Today was a day; somewhere between reality and a dream. Or pure contentment. With nothing on my schedule, I took a leisurely bath in the sunshine. Watching the freckles appear on my ultra fair skin, I just sat and did nothing but listen to the birds, the rustling in the bushes and trees. I wandered out in the yard, feeling the warmth of the sun and the chill in the air at the same time to refill the bird feeders.
It was as if I stopped time for just a little bit. I felt as though I could hear the snow in the backyard melting. Me, my husband, my dogs… each with our own territory in the sunny garden room. No TV, no traffic, no loud neighbors. Just the muffled snores from Mugsy who camped out on the cool floor. My feet were up on the couch and I paged through a magazine with no particular destination. Simply dreamy. It was wonderful. And better yet, rejuvenating. Somehow, that bit of time, with nothing to do, nowhere to be, brought back my spirit to write. And boy, have I needed that.
I don’t do well in winter. I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which makes me want to hibernate from the last days of October, to the sunny, stark days of spring. I take everything imaginable under the direction of my extremely capable Naturopath. I have sunlight lamps and boatloads of Vitamin D supplements but nothing can trick my brain into thinking it’s not deep in the dreaded thralls of winter. So, today was a gift. A gift I gave myself with more power than any pill or mantra. A time to reflect and just be. After about 2 hours of peaceful time observing life going on outside, I felt inspired again. The warm sun beating down on my body and the cheery bird songs was just what the doctor ordered. So, here I am. Writing from the heart again.
When I was laying there, I realized I’ve come to put too much pressure on myself lately to become a well known and respected blogger. I have big dreams. Like really big. I’m almost too embarrassed to say. No, I don’t want to rule the world, but I really do want to change the world. I want to see tall trees sway in the breeze without plastic bags stuck in their branches. I want to see rare birds come to my bird feeders again and hear that animal poachers are shunned from society instead of glorified. I want to never see a plastic water bottle clogging the gutter again and hear that the Atlantic Cod population is healthy and strong. This pressure has led me to become stuck in my over-achieving mind. I stopped writing because it’s just too much. Do you know what it actually takes to become “famous” in the blogging world? With a million bazillion other writers out there, looking for their own piece of the blogging pie, it takes so much work to stand out. There is no such thing as too much marketing, too many pins on Pinterest or too many social media avenues. You have to keep up with it ALL THE TIME! And while I’m not complaining, some Wonder Woman and Superman bloggers can do it. They somehow magically have that thing in the brain that I was not blessed with. Self motivating super powers. They live on 5 hours of sleep and have busy social lives, too. I don’t know how they do it so when I try to do it all, I fail. I can’t do it. So, what happens to me when I try to do it all, I poop out. I stop everything and lose my mojo. My creative writing wanes and my spirit shrivels up. Visions of grandeur get stomped out by reading articles of the next big blogging star. And she did it in 6 months…ahhhh. My little blog that I thought had wings takes a spiraling nose dive towards a painful collision with reality.
Getting that little freeze frame in time, that snapshot of simplicity today did wonders. I got back in the game and saw my blog again getting up, shaking off the dust and testing her wings to see if she’s ready to fly. I really do want to change the world and I have (mostly 😉 ) completely pure motives for it. I want to see a world where the population of Eastern Black Rhinos and Monarch butterflies thrive again. I want to see my food scraps go back into the earth through curbside composting. And I want to see people care for the environment and the animals we live with here on this planet like it’s a blessing and not a chore. Like we should be. Life is a gift and so is the earth and everything that dwells in it. Each animal, each plant, each speck of volcanic ash and splash of glacier water has a purpose and a meaning. Some are beautiful and detailed, some are deep and enigmatic. I am a self-professed nature geek, activist for Mother Earth and I am blown away by what humans have done to this planet. It’s pretty darn sad. New rain forest plants are being discovered and humpback whales are giving birth every day, but yet we are more fascinated by scrolling through our instagram feeds.
It seems appropriate to recite the Prayer of St. Francis today. While he was a beautiful man, full of love for animals and nature, he also spoke love and peace. I think we all need to slow down and remember these beautiful words.
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.”
Maybe if we stop for a moment every once in a while and pause, reflecting on the simple words above, we might be more inclined to make positive changes in our lives and our communities. Ceasing to chase our smartphones and busy schedules for just a measly 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon might bring out the best in us.
On my path to calmness and clarity today, I decided that even though I might not make it big overnight, nothing will happen unless I continue to write. Like the muscles in my body turning soft, my writing muscle hasn’t been exercised as much as it needs to be in optimal shape. I want to love writing again. And if I gain followers in my journey to educate humanity to make much needed changes that will make a difference in the world, so be it.
So today will forever be in my mind as “the day I gave up”. The day I gave up writing for the people who don’t like what I have to say. The day I gave up worrying about what people think about me as a person. The day I gave up following the word counter at the bottom of my blog dashboard (since it’s more likely to be found if I have over 1000 words in google’s ever changing search algorithms). I also choose to give up reading the massive emails I get on a daily basis and further frustrate my non-technological brain like, How to Create Infographics That Will Bring in 2000 Readers in Just 2 Days, and How I made $50,000 in My First Month of Blogging. I choose to think back to why I started writing in the first place. I started writing to share. Share my love and passion for our planet and the animals. I write because I love expressing my feelings and baring my soul in the process. It’s hard for me to stand in a room full of people and not feel like I’m always the outsider, but I feel connected to you online. My family, my community. So today I give it all up. I let go of perfection and those nasty feelings of inferiority. I get back to finding that authentic writing voice that God implanted in me and write because I want to.
For I am a blogger.