myself) to focus where your flow is. If in life something just isn’t working for you at the moment, focus your energy elsewhere — the place that makes you feel productive, inspired, and like you’re home. Energy, like a current, can easily shift, so it’s not as if you can’t or won’t be back again. In the interim, don’t force the pieces that don’t fit. For me, I have faith that the pieces will eventually all come back together again, and I’ll have a new perspective to share when they do.

Do you have anything in your life that you’ve previously tried to force or had a hard time letting go of, only to feel a whole hell of a lot better once you did? What’s a current you’ve been trying to swim against…or swim with?

 

In this post:

Image via: Better Than Stock, by Business Betties, text graphics added by Victoria McGinley

"All we wanna know is where the stars came from, but do we ever stop to watch them shine?" - Jon Bellion

The Word

you are not your mistakes

And should you need further encouragement, I especially like this essay on choosing grace over being hard on yourself. Wishing you a positive start to the week!

 

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Week/End

weekend

Can we all just pretend that the weather is more like a sunny, sandy beach in the tropics, less like the “real feel” of -26° that it is? You think the morning temperature of 3º sounds bad and then you actually step outside and realize it’s worse than you could’ve imagined. I know, I am officially one of those New Yorkers who is complaining about the weather. But come stand outside with me here and you’ll get what I mean! This week has been packed with studio projects, so links are a bit light this week, but here are my picks worth perusing:

POOR INTERVIEWING SKILLS: If you’re going in for a job interview, maybe be nice to everyone you come across, unlike this guy. Somehow, here in the States, I don’t think this would’ve ended in a laugh!

ON AGE: A wonderful little essay on age, and owning yours.

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR WEBSITE: Loved this post Lisa wrote on understanding when it’s time to redesign, and when you’re just nitpicking.

10 THINGS YOU’LL NEVER LEARN IN SCHOOL: And how you can learn them anyway, on your own.

QUIT WHILE YOU’RE AHEAD: And in this week’s pop culture news, E.L. James wants Universal to let her write the next Fifty Shades movie. This should end well.

MALLS ARE DEAD: How one well-known online retailer is testing the theory that malls are dead…but hoping they can offer something that’ll make you shop in one anyway.

AND IN RELATED RETAIL NEWS: There are a couple major sales happening and two “new releases” from brands I love that I thought I’d share with you. First, Barney’s Warehouse clearance sale is nearly over — this is the sale I keep a close watch on every year if I’m looking to invest in a designer bag or pair of shoes, because the clearance, marked down prices are usually another 40-50% off (like Phillip Lim pumps that go from $495 to $120. Seriously). Anthropologie is also offering an extra 25% off sale items this weekend, and they’re one of my favorite resources for home goods, and shoe ogling. Everlane (my always fave) just released some new items as part of their luxe sweater collection, including these beautiful sleeveless sweaters that hit a little lower on the hip (love that). And, High Street Market, one of my favorite resources for vintage and vintage-inspired home goods, just released a new collection of baskets in all types of shapes and sizes, perfect for the coming warmer months (at least, we hope they’re coming soon…right, weather gods?).

Here’s to bundling up and staying warm this weekend. Hope you have a good one!

 

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Image via Death to the Stock Photo