Creating my happy life on the other side of fear.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Life lessons

Lately, we both experienced a few life lessons (Rich and I). Big or small, it doesn't matter - we both thought we wanted something, wished for it, then did (or didn't) get it - and learned the true meaning of the saying: Be careful what you wish for.
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Case(s) in point?

Here is Richard's: He had been fantasizing about retirement, on and off, for a couple of years. After stressful days at work, bad traffic, difficult clients. You all know the feeling. He grew up on a farm, had to start working at a very young age, and basically felt that he had done his share of contributing to the workforce.
Totally understandable, right?
That's where fate (or call it God, or the universe - I think they are all part of the same club) came in, saying to itself: "Let's see if that's what he really wants. Let's teach him a lesson."
So guess what? For an entire year, Richard didn't work. He is self-employed, and usually doesn't work during the winter, picking his business up again in the spring. Except, last spring - things didn't pick up. Nothing suitable came along. We are pretty busy at the farm anyway, so it wasn't like he was just sitting around, twiddling his thumbs.
We kept reassuring each other, saying that I have my job, and things can change with one phone call, and he needs the break (which he did).

But Rich realized something. It actually doesn't feel that great to be "retired". Aside from the money issue, he had lots of things going on with his health - small things, nothing life-threatening by far, but enough to be slightly worried about. Heart issues. A blood clot. Aches and pains. That sort of thing.
And he missed the challenge, the networking, the satisfaction you get from a job well done, the amazing experience of turning a piece of dirt into a beautiful garden. (He's a landscaper.)

I guess when fate/God/universe saw that he had learned his lesson, they threw him a bone. He looked at a job, and it was offered to him. On the same day, right after the job meeting, he had a doctor's appointment. His leg was aching, and he mainly wanted to reassure himself (and me) that everything was fine. Turns out, it wasn't. We ended up in the ER just a few hours later, where they diagnosed him with a huge blood clot in his leg. Again, nothing too serious, but he would be on blood thinners for three months, which meant he was not allowed to use any power tools, saws, or anything sharp.
So he phoned the client and told her about this development, prepared to turn the job down and tell her to find someone else.

But you know what? She told him she was so impressed with him, she was willing to wait. Which she did. And now Rich has been back to work for 4 weeks and feels absolutely great. He has tons of energy. Gets up at the crack of dawn. (I'm not kidding. I don't recognize this man. Is he a clone?) Uses the internet for his work. (Again, I'm not kidding. It may seem like no big deal to you, but that's because you don't know him. Richard doesn't do computers. Until recently, that is. Now, apparently, he does.)
He picked up even more work, right around the time when it usually slows down. Crazy, huh?

Life lesson 1: Full-on retirement isn't for him. He will always want something to do. Plus it means that wifey (=me) gets to buy more dresses! Win-win.

Okay, now to my lesson learned.
It is, what else, blog-related. (I did mention how I'm slightly obsessed with this myfavouritebestestmostamazinghobbyever? Ok, good.)

I started this blog on March 15 of this year. Learning the ropes, looking around and getting to know other bloggers I noticed that there was another girl who also started her blog on March 15. 'What a nice coincidence' I thought, 'we have something in common!'.
But it turned out, that was the only thing we had in common. You see, her blog grew at a breathtaking speed. She accumulated an incredible amount of followers in record time. Over 200 in, like, a month. (Sorry about the incorrect use of the word 'like'. I turned for a time into an insecure teenager, and so did apparently my language.)
That number grew to over a thousand in, oh I don't know, like 4 months? Five? (Here the 'like' is again! Last one, I promise!)
She started hosting other bloggers. Did link-ups. Giveaways. All that fancy shizz that I know nothing about.
And I was SO.JEALOUS. It's embarrassing to admit, but I was.
I kept thinking: "Why is she so much better than me? How does she do it? What am I doing wrong?" You see, I falsely assumed that her success automatically meant that I'm a failure.
Silly, silly me.

And then, 2 weeks ago, she packed it in. Quit. On indefinite leave of absence. The reason? Because she said she got caught up in the numbers too much. Her blog turned from the happy place it used to be, into a chore.
That made me incredibly sad. Because I'm sure she started out like me: being excited to open her laptop every day, writing down her thoughts, getting feedback, feeling the love. I know she did, you could read it in her words.
And then, by getting what I thought I really wanted too, all that changed. And now? She may come back to blogging, or she may not. She achieved something incredible in a very short time - that's something to be proud of for sure!
But she also lost a hobby, a creative outlet, and that is sad.

My life lesson learned? I thought I wanted to become big and famous, make money with blogging, have people stop me on the street and ask for my autograph. (Well no, that last part is made up. Really.)
But do I? I don't have a blogging schedule. And I like it that way. I wanna write about whatever the hell pops into my head. And if I have writer's block one day? No biggie, I have no obligation to anyone to post every day.
How would I deal with negative comments? Knowing me, not too well. And the bigger you get, the more people you attract, both nice and naughty.
I have read extensively (you may call it obsessively) about professional bloggers. The work it takes, the commitment, the positives and, yes they exist, the negatives.
Because I still think it's one of the coolest jobs you can have. I will always be a big fangirl!

I don't know what the future brings. I guess you grow with the challenges you get in life. But for where I am right now, I am perfectly happy and content with where I'm at. It's comfortable and manageable. And it is still my joy and pleasure, and I can't wait every day to come here!

So, once again, let me reiterate the main lesson in this quite long, wordy post:

Be careful what you wish for.
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Thanks for listening guys! You rock.

Love, Miriam
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2 comments

  1. Ok first I have to say that last comic had me laughing out loud when I am home all alone! Secondly I totally feel you on the envy of other bloggers, and I was secretly harboring this till I was Skyping one day with another blogger and realized that like you I like it right where I am with my few loyal readers and the freedom to be me!

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  2. It's hard not to get caught up in the numbers. They're right there in front of you! The only blog stats, the only way to measure your reach, the only thing that says how popular your blog is (popularity...can that tiny part of us EVER get away from wanting it?) But I'm with you - it should stay fun. Blogging for me is one of the biggest hobbies I have; not because I HAVE to, but because I WANT to. I'm a writer - I love writing, I love reading what others write, I love improving, I love knowing that I can write something that won't just sit on a page in a notebook under some junk in a desk drawer forever and ever. Someone will (probably) read it. Even if it's just one person (gotta love best friends), someone is reading what I write. If ever I start to feel the "Blobligation", I just stay away from writing posts for a few days. I read others' posts like crazy and soak up their passion, then come back with a newfound appreciation in my own passion for writing...my passion for being a blogger :D
    ~ Samantha

    PS: I would totally ask you for your autograph if I saw you on the street ;)

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