Friday, January 17, 2020

Thoughts on moving forward...

So after the drama I caused last week ;-) I've been doing a lot of thinking and discerning about continuing to blog. I received some lovely feedback both in the comments on that post, and over in the Facebook group. To sum it up, people do still read my blog :-0 and enjoy it, though they understand that it takes time and effort, and sometimes you just don't have those things to give anymore. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that you all still enjoy the eclectic mix of topics that I write about, and I don't need to worry about that the way that I was.

My thoughts after weighing all of this is that the effort really isn't a problem - I still enjoy blogging. And time? Oftentimes, it is not an issue, but occasionally it is. The topic thing, well, this has always been a "life blog" wherein I write about whatever is on my heart that particular week, so we have family stuff, job issues, faith things, random funny happenings, and musings related to my hobbies (dance, fitness, crafting, reading). I still like writing about all of these things, and it seems you still enjoy reading about them and what each new week may bring.

So, in essence, I've decided to keep blogging.


It feels good to have made a decision about that, because it's been weighing on me for awhile. But with all things, I think it's good to refresh and recharge sometimes, and this is one of those times.


So this is the plan. At some point in the next year, I'll likely give the blog a fresh new look in terms of template and color scheme. I don't do that very often, and I'll wait to feel inspired. But I can tell that it's coming. In terms of timing of posts, I have been posting once per week, and I anticipate that continuing. There may be weeks where it doesn't happen due to my schedule or something unexpected coming up, and if that happens, I'm giving myself permission not to fret about it. I will post when I can, and I'm always very regular about that, so there's no need to pressure myself. It's more important to be able to sit down and enjoy the post, and write about what is making me inspired that week. I feel like that will give me a new sense of life with the blog.

I go in phases with themes in terms of what I write about, often related to the season, and I anticpate that also continuing to be the case. Right now, with it being wintry, I'm writing a lot about crafts. In fact, the piece I wrote for Catholic Mom this month about crocheting blankets in January has been my most commented on post over there! With Lent approaching, I'm sure spiritual reading, devotionals and liturgical good times are coming our way very soon.

What I'm feeling overall though, is that I'd like this blog to have a distinct wellness focus. Fitness is definitely something I've gotten more into this year, and I know I'll be writing about that coming up. But wellness encompasses emotional and spiritual well-being too, so I think it's a perfect fit for my little enterprise over here at Life of a Catholic Librarian. :)

Sooooo...that's pretty much it! Nothing is really changing, except I feel all rejuvenated, ha ha! I'm looking forward to giving the blog a slightly new look and exploring a fresh way of presenting my content. It's all good! So, you're stuck with me! :-0

I'm feeling a physical wellness post coming on (new fitness classes, accidental giant water bottles, and chalky protein shakes, can't wait!) so you can excitedly anticipate that late next week. ;-)

*beams*

What's on tap for you this weekend?

Friday, January 10, 2020

Is it time for a change?

So, I've been going through some stuff. Nothing serious, but I've been under some stress since this past fall. Mostly, it's related to my kids, and the anxiety I've been experiencing from the changes in their lives as they both get older. Having my son start high school has been the greatest crisis in my life as a parent since dealing with epic sleep deprivation, postpartum depression, and temper tantrums from the infant and toddler years. I'm prone to anxiety by nature, and this ramped it up to a degree that for the first time, I've sought out a licensed therapist to help me to cope with it all better. That's a good thing, and it's helping, and I'm grateful for that. Overall though, I've noticed something about myself: my sense of self is much more defined than it's ever been, and my perspectives have shifted a bit. That comes from age and experience, I suppose. But I'm much more aware now of the things and people in my life that I treasure, and simultaneously I'm also much more aware of my own mortality. My birthday is coming up next moth, and well, YOU KNOW. I'm pretty sure this is the very definition of a midlife crisis. :-0

I have this increased sense of carpe diem, like now is the time to really savor my relationships and experiences, and really challenge myself within the hobbies and avocations that I enjoy. That's all good stuff, what I worry about is this deeper sense within me of: "But what is it all for? What is the ultimate purpose of pursuing this?"

Now granted, some of those are easy. Spirituality-wise, I know what the goal is, and am always working on that. Check. Relationships are the same. We want loving, happy, healthy relationships for obvious reasons. But other stuff is tougher. Dancing is my greatest creative endeavor, and I'm definitely going through a Midlife Dance Crisis. ;-) What do I want from dance, ultimately? Am I achieving that? Honestly, I don't know.

The other thing is this blog. I've been writing here, and sharing with you, for a long time, over 10 years now. And...why am I doing it? I was struck recently that blogging isn't exactly the "in thing" anymore. I've always written because I enjoy it (same goes for dancing, truly), and that's reason enough, to be sure. But midlife crises involve DEEP PURPOSES, know what I'm sayin'? Some weeks it's a challenge to come up with an idea for a post. And our community is small (but mighty!) so I do wonder to myself if it's time to try something new. Is blogging really the best way to achieve my goal to write for enjoyment anymore?

Another reason that I started this blog was to share my faith. I still enjoy doing that quite a bit. I write for Catholic Mom on a monthly basis, and I have to admit that I love writing those pieces because it's only every 30 days. Each one feels like a fresh new opportunity to share something interesting about my faith life because it's been a whole month since I last penned one. I write multiple Gospel Reflections for them each year too, and adore working on those, because they really challenge me to dig into the scriptures and discern how they apply in my own life. I also love the Facebook group related to this blog that I manage. Our weekly prayer threads, posts on interesting Catholic gifts or stories, the novenas, LOVE that stuff. Because it's low key and spontaneous, and also because there's a fuller sense of community there. I also truly enjoyed writing my book in the scripture study series put together by my friend Allison, because I had the opportunity to collaborate with a duet of lovely women and really extend myself creatively in the process. So I share my faith in these other ways, and wish to continue doing so.

So what does this all mean in terms of this blog? I don't know, lol! I would love to hear from YOU. Do you still find it meaningful to follow this blog and read my posts on a regular basis? I write about an eclectic mix of topics: religious faith; crafts; family; fitness; belly dancing; books and podcasts; random weird stuff that happens to me. I mean...:-0 What do you think?!

I don't really have any notion of alternatives. Perhaps a change of style, in which this were a website with a blog feature that I update when inspired? A website that is curated with ways to easily navigate into posts on the varied topics that I tend to write about?

I'm all ears. But I do feel like this blog needs some TLC. I think I've been going through the motions with it for quite some time because I'm very commitment oriented, and I'm also quite averse to change. This blog has always treated me well, and I'd hate to give it up. It's definitely one of my babies, and I love the people I've met through it (you!). But it doesn't feel right to keep doing something the exact same way just because that's the way you've always done it, especially when the platform doesn't feel as inspired as it used to.

All thoughts quite welcome in the comments! :-)

Friday, January 3, 2020

A fresh new year start, and soothing winter crochet -alongs...

Happy New Year everyone, I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season.

*hugs*

I did, it was very relaxing. I pretty much spent nearly 2 weeks in my pj's, knitting, drinking tea, and watching a Little House on the Prairie marathon. 😂 I really needed the down time, and I loved it. The fall was unexpectedly quite stressful, as I've written about before, and spending the time at home unwinding with Mike and the kids was just awesome. We also got to spend a lot of time with my parents, which was absolutely delightful. Now that it's the new year, I'm feeling all refreshed and excited to go on my goals for dance, faith and family! I'm starting off by taking a workshop next weekend that focuses on acting and stage presence for dancers - should be interesting, eeks! :-0

In other news, I'm terribly excited to be participating in another crochet -along (abbreviated as CAL in craft land ;-)) with the Attic 24 blog. She does one each January - March, and releases the color sequences a week at a time. This year's edition is called the Dahlia blanket:


I've participated in these CAL's the past two years, and the experiences have been so fun and soothing. I love being a part of a larger community, and there is a group on Facebook called "Hooked on Attic 24" dedicated to these CAL's and it's so lovely to be joined in there. The winter is a perfect time to have a giant blanket project going, and I love the challenge of finishing up the stripe sequence each week. She does offer options wherein you can pick either the varied color sequence that she favors, or a colorwash version wherein the colors fade into each more, or a mirroring stripes option. She puts together yarn packs each late fall through Wool Warehouse, but obviously you could use any yarn you like and either try to match up the colors, or come up with your own color scheme. It's such fun! The first sequence came out today, and I have to admit that I got up with an excited feeling in my stomach to go print it out. :-)

Do you enjoy having a community that goes along with your hobbies? Anybody tempted to crochet a blanket with me this winter? ;-)